It’s not the What, it’s the How…

I really liked Module 7 because I found so much of it relatable to the workplace and not just our education system. Those modules/articles/ideas always get me more excited. I want to apply these concepts to my work, but sometimes I struggle with how until I have a module like this.

In Week 13 we discussed participatory culture and creativity as a literacy. I enjoyed this because participatory culture, collaboration, and creative solutions and innovation are major influences in the business world, and extremely “hot button” issues in my company and department right now. We are trying to find creative solutions to problems we’ve never been able to solve, and we are working with other departments we never generally interact with to do this. We are trying to learn to change more quickly, speak up more, share ideas, and be willing to try new things — all approaches that are uncomfortable in a conservative, highly regulated industry and workplace.

In Week 14, we talked about ways of learning. Becoming knowledgeable versus knowledge-able, how what we learn, when we learn it is changing, and how it’s important to teach students to ask questions, be curious, not just memorize information. This is true in the workplace, too — we have to change. We cannot just do things the way we’ve always done. Whereas it used to be inappropriate to question the way things are done — now we’re being told to question, to find new and different ways. We are hiring people based on their abilities, not their knowledge of our field.

So, my favorite interactions were definitely on the Week 13 article, as we discussed collaboration and participatory culture, and what that looks like across education and business. Also, as tough as it is for teachers to figure out how to incorporate this into curriculum, how it’s also difficult to help adults adopt these new mindsets in the workplace, too. My favorite interpretation of these topics are from Heather and her SketchNote challenge of “knowledge vs wisdom.” I really like these comparisons and trying to define the blurry line between things like wisdom and knowledge, knowledgeable vs knowledge-able, etc. They are difficult to distinguish, and yet both equally important and valuable learnings. I also loved Robin’s storytelling AI conversation. We did the AI Conversation challenge the same week, and took very different approaches. Her Twitter polls to create a story were interesting to participate in, and see how the story played out. I imagine it was a lot of work to put together, too, and admired the creative effort behind it.

Now, my creations this module… My stuff was a little all over. I’ve been working on a challenge to tell the story of the Women in Financial Services report by Oliver Wyman. This is my life — my career, my struggles, my industry. I relate to it so much, that I wanted to find a way to tell this story. I interviewed women in multiple financial services firms to discuss the report and specifically the topic of the “mid-career conflict” women in financial services face that they do not in other industries, and that their male peers don’t feel as strongly. I found they were equally passionate about this topic and finding a way to share this story — but like me, worried about the career impact of having a voice too loud on this topic. Also, I found that for every woman I talked to who pushed past this conflict — they could name a dozen women they knew who didn’t, and “ran for the hills” so to speak. This topic is heavy for me, and applies to where I’m at in my career as I make decisions. It was tough to put all together and find a way to do it. A slideshow, or just an audio podcast didn’t seem like enough. A blog post isn’t enough. A storyboard (my original idea) seemed too lighthearted. In the end, I created a SketchNote, and wrote a brief blog post about the topic. I hope that when it’s in my personal handwriting, with quotes highlighted — it hits people harder to realize this story is important. Changing it is important.

Because I was working on this, I needed something more fun and lighthearted (this is an elective class for me after all) as my other challenge — so I did the AI Conversation and used inklewriter. I found it very interesting to create a story with branches, and that my logical, step-by-step type brain did NOT like all these tangents I had to tie back. But, I also found it fun and different and used my brain differently, which is good at year-end when I live in what I affectionately call “Excel hell” at work.

I did a few daily creates as well, which I enjoy doing on a break at work to lighten up my 10–12 hour days. I also did a dialogue on StoryCorps. I really liked this topic/resource because what I’ve really learned from this course so far is how important our stories are; and that everything comes back to a story. We are all living a story, telling a story, creating a story — we all have multiple stories. We participate in other people’s stories. Stories help us connect, relate, learn, motivate… and so on. So I enjoyed talking about StoryCorps a lot.

What I learned… oh I learned a lot. I learned about visual note taking in SketchNote (this is NOT how I take notes). I learned about AI and creating interactive stories, which was all new for me. I learned how to use inklewriter. I learned a lot about collaboration, and how we need to change not just what we learn but HOW we learn in order to keep up with technology. I learned how to relate more of this course to my job — maybe it’s about how I learn and share, and less about the what. I learned more similarities between the world education and business.

Personally, I learned why this stage of my career is so dang hard. I learned that maybe the extra fight I’d have to do isn’t worth it… and that I feel guilty that I may leave some peers (other women at my level in my industry) to “fight the good fight” without me.

There was a lot of stretching for me — stretching by talking about these issues with women I admire. Stretching by sharing a topic that is deeply personal. Stretching of learning how to use inklewriter and create a branching story — which sounds simple but isn’t. I don’t know how authors of chapter books like this keep it all straight!

And after all that introspection — here are the actual creations.

Challenge 1: AI Conversation:

Challenge 2: SketchNote (& Kinda Ethnography?)

Daily Creates:

StoryCorps Dialogue:

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