The motivations to learn evolve as you become older; and for an adult educator, teaching can be even more difficult without a basic understanding of adult learning theory.
It has been said that there is no such thing as bad publicity. This may be true but lately, mentoring has received a bit of an unfairly negative rap. First there was Sheryl Sandberg’s bestselling book Lean In advising women to never ask anyone to be your mentor, then came the book by economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett proclaiming we should forget mentors and find sponsors instead.
While it may not sell as many books, mentoring has been an overwhelming success story for corporate hirers. At least 70% of Fortune 500 companies have adopted formal mentoring programs and, according to one survey by Robert Half International, 94% of U.S. executives say that having a mentor is important for professionals starting out. Companies large and small understand that mentoring is a powerful tool for encouraging diversity and inclusion, and making people feel more successful and gratified in their jobs. If your startup is considering a mentoring program, ignore the hype and focus on the benefits of mentoring.
As the Product Lead for Consumer Products at GA, I lead the team that researches, designs, and builds all of the educational programs that you teach (or may teach one day) at General Assembly. I am one of many product managers at GA (also known as miracle makers) who build out and iterate on our education products. This includes everything from our full-time Web Development Immersive, to our part-time Digital Marketing course, and online Web Design Circuit. Here I’ll discuss how we build new products, starting with the first stage in our product development process. In a future edition, we’ll share more about how we keep our products fresh years after we’ve first built them.
I’m a nerd. I have been taking apart, assembling, and programming machines since I was in the single digits. Being exposed to computers at an early age, I have a strong grasp on the way they think (sometimes even stronger than I do with humans). However, those of you who haven’t spent the majority of your lives speaking to machines may experience some frustrating challenges in your attempts to communicate.
Let’s face it, machines are dumb (for now), and we have to bring ourselves down to their level to have a successful conversation. I do, however, think there are some valuable lessons to be gained when learning to speak a technical language, even if your end goal is not to become a technical linguist (programmer).
We love what General Assembly stands for. For us, it’s a place of tremendous energy and go-getter attitudes. Every member of the community wants to build and collaborate and learn, creating a truly exciting environment to teach.
We feel strongly about being leaders within the General Assembly community, at least when it comes to our discipline. We take pride and ownership over our curriculum and our school of thought. We love working with students to collaborate and mold them into communicative, skilled and confident marketers. One of the best parts about teaching is the ability to watch a class grow together and change each other. We’ve learned new ways to approach our discipline every time we teach. Especially in today’s fast-moving economy, it’s so critical that General Assembly makes it possible to learn new skills and improve expertise. We’re excited to be a part of that every day.
Our teaching experience has been rewarding well beyond the classroom; we’ve actually hired 4 former students. It’s proven to be a great alternative to a headhunter!
Meet Matt and Katie
Katie studied neuroscience and chemistry at Duke University before launching a career focused on consumer behavior. She specializes in data analysis and experimental testing, bringing a research-oriented approach to her work.
Matthew studied marketing and sociology at Duke University before embarking on a career focused on digital strategy. He specializes in digital marketing and user experience, bringing a creative approach to his work.
Want to Contribute to GA Blog?
Every newsletter we will have an Instructor write their thoughts and experience teaching at GA. If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please contact Talisha@ga.co or Charmaine@ga.co
There are many common threads in education that have remained the same for as long as people have been teaching and learning, but that soon may change. Educational Neuroscience or Neuroeducation is an emerging field which aims to take research from the fields of cognitive neuroscience, educational psychology, educational technology, and other related disciplines to inform the practice of education.
Problem solving and the fast-paced nature of the field. These were strong pulls for me to jump into the development world, but the force that convinced me to stay was of a different angle. From open source projects on Github to community help support via Stack Overflow, the willingness of developers to grow and learn together represents the culture of constant learning and sharing.