NCET explores business and technology
By Andy Jorgensen
Now more than ever, we and our employees—team members or cast members if you prefer—cannot afford to sit still with regard to our professional learning. The good news is that we are fortunate to live at a time that affords unprecedented opportunities to learn and grow.
Stop and consider for a moment that we all have in our pockets a tool that allows us to instantly learn how to do almost anything on YouTube; from tearing down and diagnosing why your dryer will not produce heat, to learning to play the drums.
Our teams’ skills and connections represent strategic assets worth investing in. This investment increases competence, moral and retention. Learning is not something that stops when we leave the formal educational setting. We should cherish people who value life-long learning.
Here are just a few opportunities to explore:
Formal education — Let’s get this out of the way first. Advanced degrees are still a great way to professional growth and there are increasing opportunities to access programs over great distances with online and blended formats. UNR’s online Executive MBA program is very popular. UNR’s Extended Studies Program has online and face-to- face certificate options designed to meet the needs of busy professionals in a variety of areas.
Coursera.org gives access to “the world’s best courses online,” on subjects such as Data Science, from Johns Hopkins University, to Python programming (University of Michigan) and Machine Learning (Stanford), to Learning How to Learn from UC San Diego! How very meta. (Also see metacognition)
Industry specific conferences – Seek conferences that emphasize quality learning sessions.
Give employees formal opportunities to share what they learned when they return to maximize the benefit.
Lynda.com has on-demand training on an ever increasing catalog of business, technology, and creative skills; sort of a Netflix for training. Many libraries across the US are offering access for free with a library card, including Washoe County and Carson City libraries.
Twitter chats — These are focused conversations that happen at scheduled time with a unique hashtag on Twitter. Search for Twitter chats related to your specific area of interest or field. Show up at the designated time paying attention to the host time zone. A lot of great ideas are rapidly shared using a question and answer format in 30 to 60 minutes. Follow the other participants to build your own professional learning network, or PLN.
NCET — We produce regular networking and educational events in Reno to help you use technology to grow your business.
This is, as they say, just the tip of the iceberg. If one thinks they know all there is to know about something, they may still have a thing or two to learn.
Andy Jorgensen is an educational technologist and NCET’s VP of Creative Services. NCET is a member-supported non-profit that produces networking events to help individuals and businesses explore and use technology. This column first appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal.