Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Making the Connection

     Last week all of the high school teachers from the edcentre traveled to Humbolt, Saskatchewan to meet with other distance educators from other regions in Saskatchewan. Unfortunately, we didn't get to fly. It was a "watch for deer along the road" trip.

    We talked about how to improve the distance learning experience for everyone and how we can work together to share ideas, resources and inspiration. A common thread in the conversation was about respecting and valuing each learner. To accomplish this, it means some sort of introduction and conversation that opens the doors to understanding.

    One of the really great aspects about meeting people face to face is that you get to connect with who they are and develop a better sense of how you can learn together. In the online world, we often don't get to meet face to face and when we do I think it changes our perspective somewhat.

     This year each member of the edcentre.ca team has committed to visiting two school sites each semester. When we are able to meet learners face to face and talk with the people who are supporting their learning it makes a big difference in the potential for success. Something magical takes place that transforms and changes the ways that people learn from one another when there is some understanding of who the other person is and how they communicate.

    I am beginning to understand how important it is to recognize that we learn best from one another and that the more we expand our personal learning networks, the richer our experience becomes. When we take our personal learning network online, suddenly the learning possibilities change to a global learning environment where we can access thousands of people who can help us learn what we need to know. Our learning connections with people we have met with face to face can now move beyond the time and space of brief meetings to a fluid communication process.

   As we begin to make the connection with how we are all leveraging the Internet to communicate and learn together we are changing the world.

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