Twitter is a spark plug for learning.
I am a student of Twitter. I love Twitter since it epitomizes the succinct and instant learning I have been evangelizing (3-Minute eLearning) for about 10 years now. In 2007 I wrote about Collaborative Anthropologists - how Twitter can be a source for new job functions for learning professions.
#lrnchat is a great example http://twitter.com/lrnchat and http://lrnchat.wordpress.com/tracklrnchat/ which uses Twitter for a 90 minute conversation, Thursdays, 5:30 pm PST.
Read the transcript of last night's session. The topic was: Instructional Systems Design (ISD).
I recommend you experiment and join the sessions.
These are my thoughts:
The driver has to learn new skills
- The learner as participant at #lrnchat has to drive differently. Rule: you can almost drive anywhere provided the discussion is focused, approximately. It is pretty much following your own learning interests. Follow people and ideas that interest you. Something like a classroom where everyone is talking; but learning as well.
- This is no place for orderly minded and anal people.
- Patience is key.
- Accepting others' comments at face value; understanding their own interests; respecting their views even counters your own beliefs or styles.
- Speak from the heart. A sincere interest to participate and add value.
- Different styles on tweets are needed: make a statement; suggest an idea; respond to others; ask questions; provide structure; encourage deeper conversations; add links when needed.
- Listening (pausing and reading) is a much needed skill.
These behaviors I observed at #lrnchat:
(All my descriptions are made with spirit of candidness and friendliness. No offense intended to anyone - Oh boy a disclaimer.)
- - Provocateurs
- - Emulators
- - Researchers
- - Facilitators
- - Listeners
- - Traffic officers
- - Clowns
- - Creators
- - Gurus
- - Self-promoters
- - Reactors
- - Agitators
- - Parrots
- - Grade schoolers
- - Many more
The most impressive learning for me - the learner is a facilitator too.
A key learning for me is to follow the people I wish to learn from; stay with them; have a conversation.
The conversations in the session reflect of conversations I would hear and have when attending a face to face meeting, conference or small group meeting. The difference is that it is all packed in 90 minutes. It is like a focus group in an instant.
I learned that the sessions caused sparks in my mind and emotions to allow me to take a follow-up action, for example like writing this blog, and crystallizing my observations. The Twitter session serves as SPARK PLUG - or a booster for initiating learning.
It is unreal to expect 140 character conversations, but they are connectors, fibers that link people's thoughts; hence trigger follow-up conversations.
The constancy, contacts, and presence in a community of tweeters lay the ground work for relationships to build - a rapport building process. Relationships that can follow more in-depth conversations that leads to sharing and learning.
After the session, I end up thinking of the salient points I picked up from the session and pondering on them; hence this blog.
Improving one's repertoire of meanings and words in 90 minutes
The fun part is learning the games, meanings and words that people play to express themselves.
5 colors of SCORM - Aaron Silvers
Crapid Learning - Tom Stone
many many more .. see the transcript, a very interesting reading.
What I want to do next
I want to learn from the participants' answers to these questions:
What does one do after attending a lively #lrnchat session?
What emotional and cognitive "sparks" lead you to
learning a new skill?
Thanks to the organizers of #lrnchat for providing an experiment that helps people to have first hand experience.
Ray Jimenez, PhD
"Helping Learners Learn Their Way"