Thursday, June 23, 2011

Teaching Old Dogs

In Adopt vs. adapt from Seth's Blog, Seth Godin states, 

“An early adopter seeks out new ideas and makes them work. An adapter, on the other hand, puts up with what he has to, begrudgingly.”

As I pondered this post, I thought about last week’s technology conference that I presented at and how people reacted. When I gave a presentation on QR codes, I had a packed room.  
I’m not sure I agree that an adapter begrudgingly learns. There were some older people in the class and most of them had smartphones. 

When I started the session, I put up a poll that took a live poll by text messages and posted live results. Many of the people in the class didn’t even know how to send a text message. Luckily I had a few people who did know how to do this and helped me show others how to take this poll. 39% of 31 people had no knowledge or experience with QR codes, 11% heard of them, 28% knew how to read them and 22% knew how to create and read them. 

The people who were in this session chose to learn about QR codes. The people at this conference chose to be there. I don’t feel that anything was done begrudgingly because these people seemed really interested in finding out about what QR codes were and how to use them. 

I believe that many adapters are the initial risk takers. Sometimes even I am an adapter where I let others try something new first. If I see they like it and this new thing becomes popular, I might want to learn more about it. Many times I have tried to learn something new only to find out that it was a waste of time. Sometimes it is tiring to have this keep happening. 

Throughout the two days I heard many people talk about how some “newbies” haven’t heard of a lot of tools that have been out for a few years. But the more important thing to notice is that these “newbies” were interested in hearing about these tools now! It has taken some time but they are ready to learn about them. Just like we talk about students in our own classrooms learning at their own pace, sometimes even teachers need to learn at their own pace. The more I think about I, the more excited I am for these teachers (whatever their age may be) and how they are interested in learning about some new tools. 

When I prepared for this session, I never thought about people not knowing how to send a text message. Many didn’t know how to download an application on their phone or how to open it once they got it. I believe this session taught more than I bargained for! 

At the end of the session, it seemed as if people were thrilled to learn how to use their phones and about QR codes. I hope by showing them ways to use QR codes in the schools and classrooms, it might have helped them be an adapter even if they hadn’t started out as an adopter. I believe you can teach an old dog new tricks! All in all, this was a successful lesson!

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).


Sioux said...

Unfortunately I don't even know what QR codes are. And I don't have a phone that takes "apps" so I guess I would not even been able to transform myself into an "adapter." I've sent only 2 text messages in my life; both took way too long, since my phone does not have a keyboard.

I guess I'm a REALLY old dog who is hopeless when it comes to learning some of the new tricks!

Anonymous said...

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loonyhiker said...

Kathy:I'm not sure what you are asking. You have accessed my blog and your comment has been noted after my approval. Is that what you were asking?

Anonymous said...

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loonyhiker said...

Kathy - You are doing great! Commenting on blogs are very important. This helps keep the conversation going so leaving a comment if you have questions or want to give your opinion is a great way to start! Thanks for reading my blog and leaving comments! If you need help with starting your own blog, please let me know. I'd be glad to help you. I've even gotten my husband to start a blog about his postcard collecting hobby. :)