Monday, May 19, 2008

Learn Globally, Teach Locally

Learn Globally, Teach Locally - for now, this is what I do. 
My learning sphere is becoming wider and more global. I am communicating about subjects of interest to me, with people who have shared interests, and I may never meet those people face to face. 
However, my work as a teacher (or instructional coach, mentor, whatever you like to call it) is decidedly local. I work in a building with people I see almost every day. I have a different vision than most of them, a vision that has been strengthened, challenged, deepened and in some sense formulated, based on my tech-enhanced, global access to other teachers. It is the network I turn to for help and ideas, for support and understanding. It is the network that keeps me going. 
When, on a day to day basis, very few people in your local environment understand you, what a blessing it is to be connected to people you admire, who have a similar outlook or vision. If not for this outlet things would certainly be different. 
1. I would be teaching in isolation. I would not have access to the ideas and projects that benefit my students on a daily basis. 
2. It would be harder to fight the good fight. I don't tend to be the strongest person. I question myself all the time. 
3. I might be writing my next blog post from a padded cell.
4. I don't think I would push myself as hard as I do. 

I like working locally and being part of a community. I still believe in the value of face to face time in education. I even like the building ;) But I love the opportunities available to me to connect outside of this place. I love to bring those opportunities to students. I think that, for now, I have the best of both worlds, or rather, the best of this world.

image credit: NASA, earth.jpg. Pics4Learning. 19 May 2008.


Nadine N said...

I couldn't agree more with your post! Add to your list, staying current with new tools, strategies, and research in edtech. If we taught in a vacuum, we would not be nearly as effective.

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia Ora Andrea.

You say "learn globally, teach locally". And that's what you do.

But in fact, through the very network you speak of so well, you are also teaching globally.

Ka kite
from Middle-earth

Andrea Hernandez said...

@nadine - Even before my techie days I did not like teaching in isolation and always sought out others to team up with. Finding great people to work with probably kept me from leaving the profession. I think that what is happening today with edtech makes teaching much more exciting and much easier than when I started.

@blogger-in-middle-earth --I never really thought of it that way, but I guess it is true. we all have many opportunities for both teaching and learning. I guess I just liked the name for a post ;)
I am still just amazed at the ability to communicate with people around the world - like Middle-earth! The other day I skyped with Sue Waters in Perth. It is just too cool!

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia Ora Andrea!

Our Day 21 task to recommend a resource in a comment prompts me to choose your blog for the comment!

My recommended resource comes with this link to the eLearning Guild which hosts a cornucopia of wonderful resources including genuinely free eBooks.

I guess you may already know about these 'gifts' but just in case you don't you'll find them at the end of the above link:-)

I must also make it clear that this is not a commercial, for I have absolutely no affiliation with the eLearning Guild other than as a devoted admirer of what they offer. It's free!

Ka kite
from Middle-earth

BK said...

Hi Andrea,
Seems like we have been accepting similar challenges here and feeling the love of the web community. I have been retired from full-time teaching for three years, way before I found blogging could open us to the world so easily.
I wonder what I would have done with the tools to move my "local" community beyond the walls of our classroom?
For me, the local community was not in my department, but on the stage of our high school.
Anyway, it's good to visit. Lots to read and think about.

Andrea Hernandez said...

@Ken thanks so much for the recommendation. I look forward to checking out the elearning Guild.

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. I couldn't find your blog.

BK said...

Hi Andrea,
Happy Memorial Day!


Nedra said...

Andrea, I agree with your post. I know I would not be doing a very good job of teaching tech, and I know I have a lot of room for improvement, if not for the network and finding new tools and resources to teach to and use with the students.