Saturday, November 03, 2007

Tapestry of Understanding

The K20 Online Conference has just barely closed but not ended. Many, I for one, have not yet had time to listen, view, and digest all of the presentations. But, David Warlick's keynote and Clarence Fisher's presentation still resonate for me.

Flickr Photo by andydr

"We are Inventing New Boundaries." David Warlick

"It is not about where you live anymore." Clarence Fisher

Our increasingly global world along with the proliferation of Web2.0 tools presents us with an opportunity we have never had before, perhaps never even dreamed about. The opportunity is vast, but how does this translate into educational practice?

We are now able to cross the boundaries of time and space.

We are now able, quite easily, to discover
learning whenever, wherever, and with whomever best suits our needs. What impacts will it have on teaching and learning? What impact will it have when we can see, chat, and learn from people across the world? How will it impact our thinking when we learn about the world through the eyes and beliefs of others across the world? What new layers of thinking and understanding will we need to develop?

One layer will challenge our understanding of context. The fact that so many people responded to the amazing context of
Clarence Fisher in Canada and David Warlick's
changing scenes says something. They invited us into their worlds and shared a part of themselves. Seeing the images of them in a context
opened a window into their worlds and ideas that words alone could not
have accomplished. We all know how helpful it is to finally put a face to a name. But, by adding the context of a place, a new level of understanding grew.

Connecting with others with a view of their location in the backdrop offers a new visual layer of understanding and connection to navigate. What can our students learn about
about perspective, viewpoint, and the relationships between the strands
of geography though the contexts of global collaborations? We are far beyond passively viewing a video offering highlights of the geography, culture, and people of a place. What more do they learn by exploring the sights and sounds of another place at a personal level rendered through the eyes and beliefs of another?

Connecting personally will demand more from learners. By crossing the boundaries of time and space, learners will be
challenged to explore the the relationships between context and beliefs. It will challenge their stereotypes and shake the status quo. It will push them to listen, really listen, to ask questions, and to seek new levels of understanding. Within the context of the challenge, their lies a genuine opportunity for developing new relationships and for weaving new tapestries of global understanding.

What colors are in your tapestry of understanding?

Powered by ScribeFire.

No comments:

Post a Comment