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Show & Tell

September 14, 2011

The other day, I violated one of the most basic principles of learning. In front of a bunch of educators. And it felt like an utterly wasted opportunity. Major ouch. The story:

I spent the last week of August cobbling together a Moodle site to use as a repository for tech resources for my department. My plan was to have everyone “enroll” themselves in the site–a mildly complicated but one-time process–and then have fun fiddling away. I even added some fun little bells and whistles, like a discussion board and a Twitter feed, just for kicks. I was also giving myself a major back-pat, because I needed to teach myself how to use Moodle anyways, and creating a useful site to help faculty was killing two birds with one stone.

When September rolls around, I send out an e-mail to everyone inviting them to self-enroll in the site. And as expected, only about a handful do it–but that’s cool, because I know it’s an insanely busy time of year.

A few days later, I show up to a faculty meeting to introduce myself to everyone with my spiffy new site in tow. But we’re running late, and I don’t want to overstep my allotted time, and I’m nervous, and I hadn’t had my afternoon coffee… and I don’t take the 20 seconds it would take to have them all log into the site! About 99% of them are sitting there with iPads, rarin’ to go. But what do I do? I decide to just project the site on screen, write up the URL, and high-tail it out of there.

It was instantly obvious to me that I’d missed something. By the time I made it back to my office, I’d formulated my new mantra:

SHOW, and don’t tell. DO, and don’t show.

I’m tempted to write this on my mirror in soap, or on my forehead in permanent marker. Somehow, I’ll get it engrained! In happier news, people are now slowly starting to trickle into the site. But part of me is hoping they’ll take their sweet time–because that’ll only help cement the lesson. 😉

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 18, 2011 11:41 am

    Thankfully, I think, you rectified this by fulfilling one of the major principles of basic learning — you grew from your “mistake”. I love the writing style that portrays the honest nature of your experience.

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