I was chatting with a colleague the other day about learning, professional learning. In the midst of the conversation, we were both lamenting the fact that not all teachers take learning as seriously as we do.
“Why is it” we kept asking each other “that all teachers aren’t as enthusiastically exploring technology as we are?”
My immediate reply was that teachers are too tired, too stressed and too overworked to invest further time or energy on work related issues. After all, jobs are not the only part of life! Juggling the myriad of roles and tasks in a day is nothing more than absolutely e-x-h-a-u-s-t-i-n-g!
Almost simultaneously though, my colleague and I looked at each other and said:
….. but look at us! We’re busy people. We have families, commitments and heaps to do both at work and at home, how do we find the time to pursue new knowledge and to explore all manner of technology. What makes us different to other work colleagues?
Neither of us could come up with a good answer to that one, so the topic kind of waned. What we both recognized though was that we both found continual learning not only enjoyable, but exhilarating. Feeding our learning is a sense of achievement at mastering the new. We concurred that we directed our own learning, noting that each time we connect to Twitter, Facebook or our RSS Readers, we set off on new, sometimes unexpected, learning journeys. Sometimes the journey is short and direct, other times it weaves in many different directions.
What I have recognized more and more over the last couple of years is that I no longer seek out professional learning programs. If I happen to come across them and they are of interest, well and good. Nowadays though, my professional learning is self-directed and comes each and every time I sit down at my laptop or pick up my iPad. My thoughts are stimulated by the blog posts of others. I pick up amazing links in the form of urls posted by those I follow on Twitter. I have online conversations with members of professional groups that I have joined on LinkedIn and Facebook.
The ability to interact with others across the globe is both amazing and stimulating. As I absorb the thoughts and ideas of others, my own thoughts are enriched and my knowledge expanded. I am constantly exposed to new ideas, new tools and new programs that feed my personal growth. Blogging about discoveries I make along my learning journey allows me to reflect and intertwine new discoveries and new thoughts with the wealth of knowledge and experience I have gained across the course of my own career.
The learning journey is fulfilling, exciting and exhilarating. Most of all it’s fun! There’s probably little need to convince those reading this post. The challenge is to convince others to join in this life changing experience. Any ideas how we can reach out to the uninitiated?