Teaching, at its highest and best, is a soul-focused activity.
To teach effectively is to use your mind to help someone else move their mind from a less conscious point to a more conscious point along a particular path.
To teach effectively online we need to fashion forms, learning objects, and materials, that are capable of transmitting that growth in consciousness to others -- without us having to be physically present in real time.
That already seems like quite a miracle, doesn’t it? And when it works effectively, it really is.
The brisk market for online courses shows how eager people are to learn and grow. That is a wonderful thing. My mission as an educator and entrepreneur is to ensure that courses effectively rise to the challenge of actually teaching people what they earnestly desire to learn, online.
Structured learning versus Unguided Discovery Learning
The kind of learning that people do in an online course that’s been constructed and built by an expert (like you), is very different from the kind of learning we all do as we find our way through life.
When finding our way through life there is no carefully constructed path that’s been pre-designed for us by an expert.
We are each building our own path of learning through life, day by day, on the fly, as we go.
Even when we THINK
we’re following a carefully constructed path through life,
it often turns out that our true path
does not lead where we thought it did.
Consider the poignant saying:
“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”
When you’re learning from an expert you have every right to expect them to construct an orderly path along which you can proceed step by step, in order to achieve a well-defined learning goal.
That's a big reason people TAKE online courses, and it's what I teach you how to do in the Course Design Formula® Master Class.
When you’re learning from life however -- especially if you’re learning new things that have never been discovered by anyone before, as many people in the Learn and Get Smarter community are doing -- there is no pre-existing well-defined path.
I was discussing this situation with a wise mentor and she gave some very insightful guidance.
Here's what she said:
Our Learn and Get Smarter community meeting is a group of advanced experts. What’s fascinating and unusual about this group is that we are experts in many different and seemingly unrelated fields.
In the past months, we’ve had the opportunity to meet weekly and engage in unguided discovery learning about the global pandemic.
There was no other option BUT to engage in unguided discovery learning, because we are all facing a situation about which no one has definitive prior knowledge.
This past Saturday, September 5th, we realized that we had reached a new stage in our collective journey.
When the pandemic started and the group first came together, we were simply trying to get a foothold in this new reality and find our sense of direction.
Our work together over the past several months has created a strong community and a feeling of guidance and support that we have provided for each other.
The participation and contributions of each and every community member has been important, including those who have not been able to attend in person but have been reading this blog and sharing their thoughts via email or in the Facebook group.
At the September 5th meeting, community member Matt Champlin graciously shared a very interesting technique that he’s learned in his work as a product engineer, cartoon artist, and creative expert. The technique is called the Lightning Decision Jam.
Matt introduced us to the technique, and we explored the possibility of using a digital tool such as Miro to create a group brainstorming experience.
Under Matt’s direction and guidance, we will continue this activity next week.
The question that we decided to explore next Saturday is:
What is the purpose of this group?
It may be helpful in preparation to reflect on how you would answer that question, and come prepared to write down three things that you feel the group purpose should embody.
I hope that you can join us next Saturday, September 12th, 2020, and participate in what promises to be a fascinating online group learning experience. Heartfelt thanks go out to Matt Champlin for sharing his expertise on behalf of the group!
Come learn an interesting digital problem-solving technique and explore how we can use our collective expertise to fulfill our highest purpose as educators and entrepreneurs.
Come to the community meeting
Saturday, September 12th, 2020
9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern