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Learning Best Practice Can Be Fun But Should It Be?

How would you describe having fun? When asked, many will describe the outcomes from having fun as a time when they feel most alive!

Educators from Kindergarten classrooms through college and career training courses will integrate blended learning techniques to increase the knowledge transfer and comprehension of concepts being taught. Some will say that is fine but making it “fun” is a waste of time; a luxury.  Perhaps.  Is it?  Why not just learn the facts?  Why should we attempt to have fun along the way?
Left Brain; Right Brain
Many in IT Service management such as engineers and IT staff have proven to be predominantly left brain driven.  Great!  This means they have natural ability to learn facts, have logical thoughts, see things sequentially and are very rational thinkers.  These will do well on exams.
Right Brain dominant individuals are more intuitive, see things holistically, and are great at synthesizing information.  We can see then that both skill sets are required for a value driven service provider.
Daniel Pink's book, A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age emphasizes the skill of right brain thinker for careers of the future. This is true but both learning styles are required. With our right brain senses we can bring a balance to our left brain analytical skills.  Contrasting Left and Right brain characteristics, we can apply these ideas to ITSM.
  • Not just function; but a holistic design including people, relationships, and warranty
  • Yes fact and logic; but balanced with empathy and harmony and the effect on users and people
  •  Not just data and information; but real knowledge and wisdom with out of the box thinkers!
The key to this balance is integrated learning. With that includes all the facts offset with the appropriate balance that people, emotion, and creativity that are required to apply it.
What does this have to do with having fun while learning? 
Having fun triggers endorphins that enable these strengths. Play and exploration trigger the secretion of BDNF, a substance essential for the growth of brain cells. Excerpts from “Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning from Judy Willis’s book “Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning: Insights from a Neurologist and Classroom Teacher”
The truth is that when the joy and comfort are scrubbed from the classroom and replaced with homogeneity, and when spontaneity is replaced with conformity, students’ brains are distanced from effective information processing and long-term memory storage. The highest-level executive thinking, making of connections, and “aha” moments are more likely to occur in an atmosphere of “exuberant discovery,” where students of all ages retain that kindergarten enthusiasm of embracing each day with the joy of learning.
Have fun.  Feel Alive! Blended learning with activities and a sense of enthusiasm and fun are no longer a luxury but are essential for learners of all ages especially those seeking careers in the 21st Century.

Resources:
http://www.funderstanding.com  

http://www.danpink.com/books/whole-new-mind/  

http://danpink.com/PDF/AWNMforbusiness.pdf

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