Where does learning take place? Connotations of Sister Mary Alberta and the
typical classroom setting dance about my head. Typical that is, of forty years ago. Typical was a stern face pressed down upon by a starched habit. Typical was a two foot long ruler forged of
titanium steel and ribbed with razors. Typical was painful. But typical
still comes to mind when I think about learning. The school classroom of yesteryear was
The school classroom has traveled a great distance since the
days of Sister Mary Alberta. You’ve only to look at this screen to realize how far it’s gone.
Bob, who belongs to the same trade association, tells you of
a time saving technique to use in Excel. Mary, your barber, tells you of an out-of-this-world restaurant. Harry, your mechanic, tells you of a software
program that will help keep track of maintenance. Emma, your coworker, hooks you up with an
online writing course. The nodes in our networks are today and tomorrow’s classroom.
Now, hyperlink those nodes. Can you say Vulcan Mind Probe ? The power of hyperlinking our networks is without fences. How many times have we visited each other’s sites and followed a link to another site and to another site? Hours go by and we hardly even notice. Picture yourself as a farmer. Imagine that each connection is a seed planted. Suppose that perodic contact with those connections is a sunshine and water injection into fertile soil. Celebrate the harvest opportunity.
At one point in Henry Ford’s lifetime, he sued a Chicago newspaper for calling him "an ignorant pacifist." Once on the witness stand, the opposing lawyers asked him questions to try and prove his ignorance. Tired of the verbal onslaught, Ford asked why he should clutter up his mind with general knowledge when he had men around him who could answer any question that he needed. Aren’t those who value knowledge within their networks somewhat like Henry Ford?
The Xerox corporation once tried to implement a software program in their call center to help solve customer problems. The program was a database of solutions that were to be accessed by employees. Because employees were not using the software, Xerox created a contest to see who could accumulate the most points for solving customer problems – using either the software or by their own means. The winner was Carlos, an eight-year employee who was pistol smart and never used the software. The runner up was Trish, who had only been with the company for four months and had no previous copier experience.
Trish’s edge? She sat next to Carlos. Trish also built her own collection of knowledge by asking her coworkers for tips.
Think about your own situation. Do you plod through knowledge databases and reference manuals, or do you e-mail / call an acquaintance who you’re sure knows the answer?
I feel most fortunate to be part of the Ho’ohana community here and have the opportunity of wisdom and knowledge but one phone call or click away – minus of course the titanium steel barbed with razors!
Dave Rothacker reviews Most Excellent Books, Businesses and Folks at Rothacker Reviews.