Ever since the Christmas break, I’ve been thinking a lot about this word and what activities I need to do to get back on track with my own personal learning journey and revisit my PKM (personal knowledge mastery process).
Last year was a fantastic year of exploration and learning for me. I shared what I was doing, learning and working on (everything from the ukulele, Third Place and the Kingston Co-working Collective, Social Learning and many others).
I also met many people who were doing wonderful things in my community. I had a strong desire (and still have), to become reconnected to people and work at a local level and in the process, get to know my community.
I saw how ‘social learning’ was instrumental in ALL aspects of business and community – not just the realm of Learning and Development departments who are trying to box it, measure it, formalise it, structure it and push it out.
Social Learning was all about looking at how I (we) was/are part of the whole solution. It means having to look at ourselves first.
And as such, I have this incessant desire to be connected to new and diverse ideas, new networks and new communities that sometimes, I’m not exposed to within my own field of learning and development.
Sometimes this worries me, other times, I think I’m in a perfect position to help!
The way I approach this is through my blogs (and now recently my vlogs). I like to do this as authentically and respectfully as possible because I believe (and based on feedback), people appreciate this. I’ve had many people send me emails, direct replies, messages on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media that they enjoy reading what I’m doing and learning which gives them courage to try these things for themselves. I’m always humbled by this feedback and greatly appreciative that my little (and sometimes insignificant) stories trigger or inspire someone to make a change, learn something new, give something a go or simply smile.
It’s a nice feeling, so thank you for your positive comments!
Self Directed Learning Openly Means… Openly Questioning AND Being Questioned Openly
When you’re a self directed learner like myself, it’s hard not to feel at times that you’re just wandering through and trying all sorts of different things without rhyme or reason.
There’s also a sense of vulnerability when it comes to being open online. When you share your ‘half baked ideas’ or how you do something to the world, you’re open to criticism and negative feedback. There’s also the feeling that you’re competing with others or that they are with you.
So it does take courage to simply just let go of the negativity and not let what others think of you, or being concerned what others are doing affect your own approach.
After all, we are all different. What works for one person will not work for another.
Sometimes, we forget this.
What has brought this on?
Recently with all the #RIPTwitter tweets, James Clay article Ten Reasons Why Twitter Will Eventually Die and the banter on Twitter by some people in my own network especially around circular arguments such as email/no email, following/unfollowing on Twitter, learning theories, generational debunking, 70-20-10 etc, I’ve begun to rethink my PKM approach and revisit the practices and principles that were effective for me, back to a simpler time.
Believe it or not, I’m an introvert and much of what I do and share here on my blogs and vlogs at times, present risk to me. I have questions floating around in my mind:
- “Should I have done this?”
- “Should I have tweeted that?”
- “What would people think if I post this picture?”
- “Can people glean the underlying message of my tweet?”
- “Will I put noses out of joint here?”
And so it goes on.
Recently I’ve noticed that I’ve been spending more time on screen – whether it’s on my phone, tablet and computer and participating in online communities where there is minimal engagement or in arguments that really don’t add to my ‘mental nourishment’ in any way. I’ve also noticed a general trend of underlying nastiness which is at odds to how I believe the internet was meant to work.
As a result, I’ve been thinking about how I can go back to the early days of PKM where it was more about reflecting, blogging and conversations within communities (I’m thinking of the connectivist MOOC and G+ communities that were always interesting, inspiring and fun). I want to participate in conversations that inspire discussion and debate without underlying malice or general oneupmanship that is prevalent in some online chatter.
For some time now, I have also being saying ‘no’ to many requests that don’t align to the personal and professional goals I want to achieve or my own values. I’ve rejigged many of the notifications of social media so that I don’t see certain posts in my timeline through muting or hiding, or simply unfollowing and unfriending.
It will still take a while to finally come to a point where I’m comfortable with this as I’ve realised we don’t need negativity when it comes to our personal learning journeys.
So that means it’s time for me to focus on my approach and how it can best help the people who want to help themselves and the clients who would like to explore how they can do the same for their organisation. I’ll let you know over time what that means.