Distance Learning … Old School Style!
I’ll admit, I can be a bit of a pessimist. Not in a “glass is half full” kind of way but more in a “been there, done that, got the t-shirt” kind of way.
It’s just hard to shock me, and even harder to show me something new and different.
Well, I stand here before you today as a changed soul.
Why you ask? Because a good friend managed not only to shock me recently, but to shake me right down to the center of my E-Learning core.
It all started with a phone call. “You’ve got to see this!”
“See what?” I ask as I lean back in my chair, kicking a stray foot up onto the desk in front of me.
“There aren’t words.“ Was the answer I received.
Well, as you might have guessed, I was intrigued. After all, with an intro like that, who wouldn’t be? I hopped in the car and headed over. Walking in the door, I had to ask again, “what?“ This time the answer didn’t come in words, it came in the form of a pointed finger. One that led the way to a very large box currently gracing their dining room table.
“Okay, I’ll bite,” I think as I I make my way over to peek inside. I’m not sure what I expected….technicolor kittens maybe?….but I didn’t expect what looked like 30 pounds of printouts, a giant stack of envelopes and a teetering pile of CDs.
“What’s the big deal?” I ask, poking through the stack without much interest. “You clean out your desk or something?”
“Nope,” came the answer. “That is my son’s brand new distance learning course.”
“WHAT!” I couldn’t help it. The scream came out on its own before I even realized it. Now I was interested, and now I was digging through that giant box of trash with a vengeance. “This is NEW? You ORDERED this? You did this on PURPOSE?“ Really I wasn’t trying to sound ugly but the questions were coming out rapid fire as I started pulling out a stack of handouts that looked like they came over on the Mayflower. After all E-Learning, aka Distance Learning, is kind of near and dear to my heart and what I was seeing pouring out of the box from Hades was definitely NOT any type of E-Learning that I would want to be associated with!
“I didn’t know it was going to be like this!” My friend was half defending themselves and half shaking with laughter at the appalled look on my face.
Honestly I didn’t hear much at this point. Because it was right about then that I discovered the Holy Grail. Right there, front and center rotting in the bottom of the box was a discman. You know, the little portable CD players that skipped if you turned them sideways? Don’t laugh, you know you had one too! Yep, didn’t even know they still made these things, but someone managed to find one and throw it in the box with the rest of this stone aged paraphernalia.
Once I calmed down enough to start asking intelligent questions I found out that my friend, whose son is homeschooled, enrolled her child in a distance learning course that came highly recommended. She never dreamed she would get a pile of pre-printed papers, envelopes to mail in assignments and an early 90′s throwback discman to listen to lessons instead of something that had been created in this century!
So, why do I tell you all of this today? Well, for one thing it is just too good not to share! But for another, we all need to be mindful that no matter how far we have come, we still have room to grow. And, if we are not always changing, always taking the time to tweak, update and refine both our methods and our messages then we could quickly find ourselves as out dated as that rusty discman. Doomed to molding in the bottom of some long forgotten box.
I don’t know about you, but that is one fate that I plan on avoiding at all costs!
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