Evangelists for Learning

Point #1:

“The people that complain are our best customers, not our worst.” –Jackie Huba

In the keynote for NACOL VSS 2007: Jackie Huba, an advertising consultant and blogger, is talking about creating learning evangelists. Her idea is that word of mouth is all powerful. The students and parents that complain about learning are the ones that may be the biggest evangelists. They are the ones that care enough to put forth ideas. They are the ones who want a better product. For every complaint from them, many more complaints exist (she says 26).

What does this mean for us as teachers on the cutting (sometimes bleeding) edge of education?

Well, I think that we need to be able to pay attention to our critics and frame our ideas in order to make them into evangelists (I would call them advocates). We need to be solving issues of content and access so that our students and parents see that we are listening.

If we are listening to our stakeholders, we need to do something about it. Pushing further and further out into the blogosphere and online learning without listening to what is working and what isn’t will never create the kinds of advocates that we need. So, my next question is: How do we listen well? How do we use what we hear to change, or possibly, keep doing something that is working.

Point #2

“Google Never Forgets.”

If you post something, write something, create something, google will remember. Bad press matters, as does bad research, bad marketing, and bad framing. I want to make sure that I don’t make any missteps with my identity. Is that possible?

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