Without Community…

This is my first time blogging from in on an airplane. My daughter, Isabelle, may be the cause of that. She is cleverly intriguing, so much so that it is difficult to be very reflective when she is saying “da da da” at you. My trip today, and the reason for this blog post, is to find out what the North American Council for Online Learning has to add to the School 2.0 conversation.

I was not the only one with this idea, however.

I just so happened to sit next to Kathryn Knox, Ph.D. (Senior Director of Curriculum and Instruction at the Colorado Virtual Academy) and we struck up quite the conversation about online learning.

My favorite part of the discussion was when we stumbled upon community as a tenet for a successful online school. She put it this way: “Without community you don’t have a school. You have a program but not a school.” This idea really caught me and it hasn’t let go yet.

Are we trying to create programs that are viable and sustainable, or are we trying to create communities that constantly need tweaking and guidance. The first is easy: Set up the systems, install the software, write the content. The second is terrifyingly hard: engage all stakeholders, listen, change.

I really need to keep looking at the Academy of Discovery to make sure that I am not just creating a program, I am creating a community.

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