Not too long ago if you needed to know how to fix a leaky pipe, or whip up an egg custard, or check out a vacation spot, you thumbed through your brain to find a friend who knew, or knew someone who knew something, about the topic. Maybe you walked over to see your neighbor Fred, or you called Martha on the phone and initiated the inquiry process. Your list of resources represented what is now referred to as transactive memory. It wasn’t that you knew how to fix the pipe, it was that you knew who would know how to fix the plumbing.
People who have worked together for any length of time, couples, siblings, long-time friends will all appreciate the process. You recall a portion of information, your spouse, co-worker, etc. remembers the rest.
Many people are now transactualizing, or outsourcing, their memory to search engines like Google and Bing. This has generated some thought that we should educate our students more on locating, and verifying information accuracy, rather than memorizing facts. After all, is what you’ve memorized truly intelligence? Or, is the ability to research information, form creative ideas, and act on this new knowledge more valuable? And, if this is true, shouldn’t everyone have more than just basic research skills?
It’s not all bad. Research shows that outsourcing our memory actually encourages cognitive, or creative, thought. But you have to wonder, how is Google going to help me find my keys?
It took us a little while to recover from our annual conference. Tons of awesome ideas, new program features, good company, outstanding food, lots of historical things to look at and ponder, and a great big wide ocean just down the street. It was a lot to take in, but the general consensus is that we never had a better conference.
Part of it may have been that the economy (dare we type the words) seems to be easing just a smidgen or we’ve all become accustom to the new realities. The enthusiasm may come from a string of new program features (including a new reporting system) that promises to make life a little easier. Or, it may have been that Savannah was just the right place and we were there at just the right time.
Maybe it all came together at once because it was a tremendous conference! We’d be worried about topping ourselves, but Jeannie is already planning (watch your inbox for our 2013 Conference Survey) and for ACEware’s Silver Anniversary, we’re pulling out all the stops.
For most of us, this last week has been our first, and hopefully only, taste of winter. In some ways, that’s rather sad. You see, Matthew cooked us up the niftiest little tool to help deal with snow days. If you’re running version 7.2.0048 or greater, look under “Tools” and you’ll see it there: “Emergency Email”.
Now, we’re not saying who, but several of our customers noted that frequently, on days with lousy weather, or when problems struck, the boss was the only person to report to work. (Do you think that’s how they got to be the boss?) And, if an organization wanted to cancel classes, those same dutiful bosses had no clue how to get an email together to notify class participants. Matthew fixed all that with a little wizard that does wonders! It allows you to select the emergency email, enter a date that your facility will be closed, finds all the people who will be impacted, and allows you to compose a quick email that goes right out at the click of a button. Even a boss couldn’t screw it up!
Here’s a new job opportunity: OTU – an Occasional Technology Updater.
What the heck?
Do you need an MP3 player revamped, a digital picture frame loaded with new photos, your laptop or cell phone updated, the camera charged, or a GPS reset? Bet that task is toward the bottom of your to-do list, and yet, if you had time your technology would begin working for you again instead of just slacking. What we need is someone who understands the tools of our lives, can follow instructions, and will occasionally arrive at our door to make it all work.
They need to be discrete professionals: we don’t want it known in general circles what we listen to on our MP3, or what we look like in a bathing suit after a week on a cruise. Worse, we don’t want to admit that as IT professionals, we just don’t seem to have time to take care of our own gadgets. It’s a case of the shoe makers kids here, but, please don’t tell.
Maybe the job needs a catchier title, like Technology Concierge, or Professional Modernizer. Call it what you will, a rose by any other name would show up like clockwork, quarterly, and in a few hours all would be humming along smoothly.
Who among our CE peers will be the first to make it happen? Is this a certificate program in the making? There’s two weddings and a vacation worth of photos on that SD card and it needs to be moved to make room for the first grandkid’s photos.
Flipping the classroom is a relative new way of teaching that “flips” the traditional classroom lecture with homework assignments. Students download podcasts, access online video, or otherwise access media to watch their instructor present the lesson before class. Once in the classroom, the instructor then works with groups of students to apply the content viewed asynchronously. In plain terms, you do your homework in class and watch the lecture at home.
There are dozens of videos on the web from teachers who are flipping over flipped classrooms. (Google flipping the classroom) Their strongest arguments in favor on this new approach include: students learn while doing and by flipping the classroom they are present and in support of the actual learning, instead of asking parents to be the teachers as they attempt to supervise homework. A video of the lecture encourages students to learn at their own pace, pausing, rewinding, and re-watching as needed to master the content leaving 90% of classroom time for application of the material via projects, worksheets, and other activities. Most teachers feel that it gives them considerably more interaction with their students, and a much higher level of teaching satisfaction.
Flipping the classroom seems to be working in the K-12 environment, but would it work for Continuing Education?
Maybe. But, who among us will be brave enough to approach a corporate client and suggest that employees watch the Excel lecture and then bring their questions to class? Most training directors would call it flippin’ nuts!