Posts

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

The New Making It with the Bicycle for Our Minds

It’s that time of year again. It is officially Fall for us in North America. But it’s still 90 degrees and green in Florida where I live. No trees cloaked in flamboyant colors or cooler temperatures for us but college football schedules guide the behaviors of many among us once again.

My lead-in refers to another annual ritual though.  Lisa blogged about it last week when she submitted her top ten learning tools in Jane Hart’s annual survey to identify the top 100 learning tools list for 2015.  More than 2,000 learning and development professionals around the world participated this year in the 9th iteration of the survey. Participants included educators, training specialists, instructional designers, learning consultants, and DIY Professional Development/online learning enthusiasts like Lisa and me.

Before you assume that the list of learning tools has nothing for you, please read and think about this Steve Jobs’ quote from the blog Treehugger Sustainability with Sass.

“I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. Humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing about a third of the way down the list….That didn’t look so good, but then someone at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of locomotion for a man on a bicycle and a man on a bicycle blew the condor away. That’s what a computer is to me: the computer is the most remarkable tool that we’ve ever come up with. It’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.”

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…the best learning is often self-taught

I read a good bit of the New York Times and Tampa Bay Times last Sunday. It was a luxurious and sensuous use of time as I shared the couch with a greyhound; placing read newsprint to my right and picking up the next unread section from the pile on my left, sipping coffee as I pondered. Sugarman—the greyhound, who can read human body movement and meal preparations in the kitchen—two rooms away—was content with an occasional, quick ear massage.

Two articles riveted my attention. Because they relate to learning online, I would like to reprise a few points here. Read more

People and organizations learn and do … again and again

We are big fans of Harold Jarche and Jane Hart at the Women’s Learning Studio.  At least once a week, Lisa and I talk about ideas in their blogs that we have DIIGO-ed in our Studio  group account.  They regularly expand our perspectives on personal knowledge management and workplace learning processes and technologies, and how we approach working with others to become proficient and efficient online learners.

Jane Hart’s recent writing on a “new approach to learning” available here and her “modern social workplace models” discussed  here sparked us to design the infographic below. Its purpose is to illustrate how adult learning is changing and how women’s membership organizations might choose to respond to their own and members’ needs. Read more