Fallen from the Grace of Learning, Part 2

May 20, 2011

In Part 1, I shared how I have lost touch with my professional learning interests since getting immersed in project management. Sadly, I have also lost touch with my design and learning technologies network. I stopped blogging, stopped networking, stopped studying and researching trends, studies, and best practices. Shameful!

Well, enough is enough! Life pushed me to do something about it, and I can’t be happier for it.

On the livelihood front, I have returned to a learning design focus. While project management is a valuable skill set t have, it’s not something my brain type is natural at, and, frankly, I just don’t want to focus on it as a full-time role. Despite the skills and professional growth, the main lesson is for me is the basic importance of doing whatever it is you are passionate about. More about that later.

On the personal learning side, I pulled up the ol’ RSS reader for only the 2nd or 3rd time in at least a year. I caught up on a few of my favorite bloggers and quickly rediscovered what I love so much about this field.  Things sure change fast in this field! And though my tools are rusty, they aren’t lost. I’ve purchased or downloaded free trials of several key design/development/training tools, ordered a few books from Amazon, and signed up for a workshop or two.

I love this profession. It’s good to connect again and join in conversations that motivate and inspire me.

On that note, I’ll exit with this little ditty…

til next time.


Work-life balance in a 2.0 world

September 25, 2008

I love exploring the Web 2.0 thing and the possibilities it offers the world of workplace learning. I love that blogging gives me access to information and connects me with others in such awesome ways. But I am starting to feel a strong need to draw a line. Enough is enough! What I’m talking about is the increasing amount of time and energy it all takes. Screen suck, blather, aighhhh!!!!

Work/life, online/offline — we need balance, folks!

Although I have long been a proponent of work/life balance, I’m now seeing the need for more virtual life/ real life balance. And I’m finding that balance a bit more difficult now that I have gotten into blogging. It takes a lot of time to read even the headers of the main 10 or so blogs I subscribe to. Trying to write my own regular posts takes even more time, especially if I am creating something original, and not just gabbing about something I read somewhere else.

After seeing the odd hours at which some folks have commented to my posts, and the volume of posts on some of the blogs I follow, it is clear that it consumes a lot of time for a lot of people. The way I see it, the only way to really read/post regularly is to:

  1. Get paid officially to blog
  2. Blog on the clock at work
  3. Blog on your free time

1 and 2 are not options for me, except for the odd times when I need to conduct a bit of research for a professional reason. That means I blog at home. No big deal, but I need boundaries. You may or may not know it yet, but you need boundaries, too. It’s healthy.

Here are some nagging questions. Do you have answers?

  1. What ways have you found to effectively manage your blogging time?
  2. How do you stay tuned in the on-line world, without dropping out of your “real” world?
  3. How do you keep a work/life, online/offline balance?

What would Yoda do?

Hello, Stranger

April 22, 2008

 This blog is another voice in the online, dynamic conversation around workplace learning. There are broadly three things on my mind these days that have me excited (yes, I’m a geek like that):  Emerging technologies, informal learning, and “lean.”  While there is a great deal of talk about Web 2.0 and other technologies implications on learning, I haven’t seen too much talk about how we might apply lean principles to instructional design.

First things first.

Things are changing. Not just the technologies, but assumptions and mindsets. Web 2.0 is empowering a new way of learning. This new way is one that lets ME decide what I want to learn, when I want to learn it, and connect with whomever I want (or whomever wants to connect with me!) to share ideas. I don’t have to wait for some training director or departmental boss to dictate what, how, when. While there is certainly a place for that and for formal, push-from-the-top training, there is a great need to balance that with informal and “pull-from-where-I-am-now” learning.

Speaking of “pull,”  what is Lean and why should you care?

“Lean” is short for “Lean manufacturing” and is a process management philosophy that grew out of the “Toyota Production System. ”  Lean thinking is powerful stuff and has transformed the way a lot of companies in the manufacturing world operate. Some of the core principles focus on waste reduction and continous problem-solving by all team members, pull processing, flow and visual control. While the concepts and tools were developed for manufacturing processes, they have been applied to administrative and office processes with amazingly effective results.

As an instructional designer and learning consultant, it didn’t take long before I started seeing implications for workplace learning and instructional design. Like what? Well, that’s what I’ll be gabbing about in the days ahead, sharing what I know and hopefully learning some stuff from you as well.

’til then, Happy Learning….