Sunday, 28 February 2010

Learning Technologies promote conversation

I stumbled upon How Managers Learn by Good Practice for Leaders and Managers. Although aimed at businesses rather than education there is one very interesting finding that's obvious when you think about it:

The most-used as well as the most effective informal learning method was: informal chats with colleagues... Conversations carry news, create meaning, foster cooperation, and spark innovation.

The excellent Harold Jarche observed

There are many great tools and technologies to facilitate conversation... but the key is having a culture of conversation.

Think about education, think about the pedagogy. Facilitating conversation is really what social media is all about; it's what a lot of Web 2.0 of all about; it's what many learning technologies try to do. Maybe describing things in this manner will be useful when describing (sorry selling) learning technologies in my work context. The more I think about it, the more I believe it. It's difficult not to reveal a bias towards the active/communicative pedagogies as a natural consequence of being a Learning Technologist (at least for me anyway). The problem with this is that it's open to question/debate particularly in the academic world I inhabit and rightly so. For some reason, it seems less controversial and more valid to talk about things in terms of promoting conversation. Even though it's feels more facile and too simplistic.

Anyway, this feels quite powerful and I can here myself saying it and hear it sounding ok.

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