Some great points from Steve Buttry on why journalists need to take over their own professional training rather than wait for their employers to do it for them.
The benefits of teaching yourself go beyond the skill you just learned: You underscore your own responsibility for your professional growth; you are less intimidated the next time you encounter a new tool or technique you know you should learn; lessons stick better when you learn by doing.
I’ve been fascinated by the ideas behind networked learning and how they feed into networks and communities of practice – I agree with Steve it is about taking over our own development and for me the key to do this is engaging with others working in your field.
A few years back I did a bit of research looking at how practitioners can use social media and at that point conversations tended to focus on blogs, RSS readers vs Twitter and social bookmarking tools like Delicious.
Obviously a lot has changed since then (including all the problems with Delicious and the massive rise in people using Twitter) but I’d be really interested to hear from lecturers and journalists (or those who are both) about how they keep in touch with all the changes around them and if their organisation is able to offer the kind of support they need.
And Steve’s point about mindset is an important one for me – I try to work with my students to help them develop this kind of approach, a tool may go down or become paywalled tomorrow (remember SproutBuilder anyone?) but the ability to play, learn and investigate is vital.
I’ll quote Mr Buttry again with a great parting shot for journos from the full guest post he wrote
Pursue learning opportunities as persistently as you pursued your toughest story.