onsdag 5 december 2007

The Bamboo Project Blog: Welcome to Employee Learning Week: Seeing Yourself as a Learner

Michele Martin writes about Life long learning in her The Bamboo Project Blog.

The Bamboo Project Blog: Welcome to Employee Learning Week: Seeing Yourself as a Learner: "After 15+ years as a training professional, I've come to believe that school was the worst thing to ever happen to learning.

"It taught most of us to wait passively for someone to feed us pre-formatted, pre-filtered information that we could then regurgitate back in some pre-selected form. It made us believe that for learning to take place there must be a teacher, classroom, books, quizzes, papers and worksheets. " Writes Michele Martin in her blog.

For many of us, it killed our curiosity and stripped us of our ability to learn on our own. It changed us from the learners we were at birth, into students who must rely on others. This model of learning continues in many professional development settings because
  1. many trainers were educated as teachers and
  2. learners demand it--it's the only way they know how to 'learn.'
"I can tell you from personal experience that one of my greatest challenges as trainer has been when I try to move trainees out of that classroom comfort zone. It's what they expect and they don't like it if I violate those expectations." Michele Martin continues.

But to be successful in a world where continuous learning is the norm, not the exception, we have to see ourselves as learners, not students.

We have to feel the personal sense of empowerment that will guide us to say "I need to learn this and this is how I'm going to do that" without waiting for our bosses to tell us it's time to learn or for a class to be available for someone else to teach us.

We have to take responsibility for our own learning. It's the only way to control our professional destinies.

Who is Michele Martin?

I'm Michele Martin and I'm responsible for this blog, an ongoing experiment in life-long learning and exploring the opportunities of the Web.

For the past 10 years, I've consulted to government agencies and nonprofits on issues related to workforce development, career planning and education and training. I have designed and implemented numerous staff and client training programs, including an 8-week career development program for Job Corps, a "Train-the-Trainer program" for "accidental instructors" and a 120-hour professional certification program for workforce development professionals. I have also helped design and implement assessment, career planning, case management and other program elements for One-Stops and human service agencies. Writing winning grant proposals, developing RFPs, and facilitating standard-setting and strategic planning sessions are also in my toolkit.

While I continue to do this kind of work, I've also been exploring the use of social media and Web 2.0 technologies for staff and clients in workforce development organizations. For a while I was the host of an Internet radio show, which is where my interest in new media began. More recently, I've been exploring how to use blogs, wikis, social networking and other tools to improve collaboration and staff skills and knowledge. This blog is part of my own life-long learning and my intent to try to practice what I preach.

I live and work in Philadelphia, PA although I have clients all over the country. I have the great fortune of working for myself from a nice home office where Starbucks coffee is always within reach and my cat can climb on my lap whenever she wants. On the personal front, in addition to the afore-mentioned cat, I have a handsome, sensitive husband and two wonderful daughters, one at NYU and one who's still in high school.

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