A KFC Education Model?

May 9, 2011 at 9:11 pm (Web 2.0) (, , , , , , )

It only cost $7.90 for a heart attack?, book me in for a bypass!

As I sat watching a segment on Campbell Live tonight, I couldn’t help wondering how we could make education as popular as KFC’s new ‘Double Down‘ burger?

The key it seems, is to always have something new and exciting on hand to engage the students. KFC hasn’t kept trying to sell the same old burger (originally just chicken) to its customers all these years, if it did it would have probably gone bankrupt a long time ago.  Instead KFC, or Kentucky Fried Chicken as it was formally known, constantly reinvents itself to meet the changing requirements of its consumers. And so it is with education. The latest classroom technology can quite quickly become old and stale to our students reducing their engagement. Who remembers OHP’s, printing whiteboards, and reel to reel projectors? To your students these devices become part of the furniture, useful but boring.

What does this mean for educators? Unless you are one of the early adopters, and even they get it wrong sometimes, get used to being on the technological back foot.  Just as your parents use of the word ‘groovy’ signalled that it was uncool; when educators start getting comfortable with the latest You/Twit/Face app, your students have already started to move to the next big thing.

So what is the next big thing and how do we use it? Nobody knows, well actually your students probably know but they won’t tell you for fear that it will become uncool. However, you have a secret weapon…. your training. When KFC create a new burger or a delicious chicken treat, they don’t replace the staff because they only know the old products. No, instead they up-skill them, providing them with training that builds upon their existing knowledge of KFC products and methods. For educators this means your knowledge of pedagogy and its application to adult education remain the same. The application of these skills to new technology may however require some ongoing re-training.  Fortunately it is now easier than ever to up-skill yourself into the world of Web 2.0. If you have the internet at home then you’re already halfway there. So why not explore the current raft of applications available to you; Twitter, Wikis, Facebook, YouTube, WordPress are all examples of new education applicable technology that is free to use.

Just remember its not the method, its the message. Oh and here’s the link to the inspirational ‘burger.’


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