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There can be no better recommendation to read a book than when its author spots you as a like-mind and invites you to read.

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Find it here: Smashwords

I am halfway through Julian Stodd’s ‘Exploring the World of Social Learning’ and am keen to spread the word to those like me who are studying for a Masters in Open and Distance Education (MAODE) – particularly in H807, H808 and H800 we are asked to learn collaboratively and go understand the dynamics of shared learning spaces online from this blog-cum-bulletin board platform, to student tutors groups and break-out cafes. You may even have made it over to the Open University LinkedIn group (go see).

I not only find myself nodding in agreement but better still in Web 2.0 terms I find I keep wanting to pause to explore a thought or theme further, the subject matter embracing learning, social learning and e-learning – while drawing on a professional corporate learning and development background, which makes a valuable change from an academic perspective on social learning in tertiary education.

To do this I return to this my open to all e-portfolio-cum-blog to search for what I have thus far picked up on social learning, learning theories, forums and so on. And to do the same in other people’s blogs as hearing these familiar voices helps make better sense of it all.

I should add a grab here of the couple of dozen books I have read in, on and around ‘social learning’ – I put ‘Exploring the World of Social Learning’ alongside:

‘The Digital Scholar’ Martin Weller

‘A New Culture of Learning’ Douglas Thomson and John Seely Brown

‘From Teams to Knots’ Yrjö Engeström

‘The Now Revolution’ Jay Baer and Amber Naslund

via a solid grounding in educational theory that you’d get from Vygotsky’s ‘Educational Psycology’.

An alternative to, or addition to reading about social learning in an academic papers, that are by definition are several years out of date, rate MySpace above Facebook and fail to mention iPads or Smartphones in the mix.

 

It’s the ‘now revolution’ for online learning as well everything else

My blogging skills were noticed. The task now it to focus them for a good cause – that cause if the Open University.

My reading and training list includes Facebook, Twitter and Linked in. Various books cover all the ground. As I child I had ‘My very own learning to cook book.’ The equivalent is the ‘Dummies’ series. I read them all ‘Blogging for Dummies’, ‘Facebook for Dummies’, even ‘Twitter for Dummies’. They are written by the people who helped build these platforms and the mix of humour and practical advise is invaluable.
This does it for Social Media

This, introduced in a Hubspot Webinar last week is a worthwhile read.

You could read a chapter a night and put what you read into practice the next day. Sounds like an OU MBA course – practised based learning. From my point of view I am seeking out that relationship where I can be pupil to a Master (Barrister), or shadow a Partner (Solicitor) … even apprentice to a skilled craftsperson.
The skills of social media marketing and just a side step away from ‘e-moderating’ from what I see. My role is to act as a catalyst, to listen, comment and engage in equal measure.

The first time I visited the OU Campus I was gobsmacked by its scale. Today I was once again impressed by the quality of in-house training (on the Open Source Software used here called Drupal).

I took notes … because it gave me some insight into the arguments for using Open Source. (Not so much from in the lion’s den, but my head in its mouth).
I’ve read somewhere that students should look at the kind of organisation they are learning with. I have found already that ‘flexibility’ and support’ don’t just apply to students … but applies to employees too.
New comers into distance learning will find this a difficult reputation to match.


p.s. I heard a great line from an OU academic the other day, ‘it’s as if the Open University was waiting for the Internet to happen’. (Prof. Jonathan Silverton)

Now that it’s upon us can you think of anywhere on the globe better placed to flourish?

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