This chapter of the book focuses on the challenges that seastead distance learners might face, but also the benefits that could be drawn from this learning opportunity.
The chapter begins with an overview of what is meant, in this context, by distance learning, especially within the global community of distance learners. There will be an examination of how distance learning can create a community of learners that reaches beyond national/social/educational boundaries.
The challenges faced by distance learners on seasteads are discussed, including the potential lack of a strong, pre-existing learning community and possible cultural resistance to this way of learning. This is followed by an examination of why distance learning might especially suit the needs of those living and working on a seastead and how it might have an impact beyond simply the learning process.
The creation of a distance learning community on a seastead, one that works within the community but also reaches out beyond it, is advocated in the chapter. This is supported by a comparison between mainland distance learners, who work alone and engage principally with an online learning group as part of their course, and seasteaders, who have the opportunity to create both an online support network and a face-to-face support group of learners on the seastead. Such a group would not be restricted by the areas studied or the technology used, but would be able to come together as a support hub unique to that particular seastead community.
Much of the chapter is dedicated to offering practical steps that learners and seastead communities can take in order to ensure that a venture into distance learning is successful in offering benefits not only to individual learners and the potential learning groups that might be formed but also to the seastead community as a whole.
Dr. Lucinda Becker is an award-winning Associate Professor at the University of Reading who has dedicated her life to creating independent learners who are confident in themselves intellectually, professionally, and personally. Lucinda has published numerous study skill guides for students, including How to Manage your Distance and Open Learning Course, published by Palgrave Macmillan. In addition to her university role, Lucinda works as a professional trainer, devising and delivering a range of communication skills courses in the UK and Europe to scientists, engineers, and lawyers. Whilst not a seasteader herself, Lucinda lives in a family.
Lucinda Becker (2017): Creating a Learning Community on Seasteads, in: Victor Tiberius (Ed.) (2017): Seasteads. Opportunities and Challenges for Small New Societies, Zurich (vdf), pp. 221-230.