My summer exploded and what I’d intended as lazy days spent reading and learning turned into many days spent sitting on trains and planes and hanging out, researching and working with lovely friends and colleagues in Canada and parts of Northern Europe.
I did manage to fit in a couple of vacation days in the Netherlands and Berlin, but all that moving around made it very difficult for me even to begin participating in the Facilitating Online course I’d expressed an interest in.
I did learn about many other things along the way including:
better sailing skills, more about the Mozilla Foundation, what a resilient Luminous Green future could be like, how to work with Media Wiki, how to identify wild cherries, what a hagstone is and how to properly tie clove hitches and bowlines.
That is great, and as much as I love the informal bits and pieces of learning that are a part of everyday life, I’d love to better focus on my slowly developing formal study with USQ as well as more formal online courses such as Facilitating Online or the upcoming PLENK. Which leads me to the question – if you’re on the road often, whether it be for a long-distance relationship, fun or work – can flexible learning truly support a flexible, often nomadic life?
When online “flexible” learning involves downloading some PDFs and writing the occasional essay, it is still possible to get some study done while in transit. Travel is great for focusing on offline tasks – the articles you never read, the discussion responses you meant to write. However the style of learning that I’m most interested in (as a student, facilitator and teacher) requires a continued online presence, so that one can socially engage with your peers.
I don’t have answers for this – though I have suspicions that it may involve far better time management and commitment than I’m currently providing. I’m also expecting that I’d be laying out some major data roaming charges so that I can have good web access whether I’m in an airport in Vancouver or on a train in Belgium.