In February, ASTD will kick off a grand experiment in informal,
web-based learning. ASTD and Internet Time Group will begin hosting
the "Unworkshop" on Learning with Blogs, Wikis, and Web
Join us, and you will see that we practice what we preach. All
sessions are online. Coaches and mentors replace traditional
instructors. Our subject matter is flexible. Hands-on works; if you
join us, you will learn by doing.
Throughout the month of February, you will participate in 90-minute
webinars and group discussions at noon EST, starting Tuesday,
February 6. You'll join a five-member learning team and jointly
explore tools and applications on the web.
You'll be encouraged to apply your discoveries to a real project.
You'll build a network of learning peers. And you'll join an
ongoing community of people who are interested in informal learning
and web 2.0. This is not your typical in-and-out workshop. In fact,
we think of the overall experience as an unworkshop
because most of your learning takes place outside of the webinars.
The February "Unworkshop" is designed for learning professionals
who are web novices. (Past workshops taught us that it's not a good
idea to mix power-users with web newbies.)
A web novice is someone not yet comfortable with the web. This
person may have surfed the web, commented on blogs, and stored
photographs. It's hard for anyone to avoid the web these days. But
a novice is unlikely to write a blog, set up a wiki, record
podcasts, or publish a website. A novice fears getting lost among
all the sites on the web. You're no longer a novice when you have
the confidence to find your way and make some changes on the web.
You get to decide whether or not you're a novice.
A learning professional is someone who understands how people
learn. A learning pro has learned that learning involves a lot more
than pouring content into heads. The real deal is an interaction
between what's incoming and what's already there. Learning is
rewiring the brain by sculpting new pigeonholes and adding
connections. It relies more on demonstration than on telling. And
unless it's soon applied, what's learned is soon forgotten. There
are many paths to gaining this knowledge. As with the web category,
you get to decide whether or not you're a learning pro.
There's one additional requirement: You must be excited about doing
something like this. If you tell yourself "I'll never get this,"
you won't. If expanding your capabilities to include web-based
learning excites you, this is for you.
The February activities aren't designed to show you the location of
today's hot websites or the current set of web tools. Those will
all change in the next few months. We address the underlying
processes, not today's products. You will learn to find things and
solve problems for yourself. You learn when to use a wiki, not the
mechanics of Socialtext 2.0. Our content emerges from the
interaction between participants and subjects. We care less about
what you learn than about what you become.
Our goal is to have you say: "I know how to spot opportunities for
web-supported learning and the confidence to propose web
Stepping stones on the way to the overall goal are:
- becoming proficient in finding and trying out web applications.
- getting the big picture of bottom-up informal learning
- understanding the role of blogs, wikis, podcasts, tags, RSS in
- relating the best web-solution to a given learning need
- participating and learning from an online community.
If you're attending ASTD TechKnowledge in Las Vegas,
come to our session Thursday, 4:00 p.m. You can kick the tires and
assess whether this is for you. Bring your questions.
Find out more about the ASTD workshop and our other unworkshops by
visiting us at unworkshops.com.