Beyond light bulbs

Certain moments are the gateway into the more complex understanding of a problem.

Light bulb moments are better described as rich learning moments. They’re not always positive. Calling it a light bulb assumes that it’s a good realization. What we’re really striving for are productive realizations.

When a student makes a phone call and they learn they’ve been making a false assumption for the last four weeks, that’s a light bulb moment. The assumption was wrong. It sucks. She’s back to square one. But it’s a transformative moment because her eyes were opened and she made a productive realization.

The moments also look like a student who is lost and not sure what to do until he has a conversation with an expert in the field. The expert connects him with a meaningful project in a matter of minutes. That connection leads to action and a high potential for impact.

Those are the moments we’re going for, also. The common thread is that the student is in the driver’s seat. They need to make the realizations for themselves. They need to have their own experience. Our job is just to create an environment where having that experience is as easy as possible.

It’s deeper than a lightbulb moment. It’s more than an idea. It’s action.