It’s been a day of two conference sessions, something i must remind myself not to do again, as the gear change was pretty rapid: my session at Learning Live was on ‘Scaffolded Social Learning’, followed an hour later by a webinar ‘Beyond Gamification: Game Dynamics in Learning’. Here, again, at the end of a long day, some reflections of the conversations i’ve had around these sessions as i #WorkOutLoud.
Whilst different topics, both relate to the common foundation of the Social Age: the ways we learn are changing, and the ways we design learning need to change to reflect that. Both related to evolved relationship with knowledge, the rise of communities, and the need for developing Social Leadership skills within those communities. People who can lead with humility, kindness and fairness, enabling others to be effective.
I try to write these reflective posts on conference days as they are filled with conversation, and a good barometer of what’s in people’s heads, as well as good rehearsal spaces for me, and it’s that rehearsal that i want to focus on here.
I often describe the blog as my ‘first reflective space‘, meaning it’s not very reflective at all. Twitter is conversational, disposable, but this space does at least require a degree of contemplation. Books or academic writing is more deeply reflective, second reflective spaces. And conferences? Well, that varies: the Scaffolded Social Learning work is advanced. I’m happy with the model, the theory and the framework. But the game dynamics piece is younger, more evolutionary. This was the first time i’d presented the early thinking, and in the preparation it allowed me to tease out the distinction between ‘game mechanics‘ (picking stuff up, shooting things, moving around) and ‘game dynamics‘ (underlying aspects such as loss, collaboration, resource management). I found it useful as a mechanism to present and a framework for further thinking.
For me, this is the primary benefit of these events and spaces: safe and collaborative environments to share early stage thinking, youthful ideas that may yet develop further. And spaces to refine and iterate more mature thinking (whatever that is).
And this time, the time at the end of the day, when i’d rather be settling down with a book, this is the time to embed the learning: to take the business of the day and write it into the first reflective space. The space to actually learn from it.