Actually, it wasn’t. It was a cold, empty windswept Plymouth railway station platform just before midnight in October. Seated on a hard and spartan bench waiting for the Riviera Sleeper to Paddington.
Now I know that sounds so Orient Express; very ornate, cosmopolitan and the height of chic; well, not quite but to be honest I love it. Snuggling down under a warm duvet, gently rocked to sleep by the slow train to London. With the promise of an early morning call, a hot bacon roll and a cup of tea and then thrust out into the heaving metropolis that is The City, all washed and refreshed and raring to go.
But there’s the waiting … cold, expectant, ready for bed, but still on the station platform just before midnight.
So I tweeted a line from Paul Simon’s song “Homeward Bound”….
Out of the depths to thee oh Lord, I cry … and what suddenly bounced back?
I’m used to this technology lark and social media doodah but the fact that somebody at my journey’s end let me know they were waiting for me …. well, I was bowled over!
It made me feel good! I wasn’t sure whether it was a real person or a BOT or a search and respond routine … I didn’t care. It made me smile. And if it was another person there at the end of their shift manning the Twitter feed just before midnight … well, thank you! It was brilliant!
And something crossed my mind… how could we use this sort of response to reward, encourage, intervene, support, advise our learners? In addition to what we already do? Pick up on casual comment and loose conversation in a positive way to remind children we are bothered about what they think and do?
If we knew as much about our learners as Tesco knows about its customers …. there’s a great use of technology if we could shape it.
To help learning become more ….personal.