I’m balanced in that precarious place where i feel inspired and energised by the learning and relationships that i forged at the conference last week, but am running up against the familiar friction of being ‘back at work’. It’s always hard to find (or make) the time for reflection and to make changes.
But i’m determined to try! The last year, for me, has been a time of transition. Doing things differently today from how i did them yesterday. It’s been a time of learning and sharing, with it’s own brand of challenges; some of them around time, some around direction and some around the conflict that change can generate.
Speaking around the formal and informal spaces of social media, and the role that they can play in learning led me to share stories about my own experiences, and this process of sharing inevitably involves reflection. What am i doing and why am i doing it? The theme of the conference was ‘developing our craft’, so this introspection was a very valid activity, but to truly develop my craft, i need to do things differently as a result. Intellectual exercises are all well and good, but they need to lead to action.
There are new things to learn and new people to engage with, some of whom may be visiting us in this social space for the very first time, and others of whom may be considering starting their own conversations within this space.
My own experience has taught me that it’s important to know where you are heading, but to be unafraid to take risks along the way. My own aim was to create a space to talk about learning in all it’s forms; from learning technology through to underlying methodology and psychology, through to more reflective thoughts about learning in a wide range of contexts. Divergent thoughts, connected by a common thread of ‘learning’ and spoken in a unified voice. Or so i hope.
The subjects that we covered last week were wide and varied, and there is reading to be done to follow up, but one of the key things we need to to is to find a virtual space to engage in. We no longer have the luxury of a country house with gardens, benches and a bar to connect in. We have to find a new space: maybe LinkedIn, or maybe somewhere different, but it’s essential to carry on the discussion with speed to maintain momentum.
Although there is always also the question of ‘do we want to carry on the discussion’? Maybe some experiences are meant to be time limited, and we will simply carry on down our paths alone, having enjoyed the interval for a good discussion.
My own learning journey has been one about change, about learning, about building my understanding and engaging in debate and contributing to the discussion. I’ve actively changed what i do every day. But the process is not complete, it’s a journey after all, and i hope that some of the people i met last week will join me on the way, some to share stories, others to help us to decide where to go. In my experience, journeys are more fun in good company.