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Category: Posted: December 14, 2011 0 comments

This is the first of three posts adapted from articles I have written for Inside Learning Technologies & Skills magazine. This article appeared in November 2011.  The second and third articles will be posted here a little while after they have been published in the magazine.

I’ve taken Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ as a theme for the series. The illustrations here are Sir John Tenniel’s marvellous originals.

Why ‘Alice’ you may ask?

Well, the Alice story is all about growing up and developing and learning but at the same time seeing the world in very a different way. In Alice Carroll (Charles Dodgson in real life) also stretches imagination and gets the reader to think ‘out of the box’.

The Alice story is also about seeing some standard practices as rather silly and arbitrary and understanding that there are always alternatives in whatever you do...

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Category: Posted: October 18, 2011 0 comments

The book ‘The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine’ is Michael Lewis’ marvellous account of the idiocy and greed that led to the sub-prime bubble and the resulting global financial crisis.

Lewis’ book focuses on a few smart people who saw the simple truths beneath the complex world of financial jiggery-pokery that led to wealthy people becoming even wealthier on the backs of others who were sold the dream of owning their own homes irrespective of their income, assets or ability to pay.

These few smart people bet their shirts against what they saw as a house of cards. The house they saw was built on a belief that the...

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Category: Posted: September 24, 2011 0 comments

“we tell ourselves stories in order to live” 
Haruki Murakami


CIMG0007Jerome Bruner (1915- ) is one of the greatest educational psychologists the world has ever produced. He has spent his long lifetime studying learning and the human mind. Still active and in post as a Research Professor at New York University in his 95th year, Bruner has long realised the value of conversations and story-telling as vital learning tools. His research has led him to point out that ‘our world is others’ and that we need to always take this into account in our approach to learning and development.

Of course Bruner is absolutely correct. We rarely, if ever, work and learn alone. We reach our goals and contribute to our organisations’ objectives in a social context. In the maelstrom of our digital communications age the need to think ‘socially’ is more important than ever.

So if we ask what Bruner, conversations and story-telling have to do with...

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Category: Posted: September 11, 2011 0 comments

clip_image002A few months ago I ran a webinar under this title for Citrix.

At the start I posed the question “when you think about one great learning experience you’ve had, can you remember where it occurred? Was it in a classroom or workshop, or did it occur while you were completing the task?”

I’ve asked this question, or variations of it, many times over the past few years. The response from this group was quite similar to earlier ones except it was neater – the split was exactly 80:20 – 80% said that the learning experience had been while they were completing the task and 20% said it was in a classroom or workshop.

Sometimes the response to this question has been more skewed towards the workplace (or in daily life – I ask people to include learning experiences that have occurred during childhood in their thinking). Rarely do more than 20% say their ...

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