What I learned from #LRNCHAT yesterday – Twitter as a spark plug

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Twitter is a spark plug for learning.

I am a student of Twitter. I love Twitter since it epitomizes the succinct and instant learning I have been evangelizing (3-Minute eLearning) for about 10 years now. In 2007 I wrote about Collaborative Anthropologists – how Twitter can be a source for new job functions for learning professions.

#lrnchat is a great example http://twitter.com/lrnchat and http://lrnchat.wordpress.com/tracklrnchat/ which uses Twitter for a 90 minute conversation, Thursdays, 5:30 pm PST.

Read the transcript of last night’s session. The topic was: Instructional Systems Design (ISD).

I recommend you experiment and join the sessions.

These are my thoughts:

The driver has to learn new skills

  • The learner as participant at #lrnchat has to drive differently. Rule: you can almost drive anywhere provided the discussion is focused, approximately. It is pretty much following your own learning interests. Follow people and ideas that interest you. Something like a classroom where everyone is talking; but learning as well.

  • This is no place for orderly minded and anal people.

  • Patience is key.

  • Accepting others’ comments at face value; understanding their own interests; respecting their views even counters your own beliefs or styles.

  • Speak from the heart. A sincere interest to participate and add value.

  • Different styles on tweets are needed: make a statement; suggest an idea; respond to others; ask questions; provide structure; encourage deeper conversations; add links when needed.

  • Listening (pausing and reading) is a much needed skill.

These behaviors I observed at #lrnchat:

(All my descriptions are made with spirit of candidness and friendliness. No offense intended to anyone – Oh boy a disclaimer.)

  • – Provocateurs
  • – Emulators
  • – Researchers
  • – Facilitators
  • – Listeners
  • – Traffic officers
  • – Clowns
  • – Creators
  • – Gurus
  • – Self-promoters
  • – Reactors
  • – Agitators
  • – Parrots
  • – Grade schoolers
  • – Many more

All needed to make #lrnchat fun!

The most impressive learning for me – the learner is a facilitator too.

A key learning for me is to follow the people I wish to learn from; stay with them; have a conversation.


The conversations in the session reflect of conversations I would hear and have when attending a face to face meeting, conference or small group meeting. The difference is that it is all packed in 90 minutes. It is like a focus group in an instant.

I learned that the sessions caused sparks in my mind and emotions to allow me to take a follow-up action, for example like writing this blog, and crystallizing my observations. The Twitter session serves as SPARK PLUG – or a booster for initiating learning.

It is unreal to expect 140 character conversations, but they are connectors, fibers that link people’s thoughts; hence trigger follow-up conversations.

The constancy, contacts, and presence in a community of tweeters lay the ground work for relationships to build – a rapport building process. Relationships that can follow more in-depth conversations that leads to sharing and learning.

After the session, I end up thinking of the salient points I picked up from the session and pondering on them; hence this blog.

Improving one’s repertoire of meanings and words in 90 minutes

The fun part is learning the games, meanings and words that people play to express themselves.

5 colors of SCORM – Aaron Silvers
Crapid Learning – Tom Stone

many many more .. see the transcript, a very interesting reading.

What I want to do next

I want to learn from the participants’ answers to these questions:

What does one do after attending a lively #lrnchat session?
What emotional and cognitive “sparks” lead you to
learning a new skill?

Thanks to the organizers of #lrnchat for providing an experiment that helps people to have first hand experience.

Great work!

Ray Jimenez, PhD

“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”

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