Another dot in the blogosphere?

SSI Enables followup 4

Posted on: April 21, 2016

I processed over 50 statements from the SSI Enables poll and am responding to those that had clear questions.

I started by responding to backchannel questions in part 1, questions on work culture and worker-learner mindset in part 2, and questions on managing workplace-based learning in part 3.

This is part 4 on AN ASSORTMENT of issues.

What is the percentage of organisation using online learning?

No one really knows. If they claim to, they are lying because not everyone makes this number transparent.

Organisations might reveal the extent of courses or materials online. For example, institutes of higher education (IHLs) might set quotas on the percentage of courses that must have online material (e.g., 25%) or be fully online (e.g., 10%). Viewed this way, 100% of IHLs have materials online.

However, this does not mean anyone is learning from them. The extent of online resources is not important; the extent of learning that translates into better practice is. Even fewer organisations, if any, have clear figures on that.

How to handle shortage of staff and yet have to coach them?

I presume this is more a statement of high turnover and the need to bring newbies up to speed.

One approach is to practice good knowledge management (KM). One established KM method is to externalise and archive the knowledge of those who are about leave or retire.

You cannot avoid coaching, but you can provide more strategic coaching if you have a KM system that allows newbies to access meaningful information and more experienced ones to make add-its and edits.

This is something I practised as head of a centre. The externalisation of knowledge into tangible information also helped us question our processes and behaviours. We asked ourselves if processes were ethical, intuitive, logical, efficient or effective.

How would organisations usually use social learning tools?

One word: Badly.

Take a look at corporations and perhaps even VWOs using “social” media tools. Some merely transmit and inform instead of actually being social and by interacting with stakeholders.

Organisations can try using social tools, but they tend to be bad with it unless they have a small and savvy team closely monitoring and skilfully managing social interaction.

Instead of just being a public relations tool, I advocate that individuals in those organisations use those tools for social learning and creating personal learning networks (PLNs) that reach far and wide.

How do we engage colleagues within and outside of organisations to embrace technology that will assist in improving productivity, making ourselves more efficient and effective at work as well as a learning platform that is mobile and customized to one’s learning needs?

First refer to my answer to the previous question. Then do not start with just thinking that it is a public relations tool.

Use social media for personalised learning first. When you see how impactful it is on a personal level, it can grow to group, organisational, and systemic levels. It starts with a personal ownership of learning, not policy-mandated one.

How do you integrate learning in school with learning at the workplace?

I would not even try.

Why? Schooling is learning just-in-case and driven by exams. Learning at work is more complex and you tend to look for information that is just-in-time. It is driven by needs that are more real and immediate.

Ask yourself how much you actually learn from school that you use at work. Also consider the results of the poll that I shared during my keynote.

We might not need a tight integration. We might need a transformation at the school end!

How do you address and consider the needs of colleagues with specific learning differences like dyslexia and ADHD for workplace learning?

I have no good answer for this, but I suggest some possibilities. They all involve keeping a close watch on assistive and enabling technologies.

Here are a few tabs I have kept for a course for allied educators I am facilitating in May:

Unless I get another request or something relevant pops into my head, this is the final part of my online followup for the wonderful people that I met at SSI Enables 2016.

I know I created some cognitive dissonance. I only hope that there was enough so that it broke down walls (unlearning) so that reconstruction (relearning) and new construction (learning) happen from this point forward.

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