Our connected world in these modern times of terror, human connections, and social media

I was, like most people I know, shattered by the terrorist attacks in Paris. The city of light became the city of horror, with innocent people killed, injured, and/or frightened. In our connected world, Facebook and Twitter lit up with information, and misinformation. Those on Facebook draped their profile pictures in the colors of the French flag with an easy to use app. Mashable, the digital media website, created a twitter account “En mémoire” as a moving memorial to those killed with people posting a picture and a sentence or two about a victim. During the attacks, instagram and twitter photos flooded cyberspace. Read more

The Man Who Wrote the Book on Informal Learning

Scrolling through our Twitter feed on Monday, I saw several references to Jay Cross.  Jay wrote the book Informal Learning: Rediscovering the Natural Pathways That Inspire Innovation and Performance in 2006. Jay credited Peter Henschel, director of the Institute for Research on Learning (IRL) with the term informal learning but Jay’s book became the popular go-to reference on the topic.

Jay died last Friday.  Jay did not know Lisa and me but we knew who he was. Jay was an elearning visionary and used the internet to broadcast, test, and refine his ideas, make friends, and engage with colleagues around the world. Many loved and respected him. Harold Jarche writes about Jay here, Jane Hart gathered Twitter tributes to Jay, and Clark Quinn linked in this blog post to many people who cared about Jay, and were changed by him.

Anyway, I re-opened Informal Learning and tried to capture–graphically–a few key points that resonate with me. I hope they enrich your understanding of informal learning aka free-range, self-directed, and DIY learning and some of the changes prompted by the worldwide connectivity of the internet. Read more

21st Century Mindsets for Learning, Working, and Leading

Somehow Tom Barrett from Australia and I ran into each other on Twitter two months ago.  I clicked through to his blog, The Curious Creative, read and bookmarked several of his posts in our Diigo library, and follow him on Twitter to stay aware of what he is working on because of its value for me. Among the many issues he has raised is the importance of mindsets, toolsets, and skillsets for learning design. Here is Barrett’s definition of mindset which I really like.

Mindset (How you See, Perceive, View) – Means a set of beliefs, a way of thinking, a habitual mental attitude that determines somebody’s behaviour and outlook and how s/he will interpret and respond to situations. Without a change in mindset, the world cannot be viewed differently.

The definition shows how our set outlooks can box us into more of the same. But it doesn’t have to be so. Read more