-part of the N4L Series; celebrating Learning at Work Week-
It’s my great pleasure to introduce Dawn Ray…
Currently CEO of an education charity focused on inspiring youth in STEM subjects. Also provide consultancy support to organisations, following long term career experience in business management, strategy and marketing.
What networked for learning means to me
In this fast faced world that we find ourselves, where technological advancements are changing the way we live and work on almost a daily basis, as individuals, we can’t expect or even hope to keep abreast of these changes at a similar pace. This is seemingly more applicable the older we get, as we watch the youth of today tackle such technical challenges with the consummate ease that only highly trained and experienced professionals could have done, in years gone by.
Sadly, the luxury of having time to learn, has often been replaced by the need to find answers quickly. T he integration of technology into our lives has also resulted in the phenomenon of “instant gratification” – the need for immediate answers and solutions. Today therefore, it has become increasingly important and necessary to draw on the experience, knowledge and expertise of others, not just out of genuine interest and a desire for social interaction, but to often quell a growing level of impatience.
Whilst the simple and often first solution is to simple “google it”, whilst this may provide an answer and plug the knowledge gap, in my experience, this approach consistently fails to present the answer in context.
Consequently, for me, being “networked for learning” does not simply mean creating an unlimited and often unsolicited, network of virtual connections over the internet. Call me old fashioned, but I’m a big fan of learning by experience and from people I know and really “like”. So, maintaining a network of friends, relations and colleagues, whose personal attributes, skills and life experiences, is a preferential way for me to improve and develop.
It’s about taking time to listen – to really understand what each other has done or can do. And there’s no better substitute than actually “sharing” over coffee or a drink!
My personal learning insights
For example, the private sector could better learn from the third sector how to engage with and motive people; the third and public sectors could learn from the private sector how to be more commercially astute and better manage the bottom line; the public sector could learn from the private and third sector about customer service.
And all of these groups need to better learn how each operate to support each other’s needs.