Our IT Director wandered into my office the other day and made the general announcement that I send – and receive – the most emails of anyone in the company. While I was feeling a bit smug, my husband reminded everyone that only a few years ago (time goes by fast – it was at least 8 years ago) I refused to use email, telling all my friends and colleagues that if they wanted to talk to me, pick up the @#$%$& phone!
But I digress from the topic I intended to write about, and that’s an April Fool’s email I picked up today - ahhh, that’s how I got to the bit about too many emails – some don’t get read until a week or more has gone by.
It was a post from my very favorite e-learning blogger, Tom Kuhlmann at the Rapid E-Learning Blog. Here’s the link – it’s worth 5 minutes of your time: AprilFool’s E-Learning Example.
While it’s a spoof on e-learning tips, one message stuck with me, because I believe this one message alone would change the face of training, especially for senior care staff in assisted living communities, nursing homes and home care settings:
“Use your brains and your heart to make your training smart.” (It’s actually part of a rap that’s on the demo.)
Although in my company we often refer to the flash-card approach to e-learning; that is, the repetition of key concepts through stories, games, quizzes and illustrations, we aren’t really teaching multiplication tables.
We’re teaching people to be compassionate, caring, observant individuals – to notice something that is unusual before it becomes a crisis.
We’re teaching people to be on the lookout for ways to brighten the days of the seniors they work with; to add smiles, hugs, laughter and playfulness to the daily dose of doctor-prescribed medication.
We’re teaching staff to understanding how to create an environment of caring and to avoid anything that might harm a resident, no matter how unintentional.
We’ve got to teach the heart and the mind to truly train people to be the kind of caregivers that we want caring for our mothers – our fathers – someday, ourselves.