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Learning Industry News and Opinion

Why Trainers Should Visit the Apple® Store

October 7, 2010 18:58 by Mick Mortlock


Apple has done a brilliant job of disguising a learning center as a technology store. The room is full of motivated learners who really want to be there. The lighting is excellent and every display is designed to teach you about Apple technology.


Most of the trainers (Apple calls them specialists) are speaking with learners about how to solve a problem. If the learner’s technology is not the right tool to solve the learner’s problem, the specialist will present different options that may, but may not, involve another purchase.


While you are in the store, stop and listen to the conversations. Customers bring teachable moments into the store with them, and you can hear these skilled teachers sparkle. Notice how many learning styles and personality types are addressed.


Consult a Genius

When a problem is too difficult for a specialist, Apple has a crew of Geniuses. The Genius Label is emblazoned on their blue shirts, and their business card identifies them as Geniuses.


You have to make an appointment to even speak to a Genius. By the time of my appointment, I was in awe. I had asked a mere specialist if he aspired to be a Genius. “Of course,” he said, “they do all this learning, get certifications, and really know what they are doing.”


What About the Children?


The other evening, all ages were in the Apple Store. A two-year-old sat on the floor exploring colors and sounds on a Mac loaded with software appropriate for her age. Some teens were listening to music while others manipulated  iPhones or iPads.


Apple is teaching the youngest among us to be future customers, and that, my colleagues, is leveraging the real power of training.


 *There are no paid endorsements in this posting.


Mick Mortlock


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Mentoring Is Overrated. Try Tutoring Instead

September 23, 2009 15:30 by Ann Pace

(BusinessWeek) -- The idea that the best way to learn a subject is to teach it may be the bane of undergraduates left to the mercies of graduate teaching assistants, but it's remarkably true. In medical school, the cliché "See one; do one; teach one" has become a dominant pedagogical principle. In fact, George Bernard Shaw's notorious anti-educational quip gets flipped—instead of "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach," it's "Those who teach effectively learn how to do."

The power of this practice was recently reinforced at a statistical software customer conference I attended. A participant complained that one of the training sessions was really more of a "technical demo" than a class. The session leader was less a teacher or facilitator that a presenter. The collective frustration was palpable. This seminar's attendees could "see" what the presenter was doing and observe the outcomes but they simply couldn't "get" the underlying principles. You really couldn't divorce getting business value out of the software from understanding the core statistical techniques.

Read the full article.

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