It is so important to reflect.
I don't have a great memory. I can enter a room and be clueless as to why I came. And yet I remember stories from decades ago as if they were yesterday. Building tree forts. Ducking behind the fence as my buddy threw lawn darts at me. Getting stitches. Why do I remember those things: because I have reviewed them over and over. I have reflected on them. Sure, as I tell the stories to my own kids, some of the details have evolved. (the darts really did happen, though). But without reflection, the ideas grow cold. With that in mind, here are a few of the more memorable CBL experiences I had this year.
This was a great year of connections-based learning for me and my students. I remember the first week of school, I connected my students with Saul Mwame, a Sustainable Development Goals activist from Tanzania. I really had no definite purpose for this other than connection. Sure I thought he could shed some light on the lack of electricity in Tanzania. But it was the connection that was important.
Months after that first semester class is done, I see the ripple effects of that connection in my last semester's students' tweet supporting Saul's goals.
How can I stop connecting my students when passionate purposeful flames are fanned. I can't.@SaulMwame— Nana Okamoto (@pancakes_honey) May 28, 2018
Nothing can stop you, can it? :) Made my day reading this article, makes you certain that sometimes people have bigger problems than you.
"Nothing can stop me but me. I dream that one day I will establish an aerospace university in my country": https://t.co/8cah9BOGwe
And what an honour it was for me to connect with champions of gender equality around the world as I prepared to speak at the Qatar Leadership Conference 2017. I couldn't have done it without connections. It speaks to the crucial nature of the CBL #CoOperate focus:
See this post for details on that experience: #CBLchat and #TeachSDGs.
Another highlight for me this year was to watch what mentorship can do as we connect our students with the right guides. Microsoft Vancouver approached me to find some students that would be interested in connecting to utilize the MS Vancouver Garage resources: both tools and personnel. This gave students a chance to really press into the CBL #CoCreate Focus:
The human element is huge in these instances. If I asked students to educate themselves in coding and design through YouTube they would not have gotten as far as they did with a human connection. We went through the CBL #CoDesign focus to not only tease out our direction, but guide our work.
Such great progress was achieved between the time we spent time to #CoConstructGoals to the proof of concept demonstrated at the BC Tech Summit. Here is one students' goals at the beginning of the connection:
And here is a video of the product demonstrated at the BC Tech Summit:
What a difference a connection can make!