Show Your Work? We Need to Encourage Collaborative Learning Not Kill It

Show Your Work? We Need to Encourage Collaborative Learning Not Kill It

A few days ago I was curating videos from YouTube for a friend struggling with a thorny problem in Windows. Admittedly Windows troubleshooting is not high on my list of priorities anymore, hence me trawling YouTube.

I found several videos that could prove useful for the issue my friend was seeing. One video in particular was bang on point in terms of content and advice. The only issue with it was that it had very low audio.

I will be the first to admit it wasn’t the best audio I’ve ever heard but certainly not the worst either, it was just very low.

Cranking up the volume at my end improved it but yes we would all have to agree the volume of the video was low. If we ignore the audio levels and focus on the content then the video was more than adequate for anyone to learn the basics.

Would it take a little more effort to learn from this video? Yes, you’d need to increase the volume on your device – how very arduous … NOT!

Were people appreciative of the time and effort put in by the video creator? Were they appreciative of his willingness to share his knowledge freely? Absolutely not. Without exception the comments were negative. Every single comment focused on the poor audio. Here’s just a selection:

Wow, I was brought up with the mantra “If you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all”.

The sense of entitlement in those comments, in relation to a free learning resource, is appalling.

Encouraging sharing requires creating a positive nurturing environment for people to share their knowledge, whatever their current level.

In the face of nothing but negativity expecting the creator to risk exposing themselves to more stinging criticism is beyond ridiculous.

If you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem and quite frankly get off our lawn!

Life may be like photography, we develop from the negatives, but speaking as a learning professional can I just make it clear: It’s not the army. You don’t have to break someone’s spirit to build them back up.

A little encouragement can go a long way and we all benefit from everyone sharing knowledge and experience.

Contrary to seemingly popular belief, criticizing others does not make you look better. And if criticizing others makes you feel better about yourself then you’re the one with the problem.

Collaborative learning isn’t all about taking. It has to be about sharing as well. Help the guy out. Ask yourself, have you any experience with audio? Do you know anyone who may have a solution to his problem? Share and we grow together, criticize and we are all poorer for less people being willing to share in the future.

The Show Your Work movement may thrive in a collaborative nourishing environment but that can’t happen when the only feedback is relentlessly and depressingly negative. It’s soul destroying.

What happened in the end? Here you go …

The video creator deleted his entire YouTube account and we’re all poorer for one less soul willing to share his work with the world.

When The Basics Go Bad

When The Basics Go Bad

I love my tech. No, I mean I really LOVE my tech! I live and breathe my tech. This is why when something is even slightly off it throws a seamless workflow into disarray, it jars and it makes me stop and think. In the midst of “flow” the last thing I need is to have to stop and ponder why something simple isn’t working as expected.

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Do You Love to Learn?

Do You Love to Learn?

I’m an educator, a trainer, a learning facilitator or whatever is the in vogue term right now for someone who shares their knowledge with those who want to learn something.

I’m extremely lucky to love what I do. For me it’s all about life long learning. As learning professionals we preach it, we evangelise it, in fact our jobs depend on it!

So what’s the last thing I expected to hear from someone working in the learning world? How about hearing them complain how hard it is for them to learn something new!

Seriously, there’s nothing worse than seeing someone whose job involves encouraging others to embrace learning, new technologies and new processes bemoaning how hard it is to learn something new.

When their job is to help others learn things that are new to them you’d think they would have some empathy with difficulties involved but also a steely determination to overcome them in a positive way.

I was tempted to scream “It’s your job”. Thankfully, I managed to restrain myself!

Personally, I love to learn. I refine, re-engineer and finesse every process on a continuing basis. Yes, that involves learning, unlearning and re-learning. That’s what life long learning is all about. If you work in any kind of training/L&D/facilitation role (or whatever is trendy to call it this week) … Get over yourself and get used to it!