What I Learned on My Summer Vacation

Posted on June 3, 2009

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The reason for my silence last week was a whirlwind trip through Boston and DC – a great summer vacation.  Inspired by the mandatory post-summer elementary school essay, I thought I'd share a little about what I learned on my trip. 

Maybe I should start by saying: I went to the museum for fun last week (something the kiddos are usually forced into).  Despite three years living in Boston, I'd never been to the JFK Library and Museum, so I was excited to have some time to spare this time around.  Putting the content of the museum aside for a moment (more on that below), the most striking realization was the museum's ability to spark a curiosity and desire to learn that's so often fleeting as we stroll through our online existence.

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This has me thinking about how GenXYZ learns and the opportunities Web X.0 provides.  I'm sure you've heard that there are auditory learners, people who see things visually, those who need to touch to learn and others that digest the same amount of content simply by reading.  The new generation of Web technologies caters to every preference – you can find videos, virtual tours, plenty of text-based commentary and links galore (for the intensely curious).  All that said, there was something about being physically surrounded by history that I can't seem to match online.  Does this just mean I'm a touch/experience learner while you might be satisfied with the JFK Wikipedia page?

Sure, one of the great things about learning online is the opportunity to dig as much as deep as you want into any particular aspect of the topic.  And if it's the inside track on the less savory side of JFK's personal affairs – you won't find that in the museum funded by his foundations. 

Even with the glaring omissions, I hope the children of our country experience "forced fun" at museums for years to come.  With that in mind, as I trudge through the daily online information overload, I'll remember the summer vacation experience that made me feel like a kid again.

 

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