Every Thursday at 5:30 PM PST, a bunch of folks get together on twitter and chat about all things learning in our weekly #lrnchat @lrnchat. #lrnchat started in 2009 and this is what we are all about.
There are several reasons why I #lrnchat. But if I had to sum it up in a single word, I'd say I #lrnchat to ENGAGE.
I engage with the topic of conversation.
What do we chat about? Well, the themes from October include:
- Learning and Rest
- Creative Thinking
- Learning from Animals - What an inspiring and insightful chat with special guest, Animal Behaviourist, Jason G. Goldman. See transcript
- Learning Science
The topics are things we may find ourselves thinking about but there are not enough platforms to talk and discuss our ideas. I have always found something of interest and the topics are always things that matter to learning and performance.
I engage with others when discussing the topic.
Any topic is only as good as who is chatting about it. Every time I #lrnchat, I find myself in the company of people who are passionate about learning and performance. People from all parts of the globe join in. Although twitter restricts us to use 140 characters, these folks say so much more. The conversations produce relevant content and resonant ideas and thoughts that stay with me much after the chat. Some participants are industry veterans and others are newbies. But in the #lrnchat room, everyone is treated as equal and welcomed and encouraged by the moderators along the way. I can't say that we all always agree about the topic. But the beauty of such a chat is that when I interact with people who are different from me, there is an opportunity for me to gain new perspectives and start thinking 'differently'. It is a way of reducing and eliminating my filters. And I value that a lot. The connections that I have made and the ideas that we continue to exchange, have helped me solve problems, inspired me to do things differently at work and led me to go back and pursue some of my childhood interests and hobbies. See who participates in #lrnchat.
I engage with myself and discover more about myself and my views.
The focus of #lrnchat is on how people learn, what influences them, and what they learn. And these are exactly the kind of things that I have learned about myself through the chat. For me, this chat is another way of self-discovery and lifelong learning. When I don't quite know how I think about a topic - which side of the conversation I am on - chatting with others helps me crystallize my own thoughts and position. I am able to give a voice to my view and realize that it matters. Some of the posts that I have written on my blog are a direct outcome of the ideas exchanged during the chat including:
#lrnchat often forces me to think deeply about things that I haven't thought about much. I have read more articles, blogs and books because I want to learn more about the topic and form an opinion of my own. All this learning and reflection leaves me refreshed and energized. But it is not all serious. The chat is sprinkled with funny anecdotes, silly remarks, entertaining pictures and interesting personalities. This is the fastest hour of my week and I love it!