December Big Question – What did you learn about learning in 2009?

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It’s the last day of December, the last day of 2009, the last day of a decade. But I still want to answer December’s Big Question:

What did you learn about learning in 2009?

Grad School

Personally, I took five graduate courses (for my Master’s degree in Instructional Systems at FSU)

  • Development of Computer Courseware: I am not sure if learned anything new about learning in this course – I did learn that my organization at EMC does a very good job of creating computer courseware though!
  • Inquiry and Measurement of Instructional Systems: This is the class that started me thinking differences in the language used by education people to describe measurements, and how these differ from language used by MBAs
  • Web 2.0 Learning and Performance: I’m not sure if I learned anything new in this class either, but I did get to try out some new ideas I had about aggregating information sources. This is a great class, if you are in the IS program take it when it is offered!
  • Introduction to Program Evaluation: This course introduced me to “The Standards“. They are pretty sense guidelines for conducting evaluations, but a nice reference.
  • Performance Systems Analysis: This was  my HPT course. As much as we talk about innovation and doing things differently, all systems we analyze (at least from an academic standpoint) are built on principles created by the men who pretty much got us in this mess. Should we be studying them differently – as the bad examples maybe?

Blogging

According to the social signals for my blog posts at eLearning Learning, people liked the printable Twitter Cheat Sheet I posted.

Twitter was big last year. One of the most important additions to my PLE was #lrnchat. How amazing is it to be able to connect with education and performance experts from all fields? The remind me that there are so many ways to look at topics, not to fall into the trap of believing the hype, but to really analyze and evaluate systems…have reasons for the things you suggest and believe. And also not to take it all so seriously, that is nice too.

Another popular post (based on social signals) was one where I tried to find a definition for informal learning. I actually wrote this for one of my executives. I knew if I put my thoughts out there, my PLE would challenge it. And y’all did not disappoint!!

Wrangling with the idea of how to use communities in corporate learning took me back to my undergraduate days (my BS is in Information Studies) many times, especially in a post I made about Communities, PLEs, small groups, & power. This is something I’m still wrestling with. If Social Media is about the social, then finding a way to manage the power networks that allow (and prohibit) connections to networks is critical…especially in a highly political corporate environment. This is probably a core reason you can’t just build it (a community for learning) and expect learners to just show up. I’m sure this will be a big topic for me in 2010 as well.

I also wrote a post explaining how I personally use social media to learn. I compared it to fishing, I guess in a nod to my Gulf Coast heritage. I don’t think I’m unusual, especially for someone who works with technology. I still have to explain to people how important blogging is to me as a source of personal growth. The connections and shared information I’ve made from the blog have really helped me stretch and verify my thought processes.

Wrapping it up..

In summary, I’ve learned that I know lots more about learning than I knew. I’ve also learned that there is so much I have to learn. So, here’s looking to 2010. I’m sure I’ll have more provocative posts, and I’m sure you guys will knock my back down to reality!

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