I have an admission to make.
I have no idea what is blockchain and bitcoin but there seems to be a lot of people on the internet who do.
Or maybe many people who think they do.
I’ll be the first to put up my hand and yell from the top of the data centres around the world…
“I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT A BLOCKCHAIN IS AND WHY SHOULD I CARE?”
What does block chain have anything to do with learning?
Well, nothing really.
There are many people who are willing to submit an opinion about everything and anything online without understanding the topic nor researching it to at least make a well-informed opinion.
I never want to be one of those people.
It got me thinking that this year, I’d like to learn more about what blockchain and bitcoin is – not from the point of view of applications in learning (I’m struggling to think if there are any?) – but from the impact to business and individuals down the track. It MAY put me in a position of knowing rather than speculating and therefore, one step ahead of everyone else.
So I decided to commit some of my time to develop a Personal Learning Plan around Blockchain. My plan invariably involves the following:
- Define what exactly I need to learn about it and why
- Seek out experts in the field of Block Chain and follow them on various social media channels
- Research on who they are following and create curated lists and collections of resources
- View YouTube videos explaining the concepts
- Create a curated set of personal resources on Evernote (mainly my tool of choice)
- Ask my network if they know of any good resources (some people like @JonHusband and @SimongTerry have pointed me in the right direction and provided excellent resources to read).
- Listen to iTunesU and podcasts of Block Chain on my daily walks
- Explore the data centres in Melbourne who run workshops and attend a public workshop
- Read Tapscott’s book Blockchain Revolution which has been sitting on my book shelf for the last year
My aim is not to become an expert in Block Chain – far from it. Only enough to understand what it is, how it will impact firstly our financial service institutions and down the track, any business that has records and administration. That’s going to be a lot of impact…
What do I do with this information?
All I need to know is that this is what is coming down the line and I need to be prepared – even in some small way.
It’s also exciting and intriguing at the same time. I’m always one who is excited with the new (even though I constantly fight the dread and anxiety with it when you delve further and realise the immense change that it brings).
If anything, I’ll be in a better position to understand what it is, how it impacts me and the people I work for and with in the future.
Having said this though, I haven’t been taking my own advice! Say what?
Recently I shared to my Facebook friends that I may concede defeat and have to learn the e-learning courseware development package Articulate (which seems to be on 99% of the job adverts for Australian Learning roles in the online job boards).
Many of you know my frustration for developing courses for courses sake, however, in order to get through the first round to interviews, this software package must be on my resume or it gets knocked out by the recruiter’s keyword search bots.
So begrudgingly, I’ve been thinking that I need to download the free trial software for 30 days and at least make some attempt to learn how to use it.
After all, I began to think about my own annoyance with people who don’t try things out first before having an opinion about them and I realised I WAS DOING EXACTLY THE SAME THING WITH THIS!
Of course, I can’t help but feel that I am going backwards here to go forward.
Is this something I really need to learn or just appeasing someone else just to say that I have this skillset?
So the only way I could help face learning the software package was to use it and learn something completely new and foreign to many people such as blockchain and then create a course with Articulate on the topic.
The irony was not lost on me that I was using personal learning techniques using the abundant resources on the web and my networks to learn about a new subject only to create a traditional online learning course so that it could be pushed out to others….shouldn’t we be teaching people the skills of personal learning?