People ask how my new book is coming along. I tell them I’m not writing a book, I’m leading a crusade.
Jay Cross, The Real Learning Project.
The last interaction I had with Jay was in August this year. Jay shared a copy of his latest work “Aha! Get Smart – The missing manual for do-it-yourself learners“. He wrote:
I hope to inspire hoards of people to experience the Aha! of having learned something significant and remembering how they did it.
Through this project, Jay wanted to empower learners to discover their agency in learning, something that is incredibly important for the future.
Jay tells us to remember that we are in-charge of our learning, not the teacher or the institution. It is not something that happens to you at events or courses, it is something that is owned by you, on a continuous basis, life long. Learning becomes a process for improving your Life.
Throughout the book, there are useful cues and practical help to JDI (Just Do It). The ideas that learning is personal, social, conversational, tacit, reflective, continuous – run through the book. Jay also ran up against the power law in networked learning:
Fifteen years ago, a rule of thumb for community participation was 1-10-100. Out of 100 people, 1 would lead the charge by posting interesting and provocative information. 10 would comment, converse, and otherwise post. The remaining 89 would watch. The ratio must have changed. People who are accustomed to posting news and pictures on Facebook are more likely to take part in any social network they come upon, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with us.
Although we had episodically interacted over the web in various contexts, I remember first meeting Jay when he was kind enough to come all the way to New Delhi for the EDGEx conference we had organized in 2012.
I believe that Jay’s message is incredibly important for all of us. We need to celebrate the Aha! in learning. Now, more so.
RIP. Jay Cross. The man who coined the term eLearning.