A Hybrid Learning Circle
CCS students are currently in a mixed learning circle: CCS mixed with Sandy-Saulteaux students, online participants mixed with in-person participants.
The Right Relations 2021 learning circle has been planned in collaboration with staff at Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre, the United Church Indigenous theological school. For three days out of the six day learning circle, CCS and SSSC students are learning about ceremony and Indigenous approaches to peace building. Half of the participants are online and half are sitting together in the main lodge at Sandy-Saulteaux (wearing masks, with chairs well spaced). For CCS folks, this is our first foray into in-person gatherings in the past year and half.
We have a “meeting owl” camera sitting in the middle of the circle, giving online participants a panoramic view of the circle as well as a shifting focus on whoever happens to be speaking. When the circle moves outside, for a ceremony or a teaching walk on the land, we take the online circle with us through a mobile phone.
So far the circle is a profound learning opportunity, an experiment in the wonders of technology, and a glimmer of hope that learning together in a circle is possible.