Link’spiration™ May 7th – What’s it a metaphor for?

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One of the best language and learning tools (in our humble opinion) is the metaphor. A metaphor is the string connecting tin-can telephones; one can pressed to your ear and the other receiving the whisper of a new idea. A metaphor is the bridge that takes us from what we know to what we don’t. A metaphor is a lens, a weight, a crutch, a puzzle.

If you’d like further clarification, see how Jermaine from Flight of the Conchords explains it to Brett:
I’d Climb the Highest Mountain

Jermaine gets it, and so does educator Jane Hirshfield. For a more substantial explanation, listen to Jane narrate this delightful animation:
The Art of the Metaphor

You may be wondering about the use of metaphors in training. This article makes a case for how metaphors can improve user experience:
5 Reasons Metaphors Can Improve the User Experience

This video demonstrates how metaphors can explain new concepts in a memorable way:
Mind the Gap

And metaphors can do so much more. In spite of our enthusiasm, however, we do recognize that metaphors aren’t always the best thing since sliced bread. Consider the creative limitations of defining computing in terms of files, folders, pages, and so on. Those metaphors have served us well for a long time, but it might be time to let them go.

The bottom line? A little metaphor can go a long way.

Can you think of a useful metaphor for training or learning? Leave your best in the comments.

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