For a little while now I have been trying to put together a learning technology portfolio that really showcases my skills in the best way possible. On top of that there is also many things that I wish to do deeper research on, (xAPI, UX, UI, neuroscience and learning) but I haven’t had the time to do any of it. Probably because my schedule is out of order now that I have client projects that I am working on. No excuses Will!
So last night I returned home from a NYC dinner with Trish Uhl and we had a great discussion about the state of the industry in learning and a various array of topics. I was a little wired from having two cappuccinos and the conversation so my mind began to wander. I had an insight to not only build my portfolio but also research deeper in the process: sharing by learning.
If we flip that phrase to learning by sharing it means we can learn from other people in the context of community-based learning or a PLN (personal learning network). By having open discussion we can learn from other people about not only how to make something better, but we also help others by sharing knowledge. Another resource for knowledge sharing and management is from Jane Bozarth’s Show Your Work.
So what is sharing by learning? The way I see it is you have a topic that you want to learn more about or a skill to learn. As you are learning, you not only keep track of how you learn the skill, but also keeping in mind that while you’re learning you’re going to share this with your network of people so they can learn from it. So not only do you learn the skills you need/want, you can also share your findings with your cohorts.
For example, as the upcoming president for Northern NJ ATD I conduct board meetings, naturally. One of the skills that I know I lack is following Robert’s Rules of Order or Parliamentary Procedure. I have a little booklet that tells me how to follow them, but it seems to be all over the place. So one of the ways I’ll learn to use the rules is by creating a mobile solution so I can access it when I need it during the board meetings. There is so much more that will go into that and as I begin to create I will show my work with everyone.
By creating this solution for myself, I not only will learn how to use the rules, but then I can share what I have learned through this mobile tool. As a second point, I also will build my skills as a learning technologist by creating this mobile solution.
This gives me a new perspective on learning in general because if we start to think about learning and how it is distributed this shakes the cage a little bit. Imagine starting out to learn a new skill or concept knowing that you will be sharing it with someone in the future. How will that change our attitude towards learning? Would this help knowledge sharing and performance improvement?
I have a bookmark in my browser that allows me to use xAPI to track everything that I am learning (That is if I remember to click on the bookmark!) and it will add the resource to my learning record store (LRS) for later review or analysis. That could potentially be where we source the content for the learning in which we are going to share. Alternatively, what if our LRS can be viewed by people other than ourselves? How does that fit into knowledge sharing?
It is an exciting time in our industry because we are shifting our thinking away from traditional methods that are a sign of the times and moving toward a more open and community supported learning network. There is definitely more to expand on and I will continue to share as I learn!