Today is LEARNING:500, the event to celebrate the 500th post on the blog. I’m sat in my London hotel room, where i should be working on my presentation, but instead am writing this over a cuppa. I should be nervous, but i’m not. I think because this is a safe day, a day of sharing and collaboration. My personal learning networks stretch across the world, and it’s only a tiny percentage of the people from those networks who are here today, but it’s a friendly audience!
The point of LEARNING:500 is to reflect on what i’ve learnt, to share ideas and lay the foundations of new ones. It’s a chance to consolidate the learning, to take the time to reflect on the shared narrative and capture some of it into a story, a story that i’ll share tomorrow.
The ways that we interact with knowledge are changing: the role of our personal learning network ever more important. Social learning comes in all flavours: the semi formal spaces created by organisations to foster collaboration and the highly informal ones that we develop and draw upon to support out personal learning. We create and curate these through our careers, but today they are ever more important. Just this morning i’ve been reading an article shared by someone in the US, a colleague who i’ve never met, but with whom i interact in a shared learning spaces every week.
Our ability to form connections, to find like minds, no matter where they are, facilitated by the technology, but driven by the desire to collaborate, is amazing.
So today i’m not nervous, but rather excited. The first two sessions are ‘safe’. An exploration of social learning and a discussion about ‘a mindset for mobile learning’, both areas that i am very comfortable with. The third session is around my current research into ‘the languages of learning’, and it’s an evolving thought process. I’ve read the literature and carried out nearly thirty interviews with musicians, indeed, Cath is joining us to play live in the session, but i don’t have an intact narrative yet: it’s a work in progress. But that’s the point of social learning spaces, be they online or in a poetry cafe in London: they are spaces to collaborate, to try new ideas out and to develop meaning together.