If your plan is for 1 year, plant rice;
if your plan if is for 10 years, plant trees;
if your plan is for 100 years, educate children
Whether it is for Mainstream or Special needs, whether it is for Young students or for Adult education, Educators and the team of pedagogical specialists need appropriate tools.
Let us see how the PPMSI tools will facilitate such activity. I know you are wondering where am I going with an acronym that just does not exist on any list or references so far… Indulge me a few moments to explain this whole idea.
My statement on Education:
If we agree on the following statement: what people get from education is the same in any school, any city, any province, any state, any country or any continent, and what differs are the tools, the language, the locations and the manner the content (pedagogy) is provided, then regardless of where and how people learn, the delivery of education content has to be possible with or without any given tool!
So what is PPMSI about?
It is no secret to anyone, creating content for education does not require sophisticated tools and high-tech equipment, just a few objects, various people (the specialists) and lots of ideas and imagination! Put these all together and you are on the way of something good!. PPMSI is simply an acronym I invented when I had to meet the production team during preparing an educational content program for K12 students. I asked each member of that team to bring some sheets of Paper, Post-its. Markers, a pair of Scissors and their Ideas! (PPMSI)
My coworkers did not believe their ears (and eyes probably) when I asked them to bring these things at our first workshop! I could see many question marks on their faces, they were probably wondering how serious I was, or was it one of my many ways to joke and tease. One of the participants said, “can I bring my laptop I am more comfortable using a template! I have never learned to use these tools you ask us to bring!”
(Laptops were enough popular and affordable, some universities started to provide programs on education content design, the ancestor of Instructional Design, young people and adults were discovering the world of CBT – Computer Based Training, we were also discovering the first steps of e-learning).
Arrgh! My reply stung, I could never imagine to hear such comment; “Well, if you don’t know how to produce something valuable in education with these, how would you use technologies that you hardly understand? I think you should go back where you graduated and tell them they did not teach you to do your job properly!” I admit it was harsh of me to speak this way, but I felt really upset to note a younger generation who had the opportunity to study the art of education, feeling lost without their “toys”! (Be assured, with time we became the best professional friends!)
It was obvious for me, I had to “educate” educators about their own field of expertise. Content specialists, pedagogical strategists, illustrator for educational material, and more people working in education!
Working with the team was such a rewarding experiment. Discovering the tools young students use every day, getting to learn (again) how to properly use a pair of scissors, how to draw a straight line, and much more of these activities we take for granted to be simple and easy. At the end of the workshop people were surprised to note time passed too quickly but results were there, clear, scenarios, content specialists were all smiles. We had a winning solution!
I guess we need to always remember our prime role: to educate! To educate is an art, that comes from knowledge (the years we spend to become educators – parents – teachers) such knowledge is transferred to our young students (and adults of course) using a storytelling format, a story that reflects the learner’s world, and when they own the knowledge it becomes art! The art of a better life!
I am convinced that real education starts with the true and real desire to let students own what we teach them and less memorize what’s in the books. When we know how to read we do not need a teacher to show us how to read, but question what we read!
I always feel surprised why simple solutions do not feed enough our intellect about how to solve issues. It seems we need complex approaches to simple challenges thus bringing complicated solutions no one understands! Still, our students are the source of our inspiration!
Michel – December 18, 2014
Recommended site and image courtesy: The Chillkoot Comics
I also share these few lines about how they created something really nice: “We used black markers, white copy paper, scissors, and post-it notes to draw various elements of the Chilkoot Trail including trees, plants, rocks, buildings, animals, stories, people, machines, weather and more. These elements incorporated different time periods of the Chilkoot Trail (pre-historic, pre-contact, Klondike, present-day, the future) as well as different locations (in the air, on the ground, underground).”