Real learning is a part of the work, not apart from it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

#lrnchat with live backchannel

Recently I held a live #lrnchat event for members of CNYASTD. About 8 of us met in a facility where each had their own computer and we could project Tweetchat on a large screen.

The reason I did this live is to help people dispel myths about Twitter and social media tools being for dimwits and b-level actors. To show them that new insights and ideas can be shared through this medium, ones that serve to enhance their own understanding and ultimately their performance. By doing it in person, people could share insights, thoughts and ideas in the medium they have typically been most comfortable in; Face-to-face.

So, how'd it go? Here is some feedback from the participants.

"I think I may be on to something after our experience last night with lrnchat. If there are principles to getting reluctant newbies to adopt new social networking tools one such principle might be to do it together in a group! I would not have been nearly as hooked without the rest of the group there to explore the new tool with. How about this for another principle: The earlier you "retweet" a newbie's comment the more engaged and convinced they will become that the new tool is useful! Thanks again Mark for introducing us to lrnchat."

"Learning with others in the same room was motivating for me. I might also participate if I knew the topic ahead of time. I google searched lrnchat and found the blog but did not see a topic listed for this week yet. Is the blog the place to look?

Long-term benefits for this less-than-enthusiastic learner of social networking tools:

1. My confidence and motivation to continue exploring these tools is way higher than it was before I attended the event.
2. I am more literate in this style of communication which can only help me continue to learn about learning.
3. It was a low risk way to jump in and try it.
4. I'm inspired to learn and experiment more with these tools.
5. I'm aware now that I can learn with a global network of learning professionals without the airfare and dog sitting arrangements!

Short-term benefits: It was great fun!"

"if someone has not tried twitter before, I highly recommend meeting with others with a room full of computers to help familiarize yourself and take away the intimidation and the feeling of being overwhelmed. Joining the discussion for learn chat helped me 'listen' to perspectives from others around the world. The questions directed the discussion well. My only experience with it simply served to familiarize me with twitter, the concept of Learn Chat, and the 'culture'. I see value in learning from others which will bring me back."
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