Sunday, January 29, 2012
Teacher as the New Salesperson: Words with Friends Style!
I have recently become aware of a current phenomenon that is sweeping our globalized world like wildfire. This phenomenon can be seen through the new way marketers have gone about capitalizing on our innermost excitement levels. For example, if one plays the popular game "Word with Friends," then one can relate to this style of marketing. There are many games and apps out there that do the same thing: this "thing" I am speaking of is the immediate praise coupled with instantaneous advertising or marketing. Think about it. If you played "Words with Friends," you know what I am talking about: that feeling when you lay the cerebral smackdown on a friend with a word that is worth 87 points! Wow! One might think, there is no greater feeling! Well, that feeling is being capitalized on by marketers and advertisers who found out, that we get really excited when we "score big" or perform well in a game. That way, if they tap into this excitement with immediate exposure to the advertisement of the product they are trying to sell, then we (as players and consumers) may be more apt to buy what the advertisers are selling. What if we did this in the classroom? What if we applied this in education? This could be like immediately rewarding students for doing something good and coupling this with what we are "selling" them. In the end, isn't this what teachers find themselves doing most of the time any way? We, as educators, are constantly trying to tap into student interest in order to reach maximum engagement levels or, as Schlechty calls it, authentic engagement. For the unmotivated student, this can be like "pulling teeth" for even the best of teachers. I am a big believer in seeking authentic engagement in our students. This is why I think we can mimic this new way of strategically timing how we "sell" our students that what we are learning is worthwhile and important. What do you think? Is this new way of advertising relevant to the classroom? Can you think of some student out there where this might work?