Connected Learning Book Study

After two sessions with our ABEL book study group I have to say what a pleasure it is to work with so many committed and engaged professionals.  It is not easy to engage in learning in our current political climate, it’s an honour to learn with such a dedicated group.

Add to the challenge, the fact that we are learning in an online environment so we are grappling with all of the issues that folks deal with in face to face learning at a distance. That being said, you would not have known this last Thursday evening through our active discussion and the fact that we were running overtime because there was so much going on!

Things I continue to  learn: ongoing need for balance in connected learning, importance of our digital footprint (as always), relationships are vital and key to learning, technology is not about the tool, time is a four letter word.

Things I continue to question: How do I introduce dissonance to a group of like minded learners? How do we continue building and growing our group and tune it as suggested by Howard Rheingold? What will continue to  draw people into an online group of learners with established learning and knowledge building relationships?

Hopefully, the group will help to answer my questions as will my PLN.

Studying Books Virtually

So last night was my first session as moderator of a virtual book study.  I am working with a group of educators from across Ontario who are all interested in becoming more connected.  They are a dedicated group that are willing to take the leap to DIY learning in a virtual environment. We are reading “The Connected Educator:  Learning and Leading in a Digital Age” by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter Hall, so it makes sense that we learn together virtually.

I feel my biggest challenge is to connect with each of the participants and develop a relationship with them so that we can co-construct learning together. Virtual is different, it requires an understanding of silent spaces in conversations, the ability to follow chat and respond accordingly while moving discussion forward logically as we would in face to face learning. I am comfortable in this space, I hope the rest of our group is too.  Next step is to engage the group in online discussion between sessions and I look forward to some rich and reflective discussion.

I know that I am an online learner and engage in my own self directed professional learning, I hope I can convince this group to join me for the ride 🙂