I recently asked my friend Dan if he would be willing to be a ’guest blogger’ on the IntelliGrad Blog, to which he responded, ’Can I do blogging about logging’? What he was referring to is a lean-to he’s building for his students. Here is a picture:?
What I love about the lean-to is that at first glance the entire project appears to be the antithesis of my approach to educationâ€œ developing and using new media and technology to connect people. Initially the lean-to seems about as ’primitive’ and ’caveman’ as you can get. Yet, at its core, the lean-to has the same goal as IntelliGrad to build an engaged community.
Dan is one of the best rock climbers I know (and I know some good ones) and one of the youngest NOLS instructors (National Outdoor Leadership School) in history. Now an administrator at a private school outside of Boston, Dan is in a unique position: He understands technology, but his real love is the outdoorsâ€œ an environment where conventionally technology is a major faux-pas. I say ’conventionally,’ because it seems that there is substantial movement towards accepting a possibility of a “synergy” between technology and wildernessâ€œ but that is a story for another day.
Dan works tirelessly to promote outdoor education as a ’portal to new experiences’: building character and providing a more effective learning environment for students. The industry buzzword for this is ’experiential learning’ and it seems to be catching on.
A great example is the recent publicity of a? former climber? who presents to major organizations about how the ’rules of engagement’ on Mt. Everest can be translated to clients, a boardroom, and top level decision-making in a corporate setting. Outside Magazine recently covered this very topic.
As a former NOLS student, turned hippie, turned MBA student, turned new media guru, I frequently wrestle with the technology/wilderness dichotomy. When I go camping, can I bring my Blackberryâ€œ or is that fundamentally wrong? Does it detract from my personal wilderness experience? Does it detract from the experience of anyone who is accompanying me? Maybe it does, but maybe it doesn’t.
Anyway, this is my way of introducing Dan and I think you will enjoy his guest blogs that will appear on this page every now and then.