What is an Edgineer?

A learner in motion tends to stay in motion. A learner at rest tends to stay at rest.

That idea was articulated by a keynote speaker at a conference I attended a couple of years ago. It inspired in me a whole new way of thinking about instruction. My ultimate goal is not only to teach the topic at hand, but to ignite minds: to create perpetual learners.

Just like perpetual motion, creating perpetual learners requires two types of action. On the one hand, you need to generate propulsion. On the other, you need to minimize friction. In this blog we’ll explore ways to do both. We will seek to become edgineers: engineers of education.

We’ll talk about instructional design, adult learning, and educational technology. We’ll imagine new approaches, commit to taking intelligent risks, and most of all, we’ll strive for empathy for our learners.

I hope you’ll participate in the conversation.

(by Rissa Karpoff)

Woman Marathon Winner

6 Ways to Develop Marathon Learners

I’ve been thinking lately about the word “training.”

The Merriam-Webster dictionary online defines training as:

  • a process by which someone is taught the skills that are needed for an art, profession, or job
  • the process by which an athlete prepares for competition by exercising, practicing, etc.

If I were a personal trainer preparing someone to run a marathon, the first thing I’d do would be to take her out running. I’d help her pick appropriate goals for her current level of ability. I’d help her work on her stride, her pacing, her breathing, and her endurance. I’d make sure she had the right gear, including insoles or knee braces if she needed them. When her determination started to waver, I’d encourage her to keep going. I’d also eliminate as many obstacles as I could. I probably wouldn’t make her leap hurdles or climb walls. And I definitely wouldn’t make her stop in the middle of each run, read a map, and then decide where to run next.

When you think about it, this could be a fairly useful comparison to what we do as educators. Continue reading