Monday, January 4, 2010

An Impromptu #lrnchat: Monday Morning Blues All Gone!

Today morning started on a wonderful note. An impromptu #lrnchat!
It was triggered by a question posed by @marciamarcia: In your opinion, what's the problem social media for learning solves? Please weigh in!

And as she commented 90 minutes later: 168 unique responses (not including mine) in 90 minutes. Organized spontaneous on point educational delicious.

In between her query and her last wrap-up response were innumerable amazing comments/replies that goes to show:
1. the power of collective knowledge
2. the power of a platform like Twitter
3. the power such "conversations" have in helping us to create meaning and see the pattern (refer to: I finally get it--why social networking is so important)
4. the power such collaboration has in helping us to "co-solve" problems (via @hjarche)

Here are some examples of the responses from the thought leaders of this industry (in no particular order and just examples, so not everyone may be cited here; lack of #hashtag did make locating the tweets a little difficult ;):-

From @hjarche:

~SoMe 4 learning bypasses info gatekeepers & reduces software license fees - it enables connections on learners' terms

~Problem: 20th C orgs (trg dept) only focused on formal-directed learning, leaving 80% of workplace learning needs unaddressed

~formal training addresses 20% of workplace learning: OK when enviro is complicated, not when complex: SoMe enables adaptation

~SoMe 4 learning enables a biological & adaptive model vs mechanistic model of ISD et al. CEO: Wanna hang out with dinosaurs?

~more of our work requires dev of emergent practices; training cannot address; need to connect with others to co-solve problems

~centralized & institutionalized is good but doesn't address the root cause, IMO

From @JaneBozarth

~@marciamarcia PROBLEM: WP learning treated as event rather than process.

~@marciamarcia PROBLEM: External entities inappropriately & ineffectively co-opting elearning (per Harold's earlier comment re vendors)

~@marciamarcia PROBLEM: Gatekeepers blocking sharing of knowledge/learning

From @marciamarcia:

~The question on the table: In your opinion, what's the problem social media for learning solves? Please weigh in w/a problem-statement.

~Ya'll at least making me feel better, pointing out it's hard to write a problem statement. Keep em coming, together we're better!

~@rickladd so problem statement: Orgs lack ongoing participation in discussion and resolution of problems ?

~@minutebio: so problem statement: educators are too far from the front lines to be relevant ?

~@gminks so problem statement: you aren't competitive if your people aren't learning what they need fast ?

~@Quinnovator so problem statement: organizations haven't had infrastructures to support widescale collaboration ?

~@courosa Is problem statement: education lacks transparency, collaboration, ease of publishing, authenticity & access to good practice?

~@hjarche Another: learning is perceived as a centralized & institutionalized responsibility, not a natural responsibility of everyone?

~@hjarche I want to clearly show readers there are problems, not just solutions in search of them.

~rlavigne42 New Years Resolutionathon: Let's aim to be more specific in 2010 & clearly define problems b/f offering solutions. (via @marciamarcia)

~Finally, my favorite one from @JaneBozarth: The person who complained that #lrnchat was spam is probably blowing a fuse right about now.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the great tweets that flowed but just a flavor of the experience I had in the morning. Imaging all of these tweets flowing in from different directions, like the confluence of several turbulent streams, and the sheer experience of it. I would barely finish reading a tweet before the next five would be in...

I began this post not to collate the tweets (because in the collation the ebb and flow of the live stream will be lost) but to re-read the tweets and mull over them.

In the process, I found myself visiting the Twitter pages of @marciamarcia, @JaneBozarth, @hjarche, @gminks, et al and forming a list of the tweets purely for my clarity. From that act evolved this post in celebration of the power of virtual conversation, collaboration, sharing and learning.

For me, a lurker on this conversation, it was an eye-opener. This #hashtag-less, unplanned conversation just emulated what we thrive on in real life too. And the power of this conversation was such that it attracted twitter followers of twitter followers of twitter followers who started the discussion.

The ever widening circle of contributors showed clearly and strongly how powerful this medium can be if used by passionate, intellectually bonded, sincere individuals keen on expanding their knowledge and understanding, individuals unafraid to ask questions and willing to accept diverse viewpoints, stimulated by opposing points of views and willing to mold and change their own viewpoints, if need be.

A special thank you to @marciamarcia for beginning this one.


  1. Sahana,

    I loved this post! It also got me thinking about the World cafe. Have you been there? And what do you think of it as a community for sharing thoughts on topics that matter?



  2. Thank you, Bill! I have read and heard about World Cafe from different sources. Thank you for reminding me about it again! I will go through it...

    I hope to interact with you more and learn from you...


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