Widgets Magazine

We Can Do Better Than This

adult-education-379219_640The month of October is coming to a close, and that means that AV Month, the time of year that InfoComm International urges members of the AV community to reach out to the public and push interest and education in what it is that we do for a living, will be behind us shortly.
October has seen content galore being published this month, with AVNation doing its part to contribute by publishing at least one piece of content a day, be it podcast, webcast or blog. One such piece that went up this month on another site was a brief, introductory, glossary of terms to provide AV professionals that are inexperienced with IT, some fundamental terms to help them start the foundation of their education. My counterpart in AVCrossTalk looked at this and responded with his own piece saying that the potential readers in the AV industry deserved more, as well as a self-proclaimed “tongue-in-cheek” variation drawing attention to what one person saw as issues in the AV industry.
I love that we work in an industry where discourse is a regular part of the discussion. I like the fact that through the exchange of ideas with other professionals we can push the industry forward together. I see so many brilliant articles and blogs written at such a high level of technological discussion that I get motivated to learn more so I can communicate better with these people.
When I first started writing, it was my goal to use my work as a place to broadcast the fundamental education and information that I see as a requirement to be a contributing part of AV. This was the kind of thing that I provided while I was a trainer for a manufacturer and I still try and provide in the courses that I have taught at InfoComm.
Sometimes, though, it seems to me that the high level professionals forget that there are more people in the industry that aren’t on the upper echelon of understanding. Lately there have been a fair number of blogs that are far above my comprehension of the technology being discussed. There are many people out there that will find this kind of work to be intimidating, and as it is human nature to shy away from change and the unknown, it needs to never be forgotten that our industry needs to not attack the ideas that feature the fundamentals.
Yes, these fundamentals will often be beneath the majority of individuals working in the industry, but we all had to start somewhere and we all had to learn our skills to get where we are today in order to succeed. The same is true for those that are still coming up in the industry, or those that are a little slower to adapt to the changes in the industry.
But it isn’t just the fundamentals that the industry needs. Education is a multi-tiered and multi-faceted part of life. In order to continue to push things forward we must analyze and resolve the problems that exist today with new, creative ideas and solutions. That requires the education and information that my partners in the blogosphere provide.
From the blogger’s perspective, it’s about finding your audience. From the audience perspective, it’s about finding the blogger that speaks in a way that helps you understand. But the audience members shouldn’t just read material from their own level. They have to push themselves as well and look to understand the things that aren’t their specialty. There is room out there for all of it, and even more importantly, there is necessity out there for all of it.
However, let’s bring this back to the original inspiration. The high level bloggers out there can sometimes, if not often, jump at the chance to show their merits and shoot down base level ideas and concepts. They don’t see this as being a negative thing because they believe they are doing a service by essentially saying, “There’s more to this than what you’re seeing here.” I’m going to issue a challenge to them to look beyond their own world and think about each piece they absorb from the perspective of someone that doesn’t necessarily have their experience and skills before they issue a response. Perhaps these works weren’t necessarily intended for you.
Just as you don’t spend your personal time reading children’s books for your own enjoyment, others have to start somewhere. Others might need help in exploring the relevance in a new technology. Others might not have seen an idea as to how they can offer a solution to a customer because the way their mind works isn’t the same as yours.
Skillsets vary, people are different, and the world is better for all of that. There is room for the basics, there is room for the advanced, and I’m positive that if we embrace the idea that certain materials are intended for a specific type of audience as opposed to automatically internalizing each piece of content we will find ourselves in a place where even more information can be shared openly as opposed to being shared critically.

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