Monday, October 02, 2006

Should All Learning Professionals be Blogging?

This question comes from the LearningCircuits blog

My answer:  NO!  However, I believe all learning professionals should be participating in some way.  Maybe you are more comfortable contributing to a wiki.  Or perhaps you enjoy collaborating inworld via SecondLife.  Maybe you like flickr and post pictures from your classroom, or a conference you attended. 
There are so many ways to be a part of the conversation and engage in this community of practice.  While blogging may not be your thing, you should consider the many, many alternative options.
If for no other reason than your job is changing, and you might want to be engaged in the process of what your new job will include.


Barry Sampson said...

The question is though Brent, do they want to get engaged in the process? Sadly, many of them don't it seems.

I think that those of us working in the field of learning technology make an assumption that once the next generation of learners leave school or university and enter the workplace we'll have no choice but to deliver learning to them in the mediums of their choice.

I don't see it happening, not for a long time yet anyway. Corporates will continue to deliver training in a manner that gives the best balance of cost versus impact, and employees will continue to choose their workplace based on salary, healthcare and other benefits way before they think about learning. If they think about it at all.

bschlenker said...

Hi Barry,
I love your blog and its name. Great stuff! In response to your questions, let me first say that I agree with you and the road we are on is a difficult one that will take some time. Sadly, many employees simply "work" to collect a paycheck to buy the fancy new set of rims for their ride. We will never motivate them, and they will never "want" to participate. We can't change that because it is not a training issue...its a management/HR/OD issue.
I think the assumptions we make about the next generation of learners is right on the money. I've heard many anectdotal tales supporting our assumptions around their use of technology differently than their older corporate peers.
Will this take some time? Absolutely! Part of our job is in being part of the culture change and encouraging a corporate culture of participation, and lifelong learning driven by personal motivation and responsibility. Will all see its benefits and come along for the ride? NO! But many learners today still insist on NOT taking ANY form of elearning. (Honestly, I don't blame them but that's another post) They will only go to a "class".
Keep up the good work on your blog. I too enjoy hearing the real war stories from those in the trenches fighting the good fight.

Anonymous said...

Brent (&Barry), whilst I agree with the sentiments of the discussion, I sometimes feel we put too much emphasis on the personal motivation as a prerequisite for engagement, especially with e-learning (which wasn't quite the point of the original post which is more targeted at the trainers).

The simple truth is that employees that are not learners are increasingly likely to soon cease being employees. i.e. they have no choice but to engage, otherwise they will a) not being employable because they are non-compliant learners, or b) not survive as their performance suffers from their increasing ignorance of the organisation, products and business context in which they operate. Surely avoiding that condition should be a strong incentive for anyone!

Yes motivation is important, but as with Maslow's hierarchy of needs, I am sure we also have a hierarchy of motivation. Some of it can be pretty basic!


Barry Sampson said...

Hi Brent, it was great to find your blog. It's nice to know I'm not alone!

I guess I need to put my previous comments in a little context. The company I work for is one of the UK's biggest retailers. We have close to 40,000 employees, more than half of them are part time and come to work for the pay rather than as a career. Access to a PC is limited, and any time learning is seen as time away from the job. In this kind of environment I think it's going to be an awful long time before we get wide adoption of technology.

I would guess that your learners are quite different both in terms of their aspirations and their previous experience of learning.

You're absolutely right that we need to be part of the culture change, I just think that change will take longer for some of us.