Web 2.0 for Professional Development

On Friday, the Professional Development Consortium invited me to co-lead some table discussions on Web 2.0 for professional development.  The PDC is a group for those “working in-house at law firms, government agencies and corporations who are charged with the responsibility of developing and administering the training and professional development for lawyers.”

Chris Boyd and I led two discussions on  how web 2.0 tools can help with professional development. We started off using Jessica Lipnack’s technique of asking the audience to introduce themselves and why they were here. The topic was only briefly described and very open-ended, so Chris and I were prepared to talk about a wide range of use of Web 2.0/enterprise 2.0 tools. Most of the audience claimed ignorance of web 2.0, but wanted to learn more. Most did not know what a wiki was.

Chris and I started off with a few examples of how wikis can be used:

  • Chris and I use an external wiki to help communicate and organize information for ILTA’s Knowledge Management Peer Group’s Steering Committee
  • I am using a wiki to plan a meeting of Toronto and New York law firm knowledge management leaders.
  • I use a wiki to manage one of my client teams.  
  • My knowledge management department uses a wiki to manage our projects. 

We gave the audience a handout containing the wikis and happiness picture and my Wiki While You Work article published by ILTA. Most of the discussion focused on using wikis to help manage their own internal projects.  I think the instigation was the wikis and happiness picture showing the differences between using email to collaborate and a wiki to collaborate.

The audience really grabbed onto the concepts. We turned tables of skeptics in tables of bobbing heads by the end.  Chris ran into one of the participants at dinner that night. She had already gone back to her room, built a wiki on PBwiki and announced it to her group.  I think the session was a great success.

Thanks to Bridget Huffstutler and Scott Westfahl for inviting me to the PDC Conference. A big thanks to my co-presenter, Chris Boyd.

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