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Personal Learning is in Your Future!

Doris and I have been musing about learning and reflection in this series of blog posts. I began with Reflection and Journaling: Seek, Sense, Share and Doris followed with Adopting the Habit of Reflecting and Journaling in Your PKM. We both explored how reflection is necessary for understanding and assessing one’s learning, and how developing reflective habits, such as journaling or blogging, increase learning.

We have also written about the new world of work in several of our blogs, highlighting the rise of the contingent workforce, project-based work, and the future of work. All of our blogs point out today’s new reality:

  • It is up to you to develop your skills and know how
  • Keeping up with the digital world is a must
  • Working collaboratively online is the new norm
  • Contracting is the new employment, often project-based and short term

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Jane Hart’s Top 100 Tool List

For the last 8 years, Jane Hart has conducted a poll to determine the top 100 tools e-learning professionals deem as most useful for them. We reported on the list last year, with both Doris and I generating our lists of tools we use to seek information, make sense of it, and share it out with others like you!

The poll closes on September 18, so you can still contribute. Hart will be announcing the 2015 list on September 22. The results from the 2014 list was a compilation of 1038 people from 61 countries. It will be interesting to see what the make-up is for this year.

I took the poll, and then compared what I chose this year and last year as my top 10 tools. I found that this comparison allowed me to reflect on my learning, see if I had expanded my personal learning network (PLP) and who I now include in my “tribe”, and identify any changes Doris and I have made in working together or in helping others learn, collaborate, cooperate, and work online. Read more

On Memorial Day, Remembering Leaders of Yesterday and Today

My father was a decorated World War II veteran, and Memorial Day is certainly about remembering all of our fallen veterans, but for me, especially my father. He was in Africa, England, all over the European theater during the war – one of the first to ship out, one of the last to return. We have a big scrapbook he kept during the war about where he went and what he did as a quartermaster in the Big Red One. He did not talk about his experiences with us until the end of his life, and even then, not that much. When my sister and I took him to the newly opened World War II memorial in Washington, DC he viewed the friezes along the walls and started to cry. “The war was really like that”, he told me, overcome with emotion. My father was a veteran for peace, and believed in equal rights for all. He lived his beliefs.

As I remember my father, I also remember his quiet brand of leadership. He and my mother were mentors for many people, were active in our community, and were consulted often for their opinion and good sense. Both of my parents were modest people, and helped others see what would work for them, doing so with compassion, good listening skills, and strong advice when needed. They were just my parents, so I did not really realize their leadership qualities or positions when I was growing up. Now I do. Read more

Learning in new ways: this means me!

Doris and I have just begun taking an interactive, completely asynchronous online “workshop” with one of our main influencers, Jane Hart. The title of the “workshop” is Modernising Training Content (she is British, hence the spelling differences). Here is the description:

Much of today’s e-learning is unappealing, and differs greatly from the resources enjoyed daily on the Web. This workshop looks at how to modernise training content to bring it more in line with that found on the Web, as well as how to make it available in more flexible ways.

Jane will be our learning guide. She says this about the structure of the workshop:

Jane Hart, our Learning Guide

Please note this is not a traditional online course. As it is hosted on our social platform, think of it more as a place for socialising and learning from one another – rather than an online classroom! Each week a set of reading and practical activities will be released, and you are invited to work through them as best suits you and fits in with your working life, and then share your thinking and your work with the group. Although nothing is compulsory, you will find that the more you “learn out loud” with the other participants, the more you will get out of the workshop

Doris and I have written a lot about online learning, working and learning out loud, and creating learning networks and bubbles. Although we have participated in MOOCs and other online professional development opportunities, Jane is explicitly giving us permission to learn and work in the course as we can. She does emphasize, as you see in the quote above, that the more you invest in the workshop, the more you will get out of it. Read more