These are the words, tools, devices and people that summarise the way I learn.
A is for AUTONOMY – the ability to choose what, how, when and with whom I learn is essential for me. I learn best when I am in control of what I do.
B is for BLOGGING – the place where I reflect on what I have learned, and by writing about it, it helps me articulate it. I write for me – but if others enjoy what I write, so much the better.
C is for COLLABORATION – I like to work on my own, but I also like to work with a group of others, particularly my Internet Time Alliance colleagues. Collaborating with them, we learn together and build on each others ideas and thinking.
D is for DISCOVERY – According to Wikipedia, Discovery is “the observation of new phenomena, new actions, or new events and providing new reasoning to explain the knowledge gathered through such observations with previously acquired knowledge from abstract thought and everyday experiences“. This is how I see my role in the changing world of workplace learning.
E is for EVERYDAY – I learn new things everyday – whether they are planned or not – often serendipitously – so I make sure I keep my eyes open for new thinking and ideas wherever it may me.
F is for FEEDLY – the place where I aggregate all my subscriptions to blog and newsfeeds. New stuff therefore comes automatically to me so I can view it in my own time.
G is for GOOGLE – like pretty much everyone else, I couldn’t do without Google Search, if I quickly need to look something up.
H is for HARRY – this is my (nearly 4 year old) grandson who helps me see the world through different eyes as he learns new ideas and concepts.
I is for iPHONE & iPAD – I can’t do without these two mobile devices – it means I can access whatever I need, whenever I need it, wherever I am.
J is for JOIN THE DOTS – for me learning is about joining the dots between (often) random pieces of information – not having them all neatly connected and the picture coloured in by someone else.
K is for KEYNOTE – I’ve moved away from PowerPoint to Keynote, and find it a much more appealing way to create my presentations, where I share my ideas with others in conferences and events. I can also control a live presentation very easily using my iPhone (and even my Apple Watch)!
L is for LEARNING WORKER – This is a term created by Jacob Morgan, and I think it is a good way to describe my approach to continuously learning new stuff. (See more in my blog post, What it is to be a learning worker)
M is for MODERN WORKPLACE LEARNING – this is where my current (work and learning) efforts are focused, on helping organisations understand that in the workplace there is a need to provide modern learning experiences as well as promote everyday learning. TIt also includes finalizing my MWL book on the topic as well as hosting my online workshops
N is for NETWORKING – My connections with people from all around the world are essential to me. This is the way I find out what others are doing, what they are thinking, the problems they have, and how they are overcoming them. Learning in my networks is the most powerful way I learn today.
O is for OPEN SOURCE – when it comes to software, I value tools where the source code is available for general public use and which results in collaborative efforts to improve it. WordPress is a great example of this. I run a number of self-hosted WordPress installations, and as the code is update, my installs are quickly (often automatically) updated, which means I benefit immediately from all the improvements in the technology.
P is for PERFORMANCE SUPORT – often I just need to remind myself about something, e.g.e a software task that I carry out infrequently. I therefore have links to useful places I can quickly find answers to my ad hoc problems.
Q is for QUICK – In this new world, I need to be agile, flexible and responsive – not hang around and wait and see! Learn fast; act quickly is my motto.
R is for RESEARCH – sometimes an activity I work on requires some in-depth research, and the Web provides me with all the resources and tools I need to provide a well researched report.
S is for SOCIAL – learning from the resources, experiences and knowledge that others have freely and willingly shared both in social networks as well as other social channels like YouTube, SlideShare, Pinterest, and so on.
T is for TWITTER – this is the first thing I turn to every morning to view some of the things that have been shared and the interactions that have taken place.
U is for UPDATING – the world is changing fast and I want to keep up with it!
V is for VALUE – we learn for ourselves, not for other people. So for me, it’s all about the value something brings to me – whether it’s a piece of content or a connection with someone. I haven’t got the capacity to read/view everything or connect with everyone. I need to discriminate and select the valuable (learning) activities for my needs.
W is for WIKIPEDIA – this is my first port of call if I need a good overall summary of a new topic with some links to readings for deeper discovery.
X is for OS X (original Mac OS X). Yes, in the last few years I’ve become an Apple Fangirl! Alongside, my iPhone and my iPad, my MacBook Air is my life. I don’t go anywhere without one or more of these devices!
Y is for YAMMER – I host a few social groups on Yammer, and learn from the people who post there everyday. One of my daily activities is to interact with participants on my social workshops and the people in the other groups to which I belong. It’s about giving as well as taking!
Z is for GEN Z – the generation that was born after the Millennials. This generation is already in schools and will be in the workplace shortly. Although many people don’t like to talk of generational differences, I think observing how these young people are interacting with the technology and the world around them is fascinating, and I learn a lot from it.
What’s your A – Z of Learning?
About the author – Jane Hart