Saturday, March 03, 2012

What Does Learning Look Like? This.

3 Birds, One Stone

Bird 1: I do lots of workshops on using social media for learning, and I struggle to help participants see the possibilities of using images rather than text-based approaches in their work. Thanks to email and discussion boards, we tend to fall into "comment here, post there, respond to that" kinds of interactions. But now, with so many workers armed with cell phones, nearly all of which have decent cameras, there are so many more possibilities for using images and video in our work. A plus: This can level the playing field for people with low-literacy or second-language issues.

Bird 2: I struggle with helping learners recognize when they are learning. They think of it instead as "solving a problem" or "getting an answer". They don't say, "Gee, I'm a motivated, self-directed adult learner, and I think I'll become more mindful of that." They instead say, "I'll just Google 'spreadsheet tutorial' and see what I find." And if they don't recognize when they're learning, it may just not occur to them to share their new learning with others, or mention it to the boss, or include it in their weekly status report. 

Bird 3: My whole career I have struggled to help managers and HR Directors and supervisors and workers understand that "learning" rarely looks like "school". Because of their experience with education, they believe learning happens at tables (or in front of a computer) while an expert talks. 

One Stone: 
This morning (thanks to Dan Pontefract @dpontefract sharing something via Valerie Irvine @_valeriei, who were posting this, the brainchild of Jeffery Heil  -- that's how Twitter works, see?) I ran across the most wonderful big stone that hits squarely on all 3 birds: being mindful about learning, while showing what it really looks like, all done via sharing photos on Pinterest on a board called "What Does Learning Look Like?"  

Fabulous answer to a fabulous question. And worth much more than 1,000 words. 


Tracy Parish said...

I really love your point about that when people are looking something up to learn how to accomplish a task they often don't recognize they are learning and turn don't share that learning. I've fallen victim to this myself. Unless the "task/item" I discover truly WOWs me I usually just move on. The WOWs are tho only thing I often share, but the little things could be very big to others and that is where some great benefits, connections, and learning communities develop.

I'm going to take this task to our next team dicussion and have them track for one month all they "learn". Get them to become more aware of how many things they discover and then in turn, how many of those things do they share.

You have once again taught me something and I am sharing this learning on Monday.

Jane Bozarth said...

Thanks Tracy! Another idea for you that I've used elsewhere: If employees are turning in weekly reports or something, replace 'research' (or just add) with "what did you learn this week?"

Kpasa said...

This is a great reminder and will help me crawl out of my box this morning as I prepare a new lesson on social media.

Kpasa said...

This is a great reminder and will help me crawl out of my box this morning as I prepare a new lesson on social media.

Jane Bozarth said...

Kpasa: Big coincidence, but last week I was in a class and the trainer said, "Take out your phones and choose a photo you like..." . Maybe use of images rather than just text will come sooner rather than later after all.