Development and learning plan 2017

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As promised in my previous post Taking charge of your own learning I’ve drafted my development plan for the next 6 months or so.

This year I’m completing a career experiment so a lot of my development plan centres around this. I will be basing myself remotely for half the year in Vietnam. I figure I’m frequently designing and developing learning solutions for people who are working and learning remotely, so why not put myself in their shoes by experiencing working totally remotely too! That and I like a challenge and to be scared out of my comfort zone!

Some things that are important to me whilst working overseas are to maintain regular easy contact with my clients and social network, to avoid getting professionally isolated, and further develop my technical skills.

You will see from my development plan that a lot of my learning will be supported by research, curated content, social networks, reflecting and putting what I learn into practice. Most of it’s free and accessible, learning does not need to rely on a professional development budget or attending face-to-face courses. These are the sort of things you can do to develop without needing permission from your manager. I will be  working out loud as I develop these skills and work through my development plan.

This plan is a map for my intended development and there could be diversions as opportunities come up. I am open to your suggestions if you see anything that may be useful. Also if you have skills in the areas I’m looking to develop and are willing to share your experience please contact me.

Lorraine Minister’s Development Plan

Do you have a professional development plan? How do you take charge of your own learning?

A – Z of my work place learning

People Hands Holding Red Word Never Stop Learning

Continuous learning is critical in modern work places. Jane Hart’s Modern Workplace Learning book and blog describes a multitude of valuable ways to learn going way beyond typical training courses. As part of the 2016 L&D Challenge run by Jane Hart we were given the challenge to reflect on how we learn in the workplace. Below is an A – Z of how I manage my personal work place learning. This reflection is awesome for learning professionals, I also think it is valuable for any professional to look at their methods for continuous learning.

A

ATD membership – reading blogs and magazines to identify trends coming out in the industry

B

Blogging – both reading and writing. Helps me reflect on and refine my practice.

C

Committee member (just became one) of New Zealand Association for Training & Development – NZATD. This will make me actively connected to local people who share their talent and expertise. I always learn something new from the speakers. If you’re in Wellington NZ check out the next event.

D

Daring to do new things

E

Elearning Guild – reading reports to help embed my practice in theory or research. Also watching webinars while exercising on my cross trainer to broaden my knowledge on different learning techniques and strategies

F

Follow thought leaders – checking in on both Twitter and their blogs. I often pick up new ideas which then I research further and look for opportunities to implement. Blogs are perfect for me as being a mum of young ones and having my own business I don’t read much books because of the time commitment, they are an easily digestable way to keep up with trends.

G

Government learning group (local group) – networking and finding out what other people are doing in the learning field in the government agencies. Very valuable for sharing ideas. And of course Google comes under G too…

H

Help – being able to ask for it when needed and knowing where to find it, and being grateful in return– no-one is an island 😉

I

Inspiration from other industries e.g. movies, marketing, gaming, IT etc… looking at blogs or just taking ideas in when I’m not working – everything is inspiration!

J

Jane Hart – top of mind of course! Reading the MWL book by Jane Hart, blogs and participating in this L & D challenge experience

K

Kids – playing and watching the kids gives me insights into so many things

L

LinkedIn and Lynda.com – Lynda.com means I don’t have to remember how to use different tools I can just jump into a video for the specific thing I need to do. I use it as a performance tool.

M

Mentoring others new to L & D, keeps me fresh and thinking about my practice. Great for consolidating my learning and keeping fresh.

N

Networking – both with learning social groups and outside of learning groups e.g. talking with another parent from my daughter’s playgroup I found out he has a games analytics job and we talked about the commonalities and differences between our professions

O

Online learning courses e.g. Udemy, Moocs, Lynda.com, Elearning guild

P

Personal learning network – I can call friends in my learning network to ask advice or talk and bounce about strategies and they do the same with me. I find this really useful for reality checking

Q

Questions, questions, questions – spending effort in learning how to ask good questions ( so I get quality information back both with collaborating with others such as SMEs and with learning professionals. In fact one year I set this as my main professional development focus.

R

Reflective practice both during projects and after it has finished

S

Sharing – when sharing my learning I often find that those I’m sharing with have extra gems to add and therefore enhance my learning even more and expand my view.

T

Twitter – I find it hard to get to many conferences with family commitments so around conference time I search the hashtags to find out what’s new and what’s being talked about. I’ve also implemented it as a learning tool for a University course I was the Educational Designer for.

U

Udemy – taking some online course such as UX design and also helping a friend with developing her content for her own Udemy course

V

Virtual classroom – attending an Elearning Guild online course.

W

WordPress feed – where I can read both learning related and also non-learning related blogs.

X

Xperience – I know a bit of cheating ;). I find it useful to directly experience a method before implementing it myself if I can. For example, learning about virtual classrooms during a virtual classroom course by elearning guild.

Y

Youtube – When learning to use new tools such as using a new sound recorder. I search Youtube and find someone else has already put a succinct video up and this helps reduce my learning time. Thank you world!

Z

Zen – for me it’s important to take time out from learning and thinking to relax and just be – I often find this a valuable time and when insights come afterwards