Hello, My name is Otaiwan Day. Like Doc, I want to save everyone keystrokes so please call me Tai.
I work full time as a Sr Learning Consultant for a large healthcare provider and insurer, Kaiser Permanente (KP). I recently moved into the senior role when I accepted a new position. So you won't be surprised to hear that I am currently experiencing what I call a "swirl." Everything is up in the air swirling around like the Great Dust Bowl... I'm not even juggling things! That would imply that I have a handle on things. It's all swirling around my head waiting for me to take them and place each item in it's place, grounded. I've had this feeling before and have overcome it. At least I am able to recognize this as part of who I am.
Another reason I am "swirling" could be because I spent a whirl-wind weekend in New Orleans at a Urban Biker Convention. I sit on a non-profit board called the Women's Coalition of Motorcyclists (WCM). I was there speaking on two panels on, you guessed it, women in motorcycling! I have been a motorbiker for almost 20 years. I live in Richmond CA with my husband, two cats and a dog.
I work full time for KP in the LMS Content Management Team and hope that me new position will afford me a less dynamic work life so I can focus on school work. My previous job was incredibly dynamic and fun. I was the program lead for the New Hire experience and taught Systems 101 (PeopleSoft HR software). I was also the technology lead and had the great pleasure to create and implement our team's learning portal to support the KP HR Service Center. We use the Confluence wiki platform for that. I consulted on other department's wiki and was involved in creating a wiki authoring community of practice for the Center and it is maturing as I step away from it. Designing yourself out of a process is interesting and gratifying. I did other infrastructure stuff like create a ShapePoint site for the team and worked on our webpage redesign. In between all of that I got to create some training and became interested in the LMS (Saba) and the capabilities for it's use as a tool in learning.
At the beginning of each Systems 101 class I always ask my new hires, "How do you learn?" The two most popular are, "hands-on," and "big picture." I definitely see those method reflected in me. I also like step-by-step instruction when it comes to technical knowledge. Sometimes I think I've learned something and it's forgotten in a day so I believe there are certain degrees of learning. Some days are better days to learn. Seems like my brain is more susceptible on certain days to learning. I used to think that I had to be interested in a subject in order to learn anything. But I’ve come to believe that the way material is presented or how the instructor relates to the learner is the key factor to any ah-moments.
The question whether learning has to be intentional and if one can learn incidentally has peeked my interest. As I sit down to read assignments I feel bit anxious - I am deliberately doing this to learn damn it! That brings my swirl quotient up a tad. But I have in the past picked up ASTD articles to read and on other interests like the Northwest Passage and Arctic expeditions, I could read, and read, and absorb it without effort. So yes, incidental learning is there. How can we make what we have to learn that easy?
I look forward to exploring ideas and making some conclusions.
Best, Tai Day