We are software and technology trainers since about a quarter century ago. Over that time, we have lead learning experiences that involved a lot of watching — but even more doing. Yes, we teach concepts, but if the student wants to learn, they need to take over the driver seat and operate the computer, the program. This reminds me of a short teaching session with an admin assistant at a client, when they had new computers and software just installed, we were showing her around the computer – with her doing all the driving – and I was trying her on how to do something that I knew she would require to do every day. I asked, “where do you go for [such and such] in the Windows Desktop?” She then turns to me with an expression of wonderment (and a bit of a look of cluelessness) and begins to hesitate on the answer. I quickly turned and said, “Do not look at me. Always look at the screen, the answer will always be there.” From that point on, she never turned her head towards me again, even when I would ask her things, almost as if she was afraid to look away from the computer screen.
Lesson learned. She became very self-sufficient from that point on. This point does not to take away from the teaching + learning experience with us, but talks about what a difference it makes to focus. With focus on the right thing, it is unimaginable what you can do.
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Thanks Mario for writing this – I’ve said the same thing to clients & staff so many times over the years and it still rings true.