Yesterday’s post about interactive stories got me thinking. Innovation can sometimes be driven by technology, but it doesn’t need to be. Innovation can be as cheap and easy to deliver as ‘doing the same old thing’, but, because it’s innovative, it can have a higher impact.
For example. One simple thing to do is to explore different types of language. I don’t mean speaking French, but rather exploring visual languages, poetry, music, film as well as different forms of writing.
There is a stage in the learning methodology where we ask people to reflect on what we are learning. Instead of just writing some notes, we can ask them to explore writing a newspaper article about it in 300 words. Or a leaflet. Or the flier that you would leave on a pub table. Or a business card. Or a poem. Yes, why not? Poetry has two great advantages in learning: it’s expressive, forcing you to explore which words to use (and hence your understanding) and it’s built to share.
Ok, so it’s not going to suit everything, but it might suit some things. And at the very least, you may stimulate debate. And if you’re worried that you’re not the world’s next Wordsworth, i can bet there are twenty aspiring local poets locally who would help out for a few pints. Poetry doesn’t have to be old and dreary either. Explore some of the poetry slam contests and you’ll see it’s the new rap.
Visual languages are just as important. Using posters to express ideas is a great idea. People can collaborate and consider both the typography and the layout, the imagery and the production values. Encouraging people to reflect with a poster is easy to achieve, but different enough to have value.
Of course, difference for it’s own sake has little point. But if we link it in with the learning methodology, ensuring that activities are related to one of the key phases of learning, helping individuals to explore and express that learning, then it can have great value.