Friday, September 4, 2009

What I learned from #LRNCHAT yesterday - Twitter as a spark plug

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 and 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
All needed to make #lrnchat fun!

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.

Great work!

Ray Jimenez, PhD

"Helping Learners Learn Their Way"


  1. Sounds Interesting, Ray. Thank you for the comments on your experience.

  2. Very rich info! This type of blog is hardly found, thanks alot for sharing nice post.


Welcome! Sharing your comments is very valuable learning experience for me and others. Thanks!