March 2011 in Review

Now that April Fools Day is over, here’s my March review.

In terms of my professional reading, I added around 25 articles to my 2011 Reading List, but here are 3 that I’ve marked as must-reads.

  1. “I’m not an idiot” – a letter from an agonized adult learner, Geeta Bose, IDiot, 9 March 2010  This one  sums up what I feel about a lot of e-learning I see; it has been ” dumbed down” and “controlled” so much that it becomes insulting for the educated user.  No wonder so many people I meet consider e-learning as something to be endured, rather than enjoyed.
  2. “I’m an adult, literate, and a professional. I manage my finances, my investments, wealth and health with equal ease. I manage my family, team, career, and social needs effortlessly. I see no reason why I cannot manage my learning and training sessions. But my training managers tend to think otherwise.”

  3. Enterprise collaboration requires critical new skills, Deb Lavoy, CMS Wire, 8 March 2011
  4. “The way we currently think of working was formed by a command and control, industrial age of process, manufacturing and efficiencies of scale. Collaboration is a different model. It depends on people, not process”

  5. Unleashing the power of networked learning, Martha Stone Wiske, Harvard Business Review, 21 March 2010
  6. How do we unleash the power of networked learning? What is the nature of that power and what levers must we wiggle to generate effective learning through online technologies?

You can see the 2011 Reading List here.

Social Learning Community

I launched the Social Learning Community on 7 March, and in the few weeks that it has been active, there  are now over 550 members.  This is a Community of Practice intended for those interested in the use of social media to work and learn smarter. Here you can join discussions, ask questions, share links, experiences and events with others. Members come from K12 and Higher education as well as from workplace learning.

We have had quite a few discussions, including what makes a successful community.  This resulted in the following blog posting by Nic Laycock – Social Learning Community – analysis of a successful start up.  But I was really taken by the following observation made by one of the members:

“I’ve learned more in the last few weeks by monitoring this Community than I have in the past year in class….. It’s an amazing group – I have seen discussions on questions I hadn’t thought about and received pointers towards great articles…… Makes me wonder why I’m spending all that money on a formal education when I’m not learning as much….”

What a different opinion of the “social learning” process involved – and so different from that of the “agonized adult learner” mentioned above!