Learning is messy. Learning is not linear. Learning happens everywhere.
Jackie Gerstein has shared her ideas on deep learning here, and this quick video captures the flavour of how unpredictable learning can be:
“Learning is about ideas. Learning is about sharing. Learning is about connections.”
It is with this in mind that I attended #Unplugd12 (Unplug’d 2012).
Sometimes we enter into learning situations with expectations about who we will connect with and who we will learn from. Unplug’d 2012 was filled with people I have learned with (online) for so long. I imagined the richness of continuing the connections face to face, and I wasn’t disappointed!
Wes Fryer, whose “Learning at the Speed of Creativity” podcasts I listened to faithfully during every commute earlier in my career; where I learned about google docs and so many other ways to harness technology for learning
Rodd Lucier, who taught me everything I know about creative commons (and more).
Kathy Cassidy, who is my ‘go to’ example for “yes you can integrate technology in the primary classroom”.
David Truss, whose “Pair a Dimes” blog makes me laugh and think almost every day.
(and so many more….)
When I think back, though, the most important “take away” from Unplug’d 2012 for me didn’t come from where I expected, it came from the teachers who are new to the profession.
As a secondary principal, gaining insight into their stories opened my eyes to some of the unique struggles they encounter, and I will be a better principal this year because of what they passionately shared with me.
This story is important because my heart went out to one of the new teachers, who, at the end of the weekend, voiced that he came to Unplug’d feeling as though he had nothing valuable to share, and almost didn’t come at all.
My most important learning came from someone who almost didn’t even attend.
You need to share your road, your learning journey. Don’t hog it all to yourself!
You don’t know where other peoples’ learning gaps are. You might hold that one secret little piece that puts it all together for someone else.