Earlier this year, an interesting new event in the Learning and Development industry started taking place every Thursday evening from 8:30-10:00 Eastern Standard Time. Various L&D professionals, from instructional designers, to training managers, to expert independent consultants, started to gather on Twitter for a live "chat." There are many of these Twitter gatherings for different topics and areas of interest, but this particular one is called Learn Chat and is denoted on Twitter with the hashtag "#lrnchat."
I've participated in most of the weekly lrnchat sessions, and I've generally found them to be a goldmine of insights on the selected topic of the day. As these sessions have grown in popularity, the Twitter messages now come fast and furious, so it can be hard to keep up and read them all. I definitely wouldn't recommend trying to multitask on other work while trying to get value from a lrnchat session!
In any given week, you'll find notable experts from our industry participating, such as Jay Cross, Clark Quinn, Mark Oehlert, Jane Bozarth, and many, many more. If you are going to give lrnchat a try, I strongly recommend using a tool such as Tweetdeck (set up a search column on #lrnchat) or the website tweetchat.com to help you manage the messages.
If participating in the live session is not for you—whether because you haven't started to use Twitter yet, you aren't comfortable with the speed of the exchange of such chats, or you aren't available at the Thursday evening time—you can always read the transcript of the session afterwards. See the website for lrnchat located at http://lrnchat.wordpress.com/ for transcripts for the recent lrnchats on topics such as:
- Social learning
- Working with SMEs (Subject Matter Experts)
- Folklore and myths about e-Learning
- The importance of mentoring
For some of the participants' perspectives on recent lrnchats, see these blog postings:
- What Happens on #lrnchat Doesn't Stay on #lrnchat (Dave Ferguson)
- Lrnchat (Jay Cross)
- Lrnchat, ADDIE, and Making the World a Better Place (Ellen Wagner)
- Lrnchat—Working or Not with SMEs (Brent Schlenker)
So if you're looking for a invigorating way to connect with other L&D professionals to discuss your experiences and share best practices, then #lrnchat on Twitter may be perfect for you.
— Thomas Stone (Tom_Stone@elementk.com)