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Thursday, September 11, 2008

To-Learn Lists

This month’s Learning Circuit’s Big Question is on: To-Learn Lists. The results this far have been really interesting to me.

It appears that most of us (as is the case with me) don't keep a formal / tracked to learn list. Rather its an informal, ever changing list. It is impossibly long and things naturally fall off the bottom.

However, the danger of not having a more formal list that is tied to goals means that likely they are not getting integrated into the to-do list and into daily lives.
Who has time for learning that is not tied directly to formal work activities and to-do items?
For me, I generally put to-learn items in my to-do based on specific projects or preparing presentations, writing, etc. In these cases, my To-Learn items are not distinguished from my To-Do items. I think this is the case for lots of knowledge workers.

If items are not specifically tied to work deliverables, then I find myself not having a formal to-learn list. Instead I make progress based on allocating time for blog reading, posting, commenting. This is time allocation based rather than to-do list based. This may be a mistake.

One thought I have here is to get involved in activities that somewhat force you to learn. Being involved in finding speakers for organizations, preparing presentations, etc. All of these put deadlines on learning activities that move them right into a To Do list.

Great line from Michael Hanley
I would categorize myself as a "learnivore" - I continually acquire new knowledge and information through my Web-, book-, podcast-, and presentation reading, blogging (reading and writing), academic study and research, and work-based learning-related tasks. These activities are drivers for the information I to take on board in my attempts to enhance my skills, abilities, and expertise.
I'm certainly a learnivore as well. Actually, I might better say I'm an Infovore. This definitely helps with keeping a learning list going.


Vanessa said...

Thanks for the link and reflection, I'm always looking to evaluate how I use my time to get the most value, since for me time is money! :)

Sameer Lele said...

I have had a To-Learn list right from my school days. Obviously the content within it has matured over a period of time.
Currently the top most activities in my list are around my profession. I truly believe in the adage "Give a person a fish, you will feed him for a day, teach him how to fish, you will feed him for a life time. More than the actual list, it is the way you learn I think differentiates knowledge available and knowledge accumulated, e.g. till recent times, formal learning was the order of the day, be it schools, higher education or even corporate learning. This way of learning has now got a twin in informal learning.
Currently my To learn list looks something like this.
Learn the uniqueness of training within each industry (Manufacturing/Telecom/BFSI). If someone can point me towards the right place, that will help…
I want to learn all the possibilities (content, platform, tools) within the Learning services world so as to consult my customer’s in the right way.

Hugh Greenway said...

Hugh Greenway -