Thursday, February 11, 2021

Learning to Work Remotely: An End in Itself

USDLA 2015

Back when O'Reilly paid our way to professional development experiences, I got to hang out with the  distance learning crowd (USDLA) in St. Louis.  Or maybe I should say "distance teaching" as I was learning from the teaching end of the business.

All of that was pre pandemic of course, at the time of the big earthquake in Nepal. I remember Leela (then Lindsey) calling me in my Hilton hotel room from Kathmandu, to say she was OK.  Hilton had taken over a goodly portion of the old Union Station in downtown STL, the site of our conference.

In those days, Michigan was giving some kids opportunities to take a distance learning class as an experience in itself.  A special school had set up facilities in several metro areas, whereby the kids would be in a learning facilities, complete with snacks and exercise equipment -- but their teachers were far away.  

They could practice their Zoom skills, or the old timey equivalent.  They could get ready for remote work.

Part of schooling today, is around developing the skills needed to work remotely.  Developing those abilities is an end in itself as well as a means to an end.  

Some teachers specialize in teaching remotely just as some specialize in teaching gym or home economics.  But then remote teaching works best for some subject matter, such as maybe history and computer science.  YMMV.