Another dot in the blogosphere?

Unprofessional development

Posted on: April 14, 2012

073011_8702 Borders Book Store by theboyds, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  theboyds 

Recently I read this interview at the Chronicle, Could Many Universities Follow Borders Bookstores Into Oblivion? I was nodding in agreement.

To simplify and summarize the interview, universities were in danger of losing their relevance if they did not realize that they were based largely on:

  • the one-size-fits-all model
  • one-time/place-learn-all practice
  • the delivery of long, drawn out courses

All this in an age where people have already started looking for:

  • individualized learning (and having different reasons for learning)
  • anytime (convenient for me), anywhere (I want), any how (I want or need), any one (I wish to learn from)
  • bursts of information consumption and knowledge creation

While I am not a full-time student any more, I am a lifelong-lifewide learner and I have the same needs in my personal and professional development (PD).

When I was a teacher, PD was conducted en masse, by vendors, and largely devoid of need or context. Now my PD  is largely organized around my:

  • RSS feeds
  • Twitter stream and PLN
  • Social bookmarks like delicious and Diigo
  • Access to YouTube and Google Search

I call this my unprofessional development because it is informal and unsanctioned. It might also seem unprofessional of me to prefer this form of PD when my workplace offers or recommends prescribed courses.

Frankly, in most cases, unPD is more timely, convenient, and meaningful.

Added on 2 May 2012: Archived #edsg chat on unprofessional development, (unPD) in this Google Spreadsheet. Many thanks to @hychan_edu for preparing it!

3 Responses to "Unprofessional development"

[…] is one of the faces of ‘Unprofessional Development‘ that looks set to stay, at least for a while. It’s convenient, semi-structured, […]


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