As I watched the program, I saw distinct parallels to how the IDD program at UGA is implemented. We students are learning to use technology in order to help people learn better. One series of classes focuses on the theory of learning, design, and technology. The other series of classes focuses on learning the related tools in order to bring theory and practical implementation together. As the second semester of the program begins, we are being directed to seek out organizations in need of web based learning solutions. We can either chose from a provided lists of clients, or we can seek out our own clients. Ultimately, we will all be providing service to the community, while at the same time learning our tool set. Certainly this is a far superior approach to learning educational design than, say, reading an instructional manual. We all call it "The Studio Approach" to learning. It is only through work with clients with real problems that we can learn to "think on our feet" and learn to dynamically and intelligently solve the inevitable hurdles that pop up in design- and life. It is progressive ideas like this that fuel my passion for work in UGA Learning, Design, and Technology program.
Ralph Waldo Emerson put it well: "It is one of the beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself."