Reimagining Global Collaboration
Many teachers are finding some well-deserved time to recharge and reflect after the tumultuous start to 2020. For so many of us, the past few months have brought - along with an unprecedented overuse of the word 'unprecedented' - remarkable challenges as well as transformative opportunities to learn and reimagine existing systems. At times, the pace of this change has been dizzying. And at this point, many of us just Need. To. Slow. Down.
For teachers, reflection is a natural part of the summer break. John Dewey reminded us that we don’t learn from experience but from our reflection on experience. And as we explore new 'probletunities' in the 'coronaverse,' we are finding that we need each other more than ever to help reflect and to make sense of our changing world. We need family, friends and colleagues around the world to co-construct this new reality: to understand as we go forward how we will teach, how we will organize our schools and how we will relate to each other as humans.
While many of us just want to sit down face-to-face with a friend for a conversation over a cup of coffee, we are also grateful for new ways technology has kept us connected over the past few months. A remarkably prescient, pre-covid 2019 report from the OECD, “How International Collaboration Can Help Build the Future of Education," observes:
Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of digital technologies is that they not only serve individual learners and educators, but can also build an ecosystem of learning predicated on collaboration. Technology can build communities of learners…communities in which teachers can share and enrich teaching resources and practices… help system leaders and governments develop and share best practice around curriculum design, policy and pedagogy.
At WIDA, we are building this community, through FlipGrid, Twitter and webinars, trying to leverage our global learning network to connect, co-create and re-imagine together. In this newsletter you’ll learn about new opportunities for continued online professional learning, including a powerful new virtual workshop on collaboration. We hope you’ll join us and until then we wish you a restful, safe and healthy summer.
Jon Nordmeyer, WIDA International Programs Director
*Thai "best regards"