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November 07, 2006



"Learning happens in many directions. It is hard to keep track of all of them." Rebecca Borden 11/07/06

In helping a student prepare for this online learning environment and to prepare myself to facilitate this learning experience, I cast the above statement. I like it. I *really* like it.

As the "instructor" in this nuevo-virtual dynamic, I really don’t know where this is going to take me or where it is going to take my students. What am I going to learn about myself as a teacher? As an educational researcher, it challenges me to think about how we document the "downstream" effects of an intervention, see the manifestations of distant transfer in action. An elusive link. As an arts education advocate, I laugh at the notion of assessing student performance through the variables content standards and contact hours. True, deep and meaningful learning experiences are complex and messy. Most importantly, they are unpredictable.

Spontaneity is an elusive treasure in today's classrooms - creating the contexts and conditions for that ephemeral fairy of the "teachable moment" to appear. There! Where?

For me, voyaging into the known dimensions of this virtual learning environment that emerges and unfolds before us over the next few weeks is really quite wonderous. It is not going to be easy and it is certainly not going to be predictable.

I think my students are really anxious, many confused. They want to know what is expected of them or, more specifically, they are psyching out the teacher for what she wants. I want to see possibilities. I want to see risk. I want to see people moving out of their comfort zone and stepping into the zone of ambiguity and watching how they make some sense of order out of the haze. I am eager to see the unintended paths that grow from our journey.

Learning happens in many directions. Where is it taking you?

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