Sunday, November 01, 2009

What I learn from #lrnchat

Every Thursday evening there's a great fun live gathering on Twitter called #lrnchat. It's a fast free-for-all organized around a theme, like instructional design, virtual worlds, social learning, or e-learning myths, structured around 3 general questions. If you're in the training/learning/Ed business, folks you've heard of often drop in, as do many folks you haven't heard of. Once you meet them, you'll want to know them better.

I recently threw out an idea to organizers of a large conference, saying that I'd like to host a 'Twitter event' during the conference. That's about as far as my vision went, and as often happens I have been called on it. Thinking over what a live "Twitter event" for trainers might look like, I turned to the #lrnchat blog and found the transcript from the June 11 discussion. The theme: Incorporating social media into learning events. The #lrnchat participants: Dozens of learning professionals, many of whom had participated in, or helped organize, events that sought to incorporate use of tools like blogs or Twitter.

Half an hour later I'd sketched out a general approach to my session, a way to structure it, questions to ask during it, and tools to support it (I forgot about Ustream TV, and didn't think to ask people to put their Twitter handles on their name badges.). The transcript included a link to "8 Ways to Make Your Event More Blog and Twitter Friendly which in turn linked to a guide for participants joining a conference remotely via Twitter.

So. #lrnchat gives me all-at-once access to some of the best minds in the field, directs me to new ideas, provides alternative points of view, and sends me looking for a new book or article. It usually helps me focus my thinking, occasionally solves a problem, and often cracks me up.

Warning: #lrnchat is messy. Sequential, linear thinkers tend to have a hard time following it. But you know what? 21st century information is going to be messy, and those who can deal with that messiness and the accompanying ambiguity will be ahead of the pack. #lrnchat is also, again, a chat. It's not a workshop, or a class, but as with Real Life you may find you learn something informally and by accident.

Join us on Thursday nights, 8:30 ET, 5:30 PT. Begin by typing #lrnchat into the Twitter search box. If you'd like to get a look at who's likely to be there, and how the conversation will go, you can check out the transcripts. Just remember that the transcript won't give you the same sense of fun and speed as you'll get by drinking from the live stream of tweets flying fast and furious.

1 comment:

Jeff Hurt said...

Great post Jane!

I think as we move foward, we have a choice. A choice to denounce technology and scream we have to much information overload or the choice to manage our emotions/expectations and become information synthesizers. Have you ever heard a Gen Y announce they are dealing with information overload? Not usually. Many of them have mastered the art of information synthesis.

Thanks for the shout out in the post too.