“Knowledge is constructed, not transferred. Peter Senge”
You’re at the gym. You show up regularly, observe others, engage in discussions about the best exercises and see that people are getting in shape. You may even try an exercise or two. You’re energized and feeling great.
But if your goal is to become more fit, what do these activities have to do with your physical condition? Nothing, you’re in the same shape you were when you began.
Learning can be like exercising. You actually have to do the work in order to receive the results. Yes, you can (and I do) learn a lot from others but nobody can learn for you.
There is No Free Ride for Learning
We are part of a technology change that has given us access to people through social media like never before. You can connect and learn from others without ever leaving your chair. Two fascinating learning aspects of this connection are that we can:
- Get an inside look into what and how people are learning
- Share your thoughts and engage with others
These items can either help enable or disable your learning. With all the information and people that are available to us, it can be tempting to ride on the learning of others without doing any learning of your own. You may not even realize how little you’ve learned until it’s time to apply this in a new situation. Then, “uh oh, I don’t know this as well as I thought I did.” If it’s important to you, this could be your learning opportunity.
You Have to do the Work and Want to Learn
Social media has made social learning more accessible and has been a valuable component in my own learning. It doesn’t replace the basic mechanics of learning that have always been required (e.g., observe, discuss, reflect, practice, adjust). Social media tools can help (not replace) your learning process.
What About You
- Can you recognize the difference between when your riding along vs. learning?
- What helps you recognize this?
- If you’re riding along and want to be learning, how do you made the switch?
- Do you have learning goals or themes?
- Does having a goal help you focus more on your learning?
- How do you know when you reach your goal or have a way to go?
- Do you spend time reflecting on your learning?
- Does this work best when it’s scheduled, random or both?
- What mechanism do you use to output these reflections?