I love taking part in Twitter chats. There are three of them (#chat2lrn, #lrnchat, and #guildchat) that I usually track, and try to attend at least one of them every week. (If you don’t know what a Twitter chat1 is, check out the mini-section at the end of this post.)
Of the three, my personal favorite is #lrnchat, primarily because of the eagerly anticipated but dreaded question that I’ve learned to both love and hate: “What did you learn today? If not today, then this week?”
I know this question is coming every Friday morning (India time), but still I often struggle, and cast about looking for an answer. It’s not that I don’t learn… I read a lot, but passive reading can only take you so far. This question puts things in perspective, forcing you to make meaning out of an endless stream of information.
Last week, I missed attending #lrnchat. But the question has been lingering in my head, as has become an unconscious quasi-habit of late, and I had my answer ready.
But then, why not make it an actual habit? And, why not make it a more substantial weekly reflection? So I’ve identified three questions that I think are critical for me.
The three questions, along with my reasoning for choosing each, are:
1. What did you learn? The all-important question that helps me squeeze one or two important points from all that I experience throughout the week.
2. What mistake(s) did you make? We all make mistakes. This question puts a spotlight on identifying them so I’m conscious about not repeating the same ones. It also helps to glean valuable lessons from these mistakes.
3. What are you proud of? This one is more aspirational. Just like the question from #lrnchat forced me to think about what I learned during the week, this one, I hope, will nudge me to work towards doing things I’m proud of, so I can brag about it ;-).
Together, these questions complete a circle, and hence the title – My Learning Circle.
So, here’s my reflection for the past week:
2. What mistake(s) did you make?
Answer: While estimating for a large project using an estimation template, I almost shared it while it was still missing a key component. I caught it in time and it all ended well, but the important lesson is to run a micro lens through any estimate, especially while using templates.
3. What are you proud of?
Answer: I’m proud of my new system for tracking the amount of time that I spend in ‘flow’. I’m loosely referring to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of ‘flow’ (which he defined as the time that one spends totally involved in a task). Though in this case, I’m trying to track the amount of time I spend on deliberate reflection, either through blogging or connecting with the community in some way or the other.
Here are what my reflections look like on my learning circle.
1 Twitter Chats
Twitter chats are conversations that happen around specific topics, using unique Twitter hashtags. They typically last an hour, and a moderator asks a series of questions spaced about 10 minutes apart. For each question, participants (other Twitter users who are interested in the conversation) tweet replies using the hashtag. My favorite Twitter chats, along with their timings, are:
#chat2lrn: 8:00 am ET, every alternate Thursday
#lrnchat: 8:30 pm ET every Friday
#guildchat: 2:00 pm ET every Friday