David Robbins is…
Late to later 40s
Middle class warrior
he loves this Algonquin land.
Smiles too much despite himself,
Secure at times:
Seeks revenge and other happiness –
And remembrance of
our better ways –
And all the weapons and all the tools :
To shadowforge a future
People are learning online. Is your organization teaching there?
The ways we do things, all the things, how we learn, work and play – is faster, more immediate, more electronic, more connected, more networked and more disembodied than ever before.
Many questions arise.
How do teachers and learners stabilize our bodyminds as we navigate these “disrupted” digital times? How do we stay human in our pedagogy while we adopt, use, underuse and misuse digital tools?
How can we connect, engage, inspire, challenge and grow, as learners and as teachers? How do we retain the best of what we do together when we meet face-to-face to discuss and learn? Or do we lose the best of learning and sharing knowledge together when we take education online?
The full answers to these questions are in flux, just as the digital moment remains disrupted, chaotic and confusing.
Still, there are conscious choices we can make to create vibrant and effective online and digital learning experiences for learners.
For organizations, making conscious choices means exploring the world of digital tools, growing our capacity, fostering creativity and connection, and expanding our sense of the possible.
So let’s start with the critical embrace of digital technologies.
And let’s assume that we bring the best of our teaching skills and adult education principles with us when we teach online.
And let’s assume learners want to learn and are as excited and moved about learning as we are.
And let’s assume the Internet is an ally, not a threat, and acknowledge its central role in our daily experience.
These are assumptions I am willing to make. I think our best teaching and learning comes when we aspire to facilitate online and digital learning from a place of opportunity, not fear.
That said, anyone who has undertaken to produce “online learning” for their organization can attest to the complexity of the task.
My hope is that this site will offer some ideas that can make things a little easier, based on research and on my own experience as an aspiring online popular educator and facilitator.
Thanks for stopping by.
My name is David Robbins and I live in Aylmer, QC, and work in Ottawa, ON, which means I’m a settler (uninvited, though I love this Algonquin land).
I’ve been writing poems and stories all my life and now write for a living in paid communications work. For fun, I write about digital strategies for nonprofit organizations, including critical perspectives on content marketing, digital learning and content strategy.
I grew up analogue and now work in digital – I understand the challenges our groups face in navigating these swirling and shiny digital waters.
My professional background is steeped in communications, education, community outreach and campaigning on social and environmental issues. I’ve worked for over 25 years in and around social mission organizations, from environmental groups to student groups to unions, working as an organizer, educator and communicator.
My academic background is in English literature, with a BA from the University of Toronto, and I have a certificate in Online Learning Design and Development from Algonquin College, earned while working as the Digital Education Representative at the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), where I coordinated online and digital learning programs for working people and their unions. Currently, I work in communications for a public sector union.
I’m passionate about helping organizations grow into the digital age and figure out how they can become digital storytellers and teachers in their own right – beyond social media. In all my work, I explore the implications of the new digital reality for organizations, movements and change.
I advocate the informed embrace of digital technologies and consider it Mission Critical for our organizations to build in-house digital capacity to strengthen themselves as content producers and tell their story.
Thank you for reading.