#MSLOC430 personal learning networks

A new academic quarter has just begun and my graduate course MSLOC 430 kicked off last night. 430 focuses on knowledge sharing within organizational settings, but increasingly I have been incorporating more activities and content related to personal learning networks and general digital literacy. Students are all working professionals and share a common interest in organizational learning and change.

This quarter, I am having each of the 22 students declare a topic around which they’d like to work on developing their personal learning network. The goal is to simply to make progress; no matter where they are now in terms of having a productive (digital) personal learning network, by the end of 10 weeks I’d like to have them all have a better network. And I hope during the 10 weeks that we’ll experience some serendipitous event that tends to motivate all of us to keep working on our networks. We connect with someone unexpectedly who helps open our eyes. A guru responds to a question we have. We discover life beyond the classroom/office.

Fascinating to me were the draft list of topics we created last night. I had the class break into small groups and just talk through possible topics. Since many share the same interests, I anticipated that there may be some common ground coming out of this exercise. But I also had the students record their ideas in a shared Google doc so the entire class could see what was being developed. The text of the document appears at the end of this post.

Some of our progress will be visible via Twitter at #msloc430. I’ll also share more here, on this blog. Any suggestions or comments about nurturing this group of new PLNs, let me know.

[Side note re: the photo that accompanies this post. It is a shot I took of Bucaramanga, Colombia – where my daughter-in-law is from and where her family still lives. It’s a wonderful place – lively, gorgeous. The photo doesn’t do it justice. I happened to mention B’Manga last night during class. Turns out one of my students has actually been there and a second knows someone who lives there. Go figure.]

This is the text of the document (I asked each student to add their name to their topic; names have been removed):

During the course of MSLOC 430 you will have the opportunity to develop your personal learning network. What topic draws your interest — pulls at you — but would also help you develop professionally? Ex: I am currently working to develop my personal learning network related to digital pedagogy and “open” courses (MOOCs are an example. Massive Open Online Courses). There is a lot of overlap in these topics with issues I am interested in that relate to MSLOC 430.

What pulls you?


Perspective taking and making in multicultural environments

Developing cross-functional teams in higher education

Social media use for sharing knowledge and developing community in higher education

Knowledge sharing across global business locations

Design and effectiveness for learning in virtual organizations

Creating a “Just Culture” in Organizations

Create and Sustain a Learning Culture…that has a life of its own

Authenticity and vulnerability in leadership

Mindful Leadership

Innovative Leadership (Risk-taking leaders)

Instantaneous Internal Market Commentary

Content curation

Systems Learning (Healthcare Delivery)

Diversity & inclusion w/ a focus on individuals with disabilities

Creating a knowledge sharing community in a startup environment

Connect with training and community building experts particularly in research administration

Focus on design and utilization of mobile learning

Connect with and learn from professionals in the realm of development through identity theory and personal narrative coaching

Connect with organizational culture change experts

Education and achievement gap research – building collaborative relationships and networks

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