Today I completed my final Core Breakfast session for 2012 – a warm, enthusiastic session with a Dunedin crowd, exploring the possibilities for personalised (and connected – see image) professional learning that can be afforded by easily available technologies. This session was similar to the spotlight I facilitated at the Ulearn conference.
And at both of them, an interesting ‘meta-experience’ (real word? it is now..) highlighted for me the potential of the technologies that I am exploring with schools.
Story 1: Coming to you, live and direct!
The Ulearn session was streamed live and was freely available to anyone not at the conference, including one teacher who was tidying her classroom, somewhere in New Zealand.
She tweeted that was enjoying watching the session; a participant in the room with me showed me the tweet – and I was able to include her in the session, directly addressing the camera, illustrating the connecting power of the tech as it happened.
It may have startled her in the middle of tidying her desk (I imagine the pencils tumbling to the floor as she hears me talking to her from her laptop..) but what possibilities this offers for the future of professional learning are incredibly exciting.
While this has obviously been done before – one-to-many streamed TV shows offer interactivity via Twitter or similar, this is not a model that is common yet to PD but increased access through ultra-fast broadband will make this a reality in the coming years, bringing us:
- …live, multimedia synchronous sessions
- …interactive participation that can be tailored, personalised, meaningful
- …responsive and collaborative learning that is not bound by geographic constraints
- …the ability to record, replay, embed, transcribe and share – Universal Design for Learning and accessibility in action.
Story 2: Leveling our learning playing field
In this mornings’s breakfast session, one of the participants, Anne Kenneally (@annekenn), tweeted out that I was sharing resources from Dean Shareski (@shareski) – and included him in the tweet. He took the time to reply immediately, looping in both myself and Anne, as the session played out.
The double-loop that such online networks can create here, instantly connecting us to those people we admire and whose work we espouse, illustrates powerfully:
- The immediacy of access to others in our profession
- The leveling of the expert-student playing field – we are all experts, all learners, the reciprocity of akō in action
- The potential of the knowledge-based network
Both of the stories excite me – the irony that, at the moment of facilitating on the power of blended, networked professional learning, it plays out in the room in ways that add value for the participants and illustrate the talk in action.
This is the way we can de-silo, connect, and tailor our learning for our personal inquiries, all with an eye of sustaining our learning in ways that utilise the rich, developing, global networks of educators.
Our profession is founded on the sharing of knowledge with others.
Let’s make sure we share it amongst ourselves, too.
[Image source: “surprised kawaii cube” by Jenn and Tony Bot]