You’re an explorer out there on the intrepid waters of educational technology, sailing the hand made frigate with a few trusty colleagues. You’ve faced tsunamis, avalanches, world flattening forces.

And then some IPO funded black ship from Silicon Valley sails in and plunders all your reputational booty.

What else can an explorer do but pick up his sword?


It was all I could do not immediately remix this awesome photo Stephen shared. Apparently these conferences in Saudi Arabia have more going at them then vendor booths and conference chicken:

So I waited until a more appropriate mindset, after a few hours hanging out with Brian at the Fox and Hound, after slumping in a chair to watch No Country for Old Men, I was ready for this one.

the downesStephen’s expression in this shot is priceless, he is as always, purely full of intent.

I clone brushed out the bit of what looks like someone else’s sword behind his right shoulder. Then I tried to think of a dude to put in the foreground. I could have just erased it, but, well I thought of a certain hair lacking pirate, but none of the photos had the right angle. A google image search on “bald man from behind” yielded one in a suit, the perfect business type figure to face the Sword of Downes. I just had to remove some white background, and nudge him over enough to obscure the figure in Stephen’s original photo (licensed BY-NC, luckly not licensed NMM “Non-MOOC-Mocking”).

Then some text in Impact font, a bit of stroke and outer glow layer effects, and voila.

I am counting on Stephen’s fine sense of humor. He is the MOOC Swashbuckler.

Top / Featured image credit: cc licensed (BY) flickr photo by pasukaru76:

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. Okay, okay, I guess I’ll have to be the first to ask: Who the heck is that cute guy Stephen and what has he done for us lately?

  2. Haha, that photo of Stephen is perfect for your remix. What a great job you did, Alan! I can imagine No Country for Old Men certainly inspired you down the more violent path of creative possibilities.
    @Sandy- Stephen Downes is a world-renowned, jet-setting Canadian educator, blogger, philosopher, educational technology haruspex who along with George Siemens and Dave Cormier ran the first MOOC (back in 2008, I believe). I highly recommend subscribing to his daily newsletter OLDaily

  3. Of course you know you can always count on my sense of humour, and I would never put a NMM license on my photos.

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