Gathering, Observing and Organising: First Steps to My Learner Experience

For my learner experience, I have decided to learn how to write a children’s book. The end goal is to develop an interactive eBook, but there is a long way to go before getting there and I know I’m going to need a lot of help along the way.

My first step in the process… probably like most people these days was… GOOGLE.

SEARCH: ‘How to write a children’s book’

Awesome! So many results. I was stunned by the number of resources out there in the world. From free MOOCs to paid online courses. From scholarly research to community and personal blogs. And wow… the number of tweeters out there was simply beyond count. But as time went on, I started to feel a little… overwhelmed. And so I stepped back.

And so I really stepped back.

What had I learned in this course to help me sort through the myriad of information bombarding my screen? Well CLEM was going to be a big help, and I’d seen that Mitchell had already demonstrated that it worked in his post, CLEM as a learner.

But before I got to that I decided that it would be wise to actually think about what I wanted to know. So I decided to do a KWHLAQ diagram to think it through.

Now what you see below is a little further along than it originally was, as the diagram was made using LucidChart so can be updated as I learn new things or have new questions.
KWHLAQ - Page 1.png

Part of developing this diagram did involve CLEM. I did this when I started looking at the HOW of it.

Community. As far as community, I am already part of the gold coast writers association so that should be a good source of support. I have also followed a number of tweets from well-known authors as well as lesser-known but more local contacts. I also found it useful to follow a few editors and publishers that seemed to have some good tips. There are some additional guilds, societies and clubs that I am keeping an eye on. Finally, from my existing network, I know a few librarians who have an interest in the area as well as my mum (who was a Kindergarten teacher and also has an interest in the area). And of course.. my nieces! 5 and 8 with the opinions of 40-year-olds. They will be an inexhaustible font of knowledge!

Literature. Funnily enough, I found the majority of the scholarly articles I read to be of little use. While they had some interesting facts, it’s not the way I learn. So instead I turned to video resources, published guides and blogs that were more to my style of learning.

Examples. Well, there are too many to count but so far I have been looking at some of the books I loved as a kid as well as those that my nieces love now. One book I always loved for its simplicity and fun was ANT and BEE and the Rainbow. I’m not sure I want to write to that genre but it does remind me that the simple things are often the best!

Find it at

Model. I am using Diigo to sort through the information available and am creating an Outliner with annotations to help me along the way. As I do so, I will tag them based on the areas I want to learn in my earlier diagram. This follows a little with the Gamble and Blackwell (2001) KM framework (matrix depicted below), where I am in the stages of gathering, observing, and organising. I like this framework as it allows me to measure how emerged I am in the learning somewhat, as well as providing hints towards what else I can do to further that.

Sourced from:

Having begun on the journey now, I am looking forward to learning more… and now just about Children’s books! 🙂


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