The “Ripple Effect”

The “Ripple Effect”

I was invited to do a presentation for both the m-learning (funded by WADET) and e-learning (WA Learnscope) planning days with the aim of sharing my experiences and knowledge with other project teams.

Ann asked me to do my presentation today on “Managing your World online”; she hoped that if participants picked up just one tip from how I manage my world online this would be great. So I decided to borrow from Sean O’Driscoll’s insight into comparing effective tag drafting to following in the slip stream of a faster bike rider or car when you are racing. However I expanded beyond his model – my suggestion to them was to find people that are good at what they are doing and follow behind (their online tracks) in their slip stream; by doing this you gain from their knowledge and expend less energy (they do the searching and researching; they do the bookmarking; they provide you with the “how to” guide; and the noise created from lots of experience e-learning people’s blogs tells you if something is worth checking out). I encouraged them all to feel free to follow in mine and others slipstream to increase their knowledge and skills.

The other model that I did not have time to discuss is the “Ripple effect” and how following in other people’s slip stream has an outward rippling effect that spreads. That tips a person picks up from you, ripple onto others. For example my girlfriend Sue who has been engaged by podcasting (and went out an bought as ipod as a result), wikis, blogs and flickr as a result of networking with me and who has passed these skills onto her parents. Or Frances, my IT guru, who has now set up a blog and a wiki then tried out Toon Doo and whose daughter went to bed way too late because she was having too much fun creating her own comic using Toon Doo.

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The good news for Ann is for at least one participant at the workshop today this strategy of giving them food for thought on how I manage my online world has worked. Philip Nichols, who himself is excellent, has gone home today – set up his Google Homepage, Google Reader and checked out how we are doing things at Challenger TAFE compared to his TAFE. I look forward to Philip’s feedback on what he likes and doesn’t like. Plus from his site I found some more software I need to check out. Thanks Philip.

I would also like to thank Stephan Ridgway, Coordinator for Learning and Innovation at TAFE NSW, Sydney Institute (the other side of Australia) for being nice enough to participate in my presentation by letting me ring and talk to him using Skype. Thanks Stephan for all the great advice you gave the project managers on how to make their Learnscope projects succeed. And yet again I owe you.

Final chuckle for the day. Philip was nice enough to point out to me at the end of my presentation that in bike riding the person at the front often gets knocked over or losses. My comment – more than happy for those that follow behind me to overtake, and I encourage everyone to actively participate in social networking as it increases knowledge gain and reduces energy expenditure. Remember I am following behind in the slipstream of others!

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