September 21, 2018 Message to Members

Distance

Traveling used to mean a complete disconnect from regular routines, and moving cities would often cue a closure of bonds to that previous life. Technology has changed the way that we think about distance and has proven that we are never really that far apart. My move to Vancouver has doubled my distance from my youngest daughter, but FaceTime and messaging has allowed us to connect meaningfully about each day’s events: with all my kids, the question “how was your day” now elicits chat, videos and photos rather than a simple “fine”.

I had the pleasure of attending the British Columbia Distributed Learning Administrators Association (BCDLAA) conference this week and, like most of the participants, I travelled a distance to get there. While there is a certain irony to this fact, it was clear that the opportunity to gather together in the same place brought strength to current relationships and helped to foster new collaborations.

These professionals are providing the much-needed access to quality education that is often limited by time and space. Students living in remote areas of BC can use distributed learning technologies to access learning opportunities and curriculum. During the meeting, a research expert in distributed learning trends across the globe used Zoom to share the progress of his research from Sonoma, California.

Distance encourages us to share our many stories about community work, staff engagement and student success. Distance draws us to strengthen our connections and be mindful of the quality of our interactions. And distance leads us to eagerly anticipate that first face-to-face contact with a remote colleague or the smile of a good friend at the end of a journey.

I really look forward to travelling across BC, listening to the stories of our members and sharing them with all of you along the way.

Take care,

David