Do you see what I see?
Posted June 21, 2016on:
I am critical of vendors looking from the outside claiming they have solutions for schools. I am all for educators transferring principles they apply from the wider world to change what happens in schools. But I wonder how many bother to look or know how to look.
Here is an example. I share a mundane experience and then suggest in italics what educators might learn.
Like the majority of Singaporeans, I need spectacles to correct myopia. So do my wife and son. Replacing our glasses is an expensive affair.
I noticed a new chain of stores that promised to not only offer lower prices but to also make replacement lenses in about half an hour.
With free or low-cost technology, you can reach learners with much less traditional effort.
My wife and I wandered into one branch while in town, ordered ourselves new pairs of glasses, and arranged to collect them at a branch near where we stay.
Teaching and learning does not have to happen in one place. Going to where the learner is at socially and pedagogically is easy with today’s technology.
The spectacle chain is thorough with their eye examinations, their staff are polite, and the lenses prepared overseas. The price breakdowns are clear: There is the basic set and several add-ons (like the type of lenses) that increase the cost of a pair of glasses.
Treat people nicely and communicate simply and clearly. Your resources need not be created in-house; they can be outsourced or curated.
Easy pairs of spectacles are done on the spot. More customised glasses like the ones with progressive, transition, or high-index lenses take about two weeks to make.
Communicate performance expectations clearly and keep your promises.
The chain contacted me by SMS when the glasses were ready. I visited the store they promised I could pick them up at and was very pleased with my new spectacles.
Again, go where the learners are at. Communicate with media and strategies that they are already using.
I asked if they could replace my son’s lenses but keep his current frame. The processing and eye examination probably took more time than the grinding of the lenses.
Meet the learners where they are. Technology allows customisation and you can learn how to go with the flow.
I received two $30 discount coupons on my first purchase. I applied one coupon to the first purchase and the other to the second. I received a $10 discount coupon with the second purchase for a subsequent purchase.
Incentivise logically. While many “gamify” by withholding benefits, this chain illustrated a strategy of giving. Giving away on a social media PLN, for example, does not make you poorer. It increases your reputational capital if you create value.
Do you see what I see? Or do you need a pair of special glasses?