Loco Motive Learning

PROLOGUE

I like trains and training. Both make the earth move for me.

Sketch of a signal lamp next to a passing train

LOCOS

I grew up near a railroad switching yard. The rumble of diesel engines highballing through the yard, green-lit: Wow! Learning felt like that sometimes: earthshaking and exciting. Sadly as I got older learning grew boring. School didn’t rumble much after 5th grade.

MOTIVES

I love taking fresh instructional strategies out for a spin. More than once a customer has flashed that look. You know the one: You loco? What were you thinking with that prototype? More often than not it leads to something amazing. My current prototypes: speed dating, things that suck, design like a pirate.

EPILOGUE
Want something different to happen? Try something different. Prototypes are a great way to learn. My best career successes have been the direct result of being a little crazy.
 
 
 

 

Hear, There Be Students

PROLOGUE

I'm thinking of retiring from my job and transitioning to some role, as yet unknown, in the K-12 space. I've been giving some thought to what being a successful educator involves.

HEAR

There's more to teaching than leading students to learning. When I think back on all the teachers I've had in my life the one or two whose names and faces I can remember had these attributes in common:

  • Passion for what they did
  • Adept at painting a mental image in my head of how I would be able to use what I was learning
  • Almost tangible storytelling ability

At some level they were able to hear the uncertainty of my youth and get me excited about possibilities.

DRAGONS

My take is that relying on leadership ability most of all, waving a flag and expecting learners to follow you, results in hoarse throats and missed opportunities.

The best teacher I ever had, CDB, had these posters on her desk. One, from Thoreau I believe, said something about listening to the beat of a different drummer.

Sketch of a sea separating land with a dragon in the middle

As I went on, and continue in, my development journey each new learning experience is a step towards the unknown. This isn't a bad thing. It's curiosity manifest.

EPILOGUE

A successful teacher creates an ecology for learning where anything is possible given the constraints we all have. Leadership ability is at best secondary.

 

 

Swap Meet PS (Performance Support)

Prologue

Panic sets in. That training a few weeks ago? Forgotten. You're hard up for how to do that thing.

Dialogue

At EdCampUCLACenterX I participated in a “Things That Suck” session. I've been thinking how I could use this in my instructional design practice. Here's an idea:

Photo of a bucket of cleaning supplies held up in the air

Peers swapping a bucket-load of performance support ideas

Towards the end of a training class on something is a Swap Meet Performance Support activity. Learners brainstorm a list of problems they foresee having later doing their job (Things That Suck part). They ideate and discuss strategies for dealing with them (performance support part).

Epilogue

Maybe they use TouchCast to produce video clips for getting past the issue to access at the moment of need. Maybe job-aids are the outcome. This swap meet activity, peers exchanging ideas, encourages ownership and a community of practice is born.

Anyway, something to try.