Organic learning communities

EdwardianI had breakfast with a former professor and colleague this past week and, as it is whenever we get together, I left with so many exciting, brain-churning thoughts that I found it hard to focus on my other day-t0-day tasks. Our discussions ranged from the creation of the universe to American sterling silver, but one topic that really resonated with me was what seems to be a trend towards very localized, focused, informal learning communities. I think what most surprises me about this trend is that these groups are very often central to a geographical location in spite of having all the technology in the world to connect otherwise.

One example of this includes Colorado’s Learning 2.0 conference. I look forward to going to this gathering every time I can. There is something about connecting with people who are in your industry and in your same geographic area in an informal, non-conference environment that I find so motivating. Perhaps, with the thousands of connections that I have online, it’s a nice change to discuss ideas face-to-face.

To stretch this idea even further, wouldn’t it be fun to organize a “salon,” as they did in Victorian & Edwardian times, for polite discussion and debate about our current views and concerns regarding education?

Or perhaps I’ve been watching too much Downton Abbey…

(Image: Wikipedia)

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