We held our first paper bag lunch today. This was the first in a series of sessions happening every week to enable and promote informal learning at our workplace. We had twelve people come and go during the hour, most of whom had brought their lunch with them. Feedback has been positive; in time, I hope the message will spread that this is a welcoming, open forum for sharing professional learning and celebrating best practice and innovation within our organisation.
My first topic was The world of RSS. The idea was to introduce staff to the concept of using a tool to bring the world of online information to them, rather than having to go searching for it every day. It seems to have been a good starting topic; some staff members were aware of what RSS was, a few had tried setting up feeds for themselves, while others hadn’t heard of it before. We talked about using tools such as RSS to manage and organise the flow of online information. It’s a bit like the fire hydrant analogy; trying to process information from the internet is like trying to take a sip of water from a fire hydrant. Lots of questions followed.
A big part of today’s session involved trialling a structure for future presentations. By keeping to five basic focus questions, I’m curious to discover whether this structure will work with any topic while still allowing room for discourse and questions. I’m hoping to structure each presentation using the following framework:
- What is the topic about?
- Why would I use/do/think about …?
- How do I go about …?
- What are some examples of … in action?
- Where can I find out more information about the topic?
The challenge now is to work with colleagues (‘experts’ from within our organisation) to use this structure and host paper bag lunches of their own. Also, I need to redevelop our intranet area so that presentations and supporting information can be easily accessed and shared from a central online space. Oh, and I need to do it all again next Wednesday at lunch time! 🙂