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Teaching the Next Generation

706347_98444686.jpgThe other day I was issued a challenge….by a nine year old child.  This child, one who has proven to be wise beyond their years, issued their challenge by voicing just one simple word….why?

Why…..?  It has power, you can’t deny it.  But, before we get too far into the question, I think I need to back up a bit.

See I spent the weekend hanging out with family, father’s day and all that, and while I was there my sister roped me into helping her oldest with their homework.  Said child was not super enthusiastic about the prospect and was definitely not looking forward to writing their times tables for what probably felt like the 500th time.

516694_70475120.jpg“You’ve got to do it.” I said with a smile as I tried to make what even I viewed as mind numbing into something that ever so slightly resembled fun.

“It’s boring!” Came the whining reply.

“I know kid…but that’s the only way you can learn.”

“Why?!?!”

And there it was.  How was I supposed to answer that?  I mean the kid was right.  Just because it was the way we were all forced to learn, why does that make it the only way?

Why?

I’m amazed at how much this simple conversation has opened my eyes, not only to the fact that the times tables are boring, but to the fact that we have gotten ourselves into an educational rut.  We do things a certain way because we have always done them that way.  It’s tradition!

Tradition?  Seriously?!?!  Is that the best we can come up with?  We who live in the age of innovation are allowing the next generation to be force fed information in the same stale bread monotonous way that we were?

Even worse, we are now in the education business ourselves.  As members of the E-Learning community are we doing all that we can to embrace innovation and find new and more effective ways to teach the next generation?  Or, are we just going along the same old path doing things the way they have always been done?

I think…no, I know that we can do better.

So here is my challenge.  Instead of creating initiatives that mirror the way that we were taught, let’s try something new.  Let’s build initiatives that embrace the way we wish we had been taught!

We have no excuse.  What, with the tools we have at our disposal?  Those of us in the E-Learning world honestly have no excuse not to branch out and try new and exciting approaches that stretch the mind and broaden the horizons of those that we work with.  We don’t even have the constraints of a physical classroom to worry about.  We can use every new technology, every new innovation and every new idea that we have the open mindedness to embrace.

With E-Learning the sky is the limit and maybe not even that.

So, what’s your limit?  Personally, I think that its time we all find out.

Remember that question.  Why?   It’s a challenge to us all.

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