pole-pole adv. from polepole- “slowly, gently, softly, quietly; be calm, take it quietly, don’t excite yourself, never mind”: slowly; take it easy (Swahili)
I can already tell that going through the COETAIL program is going to require me to use the advice that I was given while climbing Kilimanjaro.
Climbing Kilimanjaro is not always considered ‘technically difficult’ which means that many people try to climb it quickly. Yet the guides always tell you to ‘slow down,’ ‘ look around,’ and sure enough you can see them take breaks and just sit to look at the natural beauty around them – the waterfalls, the plants that look like upside down pineapples, the moon-like craters. That experience taught me that sometimes you have to take your eyes and mind off the goal and focus instead on what you are doing and going through at a moment in time instead of on the end goal. I am sure that many people learn this lesson through various ways. I also think we forget it at times as we go through life, only to have it re-taught to us.
So what’s the connection between this course and going pole-pole? As the course comes to its last week and I look back at what I am supposed to have finished, I am shaking my head. It just doesn’t seem like I have show-cased my learning enough. My blog posts don’t really talk about the great articles I am reading. They don’t share what it was like to set up my RSS feed which actually led me to using chrome instead of firefox, which in turn led me to exploring netvibes, symbaloo, and ending up at zootools and igoogle. How I have figured out how to upload all my bookmarks from one browser to another. How I have been exploring with Diigo. I am not only using ‘techy’ terminology- I actually feel like I understand some of it. None of this even compares to what has been going on in my head as I think of what effective teaching and learning for a digital native looks like if I am teaching an age group that is just learning to read and write.
So I guess it seems like my eye is not on the goal and I am going pole-pole but I know that I will get there. If the purpose of this first course is to get us thinking, questioning, sharing and trying things we have not done before, then I feel like it has been successful.