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Hands-on learning for practical life skills

Too often, learning is passive with the teacher speaking and the students listening, but a more effective way to learn is to be hands-on.

Photo of Tony Pearson
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Written by

I am a.....

  • Curriculum and Content Manager for training events

Tell us about your idea

In grade school, we learned to paint with our fingers.  In middle school, we learned to perform in school plays and concerts.  In high school, we built things in "shop" and cooked or sewed things in "home economics" class, or learned to type in "typing class".  What all of these have in common is that they are hands-on, learning is not just listening and memorizing.  My idea is to develop remote learning classes that relate to the hands-on applications of skils and tasks.  As we have seen with COVID-19, people are learning to sew masks, learning to cook because restaurants are closed or have limited delivery options, people are fixing up their homes.  

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

Bullying and gender-oriented classes. It is sad that "Shop" was for boys, and "Home Economics" was for girls. Girls who took shop, or guys who took Home Economics would be teased.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

I currently work at IBM as curriculum and content manager for training events for adults in the IT industry.  Our small team ran 18 in-person events per year across six continents, with audiences ranging from 200 to 2000 attendees.  I joined because my team is now shifting from in-person events to virtual events, and has decided to reduce staff size.  On May 21, I was notified my last day on this team is June 22.  I have attached my resume if anyone is looking for help implementing whatever awesome ideas come out of this effort.

What region are you located in?

  • North America

Where are you located?

My wife and I live in the heart of Tucson, Arizona USA, across the street from a middle school. My son is a college junior at University of Arizona, who had to complete this semester on Zoom. We have two nephews, ages 10 and 11, who just finished their school year using Google Classroom.


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