Welcome to Heads Up, a blogging experiment that aims to:
- connect the people, parts, and principles of Durham Academy;
- share ideas about learning and human development;
- spotlight a few of the many wondrous things I get to see every day at Durham Academy.
Thanks for reading the posts below — and sending news, links and ideas worth sharing.
Michael Ulku-Steiner, Head of School
What's in your cloud?
Upper School English Teacher (and DA alumna) Tina Bessias '78 is diving into a pair of new learning adventures.
First, she'll teach a class next fall on Digital Journalism with our partner program the Global Online Academy.
Second, she'll launch a new business designed to craft individual plans for people aiming to learn . . . anything. Here's Tina's introductory letter to her faculty colleagues. Click on her links to learn more.
Next year, I'll be teaching at DA in the mornings and developing a new educational venture in the afternoons. The new venture is Cloud to Ground Learning, and it will provide support for learning that takes place outside academic institutions.
At various junctures in our lives, we all want or need to learn about a wide variety of topics. Buying a house or preparing for a big trip can be an impetus, for example, and so can a diagnosis or a new stage in our careers. Sometimes there's a mentor or a ready-made course for what we want to learn. Other times we find ourselves enrolled in the School of Hard Knocks.
Between those extremes, there lies an increasing field of opportunity for structured, independent learning. I will help clients define their goals and identify resources in the physical community and the digital "cloud." I will help them organize those resources into a Personal Learning Plan that suits their style and schedule. In academic terms, this is a syllabus, and it could include a few weeks' or many months' worth of material. I will teach the use of tech tools as needed and provide support for following the plan to completion. I'll be a personal learning coach.
My goal for this summer is to get a rolling start—to begin working with people on a variety of topics while fine tuning my business concept. You're all great learners, and I would be pleased to hear from any of you who have a learning goal you want to address in the coming months. As a matter of professional courtesy, I will make my service very affordable to you and your relatives. Please talk to me or check out the Cloud to Ground Learning website to get a better idea of what I have in mind.
Best wishes for a smooth close to the year,
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