My learning journey for this week

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Sometimes the stars, forces, energy or whatever you want to call it align. Of course, sometimes they don’t, but this week they certainly did. I was getting ready for a presentation for a face-to-face conference. My presentation topic was: Do It Yourself Online Learners: the skills necessary to be a lifelong learner in the digital age. The audience members–teachers in adult education and literacy programs–are  usually after specific tips, tools, and strategies to use in their classes. Given this, I was struggling with why my audience would care about my topic and how I could impart the importance of digital literacy skills for a networked age in a practical, useful way. Just as I was heading deeper into my Diigo library, Google search, and other research methods, help arrived in the form of 2 articles that seemed as if they were written just for me.

The Harvard Business Review June 24 edition has a cover article on How to Spot Talent by Claudio Fernandez-Araoz, a global executive head hunter. The tag line is what got me interested in reading the article: Hint: Experience is overrated. Not wanting to lose my focus on my task, I intended to skim the article, but the premise called to me as well as the stated purpose for caring about networked learning and learning out loud so everyone can join in the learning:

…the question is not whether your company’s employees and leaders have the right skills; it’s whether they have the potential to learn new ones.”

Fernandez-Araoz goes on to say the factors that are valued most, and lead to the best hires, in today’s business and organizational world are motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. A big part of curiosity and engagement is working out loud with others, searching for new solutions and paths as a team and organizational member, and leading others in the pursuit of finding the best solution or process to improve services, products, customer satisfaction. The world is changing too fast to rely on competencies, skills or even experience, because they are outdated so quickly.

I had the why to relate to the group. I still needed the practical, useful way that teachers want and need to implement some new strategies that build online learning skills in their classes. Jane Hart to the rescue! Her June 12, 2014 blog introduced her elegant chart of the 4 models of workplace learning, from the “authoritative voice” of content-driven learning to the independent social learning that helps grow a professional network of trusted contacts. Using her models as a guide, I was able to get to the practical level of specific skills necessary for the content-driven vs. the open network learning of the new age.

In the spirit of working out loud, I created this info-graphic to not only share my thoughts with the workshop participants, but with blog readers too. Please review it and comment below on the structure, content, spirit of it, and let me know if it gives some practical information that can perhaps lead to new ways of working, teaching, learning. Suggestions for improvement are most welcomed, as are discussions about anything you see (or don’t). Looking forward to entering into a learning exploration with you!

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