November 21, 2006

My personal tour of Shanghai

This post was last updated on December 12th, 2011 at 03:18 pm

Using Skype, I dropped a quick compliment tonight for Jeff Utecht on using his screencast for a workshop I did. What ensued was a lenghthy exchange of ideas and for me a personal tour of the city of Shanghai where Jeff resides. Using Google Earth, he and I shared a little bit about both of our worlds. Early into the tour, I happened upon one of the schools Jeff works at and then he kindly sent me a couple of .kml files to provide some context to his world. I knew nothing about Shanghai and still don’t know much but he was able to point out some key landmarks and provide a nice overview of his city. For about an hour, he willingly offered some insights into his life and city and answered all my questions.

This to me typifies why connections are so critical. Is this information available online? Mostly, but having a personal tour guide was much more relevant and engaging. The awareness I now have will no doubt lead me to more interest in his city. Was it the extreme distance between us that made it so engaging? Partly, but also Jeff and I share many of the same beliefs and ideas when it comes to education. We certainly connect on many levels. After reading his blog for over a year, conversation flowed easily. Jeff, what the heck are those blue rectangles north of your school on the coast?

Learning is certainly easier with a friend.