Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thoughts at the Airport

I didn’t get much of a chance to reflect after Clark Quinn’s session. Found a bunch of troublemakers (you know who you are) and stayed out (much) later than I intended.

Made getting up 4 hours later to catch a Red Eye back to DC painful.

What happens at DevLearn…….


BEFORE the trouble started, I meandered around DemoFest. My personal favorite was a collection of training courses for factory workers produced by Oxygen Education. A few things that impressed me about their offerings:

- VERY interactive. Much of what they showed me was equipment operations training / resources. Turn the knobs, flip the switches.

- They provided a concrete example of what Clark Q talked about in his lecture. Their drill down went – process to machine to section of machine to button location and appearance, then reversing the process. Creating the model…..

- Love how they chunked the training – you can do the WHOLE training, or find the specific piece of information you are looking for at the time you need it. Training as reference. I do that too (when I can get away with it), and it’s validating to see training organizations take that approach.

- The goal of the entire collection of offerings was to provide factory workers the information they need not only to do their jobs (equipment training, safety training etc), but also professional improvement. They had some fantastic offerings (the one they demonstrated was game-based) on group dynamics and professionalism. They also offered some contextual mathematics and English courses.

- I didn’t catch whether they are working on or received the ability to provide college continuing education credits for their work. You are dealing with a student population who is probably holding down 2 jobs, has a 9th grade education, family and not only does not have the TIME for going to the local community college god knows how many miles away, but also does not have the inclination due to bad experiences in K-12.

- The gentleman I was talking to had incredible passion for the product and work. He WAS that audience – the factory worker, then supervisor, who lived the education challenges from both sides. I had the impression that most of the company came from the trenches of the manufacturing industry. As a result, their tutorials demonstrated a fundamental understanding of their audience – straightforward, to the point, not talking down to them, and highly contextual.

For those who have never had the pleasure of working in a blue-collar job, Sprint’s ad - “If Roadies Ran the World” captures how this audience works nicely.


The pyro is a nice touch……

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