The Experience

The experience economy was a term I found this week that was new to me. Searching for more information I found the book, The Experience Economy Updated,  by Pine and Gilmore. They write to inform businesses of the need to create experiences for their clients.
“Companies stage an experience whenever they engage customers, connecting to them in a personal, memorable way.”
“When a person buys a service, he purchases a set of intangible activities carried out on his behalf. But when he buys an experience, he pays to spend time enjoying a series of memorable events that a company stages— as in a theatrical play—to engage him in an inherently personal way.”
I found this explanation in the text:
Purchase :
a commodity—coffee beans and you are paying about 1-2 cents per cup of coffee
a good— ground beans in a supermarket—paying 5-25 cents per cup
a service—a cup of coffee in a diner— paying  50 cents to $1.00 per cup
an experience—cup at Starbucks or 5 star restaurant- paying $2-5 per cup. [I just paid $5.50 at Starbucks in Switzerland for a tall (small).]
You might see an experience as a pleasant surprise. In a slide presentation by Lawrence Appell and Associates, I found this definition:
Customer Surprise = What a customer actually gets minus what the customer expects to get.
So what would an ”experience economy” look like in our schools? Those of you who have read my book, Wow! Adding Pizzazz to Teaching and Learning  know my thinking.
“Learners are engaged and learning is enhanced when the teacher can touch the students’ emotions.”
Teachers need to consider how their lessons can move from commodity, goods, or service to experiences…experiences that create engagement.
Here is an exampleof high school students having an experience as they create an experience for elementary students.
 Fourth-graders from throughout the Florence, South Carolina school district got a firsthand dose of the American Experience. The school’s 10th- and 11th-graders donned costumes and played the roles of the country’s earliest American settlers to modern-day history makers.
Here you can watch students Experience the horny toad lizard up close and personal. Perhaps more importantly students adopt a farmer and work to be young scientists, not kids on a fieldtrip. Working with a GPS they plan with farmers, whose property they are mapping, and counting the presence of the lizards. Read the story here.
The payoff for the teachers’ efforts might be found in a quote from a student tracking the horny toad lizard,  “I’ve been working hard!”…the result of engagement.
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