Wednesday, July 01, 2009

New Skills for Learning Professionals

The Big Question in the Learning Circuits Blog this month is: New skills and knowledge for learning professionals?

In my opinion, within an increasingly complex and fast changing environment, a learning professional should have the skills to continuously keep her Personal Knowledge Network (PKN) up-to-date. As I wrote in an earlier post, a PKN is a unique adaptive repertoire of:
- Tacit and explicit knowledge nodes (i.e. people and information) (external level)
- One's theories-in-use. This includes norms for individual performance, strategies for achieving values, and assumptions that bind strategies and values together (conceptual/internal level)

Consequently, a learning professional has to be:
1. A good knowledge networker (external level), that is one who has the ability to:
- Create, harness, nurture, maintain, and widen her external network to embrace new tacit/explicit knowledge nodes.
- Help others build and extend their networks.
- Identify connections, recognize patterns, and make sense between different knowledge nodes.
- Locate the knowledge node that can help help achieving better results, in a specific learning context.
- Cross boundaries, connect, and coopeate.
- Navigate and learn across multiple knowledge ecologies.

2. A good double-loop learner (conceptual/internal level), that is one who has the ability to:
- construct and adjust her own representation (private image) of the theories-in-use of the whole.
- reflect
- self-criticize and be open for others' criticism.
- detect/correct errors with norms and values specified by a new knowledge setting.
- inquire
- Test, challenge and eventually change her theories-in-use according to the new setting.


Saira said...

Nice post, can you elaborate more on this

jlaura324 said...

I agree with your points regarding the responsibilities of a learning professional. As an educator, I realize how important it is to help others build their PKN. Often we help students learn how to research for new information and with the rate technology is growing, I think we need to keep current in order to fulfill these responsibilities. However, it can be difficult to know how to guide students to finding reliable sources of information. Students seem to be resistant whenever adults try to guide them and I think it is because they feel that we do not understand because we are of a different generation. Do you have any ideas on how to be successful at helping students integrate technologies into their learning?