BrandonHall Network

I was introduced today to the Brandon Hall Network.  Apparently this is a <buzzword>“social networking”</buzzword> site for learning professionals.  I’m quickly being reminded of why I gave up on figuring out how to exist in the ‘Learning 2.0’ world last year… (buckle up, here it comes)

How, on earth, can we expect learners – especially in a “working” environment – to make sense of all this?  Now, I [humbly] consider myself a pretty hip dude and all of that but the deluge of information I’m having to deal with is simply overwhelming.  I’ve already changed RSS aggregators three times, been through 2 wiki environments [only one of which I feel semi-comfortable in], and spent (several!) hours trying to comprehend/navigate the blogosphere; and we expect a learner to just slide in and absorb all of this?  Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your point of view) I’m exceptionally motivated to understand all of this stuff and have recently been, uh, ‘blessed’ with some free time.  If I were in a work environment and told, for example, “…here are all the resources you need to complete your orientation program, knock yourself out” or “…to help you learn how to use our new widget press, read this guy’s blog and interact with your co-workers and the manufacturer in the wiki…” I would honestly look at you like you’re crazy – mostly because you are.  On the other hand, if you are going to spend time walking me through all of these resources and spinning me up on how to use them (or even what they are(!)), then why don’t you just spend that time training me directly on what I need to know? 

I have to wonder if the adaptation curve to the technolgy that enables ‘Learning 2.0’ is going to [more than] counterbalance it’s potential. Maybe I’m entering the “honeymoon is over” period <sidebar>(or maybe the fact that my 10 yr. old woke my wife and I up @ 2AM this morning by turning on the light and saying “I feel worse than I did when I went to bed” then puked all over the hallway carpet)</sidebar> but, really, when the rubber hits the road and it’s time to learn something, how much time can we afford to use explaining the environment we’re forcing the learner into?

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