For the Working/Learning blog carnival, the topic is, as always, “work at learning, learning at work”. Last time I participated (almost a year ago), I talked about how learning should be fun, so you shouldn’t be working at at, it really should be ‘hard fun’. I want to expand on that topic, as there are probably characteristics that make it fun or not.
Most people who have hobbies invest time and money in equipment, practice, learning, and more. If you love what you do, it’s as much avocation as vocation, learning about it should be fun. You’ll naturally be tapping into how to continue to learn.
For example, I love what I do, so I was thrilled to be able to follow the eLearning Guild‘s recent conference through Twitter (great as always, apparently); in particular Craig Wiggins, Eric Wilbanks, and heroically, John Zurovchak were really tracking the sessions they were in, bringing the content out and even bringing our queries in. Their passion showed through, and fanned mine.
Of course, if you don’t love what you do (you work to live, as they say), there’s a different situation. Ideally, at least you’re doing something you prefer, and you just need to tap into the elements you like as motivation. Frankly, while it should be incumbent on learning designers to help make it motivating, it’s also incumbent on the learner to take responsibility for learning too. We, as learning folks, can’t make anyone learn, we can only create conditions for learning.
We should, however, be sensitive, and help our learners tap into their inner motivation, take responsibility for learning, and develop their abilities to learn. If we do that, we’ve helped make it so you’re not working at learning, just learning and working.
Dave Lee says
Clark: I’m totally in line with you here. Tapping into what intrinsically motivates learners is far more powerful than trying to entice them through external rewards. I’ve posted on the advice my grandfather gave me regarding loving what you do for work on eelearning – http://eelearning.wordpress.com/2009/03/16/my-grandfathers-advice/
Eric Wilbanks says
Clark, your comments both here and on Twitter are way too kind! Honestly, though, you inspire us regularly.
Seems the least we could do is pass along a few good Tweets for you to enjoy!
Joan Vinall-Cox says
Doing what you love makes learning a pleasure, and if you’re curious and love figuring things out, almost everything becomes an opportunity to learn. I agree with your post.
Ken Allan says
Kia ora Clark!
Ken Robinson, in a recent video about his latest book, . . . In His Element, says exactly what you are bringing forward here. He makes the important distinction between what people may be good at and what they love doing.
Obviously doing what you love and doing what you’re good at, if that combination can be found in the same pursuit, is extremely powerful.
Effective learner says
This is one realization that every human should have but unfortunately our formal education robs this potential epiphany from us…
Learning should ALWAYS be fun. It’s only then that you begin to make connect the learned material with your prior knowledge, making your learning experience effective.