Saturday, 9 July 2011

A 30 day journey of discovery, firsts & new connections.

“The Share&Learn platform was developed by Jane Hart of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies, using open source technologies.  It is a fundamentally different platform in that allows formal learning to be embedded within an (informal) collaboration platform – not the other way round!   Nic Laycock called this approach: “The Tipping point in learning.”

I am a relative newbie to social media & signed up for Share&Learn a few short weeks ago to develop my knowledge and have just completed the 30 ways to use Social Media to work and learn smarter ‘course’ which forms part of a series of learning opportunities offered within the Share&Learn platform.

During 30 ways which ran over 6 weeks with daily new assignments (weekends off) I was introduced to a number of different tools to try out and comment on. I established contact with several people within the group whom I now follow on Twitter and am connected to on LinkedIn. I completed my first 2 blog posts and have gradually developed a Twitter following as well as following a growing number of people many of whom are in the L&D field. 

I have increased the range of blogs I follow, added Diigo & Delicious to my available tools, joined Facebook, followed and contributed to the Backchannel at #Elnil and have since followed a couple of other conferences via the backchannel. I have contributed to the Share&Learn Wiki’s, shortened and added links, exchanged comments with other members and learnt that there is a great deal of learning to be gained in the opportunity afforded by Share&Learn and other like-minded communities.

I am amazed at the openness and willingness to share resources and ideas that exists within this group, the wider L&D community and beyond. The opportunities for me to connect with people across the world from both similar and different backgrounds is only limited by my ability to manage and deal with a rapidly expanding range of contacts – in some ways this has the potential to become difficult to manage that is a skill I will have to develop. 

I am curious to see how this community will develop? There are over 600 members, many of whom belong to and are active in a number of different groups within Share&Learn as well as who knows how many other groups/communities and yet there does not seem to me to be a great deal of self-generated activity within those groups. At this stage I seem to be reliant upon the assignments in activities such as 30 ways to give me direction.

I think from what I have read and learnt so far that this has to develop of its own accord and cannot be pushed or imposed in effect I/we have to find our own way to develop this community and there is opportunity do so within the existing groups and also the opportunity to set up a course within the community.

If you are like me a relative newbie to social media then the Share&Learn community is a great place to start and 30 ways to use Social Media to work and learn smarter will help you develop a great deal of knowledge and take those first steps into the world of social learning.

If you are an experienced Social Media user then I’m confident that you will find some new tools to try and can contribute your experiences as well for the benefit of the rest of the community.

A fantastic way to start my online journey in learning.

To be continued……

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