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Communities of Practice for Professional Learning - August 14, 2012 Webinar

Written by Erin Wilkey Oh
August 21, 2012

We’ve been talking about connected learning quite a lot lately, and I think many of us are starting to get a handle on ways to support the principles of this approach in different types of learning settings — schools, libraries, makerspaces, home, etc. However, until last week’s webinar, I hadn’t considered what connected learning could look like for adults in the workplace.

For the August 14, 2012 webinar, Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, NWP Director of National Programs & Site Development, facilitated a discussion on the topic of connected learning for adults in the workplace. The webinar, titled Communities of Practice for Professional Learning: Connected Learning for Adults, included moderator Howard Rheingold and participants Lacy Manship, Kim Jaxon, Tene Gray, and Fred Mindlin.

Core questions driving the discussion included

  • How do people learn on the job?
  • How are workers allowed to be learners in the workplace?
  • How do the principles of connected learning apply to workplace learning?
  • What can we do to support a connected learning approach for adults in the workplace?

Eidman-Aadahl proposed new terminology for aligning connected learning principles with the adult workplace. She suggested that instead of “interest powered” learning, we are looking to create “inquiry driven” learning; instead of “peer supported,” workplace learning needs to be “colleague supported”; and instead of “academically oriented,” learning in the workplace should be “improvement oriented.”

The webinar participants all work with adult learners in various capacities; many of them are responsible for creating and providing professional development in schools and educational organizations. Another goal of this webinar was consider how this month’s focus on “Connected Educators” might intersect with principles of connected learning for adults. In the discussion portion of the webinar, participants shared both the barriers to implementing a connected learning approach and the ways they already see or foster connected learning principles in their workplaces. The discussion ended with thoughts on how to establish a culture of participatory learning in the workplace.

You can watch the full webinar below. Also, visit the August 14 webinar archive page at to see time markers for particular topics and to learn more about the participants and host.

Watch live streaming video from connectedlearningtv at

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