Portable Learning


knowledge network sign of the times

Have you thought about the need for portable (virtual) learning portfolios?

People are moving more frequently from job to job, within a company or between them, in the same city or moving to the other side of the globe. Employers not considering how employees can transfer their knowledge and continue their personal learning and development between jobs and companies, are failing to meet the real needs of their employees personal development. This restricts the potential influence of new knowledge, social knowledge networks and innovation into the company culture.

Productivity remains stable, performance remains stable, enthusiasm remains…well, stable. But introduce new approaches to knowledge sharing and tools for portable learning and the whole status quo could change.

Learning in the workplace is reshaping from company driven “training”, to something more dynamic, learner oriented and portable. For instance, blogging, social bookmarking, Twitter, forums, virtual worlds…the list goes on. I wonder how many organisations are considering the implications of the need for learner driven, portable learning portfolios. Could this be a small clue in creating passionate workers?

For instance, this week Michele Martin (in her wonderful blog) wrote:

I don’t care who you’re working for–we’re all independent contractors in a global economy and we have a responsibility to ourselves and our families to always remember that.”

Michele also pointed to a couple of other blogger’s pearls recently, such as Ian Delaney’s post summing up the Learning 2.0 report from the CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) to be released later this month.

“Employers also tend to confuse training and learning. Training gets done to you. Learning is something an individual does themselves. Companies tend to think of training as their responsibility, rather than learning. They also think (62% of them – HROs – do) that “done to” training is the most effective way to deliver education for the job, according to survey results.”…

He goes on to say” Individuals need to do more to take the initiative, since they’re ultimately in it for themselves. Their own preferred learning styles might mean that the current provision their company offers is utterly useless.

She also pointed to 21 year old Amir Ahmad who wrote a great post on free personal development

“Self-education is the ultimate form of personal-development because at its essence, personal development is about the intake of information that has the power to positively alter your behavior and way of thinking.

    The best part about self-education is that you are in control.”…

    “A personal learning environment (PLE) is a system of free web-based services that helps learners manage and take control of their own learning. It includes support for managing content and communicating with others learning the same thing you are. A PLE can put the process of self-education on steroids. It makes it fun and increases productivity.

    One important thing to keep in mind is that PLE’s are not e-learning systems. E-learning systems are neither controlled nor managed by you. They are instruments teachers use to exercise their control over you and decide what and how you should learn.

    Is your learning driven by the organisation you work for? Or do you live the life of a passionate learner, ready to learn and share knowledge in each appropriate moment using the right tools and networks? And does your organisation support a portable learning environment with access to a clever infrastructure of technology, information and social computing tools to help you add to your portable learning portfolio?

    Help to keep the knowledge “with yourself”, not “to yourself”!