Conversation + Twitter

by Jay Cross on March 26, 2009


This morning, Mark Sylvester and I conversed online about informal learning.

A recording of the conversation is here. Enter your name and email in the right column to see it.

Our zany slides

Since GoToWebinar does not have a transparent chat, we used Tweetchat as our back channel. Here’s the Tweet stream. 308 tweets! We had tweets from Ireland, Oregon, Florida, Atlantic Canada, the UK, and elsewhere. I won’t pretend to know how this works, but this is certainly a pretty picture of the linkages from supercollider:


In reply to a few questions that scrolled by:

Ellen Langer conducted the experiment with passing out the same paper to two groups, but telling one that it was controversial. I think she talks about it in The Power of Mindful Learning.

For more on communities of practice, visit CPsquare, the community of practice for communities of practice. There you’ll find Etienne Wenger, John Smith, Nancy White, and a lot more of us true believers in the power of community.

The classic informal learning story from Xerox is the utter failure of their fancy-dancy national learning center. Repair people learn to repair these incredibly complex, balky machines from one another. This fueled the Eureka project at PARC and the founding of the Institute for Research on Learning.

The implications for K12 are enormous. So are the obstacles. See Deschooling Society. Also, The Underground History of American Education.

Indeed, learnscaping is all about “creating an environment for enabling informal learning.”

Sometimes you can “measure an ROI on informal learning investment.. by looking at performance impact.” Other times, there are too many things going on at once. Then you have to fall back on judgment. (Not that judgments is a bad thing.) Some of my articles on metrics.

Love this observation: “Kind of like Montessori – provide the environment with limited formal instruction & watch the learners go.”

What we’re doing at togetherLearn is here.

While Twitter did flake out a few times during the hour, it seemed to enliven the conversation. It’s also out in the open, not hidden in some presentation tool you need to register for. I’m adding it to my default repertoire for online sessions.

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