I’ve been a big fan of the original Learning 2.0 program (and it’s hundreds of derivatives that have followed), since I first stumbled onto it a number of years ago. The original program was designed by Helene Blowers, currently Community Manager for WorldShare Applications at OCLC right here in Columbus.
“..staff development initiative that, she says, focuses “on encouraging self-discovery and having staff take responsibility for their own progress.” Rather than an instructor-led training program, Learning 2.0 is a “learning” program “that uses the cornerstones of engagement and motivation,…to assist staff in using their lifelong learning skills,…”
I’m excited to have the opportunity to try this out as part of our local ASTD Chapter activities. This is a self-guided program (“Learn Camp“) to encourage everyone to experiment and learn about the new and emerging technologies that are reshaping the way we work today.
It’s free and open to anyone so please feel free to join us!
The objectives of this program are to:
If you’re interested:
And by all means please feel free to join us!
Blogbooker is a handy online tool that enables you to generate a PDF document from all your blog’s entries and comments. It works for any blog running on WordPress, LiveJournal (and derivatives) or Blogger. The process is pretty simple and only takes about 3-4 minutes, depending on the size of your blog.
In testing this out using my WordPress tip of the week blog and it worked pretty well. It wasn’t perfect but it was good enough for what I wanted to do. You can have a look at my PDF results and see for yourself.
I’m sure with a little know how and elbow grease you could get this into a Word format or whatever else you might want to do with it.
I have a new guest post over on the ASTD blog that touches on how us learning types can become more efficient, more effective and avoid becoming irrelevant.
Google has just answered one of the questions I’ve been wondering about for awhile now. The closing of Google Reader due to declining use seems to be a clear indication that most people aren’t using RSS as part of their personal knowledge management (PKM) system (or maybe they don’t have one at all?)
RSS has been the foundational part of my personal PKM system for years and RSS is the most efficient way to keep up on the news and information you want.
Among the many great things that Google Reader
Most importantly your RSS reader serves a mission control central for accumulating and organizing the information you choose so that you can consume it when and where you want to consume it.
Now I’m off to look at what will be able to replace that very important aggregation function in my PKM.
If you’re a Google Reader user, what are you looking at as a replacement? My short list includes:
“I AM already part of a community…I just may not have been aware of it due to my regular focus on ‘getting my stuff done’”.
This sentence in Jeff Hora’s post, jumped right off the page when I read it this morning. One of the challenges, I and many others wrestle with when trying to spread the value of ‘social learning’ and specifically the benefits of communities, is how to help people “get it”.
I think this idea of showing people how they already belong to a community is one of the best ways to help people wrap their head around the whole concept. If we can make the connection that ‘social’ tools, etc are just an extension and improvement upon the communities they are already in I think we’ll have a much better chance of success.
For example, many of our organizational communities at work are confined by hierarchical and geographic barriers. Wouldn’t it be great to converse and learn from all 150 technicians in your company across the country in addition to just the 5 who you share your office with? Or even better what about the thousands of others who do similar work at other organizations? The more specific and unique your role, the more you can benefit. The more you benefit the more your organization can benefit.
Jeff also mentions that he and his team are working on training around social media with deeper dives for those who “want to get to specific activities that will help them target specific business and professional goals they have.” It seems to me that this type of approach is far to rare in our organizations. ‘Social’ will never happen if people don’t learn how to use it for “getting stuff done”.
I’ve been thinking lately about how people use social tools to filter, process and share all the things relevant to them and their colleagues. Like most systems the three main parts are input, processing & output. (Harold Jarche labels his Seek-Sense-Share and I like the somewhat similar Ask-Learn-Share.)
Before I get to the question of how you share the valuable things you encounter, I should first ask “Do you share the valuable things you find?” If you’re answer to this is no, why is that? If it’s because you don’t think you have anything valuable to share I’d ask you to reconsider. If it’s valuable to you then odds are somebody else could benefit from it as well. If you don’t share because you don’t know how and/or where I’d like to suggest a couple of ways to get started.
I think one of the easiest ways to start sharing is to simply move your bookmarks off your computer where only you can see them to one of the social bookmarking sites like Delicious or Diigo. Just stop and think about the things you can discover and learn from having access to the bookmarks of other smart people in your field.
For example, if you are an elearning developer you will no doubt benefit from seeing what David Anderson is bookmarking. Or even better yet, if you’re an Articulate user you should check out the whole group of people contributing their bookmarks. If you’ve never browsed either of those sites, take a few minutes to surf the tags that interest you. Perhaps elearning, instructional design, performance support or maybe even social business might be a good place for you to start.
I’m confident you’ll discover some valuable resources and more importantly people who share you’re interests. After all that is the most valuable resource of all isn’t it? Connecting with people who share you’re passions.
Even if you don’t bookmark a ton of stuff, you can still benefit from a social bookmarking website in two ways. First, you’re bookmarks are no longer tied to a particular computer/browser and now they’ll be available to you no matter where you go. Save a bookmark at work during the day and you can still access it from home over the weekend. Secondly, by browsing what other people are saving you’ll be able to find and connect with people who have interests similar to your own.
As I reflect back, I think social bookmarking was my entry point to being “socially minded”. Which I’m confident is only going to become more valuable to all of us over time, no matter what field you are in.
So where are you’re bookmarks? Do you think that bookmarking and tagging is a gateway to ‘social’? How do you use them? Would you encourage others to use them?
What questions do you have? Let me know I’d love to hear from you.
I recently had the honor of being invited to assist Allison Rossett teach a “Digital Writing for Learning and Performance” course in the Educational Technology program that I attended. Allison wrote about it in the ASTD blog. My excitement for being involved with such a great course has now turned into disappointment — the course was cancelled due to low enrollment. I really hope we get to try this again sometime since I think the digital literacy skills we were going to cover are becoming increasingly important for us to have.
As learning professionals, we should be on the front-lines of harnessing the new digital tools for driving better performance in our organizations. (BTW – If you’re interested in how these digital tools can improve performance be sure to connect with Harold Jarche and John Stepper.) Obviously we will never be able to achieve this is we aren’t exploring and using these tools ourselves.
One of the main advantages of acquiring and maintaining your digital skills is for learning more efficiently.
I could not agree more with this recent post from the Nerdy Teacher that says…
“As a professional, “not enough time to learn new things” should not be in the vocabulary.”
With the amount of information being generated today, you will never be able to keep up with everything. This is exactly why you should be giving some thought to building your own Personal Learning Network (PLN).
If you’re wondering how to get started check out Harold’s great information on Personal Knowledge Management (PKM). He is running a workshop via the Social Learning Center on this stuff.
Also, I am planning to help run a “23 Things” type self-directed learning program this summer for our local ASTD chapter. Those details are still being formulated but the “23 Things” approach is a fantastic way to learn by doing. I’ll post the details of that but it will run, roughly from sometime in June into the beginning of September.
In the meantime, as Allison tells us, it is time to invest your energy (wisely) to this new way of being a professional.
One of my challenges is always that bit of self-doubt in the sense of “what I’m doing isn’t anything special so who would even care or want to know”. This along with a couple other factors results in the large number of posts I have that are stuck in my ‘drafts’ folder. As I see it the best way to get better is by doing and practicing so this post is to give notice that those doubts and concerns are going to take their rightful, much diminished place in my mind and I’m going to open this door to the world and make time to write. It is now an entry on my calendar.
A big thank you to @JohnStepper for a conversation that has given me the nudge to venture down this path.
It may not be pretty and it may very well come in fits and starts but it IS coming. So where is your blog and what’s keeping you from ‘working out loud’?
Just in case you missed it, I wanted to share this collection of ‘learning-related resolutions‘
Have you already seen these? Have you taken anything from them to apply yourself? What are your goals for 2013?
Originally posted in the OpenSesame blog on January 2nd, 2013
BE CURIOUS. ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS.
Obviously a lot of learning comes from asking questions. But too often we don’t ask the right question. The right question is far more valuable than a great answer to the wrong question. Eric Schmidt of Google said, “We run this company on questions, not answers.” Questions and the resulting conversations help us along the path to better results.
For example, how often do confirm that the requests around “training issues” are really related to missing knowledge and skills? Do you run off and build what your client requested? Or do you ask clarifying questions to confirm that what they’re requesting will actually solve the problem? Asking a few questions may reveal better alternatives your client hasn’t considered. Who knows? Maybe, by asking the right questions everyone comes out ahead.
Don’t be shy. Don’t be afraid to ask a ‘dumb question’. Experiment with asking questions in place of always giving answers.
LOOK THROUGH A LEARNING LENS.
Think of your learning just like you think of your savings account. Just like regular, continual contributions and reviews are the best way to reach your financial goals, you should give similar attention to our learning. Learning opportunities are virtually everywhere if you look for them. So start looking at why things worked or didn’t work. Look beyond your cube, office or whatever space you are in. As Judy Unrein encouraged us to do, look beyond your normal circles to glean those nuggets of inspiration and knowledge. Once you start looking, you’ll be amazed what you’ll find.
I think this mindset can also help when dealing with others. For example, as parents, we have found that instead of punishing our son for not eating his broccoli, he reacts much better when we tell him that want him to learn how to be healthy. Although he’s not likely to be begging for them anytime soon, he is starting to get it and we’ve made a lot of progress in the vegetable department. Maybe it is the optimist in me, and seeking these “learning moments” is my way of looking for the silver lining.
SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE
Just as we are all learners, we are also all teachers. It just depends on the topic which realm we fall into. All of us have benefited from what others have shared. Shouldn’t we ‘Do unto others’ and make contributions of our own? Perhaps the one of the best reasons to do so is that you will ultimately be helping yourself and shaping your reputation. This truly is a case of “the more you give, the more you get” and today there is no reason for not sharing. Just do it. Don’t be intimidated- get started today. Post your bookmarks on Delicious or Diigo. Start a blog. Make a screencast. Pass along your favorite tweets. Work out loud.
And yes, I know you’re busy. So let me ask this question: ”Are you too busy trying to stay afloat in an old workplace world to learn how to work more efficiently in the new networked world?” (1) Make the investment in yourself.
Here’s to asking, learning and sharing your way to success in 2013 and beyond!