One thing to realize about Learning Gardens
is that it was never "about a place".
We say the above realizing in a way, that Learning Gardens
was never actually meant to be "a thing",
or to be "governed" by only a few people.
We repeat often in passing that Learning Gardens
was an attempt at a *means* by which one enters a
state of learning (growing, sharing, experiencing)
with-and-alongside others without
necessarily feeling the pang of obligation one feels
in a book club (for example), or in a classroom with
homework and grading systems.
Inspired heavily by the anarchist notion of
"Temporary Autonomous Zones", we semi-jokingly
referred to Learning Gardens as a
"Non-Obligational Autonomous Zone", a place where
one's educational path was self-derived and not
subject to other structures that might be imposed on it.
In a way, Learning Gardens has continually attempted
to nurture a sense that "dying is OK", in the sense that
no learning initiative can remain fervently active, or
remain relevant forever. In a sense, we should be happy
to realize some gardens can't hold
our collective attentions forever.
Again, Learning Gardens was never "about a place".
Ian Hamilton Finlay said, rather, that "a garden is not an object but a process".
In 2019 we're going to retire our Slack as a sort
of "central hub" that many folks found it or made it to be.
Learning Gardens is about support structures in learning.
Learning Gardens is about self-organization in education.
Learning Gardens is about a disposition, not a place.
Learning Gardens has always been about diffusing off
into whatever platform made sense for its participants,
and we're hoping everyone currently using Slack as their
"Learning Gardens" can become stewards of their own
learning experiences, in whatever manner they see fit.
The current janitors of Learning Gardens also
want some downtime from whatever loose
community management we had cobbled together over the years.
We don't need to be the bottlenecks.
The current janitors additionally want to experiment with
what it means for Learning Gardens to implement itself
through new technologies that actually mirror the ideals
it was established around.
We realize for members not based in major hubs,
or places with many other gardeners, this might be annoying
news at best, heartbreaking news at worst,
but we're hoping in the month that follows this letter, we can all find ways of connecting with one another as needed.
The net is vast and infinite.
It's never goodbye! Upon the completion of this process, we'll all still be around.
Learning Gardens will continue to grow slow.
P.S. feel free to chat about this in #diffusion or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org