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Working / Learning April Blog Carnival

April 30, 2009

As host of this month’s Working / Learning Blog Carnival, I challenged participants to think about the intersections between working and learning.  When does work become learning?  When does learning become work?  I’ve been struggling with these questions both personally and professionally for some time now.  Lots of good stuff can be found in the previous iteration of the Carnival over at Dave Ferguson’s blog.

As first contributor and originator of this cool blog carnival topic, let’s start with Dave.  He riffs on a Twitter comment by Shanta Rohse about the connection between the Hippocratic Oath and instructional design.  Dave lays out a Hippocratic Oath for instructional design in a post titled:  ISD: first, do no harm.

Janet Clarey has written a very thoughtful post about a concept George Siemens put forth: “teaching as transparent learning” which she links to the the importance of  allowing “half-formed ideas” and “thinking out loud” via social media.  Her thoughts echo a lot of what I tell folks about self-efficacy and social media — good stuff.

Anne Marie blogs about “self-directed and self-instigated learning for personal survival in the workplace as a response to stress, and to gain a perception of control in the face of a seemingly overwhelming work situation.”  Timely topic given everything going on in the world at the moment…  Interestingly, Anne Marie specifically raises the issue of self-efficacy and how it relates to leadership and empowerment.  Maybe self-efficacy is worth it’s own blog carnival someday?

For my contribution to this month’s theme, I’m actually dredging up an older post that I think is really relevant – Social Learning and the Long Tail.  I like some of the analogies I drew between supermarket shelf-space and the way we regard learning and work.  This post was actually written as a “foundation” for a later post I wrote about Expanding the Scope and Scale of Learning Through Social Media, but I think it holds up well on it’s own.

Clark Quinn added some great thoughts today about “learning as a label.”  He raises some interesting questions about the scope of learning and whether the currently accepted definition of the term is broad enough to account for it’s real impact.  Is innovation a kind of learning?  Design?  This is a great compliment to Janet’s post.  If teaching is a kind of learning and half-formed ideas are partly the point, then I think the answers to a lot of Clark’s questions are a resounding “yes!”

I know several other folks were planning to contribute so I’ll add to this post over the day as new submissions come in.

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