As part of the Social Learning Practitioner Program I’ve reviewed my own social learning skills and that of my team. In this post I reflect on my own social learning skills – my next post will look at my team.

Dabbling – and the Impact of Public Transport

Over the past 12-18 months I have been exploring (“dabbling in”?) a range of social networking and learning channels, often as an extension of a face-to-face event such as a conference, course or physical networking activity.  I’m comfortable using the technology of Twitter, LinkedIn and online community platforms.  Until recently I’ve been unsure of the value of putting time into participating in online social networks.  After all, there’s always work deadlines and family commitments, not to mention sneaking in some exercise.  Having recently switched from driving to work to using public transport I decided to do an experiment and spend at least 30 minutes a day online during my commute simply looking around – exploring new information and connections.  Not only have I enjoyed it, I’ve also found the exposure to new ideas stimulating and my increasing competency with online technology very satisfying.

Social Learning Contract & Moving out of Conscious Incompetence

The other concern I’ve had is that I want to be a creator and a contributor – to give more than I take from any space, organisations or groups I’m involved with – which I think Harold Jarche alludes to when he talks of the social learning contract.  And I’ve been unsure of how to achieve this in the online world.  The seek-sense-share model of personal knowledge management advocated by Jarche and Jane Hart appeals to me – figuring out how to do this efficiently in a way that works for me will enable me to contribute, collaborate and create.  I think I’m just moving out of conscious incompetence to a smattering of conscious competence in some aspects of online learning and collaboration.  I’m looking forward to this accelerating by completing the SLPP activities – one baby step at a time.

Network Diversity

The most striking aspect of my personal review is the need for greater diversity in my professional network in order to:

  • access to a wider range of information sources and ideas (improving my ‘seeking’ and ability to solve problems), and
  • increase my opportunities to collaborate with others (improving my sense-making and sharing).  

I’m doing as Dion Hinchcliffe suggests and rethinking how I work in the collaborative era (see Dion’s blog post 2 March 2014).

I’m really excited and motivated by the SLPP program, and looking forward to all of the practical activities coming up!

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