Making the complex simple

Jean Kedziora - ChefIn an age where more is considered better and bigger is an analogy for best we need to step back and ask ourselves:

The last time you went to a nice restaurant and ordered, did the chef come out and ask you how they should prepare your sauce, how much of each spice you want added, how much you wanted it stirred or how hot to cook it?

No, they just knew how to do it perfectly from experience.  If the customer were to be choosing all the options it’s very unlikely that the sauce would end up being the perfect merging of complex flavors for the best tasting sauce.

I thought this analogy a perfect example of the e-Learning industry.  Many e-Learning platforms give the end user a product that is very complex with many options that just frustrates users. This just doesn’t seem like a good recipe for creating something as important as mobile learning for your employees.

In creating a product, we at Kedzoh believe that the sauce analogy should be applied; we take out all of the complexity and turn it into the perfect solution so that you can focus on what you do best.  At Kedzoh we know that no one wants to go to a restaurant in order to cook their own meal.  Let’s us do the cooking, we make a great sauce!

Mobile learning is the mobile water cooler of today

Water cooler vintageI’ve never been a big fan of the term “Learning Professional”. I much prefer the name teacher. And I believe everyone in a company, community or group needs to teach at least some of the time. You learn by teaching and you lead by teaching.

That’s why Peter F. Drucker said that in order to truly master a subject you needed to teach it. Drucker – was one of the greatest modern thinker on management and taught a class on Japanese poetry. I’m not suggesting you go that far, but teaching – or just plain old showing a colleague how to do something is good for you, the group and the company you work for. You don’t need to be a “Certified Learning Professional”. Heck, if that’s what was required, then we would never have progressed much in our development as human beings.

Once upon a time we learned from our parents – figures of authority. We also learned from our friends at the playground. In the modern corporate world we still learn from managers or authority figures AND we still learn quite a lot from our colleagues around us. That’s what the water cooler is for at companies – not so much about drinking water but socializing. Hey, it’s the watering hole for humans. But what if you don’t have a water cooler? What if you’re like so many workers and mobile all the time?

If you’re mobile you don’t have the water cooler anymore to exchange ideas and ask questions so you need to make sure you have the tools that let’s you ask the questions you need the answers most to and a tool that lets you easily create lessons.

Over time, if everyone asks questions, and everyone answers them, with simple five minute lessons that anyone can take on a mobile phone, then our knowledge will grow. We’ll grow. Our teams will grow,and our companies will grow.

So what are you using as your mobile water cooler? Ask us, at Kedzoh, we make the easiest to use modern day mobile water cooler.

I’m mad as hell and I won’t take complex edtech anymore!

Kedzoh better mobile learningHow much has teaching and learning really changed in the last 10,000 years? Sure, we have the internet with millions of pages but that’s just a big disorganized library. What about the real stuff of teaching and learning? I don’t think teaching and learning has changed at all, matter of fact I think we’ve lost touch with some very simply truths and technology needs to reflect that.

We’ve always learned in one of two ways: 1. top – down from our parents or an authority figure (a teacher or a boss) or 2. from the other kids in the playground (our colleagues and fellow students). We learn by looking, listening, writing, practicing, repeating, thinking and imitating.

Let’s look at the tools of teaching and learning. All that’s needed is something to “write” on or something that lets us “read” what is to be learned; by read and write I mean things that let us look, listen, write, practice, repeat, think and imitate and today that means text documents, video, audio and pictures.

But the tools we used in the past were really simple: sand, clay, a blackboard or just paper. But now the tools we use are computers or phones. So we don’t carry a slate around with us any longer and the tools (computers and phones) we do carry have gotten more and more complex. But a computer or a phone are just a modern version of the slate. What do you use to replace your finger or a piece of chalk? Today we use software to replace our fingers and chalk and this has led to breeding tools that are themselves more and more complex and difficult to use.

This simply shouldn’t be. If you’re developing software for teachers or for students make it simple. Put yourself in their shoes. Is this something you would want to use yourself? Forget about selling your product (I actually think people who buy education solution are sometimes dazzled by complex products and want to buy the most complex solutions so people keep making more and more complex solutions to sell to them; but that’s a topic for another blog). There are enough people, teachers and learners in the world, 7 billion at last count that what want and need is just the modern equivalent of the slate and a piece of chalk– something simple they can use.

We somehow think that technology will somehow change the way we actually learn or teach. We are humans and changing how we learn would mean changing our very DNA. What can be changed is the tools that make learning and teaching possible.

They need to be simple, intuitive and be so easy to use that everyone can use them – both teachers and students, managers and employees, leaders and soldiers.

OK, you might say I’m biased because I built the easiest to use mobile learning platform in the world – Kedzoh – but damn it, why does everything have to be so complex? Well, I got so mad that I went out and did something about it!