Pick of the Month: November 2012

One of the big themes last month has been about change in the workplace learning profession, and in fact the direction that L&D might take in the future. Here are some of my favourite posts on this topic from November, taken from Jane’s Pick of the Day where I collate the resources from my daily tweets.

1 - Visualize real learning – Mark Britz, 5 November 2012

“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?”

2 - Metaphors – Jane Bozarth, Learning Solutions Magazine, 6 November

“What do these metaphors say about our mental models? How do they affect our approaches to teaching, learning, and designing instruction or learning experiences? How do they reflect the way we engage with learners or interact with “teachers” or other vehicles for delivering instruction?”

3 - What does L&D need to do to survive in the 21st century – Helen Blundon, 16 November 2012

“I get pangs of disappointment when I see the business working on exciting projects and initiatives that affect our customers but L&D doesn’t even get an invite to play with them anymore because of our stereotyped image. Or, the business may not see the relevance of L&D’s involvement. It’s like organising a fabulous party and then someone asking, “did you invite Uncle Bert?” and you cringe knowing that having Uncle Bert at your party will put a dampener on everyone’s spirits.  He will tell everyone what they should and shouldn’t be doing; how parties were organised in his day; how if we don’t have an objective for the party we won’t be able to measure it’s success; and how the new-fangled parties with all their technical gadgetry and glitz of today really are of no value. I don’t want L&D to be Uncle Bert.”

4 - Train the what? – Andrew Jacobs, 16 November 2012

“I saw the #chat2lrn topic  last week was looking at new skills for changing times.  I couldn’t make the live chat but spent some time reading through the transcript – if you work in L&D please take the time to have a look as there are some excellent contributions. There are a number of comments suggesting that organisations don’t want or expect change from their L&D teams.  My belief is that there are some L&D teams who are happy to stay the same, to remain as a training function, providing at the organisation’s request.”

5 - Reflections on #Chat2lrn: New Skills for Changing Times – David Kelly, 21 November 2012

“Despite advances in technology (elearning, social media, etc) much of what is produced by learning and development professionals is still lecture driven learning that is pushed to learners and tracked not in terms of learning or performance, but in terms of completions. The technology may be changing, but we’re still implementing the same ‘old school’ approaches.”

6 - Easy as ABC - Andrew Jacobs, 25 November 2012

“I’ve been talking about this obsession with measurement for a while now and my words were nicely summarised by Paul Webster a while ago as ‘we spend too much time measuring the Tiny rather than standing back and looking at the Big’ … Let’s apply this to the role of L&D.  Are we motivated to improve our practice and that of our organisations  to see if there are better ways of doing things, or by the desire to create metrics to justify our busyness? … It’s not our role to try and capture and categorise every snippet of new knowledge and behaviour that an individual uses. This is why I am very scared about how the new Tin Can API will be sold to businesses.  I have a fear it will be a tool that measures everything but understands nothing about the value of its content (like most LMS I hear some of you say).  I believe the manager’s role is to measure the performance in the workplace, yet there seems to be a desire to retain this measurement within L&D to ‘prove’ it was our work that created the difference.”

7 - Ask not for whom the Reaper comes - Harold Jarche, 25th November

“The Reaper looks for those who spend 100% of their efforts only supporting the ten percent. The Reaper knows that work is learning and learning is the work. Workplace learning means much more than courses and management systems. I have said many times that courses are artifacts of a time when information was scarce and connections were few. That time has passed. The Reaper is looking for those who insist on living in the past.”

Finally, I couldn’t omit to include this tribute to my friend and colleague, Jay Cross by Donald Clark from his series of 50 blogs on 50 learning theorists.

 Jay Cross: informal learning guru - Donald Clark

“Cross is often ahead of his time and with one simple, diagram, he opened our eyes up to the fact that most learning is informal yet almost all the spend is on formal courses. … Note that he has never claimed that formal learning should be abandoned, only that informal learning needs to be recognised and supported. Cross has all the charm of a Berkley liberal but when it comes to training he has bite.”

And here’s my favourite infographic of the month: What is your preferred method of wasting time at work? For those who think it is using social media, think again!

Note:  next month’s pick will be replaced by my annual Top 100 Articles of the year post.

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