Learning online has been, for most, a solitary (and some would say) a miserable experience. Lonely, isolated and boring. A job to be, done not a process to be enjoyed and explored. A box to be ticked and an experience increasingly unlike the work which surrounds it. Work is becoming more collaborative and communal. Most of us work in teams that can stretch around the globe, or be confined to colleagues in the same room. Often it is both at the same time. We share, we debate, and we use the resources that enable us to add value and invent new ideas or processes. Work is increasingly knowledge based, open, problem-solving and collaborative. And increasingly, so is work-based learning.
If we want to collaborate, it stands to reason that we need a place to share and communicate. This is very obvious in a world where we draw upon knowledge from everywhere, and iterate almost continuously. And as we sift and filter, we need to have a common space where we can pool our insights and information, and chat asynchronously. That space has to be virtual as virtually everything we want to share is digital.
Even if we are in the same room, almost everything that we want to share will be digital. And any momentary insights or conclusions, fragments of knowledge or ideas have to be available later that day, or equally accessible in weeks or months hence. Thinking, noting or annotating are all processes that have to be stored but are most valuable if shared. However, it is illogical to spend all our time passing information around synchronously. What we need is a place where information can be stored in a logical, hierarchical place, that can help order the randomness of much of what we do. It is becoming essential that members of groups, or teams or projects can work from the same knowledge base that all can contribute to and openly comment, like, or share.
There are a few spaces that do some of that, but I honestly feel that Noddlepod (www.noddlepod.com) does more of it than most. By keeping things simple and focusing on the quality of the end user’s experience (over the bells and whistles and controls so loved by the administrators). The toll has been shared with independent consultants who can work with organisations to make a success of collaborative approaches, and get it working and useful. This is not something that you buy and no-one cares when it does not work. Get the culture right first, and the tech tends to look after itself!
In a world of constant information churn, of folders, and files, PDFs, blogs, articles and videos which we have to sift through and then mostly discard, what we choose to save and share is hugely valuable. More and more knowledge workers need that space as a matter of urgency. As digital transformation impacts every workplace in profound ways, there is an urgent need to help the workforce adapt to a new way of knowing and new ways of working.
Once information uploaded in that communal place, we need some reassurance that when we return, it will still be there and still be usable. But we also need to ensure that this same information or insight is available to colleagues as part of our work practice. The focus is on the sharing not on the management of the technology as this is a people space more than an information space.
The whole basis of work will be, or perhaps already is, a process of collaboration and sharing, where no one person or one process has all the answers. It is that churn of insight, that debate or discussion that helps decisions get made or projects taken forward successfully.
It is such a simple request, to have a place where you can store information logically, add to that information as one of the team, and also debate, comment and communicate it all. If this describes the kind of dilemma that you have, please think about Noddlepod as part of the solution.
I have a vested interest in saying this, because I am on the board of the company. I am trying to help them grow stronger and bigger. But I am there because I believe in the product, I do not believe in the product because I am there! Not enough people have seen it, tried it or tested its potential, and much energy is wasted in organisations searching for stuff, and not being able to help because there is no medium that can deliver this. This is a great tool for facilitation, and as Laura Overton explained in a recent article; (https://towardsmaturity.org/2017/03/16/classroom-facilitators-play-critical-role-digital-innovation) in this new world facilitators curators and information brokers are key to making digital work; but without the right space to share, nothing works.