Monday, August 29, 2005

Aibo NeoPets Nintendogs and Learning

Nintendogs Teach us New Tricks

Read the above article and then continue reading this blog...

done yet?...

Okay, so are you thinking what I'm thinking? Over the past few years many researchers, analysts, etc, have commented that Americans are undergoing a spiritual awakening. Churches are getting bigger, YOGA businesses are thriving, the signs are endless. Dan Pink in his book A Whole New Mind discusses the conceptual age where we begin to desire more meaning in the work that we do and lives that we lead...(hope I haven't lost you yet)...and how critical that is to being "successful".

In the article above...
"As it turns out, we're suckers for babysitting. Sherry Turkle -- the digital-age pundit and author of Life on the Screen -- has been researching the relationship between robots and people. She's discovered that the most popular robots are, unexpectedly, the ones that demand we take care of them. They trigger our nurturing impulses, the same ones we deploy toward infants, the elderly or any other vulnerable creature."
Nurturing is a big part of defining meaning. Therefore, and I don't think that I'm stretching this TOO far, can we put an element of nurturing, to foster meaning, in the training we deliver?

In my corporate experiences, the most experienced employees become Peer Trainers, or buddies, which ever you prefer. When training someone, or being their buddy, you are responsible for nurturing them and this gives your job purpose, even if for just one hour, day or week. I would guess that employees don't find much meaning in making more widgets, but they do find meaning in teaching others how to make the same widgets.

Idea: Perhaps online training could incorporate the use of a helpless person, or "vulnerable creature" trying to accomplish a task. The task of the user is to "train" the online persona to accomplish precisely the same task that they themselves are trying to learn.

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