Never Stop Learning!

From guest writer: John Dalziel.

I have spent a lot of time…

  • communicating,
  • listening and
  • learning.

Nowhere near as much as much as I did before retirement but, there is no doubt, in my mind, that the best advice that I can give anyone is to…

  • “Never Stop Learning!”
  • “Learn how to listen effectively” and
  • “Communicate in appropriate ways”.

I feel that the energy and passion that exudes from me, as an active learner using New and Emerging Technologies (uNET), is contagious to those that I communicate with and have communicated with throughout my career in Education.

I love to learn and I think this is important for all to love learning and love BEING a learner.

When I meet others who are not learners… Oh boy, does it show.JD For real

For example they…

  • often have a “need to be right” and make every effort they can to make themselves right and others wrong. Complaining about others is a method often used to assert the wrongness of others and the rightness of themselves.
  • are often “people pleasers”, displaying a need to be liked; this stemming from a fear of not being good enough, or being rejected for speaking up.
  • often have poor listening skills. They’re so focused on what they’re going to say next or, how what I have to say is going to affect them, that they fail to hear what’s being said. Their own thoughts become incredibly distracting.
  • constantly monitor their phones, failing to commit to the communication in progress.
  • seldom ask…
    – probing questions that seek more information
    – clarification questions, which would show that not only that they are listening but that they also care about what is being said.

As a teacher in Secondary Schools, an Adult & Community Learning Tutor and as an eLearning Adviser it was important for me to practice “reflective listening” where I used my own words to show that I’ve understood the information shared with me and/or to provide them with the opportunity to clarify what they are trying to say.

To be a good listener, it’s also important to be open-minded; far too often I’ve been in situations with those who have already formed an opinion and, as a result, don’t listen.

Sadly that, at times, includes colleagues.

“One size doesn’t fit all!”

Within all my roles, I’ve needed to see the world through other people’s eyes, in different learning environments, in different situations, to truly understand the support they were looking for.

At the moment, on-line teaching, for a huge range of reasons, is high on many learning provider to-do lists.

My advice…

  • be on-line learners, complete some on-line courses; by doing this you will see what works and what does not work and you will gain valuable tips and tricks on e-learning, educational technology and presentation styles.
    JD Pic Branson
  • take on-line courses from different learning sites to give you a broader feel for what is possible. Popular sites include Coursera, EdxUdemy and Futurelearn
  • get familiar with using New and Emerging Technologies, especially those to enhance communication. Education technology has come a long way in the last few years and there are a number of options for presenting material on-line but, if you are just starting out, video has the smallest learning curve.

Last but not least…

  • communicate with,
  • listen to and
  • learn from

…others!

JD pic

Whatever you do, “Never Stop Learning!”

jd okJohn Dalziel
Retired eLearning Adviser
acljohn.com

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