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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Yes, All Learning Professional Should Blog.--At Least for Month

Yes, yes and yes. In my years as a professor of instructional design and as a consultant in the field I have seen too many learning professionals unaware of the technologies that can make learning events effective. Even worse, I have seen too many professionals aware of the technology but unaware of how it can be properly used to facilitate learning. Poorly implemented and/or designed learning technologies are an embarrassment to the field (think shovelware e-learning courses or boring PowerPoint lectures transformed to boring online courses).

Having said that, I believe that while technology is no panacea…it is no pariah either.

When my 9 and 11 year old sons have a deeper understanding of Web 2.0 tools, than some learning professionals I’ve encountered, I wonder how these learning professionals are training the upcoming gamers and dealing with managing the ever increasing pool of knowledge within their organizations and the field.

Every learning professional should be forced to blog, podcast, contribute to a wiki, play video games and IM. These activities should be with fellow learning professionals and with the learners within their organizations. It is not difficult, costly or overly time consuming to work with these technologies.

If you desire to truly understand the capabilities, limitations and possibilities of blogs, wikis, etc…you must work with them. Roll up your sleeves and dive in.

You cannot understand the frustrations and elation of being an online learner until you participate as a learner in an online course. You will not be an effective online instructor until you are an effective online learner. You lack something by not having been a student in the online environment.

The same is true about blogging and the other tools of the web. If you have never blogged or commented on a blog, you will never truly understand the impact, power and possibilities of blogging.

Having said that…I do not think the experience has to be a life-long commitment. I would imagine that if a learning professional created and maintained a blog for a solid month…that would be enough (after being forced to post an entry every day, not getting as many comments as expected, and working through some technology issues, you’d get it.).

At the end of the month, the learning professional would understand the concept of blogging, the abilities of a blog and the parameters under which blogging should occur.

Then intelligent and informed decisions could be made about when and why to use a blog within an organization…rather than blindly ignoring or embracing the technology of blogs.

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Jane said...

You write, 'You cannot understand the frustrations and elation of being an online learner until you participate as a learner in an online course. You will not be an effective online instructor until you are an effective online learner. '

I would absolutely support this view. I have just completed a programme through the UK Open University which was facilitated on-line and through the use of learning objects. The experience has taught me a lot - and then there was the academic content too!

Karl Kapp said...

Jane, thanks for your comment. You raise some interesting points on your response to the question about learning professionals blogging...

What is a "Learning Professional?"

Is "Learning Professional" even an appropriate term when many people are involved with creating and distributing knowledge? Interesting.

Read Jane's post on learning professional's blogging at interactive learning: he in fe

Anonymous said...

Interesting article. Blogging brings the community together. What I find really wonderful about blogs is that the people (gurus, experts and beginners) all across the world become accessible to you. You can be in constant touch with what is happening across the e-learning community.

I have noticed that people are more approachable and ready to share information. Discussion forums today are misused for makreting purposes. This could be another reason why blogs are gaining popularity.


Karl Kapp said...

Archana, you are absolutely right. The access to anyone's unfiltered ideas can be powerful. I always liked the saying "if I have a penny and you have a penny and we both exchange pennies they we each have a penny...but if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange we both have two ideas"

Anonymous said...

Karl - i read the title to your blog and exhaled. Thank you - yes we should play with the tools to understand them, but we shouldn't feel the need to write a blog, forever.

I've never wanted to blog, but now you've inspired me to think about blogging in a whole different way - blog one month a year, blog one day a month. I like that. Thank you.