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Michelle Obama’s Book "Becoming" and How It Relates to eLearning and Online Learning Right Now

I love reading business books – but I don’t often have the time. Like everyone else in the world, this pandemic has given me extra time to catch up on my reading (and my house cleaning for that manner). My mother who is an avid book reader, handed me Michelle Obama’s book Becoming. It was a book that I quite frankly wouldn’t have picked for myself, but one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Michelle Obama’s story is one of hard work and hope, and the belief that with education and hard work you can close the gap and learn anything you want. It also reinforces the fact that your potential to achieve greatness, is unlimited if you are willing to work for it.

Michelle tells the story of how someone with a humble beginning and a hard work ethic, came to try many jobs, simply by putting her all into it and trying to learn. So what does this have to do with eLearning and online learning and where we are now?

Given this pandemic, we all have time to operate at a slower pace. To think about what we want to do, who we want to be and what we want to learn. We have the time to learn now and to try new things. For many years now, I have been both developing eLearning and delivering training online. It feels natural to me, and I empathize and feel for many people who are not use to having to operate, in an almost exclusively online world.

I was speaking to one of my teacher friends this week, who teaches grade 1. She had always taught fractions using manipulatives in a classroom setting and she is now having to train it online without these tools. We talked about some gamification methods and eLearning activities, she could quickly use, or how she could create online tutorials using pizza examples. We also discussed a reinforcement learning activity, where kids followed an easy chocolate chip cookie receipe with their parents where fractions are used, to reinforce the learning and ensure the concepts are grasped.

Teachers and trainers who are used to facilitating in a classroom environment, are now being forced to facilitate training online. There is no choice but to learn this new skill as there is no other alternative available. Michelle Obama throughout her life was constantly forced to ask herself “Am I good enough? Can I do this?”, as she was thrust into new roles (like the first lady). The answer is teachers and classroom trainers, you are good enough, and you’ve got this…but only if you are willing to learn a new skill too!


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