Sunday, March 15, 2009

Learning Information Architecture from a First Grader

I was surprised to learn that my first grader's class is learning some of the tools I use in my practice as an information architect.

I call them concept maps. His teacher calls them "thinking maps". This one is a concept map of fruit, including apples and bananas. (Note that "fruit" may appear to read "fryit" to someone untrained in reading first grade writing.) I knew that apples are round, but this map teaches me that bananas are "moon shaped". I was surprised to learn that an important aspect of both apples and bananas is that they both have peels, but you can eat apple peel and not banana peel. I doubt I would have included that on my concept map of fruit.

Last fall, IAs spent a lot of money to go to a conference to learn how to do exactly this type of thing. Who knew they could have just learned it from the nearest 6 year old!

I plan to develop my professional skills further by visiting the first grade classroom more often!

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