Loving the prompts from the 30 Day Blogging Challenge including today's prompt: Post a picture of your classroom.
Each prompt really gets me thinking about recent changes in my career and my lifestyle and how those changes impact the way I define teaching and learning.
A little over a year ago I gave up my apartment and started a journey that I call "living and learning mobile". Some people thought I was retiring. Have no idea how they got THAT idea! I had no intention of stopping teaching and learning.
Because of today's technology I can teach and learn from anywhere, anytime. In the past year I've held class from Vermont, New York, New Jersey, South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. It took some inspiration, nudging from my husband who has wanderlust, rethinking, and creative solutions, but we now live full time in our 1983 Bluebird Wanderlodge. I teach online at the University of Vermont and Marlboro College Graduate School. I work with schools (mostly in Vermont) on projects that keep me connected with students and teachers in K-12 education. I connect with educators and innovators that I meet along the road in a variety of ways ranging from attending conferences like FETC and South By Southwest. Last year I even enrolled in Intro to Physical Computing graduate course and did some pretty cool stuff (like built a 3D printer from a picnic table in Austin and completed Arduino circuits while crossing statelines. Basically my classroom looks like this
What's missing is the parts of a relationship made possible by a quick smile and nonverbal communication. But thankfully due to tools like Google Hangouts, I've found ways to bring some of that missing piece back into the equation. Just the other day, I had a student who emailed me that she was thinking of dropping a class because she didn't feel techsavvy enough to be enrolled in an online class. An encouraging email would not have reassured her, but when I sent her a link to a GOOGLE HANGOUT and asked her to click on it, she was in awe by the quick response, amazed at the technology, but mostly had renewed confidence that I could truly help her through the any tech challenges that might arise. Using the same tools I can also bring in guest speakers into my classroom from all over the world.
I am loving living and learning mobile and feel so fortunate that we live in a time where the current technology it possible for the classroom I teach from or the classroom I learn from is accessible from anywhere, anytime. You can follow our journey at blog.livinglearningmobile.com