Friday, May 27, 2011

Using Information Radiators As An Education Technique

When I was in 6th grade, my geography teacher realized that our knowledge of world geography was not up to the mark. So he came up with a master plan.

He asked all students in the class to keep their world atlases on the table. His logic was that there might be a sudden breeze which might open the atlas, students may glance at the maps inside the book, which might in turn pique their curiosity, which  might in turn lead them to talk about it, which might  impart some knowledge of world geography to the students in the class. We thought he was kidding. But he insisted, and we took our atlases out of our bags and left them on our desks. Surprisingly, after a few weeks we realized that world geography is actually a lot of fun. The entire class got better grades on geography after that.

Now-a-days i use this technique at work to share information with my colleagues. 
When I send a link to a wiki or a video, less than 10 percent of them actually open the link. (Yes. I have ways of tracking the clicks).

However, when I put things up on the wall or deliberately leave documents open on the table, I get the attention and input of people who I never thought would be interested in my work or had anything to say about my work. Putting things up on the wall leads to information radiation and very interesting conversations that lead to knowledge creation and knowledge exchange.

Recently, I heard the founder of refer to these pictures and documents posted on the wall as 'Information Radiators'. Give it a try. It works like a charm not only for projects plans but also for product design deliverables such as design principles, storyboards, presentations, and customers research results.

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