Mobile Social Learning in Action

I found myself this morning taking part in #chat2lrn (a Twitter chat) and replying to emails on my smartphone. I had wanted to be at work to do all of this, but I needed to get my passport renewed. That meant waiting in long line-ups at the passport office.

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Using Hootsuite and Tweetbot on my phone, I was able to keep track and actively take part in the chat. I could also respond to work emails. While this definitely wasn’t as easy as using a laptop, it functioned well.

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Why do all companies not support this officially? Actively taking part in #chat2lrn is part of my goals and enables me to share ideas with a group that, due to geographic reasons, only exists virtually. My smartphone enabled me to connect with people in my my Personal Learning Network, ultimately to the benefit of my colleagues.

Learning is everywhere and we should be supporting it with information, coaching, and – if really needed – training, to connect to others. We don’t need courses and curriculum when we can help people connect and learn from each other. As they connect, as Jane Hart suggests, we can move away from always using formal instructional design.

To co-opt David Weinberger, when the smartest thing in a virtual room is the room, our job should be to help others access the room.

In the hour I waited for my passport, I gained a lot of advice on how to pick a good L&D conference and how to best make use of my time when I attend. I also learned about fringe conference gatherings from @learnpatch – exactly the kind of thing I was hoping existed outside of large trade show-style conferences. What course would have helped me learn the same?