Where do you look for answers? Do you turn to an index of people? Who’s in your index? Family? Friends? Colleagues? Classmates? Physicians? Again, where do you look for answers?

I not so long ago took a trip with my friend Andrew that put the two of us—friends since high school—into a car for eight days. In total, we drove 2,020 miles through California. Our trip was pretty much a big u-turn: We drove the 1 until reaching Eureka, then cut east through Redding and Tahoe, where we then sauntered on down the 395 until we somehow made it home in one piece (plus a souvenir from the California Highway Patrol).

I posit that a week on the road offers anyone some worthy time to think; thus, I thought a lot on my trip. After thinking, I more or less felt like this:

David After Dentist

Now, don’t think that David’s response is a poor one because, as you’ve experienced, we’ve all been there—Level 10. Come on, you know the place. And it’s okay to be there. But it’s not okay to stay there.

From what Ron Finley explained at TED2013, he left Level 10 to find answers to his problem—food deserts of South Central Los Angeles. As Finley illustrates throughout his speech, he took the first steps to lead himself to a better place. Yet, as Finley’s further explains, it wasn’t he alone who made changes.

Ron Finley: A Guerrilla Gardener in South Central LA

Education has turned into a desert of sorts. It’s full of many mirages and void of watersheds. It’s full of truth seekers and naysayers. It’s a place full of Davids and even fewer Ron Finleys. But there are gardens to be planted, and successful online education can be one of them.

Both David and Finley emphasize and represent trends that I see in Education: fear and hope. The gap between can be bridged by we being smarter and more savvy like Finley. Moreover, we can also let our anger out like David so that we gauge the size of our problems.

Ron Finley’s TED2013 speech reveals that problems beget solutions when opportunity is grasped. As The Online Teaching Survival Guide and Essentials of Online Course Design detail, we must identify issues and work to solve them in order to improve eduation.

Plant a garden. Scream in your dad’s car. Start an online course. Vent it out. But, please, leave Level 10 and find an answer to what you’ve been thinking about.

A guerilla gardener in South Central LA. (n.d.). Retrieved May 07, 2016, from https://www.ted.com/talks/ron_finley_a_guerilla_gardener_in_south_central_la?language=en

Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R. (2010). The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

B. (2009). David After Dentist. Retrieved May 07, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txqiwrbYGrs

Vai, M., & Sosulski, K. (2011). The essential guide to online course design: A standards-based approach. London: Routledge.