Shared Memories

Impact on Student Learning

Thank you for this space, which I’m sure many of us will return to many times, to spend some time with Ron.  I know I will. Ron and I worked closely together over these past couple of years on two major projects: an interactive open source textbook on globalization and education, and a set of pedagogical innovations for my course. Ron talked to me at length and with great patience about the many possibilities that the library could bring to learning, reading, interpretation and research.  Representation of self, values and academics blossomed in my class under his care. And he used his knowledge and creativity to design a new immersive experience which connected our students to various far- flung, remote global communities and learning spaces. Ron helped connect my classroom to sixteen villages in the foothills of the Himalayas. And we were working on extending that reach even further.

It is very hard to reconcile the loss of Ron.  It is hard to find the words to describe what Ron has meant to myself as a teacher and to the scores of students who have benefitted from his visionary ideas of using technology in education. Ron saw a future for education that got into the seams of individual learning and collective interaction.  His work changed learning spaces, made them meaningful, and deeply involved a learner’s own voice. And he brought his immense gifts to this: all the time with unfailing kindness and with a habit of modesty so strong, that not many knew how much he was transforming.  But it is also hard to describe the waves of hope he spread among communities far beyond our borders. I have a message from the communities of the mountains. Aditi Kaur, the founder of the Mountain Children’s Foundation, says this:

Please say (to Ron’s family and the Macalester community) that we are so grateful for the brief but beautiful friendship with Ron. Our connection on Zoom was the first time we met! And he was so wanting to hear our side of the story.  He listened. But the best was when he was so excited about the games that could be made for the children (to use as learning tools). He had one all planned out! Wish we had more time.

Ron will always be with us.

Contributed by Sonia Mehta


In Fond Memory: Ron Joslin Copyright © by DeWitt Wallace Library, Macalester College. All Rights Reserved.

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