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Learning takes time

There is always enough time to learn new things. It's a matter of attitude and focus. For example, when I'm working with higher education practitioners on how they can effectively use social media, one of the phrases that I hear most often has to do with "not having enough time." Time availability is a slippery conundrum. It's all about individual as well as organizational variables. When someone tells me that they don't have enough time to learn a social media platform, let's use LinkedIn as our example, I ask them a series of big picture questions: How do you build in time during your work week to learn? What message does it send to students when administrators find challenges in "making time?" How do we create an organizational culture that rewards time spent for experimentation and learning? Is it really about finding time or is it about changing your focus about learning as it relates to work as something critical to everyone's success? Is LinkedIn complicated or does this relate to how its value is perceived? Questions often bring out answers that lead to customized solutions.

The work week is made up of a combination of finite bits of time. Mandatory meetings, organizational commitments, email, teaching, advising, and hallway conversations are just a segment of what a week can look like for folks in higher education. How we allocate our time to learning new things is such a vital aspect of being a member of the academy.

If life-long learning is at the core of our work, shouldn't we build in time for it? And, if you're afraid/intimidated by some of the new technologies that folks are using in 2014, learn from my fearless.


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