"The sacred community is primarily the universe community, not the human community.
That is where we learn; that is the only university."
Thoughts on teaching and learning from writer Thomas Berry
If we do get a calling in life, I heard that voice at age 11 somewhere around 33° N and 35° W, in the Atlantic Ocean, near the Azores. That transatlantic crossing planted the imaginative seeds that grew into a passion for travel and art which has kept me afloat during my lifetime of global wandering. Now, as an artist, writer and university professor, I want learners everywhere, such as yourself, to come along with me as I spend time exploring new destinations while also returning to the well-worn path.
“While I have benefited from formal education, it has never seemed to me sufficient; it has repeatedly sparked in me a visceral longing for the lessons of life outside.” - Ted Conover. The Routes of Man.
WanderSight courses are maps for
your own journeys
The courses and journeys I now offer are designed as an interactive style of continuing education as presented at many colleges and universities. I want to offer content that is informative but also personal; stories not lectures. It is not simply what we learn, but how we learn. Like the artist perfecting their craft, the learner gains in appreciation and skill when taking on new educational projects. My courses and online journeys will leave you not only informed, but also transformed.
The courses I teach are arranged in three categories: JOURNEYS MATTER, ART MATTERS, and EARTH MATTERS. I am continuously designing new courses that share my travels and on-going writing, photography, and curiosity. My content is produced from my personal experiences of seeing the world and meeting people along the way.
"The person not educated for travel will most likely not be educated by travel."
We live in an era that doesn't prioritize enrichment for its own sake. Yet, a study of the liberal arts and humanities guides us toward those emotional and intellectual skills that make us human. The importance of locally immersive travel, what you have studied is reinforced; what you continue to learn has relevance.
The photographer Minor White admonished his students, "You know how to photograph things for what they are; now photograph things for what else they are." White followed a tradition of making images as metaphor. That is to see, in some place or thing, meaning rather than description. My art-related courses are not how-to techniques but present ways of thinking about art and experiening art and architecture within the context of travel.
Learning should be what we need for the moment, but gives us something to think about for a lifetime. The challenge of online learning: developing subjects that engage your curiosity and intellect, feed your spirit and emotions, yet connects all of us with other people. With the existential threat to life on the planet due to climate change, we need to learn more about what we can do, and what others have accomplished in the past.
My motto is, "I teach from where I travel." Now this wandering soul is beginning to freely travel again. For this course, I will travel six weeks through Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos while exploring Buddhist art and culture. A world away, you will follow me online as I guide you to meetings with monks, learning about Buddhist art and architecture, climbing sacred hills, and experiencing the magic of this part of Southeast Asia.
Seeing the visual forms of Angkor Wat, with its corridors of bas-reliefs, rows of columns, and their capitals, and the stone itself upon which we walk, may be appreciated for their beauty. The aesthetic experience is the beginning of our awareness. This course is how we can give rise to this sort of sensory experience. Not just at Angkor, but around the planet wherever we come into close contact with the sacredness of nature and its correspondence in architecture.
I teach from where I travel.
Since 2008, I have taught courses while traveling the world. Throughout Asia, Yucatan, Peru, Europe and the American Southwest.
Be notified about new courses and travels
Like travel itself, my courses are arranged as any global journey would be.
Since 2008 I have created documentaries of the places I go, and the people I meet. From my shorter WanderSights videos to longer narratives, I document how I travel, the people I meet, and the experiences of a place that reveals its history and culture.
Being There. There are places on this planet that take our breath away. This is the sublime. When our hearts feel at peace, this is the picturesque. I look for such places in my travels. Then, I set up my cameras and record a discussion to share with you of me being there.
Learning can be a solitary activity through reading and personal travel. Fred often prefers solo travel. To reinforce what we learn, to find a purpose in what we come to know, requires collaboration and conversation.
Just as we need to learn those subjects and ideas that define our humanity. Learning should be what we need for the moment, but gives us something to think about for a lifetime. One way to accomplish this is through the design of interactive media projects.
Since I am a photographer and media producer, I know many of you would enjoy photo tips and ideas along the way. I have photographed around the world with film from medium format to large view cameras. Broadcast quality video and digital SLRs. Oh yeah, and the occasional iPhone picture.
WanderSight courses are developed with travel, art, and the planet as guiding themes. Through our WS Communities, you can submit your own journal-style writing. At the conclusion of a course, you can download my journal that represents the journey we took together.
Learning resources to support your study and travel, I provide an extensive library of digital books, musem catalogs, journal articles, and other materials you will discover in the courses you take.
The Zenler Learning Platform that WanderSight is built on is responsive from desktop to smartphone. You can download the app to stay up-to-date on course activities. Some of my courses are developed exclusively for the phone, called M-Learning.
Collecting Passport stamps, whether from national parks or international borders, gives us a sense of accomplishment. I wish to acknowledge all my my learners with what they have achieved and gained from my courses.
Since 1998 I have been teaching online, most of that time while traveling around the world. I understand what motivates students to learn and ways they can do so that picques curiosity and gives them practical applications for their knowledge. Sign In for Free to see how I do it. There are free downloadbles, some cool videos, and, well, you'll see.
All courses and my Field Notes blog are connected with a private social media - style community where you can share and meet others with an interest in travel, art, and culture.
Who? Anyone who has yearned to be back on the road, out among the people of Earth. You value learning, but seek adventure. We all travel and learn for different reasons even if we end up in the same place.
George Santayana said, "We need to escape into open solitudes, into aimlessness, into the moral holiday of running some pure hazard, in order to sharpen the edge of life, to taste hardship, and to be compelled to work desperately for a moment at no matter what.”
The WanderSight courses are a place to start your journeys, or find a new direction. I live to travel and to teach. To inspire you to get out here in the world, well, that's my mission.
Yeah, that's a sticky one. Some do not care for the term 'digital nomad.' Some are nomads. Others sign a lease. Both are location independent who make a living online.
Teaching from where we travel. That is my motto. Education and how we teach has undergone fundamental changes, and for the better. If you teach or are enrolled as a student, my courses will add a new dimension to your educational experience
Not so simple as Tourist vs Traveler. We are all a bit of both. In between there are many ways of travel.
Storytellers go beyond personal travelogue. They write of immersive experiences while traveling that is conveyed through a narrative that gives us insights into other cultures as well as the author.
Post a video or design a webpage, you are a media creator (sort of). More than social media are artists using video, graphic designers creating learning eBooks and writers exploring Digital Humanities projects.
Influencer. Blogger. Of what and for what? Raising awareness of the impact travel has on a destination is one concern. Using our knowledge of art and culture to effect change is another. That is WanderSight.
When I first began teaching through the Internet in 1999, we referred to our mode of delivery as distance education or distance learning. That is because our students were not on campus; they were at home, in another community, or even sometimes in another state. In those days we taught as though we were in a classroom with recorded audio lectures, reading materials, tests and quizzes, all supported by a textbook. Today Remote Education relies upon Zoom and Textbooks. That sort of learning is passive. Think of the student who always sits in the back of the classroom for attendance and then crams for tomorrow’s quiz.
Online learning is an improvement in distance education. The students must be fully present and active in the process of their learning. Online Learning takes advantage of and interacts with learning resources available through the Internet or designed by the teacher. More on these resources are answered below.
mLearning is a way of delivering and receiving content through a mobile device such as a smartphone. Sometimes referred to as Micro-Learning, the ‘mobile’ of M-Learning is the user. On the move, you can take a complete course on a topic while on your commute to work in the subway, during your lunch break, or in the evening after dinner. Courses designed for this form of learning are shorter in duration and content. mLearning courses are focused on issues, problems, ideas, and theories that do not require much background and research. These courses “cut to the chase” to solve a problem or satisfy your curiosity. WanderSight courses are available through an app for Android and iPhone from the New Zenler Learning Platform where your course is hosted.
I have been a university professor of photography and art history for over 30 years. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate students seeking a degree, I thoroughly enjoyed leading extension courses or continuing education for adult learners looking to study a subject of interest more than college credit. Because I am a traveler, I have led on-location photography workshops and art history tours, such as to Paris, Machu Picchu, and the American Southwest. The courses of WanderSight are much like those continuing education courses and tours. Given my background and students, I teach at a level that goes beyond the mere survey of facts or what may be gleaned from a book. I want to provide you with an interactive opportunity to take a deep dive into the subjects of your interest using ways of delivery that no book can provide.
Both, actually. The videos I create for the courses are a combination of short voice-over narrated documentaries, on-camera presentations from some amazing locations (usually), and occasionally a live presentation. Recorded videos are occasionally interactive with the use of quiz questions during viewing, a hotspot link to an image gallery, a map, and other content that supports the theme of the video.
A live presentation might be an interactive webinar through Zoom with members of the course. These are scheduled in advance and often discuss a topic chosen by the members of the WanderSight community. Live feed events are streamed from a location where I walk around a particular site such as a Buddhist pagoda in Cambodia or perhaps during an interview I conduct with an artist. Whenever I do something live there is a calendar on our website that will show you the dates and times.
If you miss one of the live sessions these are always recorded and will be available within the course typically within 48 hours.
I create social media-style platforms where students can interact and share information as well as photographs and videos. Included with your enrollment you have access to my Special Topics (blog) where I post essays, video projects, podcasts, and commentaries about current events in travel, art, and global cultures.
Some of the courses are self-paced. While they are sequenced in a particular order, you can go through them as quickly or slowly as you wish. For courses that I teach that are travel based, we stay on topic together as a group for the designated amount of time I am at the scheduled location.
The short answer is to enroll in my Free Course which introduces you to the variety of learning materials that you will have. These include, but are not limited to, video and audio media; visual galleries; webinars; collaborative learning; and my lesson notes that discuss the content of each module. Unlike many online courses, I give you access to my personal online library, which I call The Well-Traveled Scholar. Here you will find hundreds of journal articles, research, books, and curated websites to continue your education.
Believe it or not people like quizzes and tests. Maybe not so much when they were at university, but they like to at least be challenged to some degree to see what it is that they've learned and what they can remember. At the end of each module or within a video, I create self-assessment questions. In longer courses, project-based learning is available for those who wish to demonstrate what they have learned by creating a media project such as a video, podcast, or single-page website. My university students find this approach to learning to be more effective than a term paper or quiz. I am also available for 1-to1 conversations with members of a course.
If you have technical issues related to the learning management system - New Zenler - you can send me information via the support tab on the course page. If I am unable to resolve the problem on my end, I can refer you to the appropriate support with Zenler Tech Support if necessary. While students are expected to understand the basics of online communication, the use of media platforms, and general knowledge of how to work around certain issues that may come up, it is also in my best interest to guide you through whatever difficulties you may have.
WanderSight courses are designed to provide a rich learning experience in personal global travel, the art and architecture of modern and ancient cultures, and studies of the underlying social, political and religious traditions that will stimulate your own desire to get (back) out into the world. I am not the only one in the market who presents courses that explore these interests.
When choosing an online course, beyond the presented content, consider the experience of the instructor/ presenter. Since 1999, I have been teaching online courses for my university in subjects that are well-suited to be taught by me being on location. “Live, from Bangkok!” Sure, it is interesting to learn about Machu Picchu in the Andes or Kathmandu in the Himalayas. I have always provided my students with a reason to learn and explore the subjects of my teaching. As evidenced by my student comments above, you can read what they say about their learning experience.
The question I ask is, “Well, what will you do with what you learn?” That is a question that needs a response, especially for the arts, because the perception many people have about the arts and humanities is "what use are they?" Art, culture, and our deep appreciation is how we can motivate change across the planet.
I guarantee you will be inspired.
My teaching has always been informed by my experiences from around the world. With the growth of Internet-based educational opportunities for both student and teacher alike, my approach to teaching is ever being re-adapted. The classroom, finally, is no longer a four-walled, clinically arranged room with tables, chairs, and a podium. The entire world is our learning space. And I am pleased to take you there through the courses in art, travel, and culture that I teach.
Let me know what you're thinking.
You can join my WanderSight Field Notes where I post informative and (hopefully) interesting content. From there you can get a feel for what we will do together. There is the occasional email with announcements of new offerings.