LAW happens on 14th May this year and although I'm not entirely in favour of a special day for learning (in the sense of being allowed to open the toy box once a year with my cynical hat on), it is an event that I like to get involved with and support. So this year we have a series of 1 hour face to face taster sessions running throughout the day on a variety of topics but I would like to do more with technology. An online area for folk to collaborate and share photos, learning logs, etc (will they?) and perhaps a podcast or two with key people to follow how they informally learn (do they?) but what else could I look at. Any great resources to share? Is anyone else planning anything with a Learning Technologies slant?
We too are running a series of short taster sessions throughout the week. Many of these are from training providers who are offering their services free of charge as a chance to raise profile and showcase their products and services. Subjects vary from presentation skills to creativity and personal impact/branding. We are also running a series of personal profiles on talented people across the business - this will probably be a series of posters and some video clips whih we will just post on our internal Intranet pages which will have all info about NLAW Day. We are also running some 'How to get the best out of Google' sessions by our Information Services team which will use PC demos etc.
If you'd like any more information feel free to contact me
Create something big
Almost every day of the year is the '......day' and it reeks of weak government interventions that have no real impact. Learning is an on-going process, not a once a year event. These gestures just give the whole industry a 'toytown' feel. Organisations don't have a finance day or sales day or marketing day. We need to be deeply embedded in organisations, part of the fabric, not soemthing that is given occassional attention. We have a surfeit of campaigns; Next Generation at Work, Towards Maturity etc, a surfeit nof small organisations ELF, BILD, LSG but no real silver-tipped spear in terms of leadership or push. Devote the day to creating something substantial by merging these into one entity that has critical mass and is sustainable.
Donald, I disagree - although obviously it depends how you use it. "Learning at Work day" doesn't necessarily reinforce the idea of learning being episodic, it's a chance to raise the profile of learning in the organisation and kick off things that last more than one day. Precisely because it's the sort of thing that executives like, it gives a reason to knock on their door, have a conversation and raise the profile of L&D within the organisation. Used right, it continueS the process of embedding learning into the organisation.
By the way, today, 8 April, is National Start Walking day in the US and also Zoo Lovers' Day. You could do both, I suppose, by walking to the zoo.
I thought this topic might cause a few ripples so thanks Donald for providing the challenge. However I'm taking a more pragmatic approach and we are using the day as an opportunity to introduce some new initiatives and promote some different ways of learning that should have a longer term impact. One of the underlying aims is to break the mould of the 'training course=solution' view. My organisation which is fairly typical is not ready to ditch the formal approach yet and is still struggling to understand how to recognise the value in the more informal approaches. However I am supported in influencing change but I'm choosing a drip-drip rather than big-bang aprioach. Arguments in favour of both undoubtedly but small steps first to keep the supporters on board and keep it focused.
Ray - I'll drop you a note outside of this group as it would be good to talk about the resources.
I'm taking a similar approach to Katherine by using the day as an opportunity to remind people (via our Intranet) that learning doesn't necessarily mean attending a classroom-based training session. For those who prefer to use this method, there will be a link to our training calendar and course catalogue. For those who'd like to brush up some of their IT skills from the comfort of their own desk, we have a wide range of alternatives on offer and there will be a link to the various options available, including our e-Learning modules, quick reference guides, captivates, Surgery days, Floorwalking days etc. The challenge will be - What will you learn today?
Although everyday is a learning day, but this year I will be implementing our new NVQ Levels 2 & 3 programmes for team leaders and managers as part of Learning at Work Day 2009.
The day will consist of registration and programme introduction. It will also be an opportunity for staff from different departments to work together and share ideas on a programme of learning that they will all take part in over a 4-6 months period.
I'm looking at making it motivational and getting staff involved by asking employees to share their experiences by creating bite sized sessions on an area they and others may have an interest in. It could be things like a taster in languages,web design etc. Also looking at getting people in from other sectors to give input into their careers and to have a questions and answer session on how they got there. We focus alot on future career development here.
Maybe you could add an online area to your intranet site (if you have one). We have a facility call e-suggestions (E-sugs), which allows you to post suggestions you may have to the directors of the business. Most of the ideas we get are great and are implemented. Everyone has access to it and it enables all employees to have their say.
We have set up an ICT quiz accessed online via our intranet, with the bait of a gift voucher as an incentive for having a go. The quiz is set up so that if a question is answered incorrectly the person taking the quiz is prompted to have another go until they find the right answer - this way hopefully they will learn something they didn't already know on Learning at Work day and they don't have to leave the comfort of their chair.
So half-way through now and half a dozen 1-1.5 hr bite-size sessions completed on topics including creativity, outlook hints and tips, delegation, negotiation and handling change. I can see a group just emerging into the car park to do some high-performing team activities and more on managing change and cross-team working. We also made this a dress-down day and wearing purple costs an additional pound for charity. I've created a course page on Moodle so each topic has a forum and questionnaire - the only evaluation we are doing. It's been open for a week so we've been encouraging people and the facilitators to register and add pre-thoughts. Also room for some photos afterwards. There's a nice buzz around the office and a lot of participation.
I'm on vacation, so LAW doesn't quite fit. But I agree with Donald Clark. And then some. Learning shouldn't be episodic; it needs to be continuous. I'm learning more here every day here in Sicily than on an average day back home in Berkeley.
I also agree with Donald Taylor, for I support everything we can do to promote learning as the survival skill of our era.
Quite right Jay. As the saying goes "every day is a school day". Therefore, learning should be an ongoing activity through the use of various mediums outside the usual classroom situation: books, DVDs, case studies, newspapers, peer2peer, online etc. I learn something new every day!
Nevertheless, for LAW day this year, in our division we launched two new NVQ programmes for team leaders and managers. We also encouraged staff to do bite size learning on their choice of websites which included the BBC Skillwise site, campaign for learning site, learn direct etc. A number of staff reported back that they found the info on these sites useful and they would be referring to them from time to time. They have added the sites to their favourites.
I blinked and missed Learning At Work Day....or did I? The implication is that learning doesn't happen every day at work or in life in general. It does. All the time. Learning should be recognised as the ongoing, continuous process that it really is, and organisations need to learn to support and nurture an environment that makes that learning productive for the individual as well as the wider organisation. Google attempt to make this explicit with their 20% of employee time dedicated to personal projects. Most employees in all organisations probably spend at least 20% of their work time on other things - it just goes under the radar and is more inefficient for it no doubt.
That said, we do need to spend time supporting and encouraging staff to be conscious of their own learning and development opportunities so that valuable time is not wasted attending training that is either irrelevant or ill-timed to be of benefit to them or their organisation. Technology supported learning will become the mainstream model in time, as it provides a flexible, accessible, trackable environment that is rightly in the control of the learner. If the experience is too dull, uninspiring or not relevant they can immediately drop it and get on with something more useful instead - unlike a traditional training course which is hard to escape from once there. Then its back to the designers of these e-learning experiences to up their game. The learner is in control - that is good.