#LearningIs symbolic

How do you represent your learning? Some people display framed certificates on their walls, or photos of their degree ceremony. Others keep a CV in which they list all their achievements, or a collection of memorabilia of their time at college or university. Many keep libraries of books, journals and other media on their shelves, used for reference to remind them of theories, principles or methods they wish to recall. Some represent their learning through their conversations, both face-to-face and virtually through social media, with their colleagues, scholarly friends and associates. Some teach, and see their own learning represented as a legacy that lives on in the next generation of learners.

I do all of the above, but also keep a collection of lanyards and name badges from conferences I have attended. When I look at them, hanging up on the wall of my office, they help me to remember the people I met, the conversations I had, the things I learnt and the contexts in which I learnt them. People represent their knowledge symbolically in many different ways.

For me though, the most important way to represent my learning, and to continually reinforce it, is to write about it, either here on this blog, as articles and pieces for journals and magazines, and occasionally in the form of books or book chapters. For me, another powerful representation of my personal learning can be found in public speaking. This is not so much because of the speech act itself, but more importantly, through the conversations afterwards with those who are interested in pursuing the ideas I have presented.

Many of us had great fun last summer exchanging images as we challenged each other to blog about learning using pictorial metaphors. The #blimage challenge was very popular and enabled many to represent their learning in new ways. The iterative power of this is infinite. Learning is symbolic, but can also be demonstrated in so many practical ways. How do you represent your learning?

Photo by Juliette Culver on Flickr

Creative Commons License
#LearningIs symbolic by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Emma said…
Are you going to do a "wallie" at some point, to show the collection of Lanyards? How many do you have??
Also, thanks for the link to Juliette's photo - reminded me that I have somewhat lost touch with her, shall rectify that it in a bit.
Steve Wheeler said…
I have about 70-80 hanging up in my office at the moment, mostly keynotes from the last 5-6 years across 20 or so different countries. I like the way each is unique, each evokes different memories, and all are a part of my personal learning journey.
martin king said…
Maybe flip blimage ... people provide images for your text?
Emma said…
What a wonderful sounding collection!

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