Friday, February 07, 2014

If School was Like a Jam Session

If only enterprising entrepreneurs would build an authoring tool that enabled the creation of real world work simulations.

I started down that path in the mid '90's and got close with some pretty cool simulations for manufacturing and logistics activities, but my coding skills could only get me so far.  What I ended up creating was the interactive 3D version of "click next learning".  Don't get me wrong, it was awesome! and effective! But what I really wanted to create was something a little more dynamic.   A simulation that changed inputs/outputs based on user inputs or predefined work procedures.  This is not hard to do. The hard part is financing it...productizing it.

What I'm looking for is the authoring tool equivalent of Jammit.

Jammit is the kind of tool that makes me giddy about technology. Seriously! Jamming with the original tracks of great songs recorded by great players is the ultimate practice band jam session...without all the attitudes.

When I was 16, and beginning to learn the guitar, all I had was a portable cassette playing "boom box" and a stack of cassette tapes. I'd play the same parts of songs over and over and over again trying to figure out the chords, and the solos, and every little rif.  It was fun, but damn it was hard work and I most often got it all wrong.

But today? For a few bucks a song I can completely eliminate Neil Schon's guitar track and play along with the rest of Journey with my guitar in his place.  Jammit also gives you the sheet music to follow along with as well.  The interface has slider controls so that I can add or subtract as much or as little of each track as I want.  It's great fun!

So, this got me thinking about training simulations in general.  I know learning an instrument is not like learning SalesForce, or basic electrical engineering, but why couldn't it be? Why isn't there a simulated company online where I can go in and "dial down" the CFO "track", and make those decisions myself and see how they pan out?  Or maybe you just start the simulation, completely dial out the Product Manager, and let the rest of the business play, so to speak, without him.  Then play it again but this time you sit in and add a few choice Product Manager rifs (aka decisions).

Complicated, blue sky, thinking? Yes.  Impossible to build? Absolutely not.

School should be like a jammit jam session too.  Pick a topic. Dial up or down a few variables...and just jam. I hated math in high school...and still do.  Maybe I wouldn't if there was some way to just jam to the math hits. HA!

Just crazy thoughts for a friday blog post.  Enjoy the weekend!

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