Transferable skills

transferable skillsskillsyouneed has a list of transferable skills which are essential to surviving in our current world. What better way for me to verify them than to see if they apply to my current situation of skills transfer? It is essential to have transferable skills and a concept of lifelong learning or you are not able to easily change as life and the world requires. Adapting means you need to have some understanding of what it takes to adapt and then put yourself in situations where you test out your skills transfer.

I have joined a group so I can learn their skills and expertise. In exchange I have been running a blog and social media for them. We are all on new learning ground and we have all had to have those connected conversations so we can progress and lift our skills. It has been one of the best learning experiences of my life and technology has made that possible. So how do these portable skills work?

Team Work

We have had to share ideas and approaches and we have had to discuss what we think, what we want, what we need to achieve. They have looked at me and worked out what I need to learn and how. I have looked at the group and worked out how I can showcase the skills and talent but none of that is done without open and constant conversations.

Leadership

The group has taken on new members and each week they talk about the things which can be learned. They show and tell. They invite others in with skills. They occasionally offer opportunities for excursions to learn and grow. I have had to use that and work out how to make that live and come alive on the internet. I have been able to show them that their knowledge is valued by the world. I have had to work out how we get followers on Instagram, and then, the biggest challenge, Twitter. We have had to lead each other and all of that is done by example and talk.

Personal Motivation, Organisation and Time Management

We encourage each other. There is always something to know and learn. We motivate each other by showing the good things which can be achieved. We look at what people are doing and share their successes and trouble shoot the difficulties. There has to be a lot of good will and there have to be ideas. You have to be prepared to pull things together for a show and tell so people can see what you are achieving and how it works. You have to have examples and so you have to organise yourself to find the tools and tricks which work. We do not over commit ourselves. We acknowledge what we are doing is a part of life and living. It isn’t life and living. My blog posts usually come out every day and from those the rest of the group can see what they have achieved and how others are reacting.

Listening

When you listen you know where the learning gaps are. If you are trying to create change then you have to listen without prejudice. You have to accept what you are hearing and move that person on. By listening I worked out the group had some good mobile skills which could be improved and that I needed to focus more on mobile skills to help them grow. Some of them just want to use a computer so then I had to accommodate that as well. In terms of teaching me,  they worked out I just needed to be filled with information and pointed in the right direction with some tips, magazines, books and then left to work it out until I had questions.

Written Communication

We use email to communicate primarily. That is how they feel most comfortable. The blog, though, and Instagram , have had high appeal for them. They don’t understand Twitter so much and I have explained they don’t need to. I interpret the data for them in blog posts so they understand exactly how what we are doing is impacting the internet. The blog has been helpful since there are members who are not always there and they now feel a better sense of connection to the group when they have to be away.

Verbal Communication

We never stop talking and the other preferred method of communication is to pick up the phone. These people are not fond of texting. They would rather talk to you. In our group meetings we just talk as we work. We share our ideas, thoughts, plans. We plot and plan creativity. We discuss how you do things and what you can do. We look at events and whether we want to participate and how we want to do things. We sit next to someone and help them. I have run mini tech sessions on Facebook and how to access the blog on a phone. I have explained what some of the icons are. There is a lot of one on one  verbal communication to further knowledge.

Research and Analytical Skills

I am blogging and running social media accounts in an area I am not familiar with. I am learning the skills. I have really had to listen and follow up on names and places. I have really had to look things up on the net, especially You Tube to find out what I am talking about. I have had to find the global leaders in the things we are doing and the global responses to what we are doing. I have had to analyse blog data because we were very successful very quickly. I have had to look at stats, work out SEO tactics and then work out who to connect to on the net to further us . Instagram was an instant success so I have had to run hard with that to ensure we keep up the momentum and interest.  With Twitter I have had to look at what has been popular and address the gaps to ensure that account is more solid. The net gives you a lot of data feedback. You can use it to improve yourself and position on the net. The group gives me things to pursue and find out about so we keep that feedback loop going because I show them what the world is reacting to and that really motivates them to grow and respond.

Numeracy Skills

We need them to run the financial side of the group. We also need numeracy skills to make alterations and changes. I need them to analyse data.

Personal Development

When you have a focus you can then have opportunities for personal development. No one in this group is pushed to change. What we do is bring along ideas which people can run with or not. Putting myself in the situation where I am doing technology representation about something I am concurrently learning has helped me learn very effectively and efficiently. All of this is education because we are bringing each other out. We are all showing each other there are things to know and what things to know. The choice then is up to the individual whether they wish to pursue that or not. We constantly offer the opportunities and by being on the net we have also helped others learn.

Information Technology

“Many jobs will require that you use word processing, spreadsheet and web-based software on a daily basis. However, think beyond these basic IT skills. Are you confident using a computer? Can you learn how to use new software and new technology quickly? Can you troubleshoot basic computer problems and do you understand the importance of data security and privacy?”

I have made the group far more confident with technology and they have made me confident with what I wanted to learn. This has been of mutual benefit. I can freely ask them what I want to know and they can sit down next to me and ask me something about technology that they want to know. The ideas and expertise exchange is the thing which makes this so successful and in the process we are all better for it.  Technology enables lifelong learning. They can get out their phones and tablets to show me things and I can get my phone and take pictures of what they take for granted and show them they know a lot and have specific skills which are valued. It then comes down to trust. We trust each other to be helpful and positive.

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Lifelong learning

Lifelong learning is not just a buzz phrase. It is a mind set and way of life. Life is change and change is action. That cannot occur without neuroplasticity and critical thinking. Lifelong learning is vital for the development of communities, societies and individuals:

“Every person, at every stage of their life should have lifelong learning opportunities to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to fulfil their aspirations and contribute to their societies. “

World Education Forum 2015

Lifelong learning can occur easily these days across time and space because we have access to technology and connectivity. No one need ever be left in the dark and everyone can be learning enabled at any time of the day or night. We can learn what we want , when we want and how we want because we are connected and sharing our knowledge.

informED discusses 25 practices which foster lifelong learning:

“Lifelong learning is now recognized by educators, governing bodies, accreditation organizations, certification boards, employers, third-party payers, and the general public as one of the most important competencies a person can possess. But even if we all agree on its value, and harbor the best intentions of possessing it ourselves, it can easily escape our grasp if we approach it the wrong way.”

You have to be confident as a learner to participate in lifelong learning. You have to know that because you are not very good at something it does not mean that you cannot be good at it. Information, application and facilitation are the keys. You have to be able to identify your goals and then you have to be able to find the resources and opportunities for facilitating your capabilities. Being in a group helps you identify with others who know what you want to know or who want to know what you want to know. The group helps you to learn. It calibrates you and gives you feedback. You still have to have faith in your capacity to learn. Then there is the internet. There is so much information which people are sharing so that you can learn and develop your knowledge and skills or so that you can raise the issues and problems and work collaboratively to resolve them.

Lifelong learning is about:

1. Repackaging the skills and thinking you already have
2. Learning new skills and ways of thinking
3. Information and application
4. Questioning and reflecting
5. Celebrating the successes and good changes along the way

It’s about putting yourself out there and daring to be different with no fear of failure.

Coder blogs

I really like this video by Chris Hawkes. He is a competent , successful coder who has taken time out of his busy schedule to take us on a walk and discuss his ideas about what he thinks the fundamental issues are with regard to contemporary coding . We can walk with him and listen to him unfold his thinking. Coding requires a very disciplined mind and thinking but it also requires a capacity to keep up to date. Chris Hawkes puts forward a very strong case for coders to be able to be efficient and capable researchers who share and discuss their knowledge. We no longer have the answers, the way, the method, the procedure. We live in 2016. We can’t just use Google a quick solution to something. We can’t spend our time reinventing the wheel . We need to have people who know how to get quality information which will move  a project and thinking forward. People need skillsets and knowledge but they need to be able to quickly update their capacity to function now, today. Coders have communities to build their skills and knowledge. They learn to connect , share and problem solve. Nobody can know everything any more and one thing will suddenly become obsolete. Programmers need to be able to learn on their own and they need to now how to do quality research and find things out. They need to be interested, self directed and lifelong learners. Communities develop best practices and share their updated knowledge and tackle trouble shooting and problem solving . It takes teamwork to solve complex problems. Coders are sharing their knowledge in lots of ways. Huffington Post published 25 best coder blogs. Makeuseof has recommended 7 coder blogs for student programmers. One of my favourite coder blogs is codercoach because Kristi Pollard (Stanton), RHIT, CCS, CPC, CIRCC gives such a personal insight into coding , the life of a coder and issues with coding.

Write a novel

Yes, write a novel. Just do it. Why not? The internet is full of great ideas, tools and information to get that novel written. I am writing this post by way of follow up to the Storyboard post. You really can do anything you want to these days. There is no way you are short of help, advice, tools, templates, tips. Everything is there to get you on the road to learning whatever you want. We live in a world where writers like Trevor Schmidt, Major Geek, is willing to just sit down for a few minutes and take the time to help you -anyone- to realise their dream and be a writer like him. You don’t have to sit and think about it . You can just start because the internet gives you so many ways of starting. That is all you have to do. Take the first step. Writerswrite has 5 top online tools to help you organise your writing. The Snowflake method is worth exploring a little more deeply because it is one of the most popular ways of getting yourself into writing these days.  It is a method which seems to be having a great deal of success. If you want some tools and templates then allindiewriters has some very good recommendations for you.

Lifelong learning

Teachers do not take skills learning for granted in their students. They might, however, take them for granted in themselves. I read an article How to Transform Your Next Conference Takeaways into Real-Life Results and it made me think of myself and the teachers I had known who had been off to really thought provoking and enlightening conferences and then could not always find a way of implementing what they learned or allowing others to know what they knew. Sharing those newly learned skills. There is a way of learning new skills and applying them. In recent years I have always used social media to show and grow my ideas so that they become part of my thinking. There is the Conscious Competence Ladder by Noel Bursch which makes sense once you see it:

Unconsciously unskilled – we don’t know that we don’t have this skill, or that we need to learn it.
Consciously unskilled – we know that we don’t have this skill.
Consciously skilled– we know that we have this skill.
Unconsciously skilled – we don’t know that we have this skill (it just seems easy).

The video by Thomas Frank explains neurological developments as we learn , offers some good links and explains new skills acquisition and application well. He is also quite clear about the fact the skills and knowledge you acquire from effective teaching at school can be applied to lifelong learning.  I was laughing when he got to the bit when actually standing on the skateboard nails it! It’s true. Sometimes you have to make the obvious first step and working that out takes a bit of planning sometimes. No teacher will overlook that when they are teaching.  You have to download the app, send that email, work out your first sentence or simply turn on your laptop.

It’s important to have a plan for applying a strategy if you want to learn something or you want to teach someone else.

1. What is the first step?
2. What practice do you/they need?
3. What are the benefits, the positives, the good impacts of knowing?
4. Do you/they need to find more help on a particular thing?
5. Do you/they know what you/they don’t know?
6. What are the road blocks/potholes/implementation dips?
7. Master the first thing first.
8. Have a plan for getting to the next thing.
9. Map out your/their learning journey.
10. Reward yourself/them along the way.

AND THEN…look back and see how far you have come. Find a way to document the journey. Might be a diary, journal, video, images, blog but make sure the learning journey is clearly documented along the way because that is the biggest reward of all: seeing how far you have come. Reflection is how you know you know.

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