Here are some tips and resources on creating a personal learning plan.
Tips for Creating a Personal Learning Plan
1. Reflect on successes, challenges, etc., from the previous year. Also reflect on trends in your industry and/or occupation.
2. Brainstorm some learning goals for the next 6 months. Try using the BHAG approach to goal-setting.
3. Ask yourself if these goals make you feel excited and energized. If they don't, keep working on them until they do.
4. Look at your list and ask yourself, "If I could only accomplish two things on this list, what would they be?" Put the rest on a "some day" list.
5. What mini goals do you want to set for yourself? Where do you want to be a week from now, a month from now, two months from now, at the end of your learning experience?
6. How do you want to learn? What resources are available to you? Can you connect with other people who are want to learn the same thing? Come up with a preliminary plan for pursuing your learning. Also give yourself permission to change that plan as you go through your project.
7. Set specific concrete tasks for yourself to accomplish every day.
8. Be sure to set aside time to accomplish those tasks. Consider your energy levels and use times of day where you're more alert and engaged. Learning shouldn't be relegated to when you're exhausted.
9. At least once a week review and reflect upon both what you've been learning and your learning plan. Document your reflections somehow--written in a blog post, record audio or video.
10. Use your reflections on your learning plan to change course if necessary. Have you found another topic you want to pursue? Are you finding that you're interest in your topic is waning? Do you need to change tactics? Refine your plan as you go.Additional Resources
The Mt. Sinai Adolescent Health Center is running a 3-month pilot, Text in the City, to explore how texting can be used to provide services to teens. In keeping with the program's mission, participant's can ask confidential health questions, sign up for birth control reminders and receive weekly health tips, all via cell phone. You can read more about the program here and here.
Cell phones and text messaging are the predominant form of technology communication for most teens--even the poorest will have a cell, which makes texting a great option for providing workforce development/job search services to teens. You can:
You have to register (it's free) to read the entire article, but it's well worth it. Then have a discussion with your WIB members and One-Stop staff to see how well you're keeping up with these trends.
You might also want to check out this McKinsey article on e-government 2.0. Key quote:
In the face of unprecedented fiscal constraints, as well as users’ heightened expectations based on the integration of the Internet into their daily life and work, it is imperative that the public sector refine its approach to e-government to ensure that these initiatives achieve maximum impact.
We spend a lot of time talking with job seekers about transferable skills. But according to this article from Bloomberg, we need to be concerned about impact of long-term unemployment on "perishable skills":
Industries with highly perishable skill sets include health-care technology, telecommunications, and finance, where regulations have changed dramatically in the past year. The toughest, though, may be information technology. Companies in that sector have cut payrolls for 32 of the last 33 months, through June, for a cumulative loss of some 312,000 jobs, or about 10 percent.
In technology, “if you’ve been out of work for a year or two, you’re probably somewhat outdated,” says Shami Khorana, president of HCL America, the U.S. arm of New Delhi-based HCL Technologies Ltd., which employs about 5,000 workers in the U.S. He plans to hire at least an additional 600 people as the economy improves and anticipates retraining some candidates with obsolete skills.
Unemployed workers in construction, retail, low-level health-care jobs, and teaching are more likely to be attractive to employers once hiring picks up because such jobs don’t change as quickly, experts say.
As we serve more people who have been unemployed for longer periods of time, we need to be sure that we're talking to people in industries where skills get old quickly about ways that they can keep skills up-to-date, including:
As WIBs and One-Stops try to do more with less, webinar technology becomes increasingly attractive. It minimizes the costs and logistics of face-to-face events, allowing you to provide services to hundreds of people using computers and a phone line. With webinars you are also able to record and archive events for posting on your website and ongoing use with customers. Both employers and job seekers are increasingly looking for online options for learning and information sharing and webinars can be a perfect strategy for accomplishing this.
Here are some webinar resources to get you started.
Webinars are not the same as doing in-person meetings or trainings. Not only do you need to deal with technology issues, you are also missing the in-person opportunities for audience feedback that can trip up even the most seasoned presenters. If you're going to go into the webinar business, it's a good idea to be prepared. Here are some articles to get you started.