In my retirement years, I am using my transferable teaching skills in radically dfferent settings especially with the advent of increasingly ubiquitous wifi. Learning groups or communities can now easily convene in private homes, restaurants or coffee shops. In fact, many places that previously did not welcome ‘loitering’ now have books, newspaper and board games so that patrons feel that their establishment are now an extension of their at home living space. Certainly, for decades, writers have written off site in coffee bistros and absinthe bars but now it is quite common to observe gatherings of learners day or night.
To illustrate this concept, here is an example of an innovative and creative Coffee Shop Learning/Practicum Space at the University of Iowa:
Taking full advantage of the time zone and geography free 24/7 internet, learning and teaching have few barriers anymore. And those that remain like the technological glitches we experienced last Thursday in UnHangout will no doubt disappear completely in the very near future.
The term ‘playspace’ in a Ted Talk by Pamela Meyer refers to the social/relational space that adults cocreate in the now, in the midst of individual or collaborative creativity, learning and involvement in topics of interest.
Meyer, Pamela (2010) Workplace to Playspace: A Mindset Shift, TEDxPeachtree
Besides teaching English to adult learners face to face at the Nanaimo Literacy Centre downtown, I am actively exploring how to do this in an online setting on both sides of the border for fair renumeration. I now have upgraded technology, more know how and most importantly a great space in the upstairs loft of my upcoming rented townhouse for the winter months in San Miquel de Allende. My plan is to employ this quiet space filled with natural lighting for one to one English instruction and the downstairs space for facilitating a ‘Continuing the Artist Way’ Meet Up group in San Miquel de Allende starting this November through to the end of April when I will switch the locale back to where I am presently in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. I can also convene this proposed meet up group at any of a number of welcoming coffee places (including Starbucks!) or restaurantes in Centro.
In conclusion, I would have to say that people learn best when they are actively engaged in topics and material of interest, and the demands are aligned with their current lifestyle be it full time student, part time student, working professional or muy feliz jubilada like myself enjoying a sunny bi-country lifestyle!
Mi gusto HarvardX!