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Posts Tagged ‘reaching

I returned from an overseas gig last week. Thanks to social media and serendipity, I managed to reconnect with a few contacts there from as far back as three years ago.

One contact in particular was a prime candidate to attend the event, but had no knowledge of it. I highlighted this to one of the organisers, but I was told that it was an invite-only event.

While the organisers had every right to maintain this policy, they lost out on an opportunity to establish one more contact. I would describe this as a close or walled garden approach.

If you cannot reach them, you cannot teach them.

One of the conclusions of my keynote was that it was important to break down walls that separate. That is one way of reading into my statement: If you cannot reach them, you cannot teach them.

It is far better to connect learners with new opportunities, ideas, and people than not. You never know what impact you or they might have in the long run. That is one reason why I share my presentations and other resources under Creative Commons licenses.

The person who was not able — not allowed really — to attend the event got to see my slide deck and asked if he could borrow some ideas. I replied that the resource and ideas were open by default under a CC-BY-NC-SA license, so he was welcome to it as long as he created and shared in kind.

I faced about 200 people at the event and had close chats with just a handful. But I might have I reached out more meaningfully to one non-attendee than I did to the people in the room.

I understand the sentiment behind this tweet. But I have to point this out: Sentiment needs to meet reality.

In Pokémon Go, it is very difficult to catch them all. You might wish to, but you cannot.

In every classroom, it is just as difficult, if not more so, to reach and then teach them all. You want to, but you cannot.

If you cannot reach them, you cannot teach them.

This does not mean that teachers should give up on students. They should give up on tag lines like “catch them all” or “teach them all” and focus on reaching their students first.

Reaching involves the heart first and the mind later. It starts with the learner and learning, not the teacher and teaching. It means going to where they are and need to be, not dragging them to where you are or were.


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