Monday, February 18, 2008

The 23 Things of Learning 2.0

I'm not on the road for my latest training -- I'm sitting in my home office.

I've signed up to participate in Scottsdale Public Library System's Learning 2.0 training, which is based on the PLCMC Learning 2.0 program developed by Helene Blowers, formerly of the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County. I had the pleasure of attending a session at Internet Librarian 2007 that Helene co-presented where she talked about this training and the importance of play when one is learning.

As an incentive, SPLS is awarding a Creative Stone MP3 player to all staff members who complete the training. With any luck, the software needed to download ebooks from the Greater Phoenix Digital Library onto the MP3 player will be available on library PCs. I've served on SPLS's OverDrive committee for a couple of years now but as a Mac and iPod owner I've never been able to try this service.

Tonight I started the training at and I've already completed four of the items on the list of 23 items!

Step #2 of the training involved watching a video that focused on the 7 1/2 habits of highly effective learners. I suppose it is designed to be encouraging to those who might not have tried self-paced distance learning before. Although I was informed at the outset that "attitude is everything," the presentation struck me as being simplistic and even a bit condescending. Yikes! I'm starting off on the wrong foot!

I may be able to save you some time. Here are the 7 1/2 habits:
  1. Begin with the end in mind.
  2. Accept responsibility for your own learning.
  3. View problems as challenges.
  4. Have confidence in yourself as a competent, effective learner.
  5. Create your own learning toolbox.
  6. Use technology to your advantage.
  7. Teach and mentor others.
  8. (Also known as habit 7.5) Play!
As I reflected on this list and my approach to learning, I'm pleasantly surprised. I think I'm on the right path! Here are my thoughts about several of the items:

1. I don't see an end! I plan on continuing to learn about new Web tools, services, and techniques for the rest of my life. Mastering individual tools can be accomplished, but even those are subject to change because features continue to be added in the successful ones or they disappear and another resource jumps into the void. Fortunately, most of the Web 2.0 tools are pretty intuitive. Unlike some expensive software I use on the job (see #6 below), the user interface has been simplified to work for a variety of users with a wide range of abilities on a number of different platforms.

3. This is probably the toughest challenge on the list for me. I'm a reasonably good troubleshooter, but this activity requires time and energy. When I'm attending a conference, I would rather spend both immersing myself in the sessions and activities.

5. I've assembled a great learning toolbag with my MacBook, digital camera, Belkin stereo TuneTalk mic, iPod nano, cell phone, assorted cables, and, occasionally, my video camera and/or PDA. These allow me to record podcasts, shoot photos and videos, type notes that I can convert into blog postings, and then, if web access is available, post the podcasts, videos, photos, and blog postings.

6. While I'm at home, I think I do use technology to lighten the load. I carefully research new acquisitions to ensure that the technology I buy is the best that I can afford. However, this isn't the case when I'm on the job. Regrettably, the library automation system occasionally works against us, not with us!

7. My goal is to teach others by sharing my training and new Learning 2.0 services in my two blogs.