As host of this month’s Working / Learning Blog Carnival, David Wilkins challenged participants to think about the intersections between working and learning:
- When does work become learning?
- When does learning become work?
The integration of work and learning is a key part of my professional practice. Why?
Networks – Our workplaces, economies and societies are becoming highly networked. That means the transmission of ideas can be instantaneous. There is no time to pause, go into the back room and develop something to address our challenges. The problem will have changed by then.
Life in perpetual Beta – Not just rapid change, but continual change, requires practices that evolve as they’re developed. In programming, this has meant a move from waterfall to agile methods. Beta releases are the norm for Web applications and as we do more on the Web, other practices are sure to follow.
Complexity – The Cynefin framework shows that established practices work when the environment or the challenge is simple or complicated. For complex problems there are no established answers and we need to engage the problem and learn by probing. This requires a completely different mindset from training for defined problems and measurable outcomes. The integration of learning and work is not some ideal, it is a necessity in a complex world.
My current interest in Web social media is that these tools and platforms give us a better way to engage in collaborative work and help us integrate learning into our daily practice, such as personal knowledge mastery. There is no excuse that we cannot address the huge amounts of information and the complexity in our workplaces, as we already have the tools and much practice to inform us. All we need is the will.
“Work is learning, learning work” – that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
(apologies to Keats)