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What A Preschool Teacher Taught Me About the Digital World
By: Tristan Pelligrino
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I develop websites every day. I frequently lead video production projects. I help clients develop marketing strategies. For the most part, all of these types of projects involve visual elements. In some cases, it can be difficult to get on the same page with clients when analyzing feedback and working through concepts. However, my daughter’s preschool teacher taught me something very valuable today about the digital world we live in.

This morning, I had a parent-teacher conference with my daughter’s wonderful teacher (yes, they do these for preschool students as well). During the meeting, we learned all of the great things she’s learning in school.

One of the exercises students practice involves identifying a sequence. Basically, children are presented with six different pictures of an event. For example, the teacher shows six pictures of someone baking a cake. The student is then responsible for putting the pictures in order (i.e., mixing, placing in the oven, setting timer, taking out the cake).

This all seems straightforward, right? You can see the value and understand how this helps children with their learning process. But what if the student does not present the order correctly? How do you teach a preschooler to work through the pictures? This is what intrigued me.

In cases where the students get the pictures out of order, the teacher asks, “Describe what you see in these pictures and share the story with me.” Bingo. I just learned something.

This question can be very useful when working with clients and trying to fully understand their perspective. For instance, if you develop a storyboard and want to get helpful feedback, you can say, "Describe what you see in these frames and share the story with me.” In this context, their feedback becomes much more valuable to you. They are encouraged to take a step back and look at the concept in a different way. It gives both you and the client a chance to understand perspectives versus just dealing with a bulleted list of “corrections.”

So, maybe you can try out this question the next time you’re in a pre-production meeting or are just trying to get a handle on feedback.

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About the Author
Tristan Pelligrino is a marketing director, producer, blogger and co-owner of 522 Productions and 522 Digital. Connect with him @tpelligrino
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