Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Big Question for October: Should All Learning Professionals Be Blogging?

Nothing like a personal invitation to prompt one to respond. Tony Karrer emailed me, asking me to play the new game on the Learning Circuit's blog by blogging an answer - on my blog - to this month's "Big Question." Should All Learning Professionals Be Blogging?

So, should all Learning Professionals be blogging? I guess first I'd have to figure out what a learning professional is. I'm a learning amateur, based on the idea that learning is a love, something I do for it's own sake, and not for a fee, so I guess I'm not a learning professional. Grin.

So back to the question... without clear understanding, but that never stopped me!

I first started reading some of the responses so far. Lots of smart people saying stuff I agree with. I thought, heh, what can I add? Then I realized that Tony's invitation was what I could add.


By sharing our thoughts via blogs (or any other thing - I don't think it has to be blogs -- it could be wikis, or whatever is invented next. I'm not married to any one form) we are inviting others to participate in our thinking. We are going beyond the bounds of what we know and believe and becoming part of the larger world of thinking and acting. We are making ourselves open to not knowing it all. To asking others. To sharing what we have discovered or created. It's like a swap meet for the mind.

Stephen Downs referred to this as being part of a community of practice. For me, living and breathing "in community" is an ongoing cycle of invitation and response. It is the pattern of improve, "yes, and..." This can only happen if we have the communication channel open wide. Blogs give us that opportunity.

By making our thinking visible through blogging, we are making the improv open and accessible. We are both the question and the answer, the possibility, and the learning partner.

So if being a learning professional is being a learner and a learning partner, then yes, we should all be sharing our thinking. I don't give a rats patootie if it is on a blog or not, but the key here is keep the invitiation out there, the "open" sign on, burning bright.

P.S. Hm, this thing needs a tag. How about.. ?


Anonymous Brent MacKinnon said...

Hi Nancy, I loved this and the previous 3 posts. They each had great meaning and resonance for me as I am setting up a Learning Community (community of practice) with a cross section of youth workers, educators and their respective organizations. I have a map or plan but the way I will use blogs or wikis is still unclear. These posts helped my thinking along. I am following your adventures in the down under and enjoying your work immensily. All the best,
Brent MacKinnon

9:06 PM  
Blogger Nancy White said...

Brent, thanks! I look forward to stories of how your community unfolds!

9:52 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

Hey Nancy, what is 'a rats patootie'? This is a new one on me. The things we learn through blogging eh!

5:41 AM  
Blogger Nancy White said...

Um, a rat's patootie = rat's ass! ;-)

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Robin Hamman said...

Oops. I missed October by a day - hope the comment is still welcome! I've been thinking a lot recently about how important it is for anyone working in the knowledge or creative industries to get their ideas out there for discussion. A few months ago I contributed an article to an academic book and was astonished to hear that it won't be out for a year. I could have blogged the same article and reached a wider, and larger, audience immediately.

So for me, the answer is yes, all learning professionals and anyone else who works involves ideas, content, or creativity really has to blog. Otherwise the world is going to simply pass right by them...

5:27 AM  

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