Bud Hunt is an early adopter. He's figuring out how to integrate new technologies into life and work before most of us have even heard of them.
Bud is also a teacher. This year he has taken on the role of teacher for teachers. I am impressed by Bud the Teacher as he is known to his blog and podcast fans.
I am "auditing" a professional development course he is leading call K12 Online - Playing with Boundaries. A group of 17 St. Vrain teachers are learning ways to leverage online tools when creating educational experiences for their students.
The St. Vrain course builds on an international, virtual conference cleverly titled K12 online conference. Last night we gathered for a face-to-face session and listened in on the conference's key note speech given from the Carolinas at a date and time I don't know. We joined participants from the UK, China and Wyoming - also on their own schedules. Bud had asked for input for our course from colleagues around the globe using a tool know as Twitter.
We interacted directly and indirectly with people in unknown geographic locations. The best part is we still got to go home and have dinner with our own families.
My take aways from last night (including ideas reaffirmed), in no particular order...
- We have barely scratched the surface of what's possible when it comes to tapping technology to enhance learning.
- There are good and bad online protocal, "good ethical practices," as Bud described them. I'm still learning which of these practices I might be violating - and doing well.
- Geography means a lot less than it used to. The very notion of school "buildings" is going to be challenged far sooner than many of us imagine.
- Students will choose their own pace and hours for learning no matter what schedules we try to impose.
- The role of teacher will be far different in just a few years. Teachers will shift from instructors to guides helping students direct their own learning.
- We still need face-to-face time to strenghten relationships.
- We still need quiet time, uninterrupted by technology, to reflect on what we're learning and imagine what we might learn next.