Anyhow, once over the thrill of being at Google Sydney, there was work to be done. In a classroom for two days with amazing educators does make one dream of the utopic classroom, learning space. In a sense maybe that's what I already have. In my physical absence, my Year 9 Digital Thinking & Problem-solving class back at Aorere College (Auckland, New Zealand) were still working, still learning, still connected. Their project as this time was to use the programming platform Pencilcode.Net to go beyond animating their name and build their own racing game and yes and of course to play it!
My time in dual "classrooms" did reinforce me that online learning while possessing considerable benefits, stills falls short in many ways to face-to-face learning when the students and teachers are in fit-for-purpose roles and locations. Face-to-face learning has no benefit if it is a mere replication of what is possible online or alone. When teachers and students are in close physical proximity, arguably social and academic learning is at its strongest. I know I would not have become such an advocate with greatly enhanced understanding if I hadn't been in the same room as the other Geo trainers. In this respect, it's not about the content, it's in my opinion about the people, the interactions, the connections. Funny enough just like my classroom back in New Zealand.