Transitioning from Adult Learners to Learners of All Ages

With our new Strategic Plan in place for the next 5 years, the Training Department has been asked to broaden Computer Training to learners of all ages.  It is interesting how those things in life we avoided seem to sometimes come back.  All three of the ladies in my department are degreed educators.  We all have degrees in a field of secondary education and have taught in high schools at some point.  And, we all three chose the path of teaching adults.

So, what do we do at this point?  Well, first of all, we need to remember that this is not an endeavor for our department alone.  The children’s department and the teen librarian are all in this with us.  We will be relying on them heavily to remind us of the mindset of the younger generations and the ways they learn.

Yes, children do learn differently than adults.  I have known that for years and had a reminder of it recently.  Children are concrete thinkers.  A parent asked if their 10-year-old could take one of the adult computer classes.  After some discussion, I let the girl come to class with a parent.  I knew it was not a good situation when the girl asked a question and the room laughed.  It was a lighthearted laugh admiring the innocence of the girl; however, perception could be different.  I also find that sometimes seniors may feel intimidated by the younger generation.  So, at that point in time, the classes were kept adult computer classes.

The second point I think we need to remember is to keep the “fun” in training.  Children sit in a classroom environment a good portion of the year.  They are probably not actively seeking another classroom environment; although, the parents may have a different idea.

Finally, we need to keep our positive attitudes. No matter how we feel about the situation, it is something that is going to move forward.  I think we are doing this well.

As the project unfolds, I will post updates as to what we are doing and what works.  Suggestions are welcome! 🙂

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