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

Monday, November 5, 2012

Visualize Real Learning

The Internet Time Alliance always seems to inspire my thinking and remind me of what really matters; from Jane's Pick of the Day to Clark Quinn's mind mapping of keynotes. Mostly though, through their writing, I have had a new vision of organizational learning and I actively spread this in the organizations I support.

Charles Jennings articulated that real learning is all about experience, practice, conversation and reflection. Nothing more, nothing less (see more in his post Mangers and Mad Hatters: Work That Stretches). These 4 key areas are always front and center for me and even have a permanent home in my email signature and on my whiteboard; serving as a lens to look through with every performance issue that comes my way.

I recently stumbled on some work done by Jane Hart's Social Learning Centre, a mind map exercise that included the quote that got me thinking...

Simplifying Learning
it might be a valuable exercise (even more so collaboratively) to dissect the 4 elements Charles noted in a mind map.  For example, one could further breakdown "Experience" with subtopics of  what types of experiences are there? Are some richer than others? Or "Conversation" could have subcategories of synchronous and asynchronous, the nature of what "is" conversation and can this be broken down further into the very elements of conversations that better enable learning? How about "Reflection" as in self and group reflection; effective reflective practices and exercises...

Do you think this would help you -yourself and those in L&D and leadership roles to focus a bit more on the essentials of learning and less on the incidentals that serve to support, extend or augment (i.e. mlearning, elearning, blended learning, etc) learning? Those things that unfortunately seem to dominate the conversation today and in effect distract from the core of what ultimately enables real learning?

If  yes and you'd like to join in this asynchronous exercise with me- then I need your help as I think it would be more meaningful not to go it alone. And of course if this has already been done...then point me to it! Otherwise:

1. We need a collaborative space, preferably a free mind mapping tool (ever use any of these?). Suggestions?
2. A good way to keep everyone involved and allow conversation to help build context. Twitter? G+? Hootsuite? Other?

Looking forward to learning with you!

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