Online Learning

What is Zoom?
I had a new experience today. Sandra Mackay of the Neuroscience Academy invited her past students to a zoom meeting.
In these an online courses Sarah teaches coaches the basic neurological principles behind behaviour change. Once they have acquired this knowledge, the coaches are empowered to motivate their clients by sharing with them with the underlying psychological and neurological principles of behaviour change. You can read about the course here;

What is a Zoom Meeting
I am not going to presume that all my readers are familiar with what a zoom meeting is all about. Those of you who are familiar with the concept and the experience can skip the next paragraph!
A Zoom meeting is held on the internet. The initiator invites participants to join the meeting by sending an online email link together with the date and time of the proposed gathering. If recipients wish to join the meeting, they do not need to reply, they merely note the time and date and log in at the appropriate instant. Meetings can be held with just two people, or with scores of participants.
Today’s meeting
It was 8 o’clock in the morning for me in South Africa. For Sarah in Australia, it was just getting dark. Online were two women from Belgium, which is more or less my time zone! One of the ladies from Belgium was a teacher trying to revolutionise the conservative schooling system in Brussels. When I heard what she was up again with her progressive ideas, I was able to suggest that she has a look at some of Ken Robinson’s TED talks. Here is a brilliant presentation by Ken on bringing creativity into the school curriculum. It has had over 3 million times views:
Ingrid also lives in Belgium. She spoke about the work she does with Ear Acupuncture and the healing of emotional trauma. She told us how she applied needles in the ear, which enables her to help her patients reduce anger, anxiety and trauma.
Amrith from India was the next person to introduce himself when he came online during his lunch break. He had completed Sarah’s course many years ago but still remained in touch with the teacher who had enriched his practice of alternative therapy. He was impressive in describing the relief he had given to his clients who suffered from both physical and emotional challenges.
Of course, I was also given the oppertunity to share my shenanigans with the assembled participants in the Zoom Room. I recounted my experiences with facilitating Couscous Ageing for Seniors. In these 2 hour discussion groups, participants are made aware of the neurological background of the ageing process. This knowledge and understanding help them devise a methodology of maintaining cognitive reserve, physical fitness and emotional resilience in their senior years.
The Expert’s Contribution
Sarah shared with us some of her accumulated wisdom. She had been participating in an Australian TV program in which Octogenarians and Nonagenarians were being interviewed. This series aimed to glean information about successful ageing. Emerging from her experience with this group, Sarah suggested that a mind of curiosity may be the critical quality that helps those in the latter decades of their life remain involved and committed in the ever changing contemporary environment.
Striking a receptive chord.
I agreed with her hypothesis. I have always taken pride in my belief that curiosity is one of my most positive characteristics. Sarah jogged my memory when she made this comment. I recalled the era when photocopying machines first arrived. I had taken my notes to a photocopy shop to have the minutes of the school committee meeting printed for the attendees, and I wondered, “Why does the assistant not ask me what my material is all about. Is he not interested in what I am copying?” My curious mind would continue, “If I were an assistant doing his job, I would want to know what is written on the page as well as the reason the customer needing this material.”
Another early memory popped into my mind. I recalled going to reserve a long distance bus ride from Cape Town to Johannesburg. It was at the time when businesses were just starting to use computers to enhance their services. My curiosity was aroused. I wanted to view the screen. However, all I could see was the back of the monitor. I had never even had sight of a computer screen and could only imagine what the assistant was viewing. I can still sense my frustration, my curiosity was not satisfied. I could not have sight of the screen.

Where is my curiosity taking me?

Perhaps trivial examples. But I am curious, and that is why I am starting to explore the methodology of sharing my accumulated knowledge and life experiences with online learners. I am planning to complement the face to face monthly meetings I have been running for the past 12 years, with some opportunities offered by current technology in the form of online tuition and zoom meetings!

Anyone who is reading this blog and has an idea what they might like to learn within my area of expertise is welcome to place suggestions in the Comment Box. I would love to hear from you!

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