Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Approximate Like a Champ


Mr. Crowley. There have been many in my almost six decades of life who have helped me in one way or another. This man stands out for setting me on a path that I didn’t even know I was on.


My second trimester at DeVry Institute of Technology, Mr. Crowley taught analog circuit analysis. He taught a design technique that I use every day in my craft and elsewhere: approximations.

The design technique he espoused involved looking at a problem or solution in stages. The first stage was ideally. How does the circuit operate without losses or constraints? Each successive approximation drew closer to real-world conditions.


My instructional design craft continues to take advantage of approximations. How would genius hour, a learning strategy I learned about at EdCamps, work with adult learners? First pass: It would be awesome. Motivated learners would.. The second pass through I’d add a real-world constraint like, say, a union contract that places limits on how and where workers can learn.

This, of course, guides me in identifying problems and steers me towards teaching and learning strategies that work in my environment.

“Approximations work like a champ.” I recall Mr. Crowley saying often. He was right.


How will I become someone’s champion? If it works with others like it did with me then I probably already have done or said something to help someone launch or continue boldly on their way.

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