Nothing is Impossible….
(If you can….READ the “comments below” the video in youtube )
I have spent the last year working at developing a program called the “Open Classroom”. I have been developing online projects that offer free content to students from anywhere in the world based on flexible access to different digital devices (computers and mobile devices). These projects can be used in online courses (virtual schools) and regular f2f classes (Blended learning). The goal was to create learning opportunities open to all students with no barriers.
Most of the feedback that I have received revolves around my inability to communicate my ideas: “Verena. You are speaking a different language. I have no idea what you are talking about.”
This year, I have often felt like an alien on another planet trying to communicate with other people. I have been labelled a stranded evangelist, a teacher entrepreneur and I am often told that I think outside the box. My job description is, Learning Innovation Lead Teacher, which I assume means I am innovative.
Then – it happened….I was able to connect to the International Space Station.
I now have proof that others “can” speak my language.
Commander Hadfield is part of my PLN (Personal Learning Network). He is part of my world. I follow him on Google and on twitter, I retweet his pictures and I was on of 8398 people in his Google Hangout from the International Space Station:
According to his son Evan Hadfield,““I think that it would be fantastic when Dad came back to Canada people would stop and say I recognize him, I’m proud of him…and thanks him for whatever; to really understand who he is and what he has done for the country when he comes back. Then I would feel we’ve done a good job.”
Yes! He did a GREAT job! In three months I believe he has been able to disrupt education only in the way Sir Ken Robinson has been able to do.
Yes! I am comparing an astronaut to an educator! In fact, I believe Commander Hadfield has taken educational theory and proven that learning happens everywhere – and always has. Sir Robinson encourages the world to break down traditional classroom walls to learn by seeking our passion through creative and meaningful ways. Commander Hadfield modeled “how” to be creative and learn with others because of his passion.
The Top 7 Things that I have Learned from Commander Hadfield:
1. People need to feel connected.
Commander Hadfield connected and engaged the world through his tweets and that it is incredibly important to build relationships in online environments. He assured the world that being human is possible, and relevant, in a technology driven society.
2. We can all learn together as equals in a digital community.
It doesn’t matter what your “title” is, how “old” you are or where you are from – you need to be a part of a community.
Commander Hadfield answered questions from students:
AND he connected with movie stars and politicians as well!
3. Your digital identity is essential in 2013.
“ With his high-flying past, Hadfield would be forgiven for having a gruff, no-nonsense exterior, and yet the Hadfield we have come to know couldn’t be further removed from this archetype. ” Retrieved from HERE
It is up to every person to consider how you want people to “see” you online. That includes what content you choose to share and how you choose to interact with others.
For example, the National Post created a possible diary based on Commander Hadfield’s experiences over a week, click HERE. (As a teacher I LOVE this example – just think of the possible spin-offs.)
He decided to host a question and answer session in Reddit from “his” point of view:
4. DIY (Do It Yourself) and self directed learning is essential.
In order to create a network of learners, we have to figure out some things for ourselves. Using videos and “how to” guides give learners the time to learn at their own pace and in their own way.
How do you Brush Your teeth in Space?
5. “Rich” valuable free content can be found on the internet.
Most of the content that was “created” in space – was sent out through youtube, twitter and other social media content sources. This gives learners an opportunity to have equal access to all digital content. Equal access is a first step to breaking the digital divide and an example of an Open Educational Resource (OER).
6. Making connections to “authentic” social media and technology is instrumental in order to learn in 2013.
7. You need to be curious to keep learning.
You don’t have to be a tech geek or interested in space to connect and learn with Commander Hadfield. You have to be curious.
My primary school daughter came home from school and asked me for that “song” about the ISS. She wanted the lyrics. Her class was going to learn how to sing it. I found the lyrics and video on youtube and then told her that Commander Hadfield was still in space and that he had written it and sung with some “earthlings”. Then she started to follow his adventures….It’s all about baby steps, making connections with every person in their own way. One step at a time. Making learning relevant.
But why Commander Hadfield the biggest disruption to hit education – even bigger than MOOCs? (Yes @Audreywatters I am prophesying that Commander Hadfield is a bigger disruption to k to 12 education than anything else on May 15, 2013)
He showed the world that he is passionate about who is is and what he does. He advocated for creativity – by being creative. He is able to integrate a wide variety of interests, skills and ideas – into a common platform. He pointed out that science is not just about a process- it is about the journey. Most importantly he proved that being yourself and connecting with others can lead to change. Oh – and he asked his son to help him because he knew that you can’t do great things all by yourself 🙂
This ode to Commander Hadfield ends with my heartful thanks to a new Canadian Hero who has changed my world.
Thank you for showing the world that anything is possible by being yourself. If we can have a Google hangout on the International Space Station and brush our teeth in space we can do it on earth as well!
By sharing his experiences with the world – he has proven himself to be a leader in education!
Here’s what Hadfield told CBC interviewer Jian Ghomeshi about why he’s so passionate about helping earthlings to understand his space journey:
“This is something not only personally amazing to be part of, but it is a new thing within the human experience. And it’s way too good of an experience to keep to myself. It’s something that I think is really important to share. Ever since my first space flight, 17 years ago, I’ve been trying to describe to people just how incredible it is to see our world this way, and what it means to us as a species to start leaving Earth. And now I have the time–this isn’t a shuttle assembly flight–this is living in space and so I have the time to try and share it with everyone. And so I’m doing everything I can to ensure that people really get a sense of what it means and what it’s like.”
Retrieved from: http://teachingkidsnews.com/2013/02/10/1-astronaut-chris-hadfield-debuts-song-from-space/
So I ask you all – how has Commander Chris Hadfield changed your reality? Is he promoting a disruption in education? Why or why not?