Sunday, April 5, 2015

Cache Shoes


I spend a lot of time in the country. Silos dot this landscape. Though I have no direct knowledge of their operation, the sort of hard-won experience earned through sweat and toil, I'm pretty sure they're used to store stuff like grain and whatnot. When I thought about what to blog on AprilBlogADay Day 5 silos immediately popped into my head.

illustration of several sets of silos
Silos are full of stuff. What stuff? No idea. That is to say, you have to be in the silo to know what's inside.
When I think about ways to move education forwards the first constraint I come up with is silos. I do instructional design. I've produced learning experiences for learners in academia, in the corporate realm (financial services and high technology manufacturing), K-12, and government. I've been able to glimpse inside some of the silos, K-12s mostly; however my deepest dive has been in the corporate realm. There's some cool stuff in there. It makes me wonder what caches of know-how are in the silos of other educators.

Through my participation in EdCamp unconferences and events put on by CUE and TCEA I've been able to skim the surface of K-12 teaching and learning strategies. There's some awesome stuff there, by the way. I like the learning and reflecting and, sometimes, figuring out ways of applying it to my craft.
One of the major topics of discussion in corporate L&D (Learning and Development) centers on engagement. How do we, as designers, create training that engages learners so that the messages we try to impart stick more easily. But, and this is sure to upset some, the strategies and tools available to us haven't changed all that much over the years. I dread the NEXT (screen) button in elearing for example. Ditto with compliance courses that require learners to sit in front of a computer for a specific amount of time to be able to get credit.
EdCamp has taught me that there are things we can do to get adult learners moving and making. But to make real progress we, educators of all stripes, have to open up our silos to other educators. How's that expression go: Walk a mile in my shoes or something like that.
Sometimes when I suggest a learning strategy to a customer that's a little out there, teaching like a pirate for example, I get raised eyebrows. I immediately say that they need to suspend their disbelief for a moment. Sometimes a leap of faith is required to make real progress. I know the stuff in your silo is the result of years of sweat and toil. All I'm saying is engage educators serving learners other than yours and share what you know.




No comments:

Post a Comment