There’s a Jewish sentiment often attributed to Theodor Herzl that says, “If you will it, it is no dream.” But in reality willing something, no matter how strongly you wish it, is often not enough to flip an idea from dream to reality. Under the best of circumstances and the finest of intentions, as the Scottish poet Robert Burns penned, the best laid plans of mice and men makes dream-flipping a lot more challenging than single-minded determinedness and willful vison.
But it is a good place to start, and connecting with others who share the same mindset is a smart strategy to adopt. I know this to be true – I’ve experienced it repeatedly firsthand, as recently as this week. The 11th JEDCamp event (an official edcamp especially inviting for Jewish educators and educators of Jewish students), JEDCampLA, took place on Sunday because of tenacious dream-flippers and a healthy dose of strong will visionaries. And, connections that cross communities, cultures and continents.
I first met Dr. Rabbi Aaron Ross in an online asynchronous EdTech certificate course that caught my attention a few years ago as I was exploring the power of tech integration to enhance and advance the learning experience for the learners and the educators. Connecting asynchronously takes a certain amount of time and intention but yields great rewards. Besides for serving as a panelist for the Transforming Education Through Technology event I was co-organizing with the Jewish High Tech Community of Silicon Valley Aaron also served to connect me to the world of connected education that ultimately had my path crossing with the Powerful Learning Practice network and a robust online network of colleagues (PLN) in the Jewish education world. (Not to mention connecting my daughter with her first job, but that’s another story for another post!).
If a straight line is the shortest distance between two points than I must be destined to walk a long time for the zigzag route keeps proving rich and rewarding experiences for me. Meir Wexler co-founder of #JEDCHAT and fellow classmate in the inaugural YU20 EdTech Certificate course taught a fantastic PD session for me on Project Based Learning to a group of educators in Palo Alto while sitting in Florida. I have yet to meet him in person, though Facebook tells me he and my son are connected through a summer camp experience.
Oh, the lines that connect! Because of Meir, his colleague Seth and Aaron Ross I came to know about the EdCamp world and the JEDCamp spin-off which led me straight away to connect with Kristen Swanson, co-founder of the EdCamp Foundation.
I’ve since organized 3 JEDCamps in the San Francisco/Bay Area and this past Sunday I proudly participated in JEDCampLA a connection that began after I blogged my post-JEDCamp reflections. Dvora, a tenacious dream-flipper and like-minded visionary sent me a tweet and the story continues to wind on down the road.
Cross the line and connect. You never know where it’ll take you but if you will it, it is no dream.