RSS

Category Archives: Personal Learning Network

Ultimate Personalisation

A few weeks ago, I read a blog post by Andrew Jacobs called Turn and Face the Strain. It was about the lack of ability of L&D to be innovative and provided some reasons that hold us back from doing things differently – from being disruptive. It’s definitely worth a read.

After I read the post, I shared a link to it on twitter:

Picture4

To which Andrew replied:

Picture3

I commented that for me it was my confidence but in reality it’s also for the reasons he mentioned in his post. It can be hard to change and try something different.

Picture2

I thought about this and replied:

Picture5

By this I mean L&D solutions within my organisation. To which he responded:

Picture1

It got me thinking, what would Ultimate Personalisation look like? Here’s a list of what I came up with, in no particular order:

  • Talking to new employees a few weeks after they have started to see how they are settling into our organisation and finding out what support they need for their role.
  • Gaining a better understanding of our employees and the environment in which they work by spending time with them on-the-job i.e. getting away from my desk and going to where the work is being done.
  • Talking directly with the employees whose managers or supervisors say they need ‘training’ and find out what the real issues/gaps are.
  • Following up employees who have completed courses or been to conferences to find out what they’ve learned, how they’ll apply it and how we can share this knowledge/skills with others in our organisation.
  • Creating informal workplace networks that encourage the sharing of ideas and experience between employees.
  • Creating customised learning solutions for individuals and teams and not generic ones.
  • Curating resources on a range of topics and encouraging employees to share and add to the collection and importantly, making the information easily accessible by those who need them, when they need them.
  • Providing personal development opportunities on topics not related to work e.g. general interest topics.
  • Working with top performers from within our organisation and encouraging them to share the ‘secrets of their success’ with others.
  • Being a learning role model myself within our organisation by sharing, participating and collaborating.

What else could Ultimate Personalisation be?

I’ve started to do some of these things and I’ll write more about it in the coming months.

I’m sometimes frustrated because I think that I’m not in a position of influence. The reason being is that I’m not in charge, I’m not the manager/supervisor. But, this is an excuse because I can still be influential from where I sit in our organisation.

What other ways can we be disruptive?

Footnote: While putting this post together, I came across another great blog post worth reading Status Quo Sucks by Shannon Tipton that talks about a need for L&D to do things differently.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

From Virtual to Physical Connections

On Wednesday the 4th of December 2013, the first Newcastle Meetup group of learning professionals took place in a local pub. It was a new experience for me because, as someone down the introvert end of the scale, I’m usually an attendee at gatherings or events but on that night I was the organiser. Even now a few days after, I remember sitting in the pub with nervous anticipation before the others arrived thinking, will they come? I hope they come, what if they don’t? It felt a bit like going on a blind date.

The group I’m talking about is called Third Place which was founded by Helen Blunden in Melbourne. Earlier this year Helen travelled to England where she met some UK members of her Personal Learning Network (PLN). This gave her the idea to start a face-to-face meet up group in the area where she lives and works.

The group is called Third Place because:

“There is much to learn from your peers – but why connect only online through social media when you can also meet in person and have a true exchange of ideas and conversations?

The Third Place is our own social space separate for our work and our home.

It is where we get together to chat and foster new connections, new networks and interactions in a social and informal setting in cafes, libraries, bars, pubs and restaurants.

It’s a chance to meet each other face-to-face after connecting online through social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Yammer or others and to bring your personal learning networks to life.”

I thought this was a wonderful idea and as I live outside a capital city I figured would be a great way to forge some new local connections as well as an opportunity to meet some of my local PLN. That’s when I thought that if Third Place is going to happen here in Newy, I must do something. Helen set me up as an organiser and shortly after our first Newcastle event was arranged.

I haven’t had the privilege of meeting Helen in person (well, not yet anyway!) we met and interact mostly via twitter. Even though the distance between Melbourne and Newcastle is over 1,000km it goes to show that distance isn’t a barrier how powerful social media can be in bringing people together.

Melb to New

Anyway, thankfully some people came to the Meetup! There were three of us, Kerry an Organisational Development Manager who works for a health insurance company (and who I’ve known personally for some time), Brendon who works in the finance industry in Learning and Development and me. I’ve only known Brendon via twitter so for me it was great to finally meet him in person. Our experience on the night was similar to the Melbourne meetups, we talked about our backgrounds, our workplaces and experiences, how we started using twitter to connect with other learning people, MOOC’s, e-learning authoring tools and plenty of general stuff too. It turns out that Brendon’s wife and Kerry know each other as they work for the same organisation! The time just flew by as we chatted and it was just as I’d hoped it would be – sharing and learning about each other.

When you meet someone in person it really does add a depth that you just don’t get from a virtual relationship. While you do have a sense of knowing someone through your interactions with them on social media, in person you get to see what someone is really like beyond their virtual persona and connect with them in a more meaningful way. As someone who works in the learning field I have an enthusiasm and need for my own learning, development and growth. A PLN is a practical way to satisfy this need as well as becoming part of a much larger – and I’m talking global – network of learning professionals. I look forward to meeting more of my PLN in the future especially those from overseas!

To find out more about Third Place click here. Feel free to sign up and if you are in or near Melbourne or Newcastle keep an eye out for upcoming events.

Our next Newcastle event is pencilled in for after work on Friday, January 17th 2014. Details to follow soon. It would be great if you could come and we can continue to expand the group!

Do you have something like Third Place where you live?

Third Place

 
4 Comments

Posted by on December 7, 2013 in Personal Learning Network

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Exploring Personal Learning Networks: O Week

Earlier this week, the Exploring Personal Learning Networks open online seminar that I’ve enrolled in began. This will be my second MOOC experience and I’m looking forward to growing my PLN and strengthening relationships with other members of my network who are also participating. I wrote a post a few weeks ago where I started to think generally about PLN’s. I’m sure this seminar will provide an opportunity for me to connect, explore, think, reflect, and engage with others about this interesting and emerging area.

One of the things to do this week was to try something new. For me it was using Google+ which something quite new to me – hangouts, circles, posting to different sections. While a little frustrating at times, I’m finding that Google+ is pretty cool and I’m getting used to it with a little help from my friends.

It’s been terrific to start making connections with other participants by reading their backgrounds and getting to know them a little bit. In some posts that I’ve read, people have created a visual for their PLN. My version looks like this:

My PLN

There’s me at the centre of the network. I’ve put the Twitter and WordPress logos next as they have been the main two tools that have connected me to others in what I now know is my PLN. The surrounding circles represent different levels of contact and interaction between me and other people. The closer they are to the centre, the stronger the connection. The network itself isn’t fixed, people move in and out, some stay close for a long time and others for a shorter period. In a way it reflects relationships we have in our everyday lives. Each person within my PLN would probably have their own diagram similar to above which increases the interconnectedness between everyone. The thing about PLN’s is that some people might be aware they are part of your network and other my not even know. After all, you don’t send out a welcome pack and issue membership cards!

The rapid expansion of my PLN has come via the use of twitter. About a year ago, I started using twitter as an experiment to see how it works. At the time, I followed Cathy Moore and Ryan Tracey as I knew they were in the learning field and I was a reader of their blogs (I also followed friends and a few celebrity types). Back then I was an infrequent user. It pretty much stayed that way for a long time and then I found a few more learning practitioners and I started looking at articles and retweets they posted which led to discovering more people. I noticed some people were quite active and others not so much. It was the links from one to another that have led to the growth of my PLN. I’ve since ditched the celebrities and I’d say that about 95% of the people I follow on twitter working in the learning and related fields. I’m learning much more via informal channels now. On the downside, the larger your PLN the more information is coming through and as a result, I’m sure I miss stuff coming through but that’s ok because chances someone else may pick up on it and share again.

One of the themes that we’ll be working towards during the next few weeks is the use of PLN’s in an organisational context. At this early stage, I’m a little uncomfortable with this. I think this is because for me, my PLN is separate from my organisation and I’m in control of it. My organisation, still benefits from what I’m learning but its informal and I engage with my network in my own time. My concern is that if organisations become involved things could change and I’ll lose that level of control and it won’t be the same – my world’s could collide! (maybe watch the clip if you don’t know what happens when world’s collide).

Anyway, I’m looking forward to this learning experience and where it takes us.

learn-network-op1-crop

 
 

Tags: , , , , ,

Thoughts on Personal Learning Networks

I started developing a personal learning network (PLN) before I knew it was called a PLN. As someone who wanted to learn more about instructional design, I started reading books and then commenting on blogs and then started following others in the L&D space on twitter. One thing lead to another and I find my PLN keeps growing! In my last blog post I shared a lot of people who I would classify as being part of my personal learning network (PLN). The list isn’t exhaustive but everyone on it has contributed in some way to my development and helped me learn more.

Originally I thought a PLN was a new  term for a Community of Practice (CoP) but a blog post by Lisa Chamberlin has helped to clarify the difference between the terms for me.

Jeff Merrell put a great blog post together that provides resources for more info into PLNs. I’ve also enrolled in Jeff’s online seminar called Exploring PLNs: Practical Issues for Organisations on the 7th of October. It will explore the question “How might it be possible for organizations and individuals alike to benefit if individuals develop personal learning networks within and outside the enterprise–namely, their employers?”  Sounds really interesting and it will also be a way help grow my own PLN via interaction with other partcipants.

What makes a PLN?

Personal: It means something to you. You choose who is part of it. You choose your level of participation and involvement.

Learning: Some form of learning takes place. It could be via a sharing information or in response to a question or from an alternate point of view or from a discussion or from working towards a common goal/interest. You could even provide the learning for someone else.

Network: A group of interconnected people spread out all over the world. Having this kind of network is much different to ‘networking’ and I think it’s because of the personal nature of it. Networking tends to have connotations of connecting with people because you might want to do business with them in the future. PLNs are more about learning and sharing.

I’ve blogged before about self-determination theory and motivation. Here’s how I think  PLN’s satisfy our basic psychological needs:

Autonomy: I can engage with anyone as much as I want, whenever I want. You choose who to surround yourself with. It’s your network to create.

Competence: your PLN can develop your competence by being involved with them, by learning from the experience others or from providing feedback to you if you put something out there.

Relatedness: you are interacting and connecting with people from all over the world who work in the same industry/area as you.

Maybe that’s why PLNs help contribute towards our motivation for learning?

It’s also possible that you may not have met ‘members’ of your PLN in person. I read a recent blog post by Helen Blunden who was able to meet people in her PLN. That’s something I’d like to do over time. So far, I’ve been able to meet a couple (Ryan and Con) and it was really cool to chat with them and get to know them a little on a personal level.

A great benefit of a PLN is that it makes you feel part of something and this quote sums it up nicely:

untitledWhat do you think about Personal Learning Networks?

Image quote by Kathy Kaldenburg

 
11 Comments

Posted by on September 13, 2013 in Personal Learning Network

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Shout-out to my Personal Learning Network

When I started working as an Instructional Designer a few years ago, I didn’t have much ID experience. In fact, I didn’t even realise that it was a career path! I’d been working as a classroom trainer up until that point and enjoying it but I wanted a change. Since becoming and ID I’ve had the opportunity to design for eLearning and classroom environments. Apart from a 2-day workshop, much of what I’ve learned along the way has come from my own experiences and from the experiences of others. From early on in my career I have wanted know more about instructional design and how to design to improve performance – two things that still drive me today.

A few weeks ago I posted a list of what I called 20 Resources for New eLearning Professionals on the eLearning Industry website. It was my way of both acknowledging and sharing with others who are maybe in a similar place as I was and are looking for sources of practical and thought-provoking ideas in the fields of learning and design. I limited it to 20 just to keep it concise but now that it’s on my blog I thought I’d expand on it a bit. It would be great if you could add a couple in the comments area too. In just a couple of years, I have come across many of great practitioners in the learning field from trainers to instructional designers to those who specialise in a particular area and those who are more generalist L&D/OD in what they talk about. The one thing they have is common is a passion for what they do.

My personal learning network has grown steadily and continues to grow and I wanted to share with you a few of the people who have had an impact on me in some way. The following people and resources provide excellent, relevant and useful information on a variety of e-learning areas and most also provide a means for you to connect with the other learning professionals, helping you to grow your own personal learning network (more about PLN’s in my next post).

Books icon

Books

When I first started looking for information on instructional design, I started with books. Even in this digital age, I still love reading an actual book. A colleague recommended Ruth Colvin Clark and as such I’ve read several of her books. I find her books provide a straightforward, evidence-based approach and I’ve learned a lot from them. All these books are terrific resources as they provide in-depth coverage that is easy to read and apply to your professional and personal life.

  1. Efficiency in Learning by Ruth Clark, Frank Nguyen and John Sweller
  2. Developing Technical Training by Ruth Colvin Clark
  3. The Gamification of Learning and Instruction by Karl Kapp
  4. Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations by Nancy Duarte
  5. Graphics for Learning by Ruth Colvin Clark and Chopeta Lyons
  6. Telling Ain’t Training by Harold D. Stolovitch and Erica J. Keeps
  7. Evidence-based Training Methods by Ruth Colvin Clark
  8. Cognitive Load Theory edited by Jan L. Plass, Roxana Moreno and Roland Brunken
  9. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  10. Mindset: How you can fulfil your potential by Carol Dweck
  11. Out of Our Minds: Learning to be creative by Ken Robinson

(I’ve also got Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They can Change the World by Jane McGonigal and Better than Bullet Points: Creating Engaging e-learning with PowerPoint by Jane Bozarth on order).

Blog Icon

Blogs

I didn’t start reading blogs until I started my own blog earlier this year. I figured that the best way to learn about writing a blog is to start by looking at how others do it. What I discovered was a wonderful source of information, opinions and reflections (even writing styles) on a variety of areas within the learning field. I find blogs to be a great way to not only learn about what’s happening in the learning profession but to get some alternative viewpoints that may challenge your own ideas. I’ve listed a few that I read below and there are some more under the ‘Blogs I follow’ label to the right of the screen. Regardless of whose blog you read, if you find a post that interests you, chances are it will be interesting to someone else so why not share it by clicking on one or more of the share options at the end of the post.

  1. Ryan Tracey: Ryan is an Australian E-Learning manager, blogger, writer, advisor & reviewer who writes about a variety of learning topics –  http://ryan2point0.wordpress.com/ (also on twitter @ryantracey)
  2. Cathy Moore: Cathy is on a mission to save the world from boring corporate elearning. Creator of the action mapping ID process and the Elearning Blueprint –  http://blog.cathy-moore.com/ (also on twitter @CatMoore)
  3. Connie Malamed: Connie writes as The elearning Coach and provides tips and reviews for success with online and mobile learning – http://theelearningcoach.com/about/ (also on twitter @elearningcoach)
  4. Will Thalheimer: Will writes a research based commentary on learning, performance and the industry thereof – http://www.willatworklearning.com/ (also on twitter @WillWorkLearn)
  5. Clark Quinn: Clark is a learning experience architect & strategist taking it to the ‘next level’ via a deep cognitive and broad technology background – http://blog.learnlets.com/ (also on twitter @Quinnovator)
  6. Jane Hart: Jane is the Founder of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies (C4LPT). She is an independent advisor, writer and speaker – http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/blog/ (also on twitter @C4LPT)
  7. Allison Rossett: Alison has taught in EDTEC at SDSU for 30+ years, writing books, running projects, working with students and clients – http://www.allisonrossett.com/ (also on twitter @arossett)
  8. Craig Weiss: Craig writes the E-Learning 24/7 blog and has been identified as a thought leader and expert – http://elearninfo247.com/ (also on twitter @diegoinstudio)

website icon

Websites

The following websites have a huge range of learning articles, case studies, opinions, research, best practice and resources that may help you with your next e-learning project:

  1. eLearning Industry: http://elearningindustry.com/ (also on twitter @elearnindustry)
  2. The eLearning Guildhttp://www.elearningguild.com/ (also on twitter @eLearningGuild)
  3. Learning Solutions Magazine: http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/ (also on twitter @learningsolmag)
  4. eLearning Learning: http://www.elearninglearning.com/ (also on twitter @trainmagnetwork)
  5. eLearning Brothers: provide a great range of templates and resources for Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate and Lectora http://elearningbrothers.com/
  6. Instructional Design Org: Good place for new e-learning professionals that contains information on learning theories, design models and terminology  http://www.instructionaldesign.org/
  7. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT) is a peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication that aims to promote scholarship in the use of the Internet and web-based multimedia resources in higher education – http://jolt.merlot.org/

Twitter icon

Twitter

Twitter is a tool that I didn’t use much at all until recently. I’ve found it to be a great way to connect with other eLearning professionals. As well as the one’s already mentioned here’s a few more people that I follow: @lrnchat – a weekly twitter chat covering a variety of interesting learning related topics. I’ve connected with a lot of learning people via lrnchat. @chat2lrn is another good weekly chat too. Learning and Development professionals from around the world (many of them write blogs too):

  • Helen Blunden @ActivateLearn
  • Costas @LearnKotch
  • Christopher Pappas @cpappas
  • Jane Bozarth @JaneBozarth  (Jane writes some great articles on the Learning Solutions Mag website too)
  • Charles Jennings @charlesjennings and @702010Forum
  • Tracy L. Bissett @TLBissett
  • Craig Taylor @CraigTaylor74
  • Mark Britz @britz
  • Kevin Thorn @LearnNuggets
  • Tracy Parish @Tracy_Parish
  • Tom Spiglanin @tomspiglanin
  • Bianca Woods @eGeeking
  • Mayra Aixa Villar @MayraAixaVillar
  • David Kelly @LnDDave
  • Lesley Price @lesleyprice
  • Colin Steed @ColinSteed
  • Nancy Duarte @nancyduarte

I’m using Articulate Storyline at work, so here are some Articulate people that I follow:

  • Tom Kuhlmann @tomkuhlmann – Tom writes the Rapid Elearning Blog where he shares great practical tips & tricks for building elearning courses.
  • Articulate @Articulate
  • David Anderson @elearning
  • Nicole Legault @nicole_legault
  • Christine Hendrickson @CHendrickson82

If you’re interested in gamification (as I am) check out these people:

  • Karl Kapp @kkapp
  • Jane McGonigal @avantgame
  • Alicia Sanchez @gamesczar
  • Amy Jo Kim @amyjokim
  • Scott Nicholson @snicholson
  • Gabe Zichermann @GabeZicherman
  • The Knowledge Guru @thekguru
  • Gamification Co @gamificationco

I realise that there’s a lot of names listed in this post but I believe they are worth checking out if you want to learn more about eLearning, instructional design, performance improvement and the role of L&D. Maybe not all at once but when or if you need to. They have helped me along the way and might help you too. It would be great if you could add a couple of (or more) resources that you have in the comments area below and also share this post. That way we can create a living blog post that will reach a wide audience.

Finally, a huge THANK-YOU to everyone who has and continues to help me, challenge me, inspire me and share their knowledge; it’s very much appreciated.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
Learn. Show. Repeat.

Learn - Show - Repeat

John Stepper's Blog

Working Out Loud

Work Smarter Not Harder

Ask. Learn. Share | Mike Taylor's Weekly Tips & Tricks

LearnHaus

Knowledge is power and I intend to make us all powerful.

technologyinstructorblog

A topnotch WordPress.com site

LearnKotch

L&D from a different perspective

coffeeanDesign

let's have coffee & discuss the design...

Jackie Van Nice

E-Learning Goodness by Jackie Van Nice

Michelle Ockers

Continuously learning, and supporting others to learn

The Knowledge Project

making e-Learning a better experience

Ripple Effect Group

Be smart. Get social. Do business.

Learning Rebels

Lifting Learning in Workplaces Today

Learning as I go...

Just another WordPress.com site

Activate Learning Solutions

Making Work into Learning Experiences

Lost and Desperate

Random ramblings that might, or might not, relate to training, learning, development, and management

chat2lrn

Conversations to take learning forward

Learning in the Modern Workplace

Jane Hart's blog on modernising workplace learning

ISPI's 50th Anniversary

Where Knowledge Becomes Know How

The Hitch Hiker's Guide to Learning

Tripping through the galaxy of Learning & Development

fuchsia blue

learning development change

The FreeFacilitator blog

Paul Batfay works out loud on facilitation, learning and community

Building Creative Bridges

Training Learning Collaboration Innovation

Learningcreep

A blog to take my learning forward.

Gather with Purpose

intersection of community, learning and technology

Joanne Even's Blog

My journey through learning

Azhar's Reflections

Edu Journeys and Reflections

%d bloggers like this: