What can our hobbies teach us about learning?

Today’s post is written by Meg Bertapelle, #chat2lrn crew member, instructional designer, mother, wife, crafter, and marching band geek who wishes there was more time in a day.
knitting - rainbow pom-pom scarf

I’m a knitter, and a crafter in general.  I grew up doing “crafty” things with my mom and my grandma (who lived with us starting when I was 5, and still lives with my parents).  I paint, draw, make jewelry and cards, and have attempted sewing. Pretty much, if it’s crafty, I am into it.  Of course, this can get a bit overwhelming 😉

digital scrapbooking

I have also, more recently, gotten into digital scrapbooking to help keep up with all the memories of my daughter’s early years that I want to save from the inevitable forgetful black hole that is my mommy-brain (and I am now obsessed, by the way!).

The first (and glaringly obvious) thing that my hobbies have taught me about learning is to just DO IT! Maybe have someone show you (or find a tutorial) the first time or two, and just get your hands dirty and try something.

Ask for help, or search Google or YouTube for tutorials, when you get stuck or feel like you could do better.

Go ahead and screw it up. If you can’t live with the mistake, start over & do it again, but don’t keep yourself from jumping in because you don’t want to “do it wrong.”

Don’t wait until you can “learn everything” about the hobby before you start – you can’t absorb the finer details until you try the basics.

The really great thing about learning and hobbies, is that we are already interested in the topic, and motivated to learn. We don’t have to figure out some contrived relevance to our real lives, we are seeking out the knowledge and skills required to DO the fun stuff.  Hobbies make us happy, and really that’s all we usually require of them.  As human beings we are happier and healthier being challenged, so learning is a natural and integral part of having a hobby.

And wow, if you can love what you do, do what you love and actually make a living at it, how much fun would that be?

Check out how Logan LaPlante has constructed his own education around this kind of plan:

And just for fun, 18 Important Life Lessons to Learn from Knitting [BuzzFeed]

What are your hobbies?

What have they taught you about learning?

Is it anything you think you could apply to your work?

Tell us in #chat2lrn Thurs Jan 30 8am PST/11am EST/4pm BST.  See you there!

Motivating and Inspiring Learners

This post has been written by @andreamay1, #chat2lrn crew member and Vice President, Instructional Design Services for @dashethomson.

motivationOur past several chats have been very inward focused, on our industry on on ourselves, as we discussed skill gaps in our profession and how we might change that for ourselves. Then, two weeks ago we had an inspiring chat discussing what is inspiring us right now, both professionally and personally. I’m sure I’m not the only one who came away from the chat with loads of new ideas and resources to explore.

This week, we will turn our attention back to those who use the programs we design and deliver, the learners/students/participants/insert your own term here. What is motivating them to learn the skills we are offering? What inspires them? What part does learner motivation play in how we design, deliver and market our wares?

A 2009 paper by Roger Yap Chao, Jr. provides some interesting insights on this topic. He maintains that in order “to facilitate learning in adult learners, a thorough understanding of how they are motivated to learn, what and how barriers to learning are formed” is essential.

And Connie Malamed, the eLearningcoach, gives us the post Get Your Audience Pumped: 30 Ways to Motivate Learners. In it she provides some concrete strategies for motivating learners like providing a way for learner to test out and actively asking for feedback.

We’d like to know how you motivate and inspire your learners. What strategies do you use? What has been successful, and what has been a failure? Join us for #chat2ln Thursday 05/9/2013 at 16.00BST/11.00EDT/08.00PDT