Saturday, December 19, 2009

Learning in 2009: My Story

I have not been a regular responder to the LCB's Big Question of the month. However, I do read the responses that flow in each month from varied bloggers. This month's question prodded me out of my lethargy because
a) it is that last question of the year, and
b) it forced me to think of what I have learned and done differently in 2009.
I couldn't ignore point b and sat down to do some serious bit of introspection.

Siting the Big Question here: What did you learn about learning in 2009?

What has 2009 been for me? It has been a year of:

  1. A new job
  2. A new city
  3. Challenges
  4. Confidence
  5. Knowledge sharing
  6. Solitude
  7. Retrospection
  8. Beginnings and endings
  9. Learning
In this post, the last point is my focus.

  1. What did I learn?
  2. How did I learn?
  3. How was this learning different?
  4. What does my Personal Learning Network (PLN) look like now?
It was in the December of 2008 that I joined Twitter on a whim. With all the skepticism of a non-believer. The word Social Media was not even in my dictionary, and Facebook and Orkut had left me cold till then. What drew me to Twitter were the 140 character limit and a few names like Tony Carrer and Jay Cross.

At the same time, I changed my job and moved to a new city because of it. A city I had never been to before. I also rented a flat and started living on my own, going home only over the weekends, sometimes on alternate weekends.

When I look back now, I can see how all of these came together to form a pattern--something almost providential in nature--that set the tone of 2009 for me. And each of these was to become for me a key learning point in the year that followed. In many ways, the year has been a turning point in my life.

  1. Twitter exploded across my universe, expanded it beyond my wildest dreams and suddenly I literally had the "world at my desktop".
  2. Twitter introduced me to blogs that became another leading source of learnign and conversation for me.
  3. The new job brought unique challenges that forced me to read, research discuss and apply what I had only known theoretically.
  4. The new job brought new people who became the harbingers of a paradigm shift in my learning and thinking, one person playing a key role.
  5. The new city offered me time and space and solitude for reflection.
  6. Living alone meant I filled my time reading, researching, assessing, assimilating...


My list of 20 from each of my learning spheres.


Twitter:
Twitter and subsequently #lrnchat introduced me to all that I had been consciously and subconsciously seeking to learn. I truly felt the power of collective intelligence in creating meaning, in generating answers, in accessing diverse points of views, in a real-time scanning of the web, and in separating the wheat from the chaff. I found people with common goals and passions and questions whom I have never met but whose thoughts and words could have been my own. The feeling was akin to an arial view of a gigantic crossword puzzle where the pieces were falling in place and the pattern was visibly emerging.

I have to mention here some Twitter friends I actively learn from, in no specific order:

  1. @stickylearning
  2. @cammybean
  3. @c4lpt
  4. @JaneBozarth
  5. @kkapp
  6. @marciamarcia
  7. @Quinnovator
  8. @dwilkinsnh
  9. @kasey428
  10. @KoreenOlbrish
  11. @hjarche
  12. @jaycross
  13. @bschlenker
  14. @jclarey
  15. @KevinDJones
  16. @moehlert
  17. @jmarrapodi
  18. @michael_hanley
  19. @manishmo
  20. @followVasan (wish would tweet more often)

AND
#lrnchat (a very special group of friends, some I have had the pleasure to meet in person)

Blogs:
I follow too many blogs to mention them all here, but the 20 I do visit regularly:

  1. seth's blog
  2. stickylearning: Michael Eury's blog on practical ideas for learning that sticks!
  3. Learning Visions: Cammy Bean
  4. Making Change: Cathy Moore
  5. Kapp Notes: Karl Kapp
  6. E-Learning Curve Blog
  7. Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day
  8. Learning and Working on the Web: Harold Jarche
  9. Internet Time Alliance
  10. Learnlets by Clark Quin
  11. Informal Learning Blog by Jay Cross
  12. The Bamboo Project
  13. Full Circle Associates
  14. Engaged Learning
  15. bozarthzone
  16. eLearning Technology
  17. elearningpost
  18. The Learning Circuits Blog
  19. Learn and Lead
  20. Learning Practice

Reference Sites:









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