7 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners Redux

When Helene Blowers first asked me to put together a tutorial to kick off Learning 2.0, I had no idea that it would be seen by so many people. The feedback I’ve received has been amazing.

7 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners was actually my first attempt at creating online training. I thought I’d share what I’ve learned as a result.

  1. When you put yourself out there on the Web and ask for feedback, you are going to get feedback! I have received hundreds of emails with comments about the tutorial. 99% of the comments have been positive but I have to admit the negative ones do sting a bit. You have to develop a thick skin because not everyone will offer constructive criticism. Take it with a grain of salt, learn from it, and move on!
  2. Brevity is key! 14-minutes was a little long for this tutorial. 10-minutes is the maximum for any training segment (this goes for face to face training too). If you are going more than 10-minutes you need to break the tutorial up into smaller chunks. In the book The Ten-Minute Trainer Sharon Bowman explains that, “Television has conditioned us to expect fast-paced, attention-getting methods of informational delivery.” Television programs usually have 10-minutes of programming followed by 5-minutes of commercials. We have become conditioned to expect this type of programming. We do more for our learners if we accept and work with this idea rather than try to fight it.
  3. Alternate voices. Ideally alternate between a male and female voice. This keeps the attention of your learners.

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery so imagine my surprise when I received an email from a teacher who asked if she could recreate the tutorial and gear it towards K-12 educators.Shelley Paul, a teacher from the Atlanta area, has done a marvelous job repurposing this tutorial for her staff’s Learning 2.0 program.

Shelley used a free tool called VoiceThread to create the tutorial. I really like the way VoiceThread lets viewers leave not only written comments but recorded comments as well. I enjoyed listening to all the different voices and reflections that her learners had during the tutorial. I can’t wait to try this tool for my next project! If you have a few minutes check out Shelley’s version below.

Week 1 Thing 2: Lifelong Learning

For Week 1, staff watched an online tutorial about lifelong learning. The tutorial contains 7 1/2 habits that successful lifelong learners exhibit.

Habit 1: Begin with the end in mind
Habit 2: Accept repsonsibiltiy for your own learning
Habit 3: View problems as challenges
Habit 4: Have confidence in yourself as a competent, effective learner
Habit 5: Create your own learning toolbox
Habit 6: Use technology to your advantage
Habit 7: Teach/mentor others
Habit 71/2: Play

Some staff really liked the tutorial, some staff thought it was ok, and for some it was as boring as physics. And that”s ok. The point was to get everyone to try something new and help empower those who feel as though they need a classroom and a handout to learn something. Learning 2.0 is all about getting out of the classroom and breaking away from the traditional ideas of training and moving forward to learning.

For me, creating the tutorial was part of my lifelong learning experience. The tutorial was first created in an LMS called Isoph Blue which proved to be cumbersome as best. Then the tutorial was put into PowerPoint with animations and lastly narrated and turned into Flash via Articulate Presenter.

Our library is lucky in that we have been able to try these products for free in a beta testing program via WebJunction.

Now on to the week”s assignment…

The easiest habit for me is habit 7, teach and mentor others. Guess I have found the right job!

The hardest habit for me, and this may come as a shock to those who think I am so organized I have OCD, is habit 1, begin with the end in mind. I really hate to plan things. Even though I live and die by my calendar and to do list, I really like to just begin a project and see where it goes. However, as I am acquiring more and more projects, I am seeing the need to plan them out better. Hmmm maybe something else to add to my lifelong learning plate!

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