Four learning-related resources that have come my way recently


After two weeks out of town, I have a couple days off.  So this week the learning mutt is sharing some of the interesting stuff she found on the interwebz 🙂

The first two come from my friend BrainySmurf courtesy of her blog Connecting the Dots.

Brainy’s a MOOCer, that is, she participates in massively open online courses.  Through her most recent set of them (I think 4 at last count), she’s come across Susan Cain and her site: The Power of Introverts.

Now I’m essentially an introvert, though I work in an industry that has me talking to people all the time, facilitating courses, and the like.  I dislike “putting myself out there” and “being on.”  Really, what I want to do is work independently with words (just let me design courses and give me the time to finish them properly!), and of course, write.  My true preference would be to write all the time, holed up in my wee garret, but I know that after the writing comes the promotion and I have to be super “on” for that.

Susan Cain - Quiet - The Power Of Introverts

Susan Cain – Quiet – The Power Of Introverts (Photo credit: k-ideas)

What this means is that I have to find my power as an introvert and learn how to use my innate and learned talents and skills to their best effect in an extroverted world.

Last week I mentioned Susan’s book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. It’s definitely on my reading list.

Last year, Brainy also mentioned Gretchen Rubin and her book The Happiness Project.  This week, I saw Gretchen on Canada AM promoting her new book Happier at Home.  Gretchen also came up during the platform-building course I’m participating in with Dan Blank of We Grow Media.  She was cited as an excellent example of platform-building, self-promotion, and book marketing.

PBS @ SXSW 2010 / Gretchen Rubin

PBS @ SXSW 2010 / Gretchen Rubin (Photo credit: PBS PressRoom)

When I first saw Brainy’s post on Gretchen, I wasn’t caught.  I was happy and didn’t really need any advice in the area, or so I thought.  Now I’m reconsidering my position.

A recent crisis in self-confidence has forced me to face the fact that I’m not currently happy.  Stress, mostly self-imposed, has me out on a limb and trying to look at myself in a mirror at the same time.  Tricky business that.

I’m thinking that I have to take another look at The Happiness Project.

Clark Quinn (the Quinnovator) noted on his blog learnets this week that Learning Design isn’t for the Wimpy.

ID isn’t easy.  We’ve been given some content, and it’s not just about being good little IDs and taking what they give us and designing instruction from it.  We could do it, but it would be a disaster (in this case, that’s what we’re working from, a too-rote too-knowledge-dump course.  And it’s too often what I’ve seen done, and it’s wrong.

Instructional design, or ID is what I aspire to do.  I write courses now, but it’s not really ID in the sense that Clark’s talking about.  There’s no consultation, there’s no conversation, there’s no back-and forth.  So far, I’ve only been writing courses on topic in which I’m considered the expert.  I can only write what I think a learner would need to know.  Being self-taught in most of these topics means that I’m writing courses for learners like myself, but I know that not everyone has the predisposition to learning that I do.

I try to work in what I think other learners will like and relate to, but it’s all through my own filters, and ultimately, that’s not good design.

Harold Jarche

Harold Jarche (Photo credit: Harold Jarche)

Which brings me to my next find: Harold Jarche.  He’s the champion of personal knowledge management, or PKM, and his latest post on Life in Perpetual Beta talks about how PKM can work to foster innovation within an organization.

In an organization where everyone is practising PKM, the chances for more connections increases. Innovation is not so much about having ideas, as making more and better connections.

PKM is something else I aspire to (hence the learning mutt), but it’s really only possible in my workplace at the advisory level or higher, and not many of us have hopped on the bandwagon so the sharing community isn’t huge.

Right now, it’s a problem without a resolution.  I have the solution, but not the internal platform to promote it.  I don’t have a lot of authority and all I can really do at this point is lead by example and talk it up every chance I get.

I set up a SharePoint site for the training team last year focused on professional development, but I was the only one using it.  I eventually stopped updating and promoting the site.  A bit of a defeat that, but perhaps someday I’ll be able to get back to it.  Not being a part of the training team anymore kind of throws a monkey wrench into those gears.

That’s it for this week.  Feel free to follow Brainy, Clark, or Harold.  They really are excellent resources in the learning and development field.

Also feel free to share any learning resources that you’ve found recently in the comments below.

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2 thoughts on “Four learning-related resources that have come my way recently

  1. My goodness, mentioning me in the same sentence as Mr. Quinn or Mr. Jarche is an enormous compliment, thank you! The only reason I’m any good at what I do is because they’ve had the good sense to share themselves widely and mostly freely for ravenous consumers like me. 🙂

    Gretchen and Susan are great reads and so is Dr. Brene Brown on vulnerability and shame resilience. Most of the introverts I know (myself included) have some work to do on those fronts. Chin up, chest out, my dear, you’re doing great!

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    • Thanks, Brainy 🙂 For the comment and the compliment. I’m trying to learn from the best as well, your kind self included. I haven’t watched Brene Brown’s TED lectures yet, though they are on my list. I need a lot of help in the shame resilliance area!
      Cheers and keep fightin’ the good fight 🙂

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