Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ancient Wisdom Today

“Tell me and I Forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.”
      – Chinese Proverb
 I love to go to conferences and events, to read industry blogs and articles, and generally try to follow the trends in Learning.  There are too many new ideas to keep up with.  And technology is simple roaring ahead - mobile, tablet, smart phones all seem to be driving the future.  And I've always said you can ride the waves or be left behind.

So imagine my surprise when I was at the eLearning DevCon put on by the good folks at Rapid Intake.  Jason Bickle stood up at one of the sessions and said something like, "I'm not going to talk about new stuff, but I'm going to get back to basics."

In his session Creating the Need to Know, Jason took us back to the basics.  He posed the question to the audience, what if we didn't have slides or technology?  What if all we had to rely on was our wits and experience?  What would we fall back on?

Now Jason talked a lot about leveraging cognitive experiences like perception and retention, but to me it took me back to a more functional level.  It reminded me about the basic core tenants of Adult Learning.  We all know what they are:
  • Adults are internally motivated and self-directed
  • Adults bring life experiences and knowledge to learning experiences
  • Adults are goal oriented
  • Adults are relevancy oriented
An so on...

Creating a training class is really creating a Learning experience, and creating a Learning experience is about connecting with people.  It isn't about the technology or how much I can present.  It's about how much sinks in and stays with the learner.  Technology and technique can help or hinder that process, but if the experience doesn't obey the fundamental rules of Adult Learning it will fail.

I have a sign on my wall that says one thing.  Adults learn what is meaningful to them.  I will never forget that.