Below is a webinar that I presented for Degreed
I’m continuing the discussion between Brent Schlenker and Jane Hart who both have interesting perspectives on people unwilling to learn in a corporate environment. As Brett says, “it’s more complicated than most think.”
Here’s my oversimplified explanation of why it’s complicated:
It’s all about people.
And people are complicated.
Organizations create goals based on their vision, mission and strategies.
Departments within the organization, create goals that support organizational goals.
Action plans are created to help achieve these goals.
Different people own portions of the action plans.
Owners of the plan bring their own filter (e.g., experiences, motivations, fears, biases, etc) to the plan.
People need to “do things” to make progress on the action plan.
These people also bring their own filters to the “doing” part of the plan.
As do their managers, which may or may not align with each other.
Some of the things that people “do” require them to behave differently.
Doing something differently means changing.
Most people want to do the right thing.
But, people may or may not be ready to change because of the different filters they have.
And changing to support organizational goals may not be in the best interest of each person.
A big part of changing is learning or unlearning.
Most of this learning/unlearning happens through experiences and connecting with other people.
People have to try new things and sometimes fail from these experiences.
And this needs to be encouraged and supported by their managers and the organization.
If it is supported, most people will learn faster and gain more confidence in changing.
They will also tell friends and colleagues about their supportive work environment.
If it’s not supported, people won’t change.
And for the people who can find a new job, they will.
Most of the reasons that people don’t change their behavior is because of their environment (process, tools, manager).
Some of the learning/unlearning required for change happens through formal learning experiences and events.
This is usually when people lack the skills needed for change.
People also need to see how formal learning is connected to their work.
Learning and change are a process that can take a while.
Sometimes people “can do it.”
Sometimes people “can’t do it.”
Sometimes people take a while “to do it.”
Sometimes people “won’t do it.”
Sometimes people don’t understand “what to do.”
Sometimes people do change but it’s not the right change for their manager or the organization.
Leaders need to build trust, be consistent and patient.
The workplace is changing faster than ever.
Everyone needs to create their own learning network to keep learning.
The organization is not responsible for your learning.
They can only help support and provide an environment where learning flourishes.
If you are not changing or changing fast enough, you’ll be left behind.
Which means you need to change to be successful.
Leading us back to why it’s complicated.
Can the iPad transform the education system? One Dutch community is giving it a try – Dutch iPad Only Schools. Here are some highlights:
- Each child is given an iPad (about 1,000 kids ranging from 4 to 12 years old)
- No “notebooks, books or backpacks”
- 11 “Steve Jobs Schools” opening in August 2013
- Have “no blackboards, chalk or classrooms, homeroom teachers, formal classes, lesson plans, seating charts, pens, teachers teaching from the front of the room, schedules, parent-teacher meetings, grades, recess bells, fixed school days and school vacations”
- Open from “7:30 a.m. to 6:30 on every workday. The children will come and go as they please, as long as they are present during the core period between 10:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.”
- Children will learn through iPad “learning apps”
- If an app isn’t effective, teacher finds new apps
- The app corrects children and advances them to the next level, when ready
- The teacher facilitates and coaches rather than imparting knowledge
- Monitor child’s progress through iPad
- Meet every 6 weeks to discuss learning goals for the next learning segment
What Do You Think?
The transition to all iPads feels extreme but that’s what has me interested in this effort. One of my first reactions was “yikes, no pen, paper or blackboard.” Pen and paper are an important part of my learning process.
I want to see the “lessons learned” from this effort. How fast will the schools adapt to feedback and make changes to this environment? Did children collaborate or work alone? Was there any impact on handwriting?
The principal (Gertjan Kleinpaste) says, “what we are doing will seem pretty normal in 2020.” What do you think?
“People don’t just connect to each other, they connect through a share object.” Jyri Engstrom
I just read a great post by Judie Dirksen on Three Reasons Instructional Designers Need to Know about Tin Can. I’m fascinated by streams and am excited about what opportunities this will bring and look forward to following the project and learning more.
I think of Tin Can as “streaming what you’re learning” or learnstreaming.
Whatever learning framework you follow (e.g.,70/20/10), it’s clear than most learning takes place on the job and not through a course. If you’re someone who is connected online during your workday, you’re probably connecting with people (nouns), performing actions (verbs) to create things (objects).
It sounds like Tin Can fits with how the web has changed from pages to streams and listens to activity streams to capture data.
Activity theory might help in understanding this better. Activity theory is a framework (not a theory) to help describe human activity. The basic unit of analysis in activity theory is human activity.
What Do You Think?
- Should learning professionals learn about Tin Can? Why or why not?
- What are ways to learn more about Tin Can?
- What practical examples do you see for Tin Can?
One of the ways to appreciate something is to think about its absence. So, go ahead – try not being a social learner. Think about something you need to learn or a challenge you’re facing and try coming up with a solution or make sense of this without involving others in your quest.
Was it difficult? If you succeeded, was it the most effective method for overcoming your challenge?
As an Individual
- No matter how much you know, you still need others in order to learn.
- No matter how independent you are, you still need others in order to learn.
- No matter how valuable you think your knowledge is inside your head, it’s more valuable when you share with others.
As a Learning Professional
- How do you think it would feel for a someone who was a recipient of your learning solution if it didn’t involve social learning?
- The social network provides far more learning than you ever could, how can you use this in your solutions?
- If you learn more by involving others, consider that this is true for others too.
“Learning would be exceedingly laborious, not to mention hazardous, if people had to rely solely on the effects of their own actions to inform them what to do. Albert Bandura
Opening Learning Pathways
Think about all the roadblocks or gaps that this exercise created in your learning. Now, consider all of the people that you have in your life (personal, professional). How can this network of people help you in your learning quest and how can you help them in their quest?
What Do you Think?
- Was this exercise worth your time?
- Did this make you think any different about social learning?
- Did you come up with any good ideas for taking advantage of social learning?