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DevLearn 2009 – Day 1 Recap November 12, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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DevLearn 2009 is off to a great start! Yesterday was the official opening day of the conference, and it was jam-packed with a fantastic keynote by Andrew McAfee, several great presentations, and plenty of breakout sessions/bootcamps (ex. the Social Learning Camp). So much good stuff!

Social Learning Camp

Mark Oehlert has dedicated 99% of his time at DevLearn to the Social Learning Camp, and we should all say a huge THANK YOU for that. Mark is leading (almost) non-stop sessions on all aspects related to social learning and social technologies. Crowds gather around for each session, and I’ve heard a ton of great conversations there. Here are some of the key points I picked up in discussions yesterday:

  • Within organizations, most issues around social media and social learning are directly related to fear, control, and trust. Companies fear new technologies (especially ones that they don’t understand); they try to control every aspect of the user experience; and they don’t trust their employees to use the tools (ex. they try to implement approval processes, instead of just letting employees use the tools).
  • Related to the trust issue, Mark gave a great example: Companies trust their employees to make critical decisions, use expensive equipment, interact with customers, etc., but they’re terrified of having them use tools like Twitter and Yammer. Too funny.
  • Social media and social learning destroys hierarchies of knowledge (not management). Upper management often hoards information, and new tools flatten the organization, knowledge-wise. People find that they can get answers from each other instead of having to work up the chain.
  • Mark posed an excellent question, and he asked us to keep it in mind for the rest of the conference. Related to our work in learning and training, "How would you design things if you could start with a blank slate?" Then, when we get back to work (and back to reality), we should start to reverse engineer things until we can get as close to that new state as possible.

Enterprise 2.0 Keynote – Andrew McAfee

Wow, this was a great keynote. Andrew spoke on a few key themes:

  • Things have definitely changed; new technologies have drastically improved some of the ways in which people work/collaborate.
  • A key concept of Enterprise 2.0 is altruism. People want to help each other.
  • Our role is to give people the tools/technologies to do this. If we do this, good things happen.

Here are my notes from the keynote:

Enterprise 2.0 means that there are new ways in which technologies are being used, but (oftentimes) people on the business-side don’t care. They just want things done better, faster, cheaper. You don’t need to paint a grandiose picture of technology transformation – just get the work done.

Altruism
People want to help each other. We need to stop obsessing about risks when deciding on the uses of new technologies. (People deciding on technologies jump to this too quickly: “What might go wrong??!!”). Seriously, what’s the worst things that can happen? “Somebody tried to sell a used car on the discussion forum.” Big deal. Bottom line here: Lower the barriers to altruism.

Process
When it comes to capturing and sharing knowledge, beware of the ‘one best way’ approach. Build technology that lets people improve on their own. Ask: “How much workflow is necessary?” Usually, not much. Keep it that way. Use tools that let structure appear over time (ex. linking, tagging, voting/rating mechanisms).

Innovation
Innovation is the new strategy. Example: Innocentive is a clearinghouse where people can complete to solve complex problems for large companies like Eli Lilly and Procter and Gamble. Expertise is emergent. Don’t limit yourself to only certain sources of expertise. Consider crowdsourcing, both internally and externally. Question credentialism! Nobody cares where you went to school! Anybody can help solve a problem, and unique perspectives can be a huge help.

Intelligence
Crowds can be very wise – but you should enable peer review (ex. Wikipedia). Experiment with collective intelligence and see if it is a good fit for your organization (internally and externally).

Benefits
So, with Enterprise 2.0, what do these technologies allow you to do that you couldn’t do before? The tools help you make connections with people that you did not know existed. Better collaboration is not the only goal: Now you can also find new people to collaborate with. Advice: You should narrate your work via blogging or micro-blogging. This makes it easier for others to find you and connect with you.

Impact
We need to continue to look at technology with fresh eyes. We’re not going back to business as usual (economy-wise). Things have to change for us to be successful, and it’s important that we understand what’s going on.

Keynote Summary

  • Don’t declare war on the existing enterprise. That will end badly. You won’t make friends this way. Organizations need structure, we need to figure out ways to work around/with this.
  • Don’t allow walled-gardens. Otherwise they’ll stay ‘walled’. You lose the possibilities of great connections between divisions, departments, locations, etc.
  • Don’t accentuate all the bad stuff that can happen. Maybe you can point out issues, but don’t dwell on them.
  • Enterprise 2.0 technologies won’t replace email!!! Don’t tell everyone this will replace email, or they’ll think you’re crazy.
  • Don’t fall in love with features. It’s not about bells and whistles. People just want things to work (simply and well).
  • Don’t overuse the word ‘social’. It has negative connotations for most executives. People don’t want business to be more social. People want it to be more productive. Execs: “I’m not running a social club.” Social = hippie-talk. Think and talk in business terms and you’ll get much further.

Be sure to check out…

Session 114: Delivering Low-cost Mobile Learning Solutions

This session was presented by two guys from T-Mobile: Mark Chrisman and Jeff Tillett. Here are some notes from their session:

  • They use the approach of “Dream big, but stay scrappy.”
  • We need to be ready for Millennials. They use their mobile phones ALL the time, and they’ll likely be more willing to use mobile learning.
  • Mobile learning offers more accessibility, availability, and adaptability.
  • T-Mobile uses mobile learning for Pre- and Post-training at the moment. This may change with time.
  • The mobile web is the easiest way to reach a variety of devices. Consider building content in Dreamweaver using HTML, basic images, and .3gp video.
  • More and more user-generated content is coming. How can we tie this into training?
  • Have a heart-to-heart conversation with your LMS vendor about mobile learning. See if they’ll ever integrate mobile learning into their product.

Session 207: A Case Study of Micro-blogging for Learning at Qualcomm

I presented this session along with my colleague, John Polaschek. Our slides will be available on the DevLearn Resources page next week, and the lovely @julieastd took great notes during the session.

Session 315: Hacking SCORM to Gather Social Metrics for Online Resources

Gary Hegenbart presented a great session on how to use a guerrilla method of SCORM-hacking to record user opinions about eLearning tutorials and courses. Gary walked through steps to show how he added the following questions to his eLearning:

  • Did you find this tutorial/course helpful? Yes | No
  • How would you rate this module? 1 2 3 4 5
  • Would you recommend this module to co-workers? Yes | No

Gary had the interesting idea of storing answers to this information in the existing SCORM data model, using these elements: cmi.score.scaled, cmi.score.raw, cmi.score.min, and a few others. If all this SCORM-talk hasn’t scared you away, be sure to take a look at his examples/code. It’s definitely a clever approach.

Ok, I’m going back for more…

I’ll post an update about Day 2 soon!

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Comments»

1. George Aston - November 12, 2009

Hey BJ. Thanks for the recap. I wasn’t able to attend this year and your notes are helping me catch up. Keep it up and have fun.

2. B.J. Schone - November 12, 2009

Hi George – you’re welcome! More info coming soon. Stay tuned!

3. Amber - November 12, 2009

Priceless recaps – Ty for being a trusted source of information here and on the path to innovation.

4. Caspian Lee - November 12, 2009

Awesome recaps for those of us who weren’t able to attend. Looking forward to all the pictures, vids and podcasts now!

5. Marcello Rinaldi - November 12, 2009

Many thanks for this for those like me that cannot be there. :-)

Marcello

http://conduciendoaciegas.wordpress.com

6. Brent Schlenker - November 12, 2009

BJ, you are awesome! What a great recap of your DevLearn09 experience. I think this post looks like the most re-tweeted post of the event.
You’ve set the “blogging recap” bar very high ;-)
Thanks for your outstanding event participation. There truly are MANY people who appreciate your updates.
Cheers!
Brent

7. Melissa Chiaramonti - November 13, 2009

Thanks for this – wasn’t able to go either and the notes you captured during the Social Learning Camp are great (and timely for me/my org).

8. B.J. Schone - November 13, 2009

Thanks, Brent. It’s my pleasure!

9. Tonya Witherspoon - November 14, 2009

Hi BJ – I’m spending the day reflecting on DL09; re-reading the twitter stream, reading the great links, notes, and recaps. Yours is great! Thank you. I’m sorry that somehow our paths never crossed during DevLearn although I was reading your twitter stream the entire week. I will continue to follow you to share in your wealth of knowledge and ideas.

Cheers!
Tonya Witherspoon
@spoonwrite

10. B.J. Schone - November 14, 2009

Hi Tonya!

Thanks for your kind words. It’s too bad we couldn’t catch up, but at least I’ve got your Twitter info now. We can stay in touch that way, and our paths may cross again at another conference/event.

I hope you got as much out of DevLearn as me. It was a great experience…

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
-B.J.

11. DevLearn 2009 eHandouts | Session 114 Low Cost Mobile Learning « badsquare - November 20, 2009

[...] amazing presentations to catch, so if you missed it, check out a nicely written summary from the eLearning Weekly blog (BJ Schone [...]


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