Thursday, September 6, 2007

Starting Small

"Education is what survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten." (fortune cookie, author unknown)

Today I helped several people solve some small problems. At least they were small to me. Everyone I helped was thrilled that I was able to figure things out. I got a lot of praise, which was nice, but in a growth mindset (see my earlier posts) kind of undeserved. Solving small technology problems is what I do. I have had a lot of practice. Solutions come to me quickly because I have encountered similar problems before. I realize to others it seems like magic.

I think I am going to work on making my problem solving process more transparent. As I work to fix something, I'm going to try to articulate my thought process. It really isn't magic. Sometimes I know what to do because I've done it before. Other times, I know what to do because I've been through the problem solving process before. And I care. And I am interested.

These little moments are sometimes called "just in time" learning. I think the key is for the learning to happen for everyone involved, not just the problem solver. As teachers we want our students to be life long learners. I want this for my teachers too.


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