There are times when I even amaze myself. Let me explain … I have been privileged over the last 5 weeks to be involved in a course offered by Powerful Learning Practice. The course is titled, “Connected Coaching”. Here is the brief course description:
This course will prepare learners to become connected coaches in online communities of practice where through a strength based, appreciative inquiry approach they will work with teams and individual members helping them think deeply toward developing a shared vision for new ways of learning together in online spaces.
I enrolled in the course for a number of reasons:
– I had learned to appreciate the passion and vision of PLP the previous year as a member of a Year 1 team within our Board
– A significant aspect of my role within our Board is to coordinate and implement professional development programs. I felt that taking the time to learn about Connected Coaching would be a real asset in my work.
At this point in time, there is one significant idea that is transforming how I view my role, how I view professional development and how I understand pedagogy. This concept is wrapped up in the understanding of the word, ‘Connected’. Initially, I understood connectedness on a superficial level. The coach is connect to the learner through technology – through the discussion forums, through Elluminate, or through whatever online tool would be used.
The course is helping me to understand that the concept of ‘Connected’ goes so much deeper. Yes, we are connected through technology but we are also connected through our shared passions, through our shared thirst for learning, and through our shared commitments. I am learning that the concept of connected is about being a part of a learning community. The concept of connected illustrates that the ties between the coach and the learner can go far deeper than meeting together online via Skype.
What further energizes me is the role that technology plays in the connected community. I have heard from many that working together using technology is never as valuable as meeting and working together face to face. However, this idea has been challenged in my mind. The use of technology can be a real enabler. It allows individuals to come together within a learning community that would not otherwise be able to do so. Technology allows the community to meet, communicate, collaborate, and create in many different ways. This diverse approach opens the door for a greater participation of a wider group of people.
Within the PLP, I enjoy being involved in the community (aka The Hub). I appreciate the variety of ways one can be involved and the freedom to choose what works for me. I appreciate the idea that I can be myself. I am not being forced into a preset mold of what a Connected Coach should be.
Has everything that I have tried worked? No it has not … but I am not discouraged. Not everyone that I have tried to connect with has responded. There are some who are likely wondering who is this guy and why is he sending messages. We all know that building relationships will take time. Building trust will take time. It is perhaps a little unrealistic to think that it can be done within a week.
Still a few more weeks of the course to go. More things to learn, more things to do … and more opportunities to deepen the relationships with those in the community.
Feeling the Wind – Harry