Community Blog

The Fleshpots of 2.0

Shortly after the Children of Israel were miraculously delivered from Egyptian bondage, Moses took them into the wilderness on their way to go to the promised land. Shortly after crossing the Red Sea on dry ground, the Children of Israel began to murmur about not having enough to eat:
“Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full…” (Exodus 16:3)
I don’t exactly know what a “flesh pot” is, but it sure doesn’t sound yummy. Nevertheless, the Children of Israel longed for it. Forget that the Lord was going to miraculously feed them with bread from Heaven. Forget that they were headed to the Promised Land. Forget that they were free from the toils and sorrow of bondage. For some reason unknown to me, they preferred the “old” when the “new” was so much more favorable. Was the “new” without problems? Of course not, but it was better.
As we have transitioned into iLearn 3, I have encountered two kinds of instructors: those who long for the “old” iLearn and those who have accepted the “new” iLearn, and perhaps even like it. Was the old system good? Well, if you forget about the common system wide outages that might last for days, and the inability to open assignments for individual students, and the fact that I had to download every document before grading it, and the boring announcements and feedback options, then it was good. But if you look at all of the things that iLearn 3 has to offer, including in-house audio and video feedback, amazing student statistics, the ability to communicate much more effectively, and other things, iLearn 3 is much better.
Yes, it takes 1-2 more clicks per student to grade assignments, but does that ruin the whole Learning Management System? I hope not.

Let’s learn from the scriptures and not make the same mistakes that the Children of Israel did. Let’s not long for the past when the future is so much brighter and better than where we came from. Holding on to the past keeps us from embracing the future and ultimately progressing to the Promised Land.

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  • My husband glanced over my shoulder and wanted to figure out what I was reading about "flesh pots" -- way to find an eye-catching analogy, Ben!

  • The switch is an adjustment, but once you get the hang of it, 3.0 works pretty good. I think you are right that you can choose to focus on the one or two negatives, or focus on the positives. That's pretty much a lesson for anything in life. It's amazing the difference our attitude and focus can make. That's a lesson I'm repeatedly learning:)

    • Great perspective, Shalyce. Perhaps it could be compared to Thanksgiving dinner. Here you have a table full of delicious food, and then you have cranberry sauce. If you only focus on the nasty cranberry sauce, the meal will be ruined. But there is so much good to focus on, that even having cranberry cause on the table isn't all that bad!

      Seriously, how do you think we can be better at focussing on the good things in life?

  • Ben,

    I loved this analogy!  Your post was shared in our teaching group by one of our instructors today and I was happy to tune in and glean a little from your optimistic attitude.  I have to say, I'm getting it!  I think I've reached the point where I would never turn back.  I started using video notes this semester and it seems to have changed the atmosphere in my course, not that it was bad before but I have really sensed that my students are much more willing to open up and share since I've made myself a little more vulnerable and not just an invisible person out in the void.

    What is your take on the transition at this point?  Are we getting to the point yet where most instructors are saying they wouldn't turn back?

    • I think taking a little pulse in our AIM group, I would say the majority of our instructors are at that point. I know the Announcements tool has won over many of them! But the no-outages thing that Ben mentioned has been the real kicker for me!

      • No outages!  That's been awesome.  

    • Janalee - I think at this point, most instructors have transitioned into iLearn 3 pretty well and are more and more comfortable with it. I do know that there is still a little "longing" for the past, but that is certainly the exception and not the rule. And I believe that the more we figure out the little tricks and tools of iLearn 3, we will like it even more.

      Your comments reminded me of something a visiting authority told our stake years ago. Very simply, he said, "If things don't change, they stay the same." Same is good, but change can lead to better if we are willing to learn and grow.

      • I like it.  Great quote.  I wrote it down!  Shake it up once in a while, it's good for all of us.  :)

  • And maybe it's just me, but it seems to move faster than iLearn 2 did!  Am I making that up or has anyone else noticed that?

  • Great comparison, Ben. For me, the ability to review assignments without downloading documents is my "manna from heaven."

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