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Come Read our DevLearn11 Reaction Piece November 16, 2011

Posted by Eric Matas in eLearning.
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If DevLearn 2011 at the Aria in Las Vegas did anything, it confirmed one certainty about elearning: elearning is exhilarating. eLearning is esoteric, cutting edge, tumultuous, and sexy. And elearning is an industry.

Eric and Shonit Speaking at DevLearn11

Eric and Shonit Speaking at DevLearn11

Yes, elearning is a thrilling industry that combines esoteric theory like gamification, cutting edge tools like Cloud technologies, tumultuous teetering between HTML5 and Flash, and the inspiringly sexy and sleek iPad — the world’s most seductive learning tool.

The eLearning Guild hosted quite a conference. Featured speakers spoke with vigor, sessions delivered an array of ideas and practice, DemoFest showcased elearning eye candy, and the expo bristled with the promise of the next best thing. Vegas was sunny. And Vegasy. … [read the rest!]

See the new site! eLWmag.com

 

LearnTrends 2009 Video Archive Available November 27, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the LearnTrends 2009 Online Conference, but I heard great things about it. Fortunately, I ran across a video archive of the conference, thanks to a blog post by George Siemens. (LearnTrends was sponsored by Jay Cross, Tony Karrer, and George Siemens.)

Check out the video archive.

There are tons of other details about the conference here, and you can get more info about LearnTrends on these social networks:

Enjoy!

A Case Study of Micro-Blogging for Learning at Qualcomm November 19, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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Below are the slides from my presentation at DevLearn 2009. I co-presented this session along with my colleague, John Polaschek. The presentation had two main areas of focus:

  1. How micro-blogging can be used to help facilitate discussions and knowledge-sharing between employees
  2. How Qualcomm is using Yammer to help employees connect across divisions and geographic regions

I hope you enjoy it, even though you won’t have our charming personalities to accompany the slides! :)

Please leave a comment if you’ve worked with micro-blogging at your organization. I’d be curious to hear how it’s going and any tips you can provide to others. Thanks!

DevLearn 2009 – Day 3 Recap November 13, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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Ah, the final day of DevLearn 2009. It’s been so much fun! But all good things must come to an end…

If you haven’t caught up yet, be sure to read recaps of Day 1 and Day 2. And don’t forget: You can view photos from DevLearn, too!

Keynote: Why New Media Matters – Leo Laporte

Leo gave a great keynote without using any slides at all. How refreshing is that?! His stories were engaging, and it’s clear why he’s been so successful as a radio/technology personality for so many years. Cammy Bean did an awesome job (again) of live-blogging this morning’s keynote. You can see her notes here. Thanks again, Cammy!

I was only able to attend one session Friday morning, but it was a really good one:

Session 706: Sharing Knowledge for Training: Social Networking in Action at Toyota

Rodolfo Rosales presented his story of introducing a social network within Toyota to help encourage employees to share subject matter expertise (ex. product information, car comparisons). Rodolfo and his team used Ning as their social network and it flourished in the first 3 months….until their internal IT department found out about it. As I’ve seen in many cases, IT isn’t always comfortable with rogue installations of software, and they shut down the initiative (booo!). However, there was a happy ending: IT began to see the value of the social network and the resulting data, so they are now working to create an enterprise-wide social network that will be supported at Toyota. Rodolfo’s slides will be available on the DevLearn Resources page. Be sure to take a look.

Side note: Has anybody else noticed that many of the Learning 2.0 / Enterprise 2.0 tools seem to cause disruptions (ex. politically and technically) within the enterprise? I’ve seen it several times. There’s a research project in there somewhere…

Nice to meet you!

I had the pleasure of meeting all kinds of new people at DevLearn. I was also able to catch up with old friends, which is always great. I will attempt to list a bunch of them here, but I know I will forget several. (I’m sorry if I left you off the list!)

Thank you!!

A big Thank You to the eLearning Guild for doing such a great job with DevLearn!! I look forward to attending another Guild event soon.

DevLearn 2009 – Day 2 Recap November 13, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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Day 2 of DevLearn kicked off with a keynote from Eric Zimmerman on Serious Game Design. Cammy Bean did a fantastic job of taking notes during the keynote, so I’ll defer to her on this. You can see her notes here. (Thank you, Cammy!)

Session 401: Overview of Latest Learning Trends: What’s Hot, What’s Not, and Why

This session was presented by Lance Dublin. In Lance’s typical style, it was full of interesting discussion and TONS of open (and often uncomfortable) questions. He covered everything from eLearning basics to all of the new “2.0″ technologies. Some of the questions include: “Why would we use this? Does it really help? What really motivates us to use this tool? Are we over-complicating things?” When covering each iteration of technology, Lance broke items down to their core functionality to reveal their true advantages/disadvantages. Interesting stuff.

Session 506: Exploring the Benefits of Using WordPress for Learning

I presented this session along with my colleague, John Polaschek. We covered all things related to WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Our slides will be available on the DevLearn Resources page next week.

Session 613: Mobile Gaming Models – A Google Case Study and More!

This session was presented by David Metcalf. Julie Clow (from Google) was unable to co-present. (Feel better, Julie!)

Some quick gaming statistics:

  • 65% of households play games
  • Average player is 35, 40% female
  • Teens: 99% of boys, 94% of girls play games
    • 73% on desktop/laptop PCs
    • 60% on portable gaming devices
    • 48% on cellphones or PDAs

David showed several phone-based mobile learning games running on Java, BREW, and Flash. Next, he showed a few hybrid games, which integrate mobile with a full experience that includes full video, a web site, etc. Good examples, including one called MySportsPulse.

Google Leadership Game
Google worked with David Metcalf to create a leadership training program that was a mash-up with 7-8 Google tools: Gmail, YouTube, Google Docs, Google Talk, etc. They called it gLearning. Google used David’s MovingKnowledge engine, which provided a game engine, leader boards, curriculum tracking, and reporting. The MovingKnowledge engine bridged the gap between Google apps to provide a cohesive learning experience. The game element of a leaderboard led to higher retention and completion rates (and added the element of competition). What a cool case study… I would love to learn more about this.

One more day…

Notes from the final day of DevLearn will be online soon!

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!

Free Online Conference: LearnTrends 2009 September 23, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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Tony Karrer recently announced the LearnTrends 2009 Online Conference, which will be held November 17-19, 2009. Here’s a description of the conference, straight from Tony’s blog:

The theme/focus this year is on Convergence in Workplace Learning. We will bring together people who look at different aspects of learning and knowledge work to understand better what’s going on in those areas and how we should be thinking about this holistically. I’m particularly looking forward to discussions of how:

  • Enterprise 2.0
  • Communities and Networks
  • Knowledge Management
  • Corporate Libraries
  • Talent Management

come together to form a cohesive picture. What should L&D managers be doing relative to these related efforts? How does this impact our eLearning Strategy?

You can join the LearnTrends community and keep up with the conference happenings on the LearnTrends web site.

LearnTrends 2009

Heading to the Corporate University Summit May 16, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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I will be heading to Chicago on Tuesday for the Corporate University Summit, a corporate learning and development conference. I will be presenting a session on mobile learning on Wednesday, and I plan on spending the rest of the time making connections with peers and absorbing as much I can from the other presenters.

Here are some of the sessions/presentations that sound most interesting to me:

If you will be attending the conference, please say hello! If you will not be in attendance, let me know if you have questions about the conference or any of the presentations. I will be happy to get answers and report back.

Read more about the Corporate University Summit

How to Get the Most Out of a Conference May 7, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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Conferences have been on my mind quite a bit lately. I will be presenting a session on mobile learning at the Corporate University Summit in a couple weeks in Chicago, and I’m getting ready to submit a proposal or two for DevLearn. So you can see why I was pleasantly surprised today when I ran across an excellent blog post on how to get the most out of a conference. The post is by Dan McCarthy, and he wrote it over on his Great Leadership blog. Here’s a summary of his suggestions:

  1. Choose your conference wisely.
  2. Take time to to explore and experience the surrounding area.
  3. Try to suspend your judgement, be open minded, curious, and open to possibilities.
  4. Watch your diet and stay fit.
  5. Force yourself to network.
  6. Don’t be one of those attendees that race up and down the trade show isles with a shopping bag, avoiding eye contact with the vendors, and grabbing handfuls of useless junk.
  7. Keep a running list of ideas, insights, and action items; your key take-a-ways from each day.
  8. Have fun, but be on your best behavior.
  9. Ship your stuff back to your office.
  10. Don’t forget to thank your manager for allowing you to attend.
  11. Share something with your team or coworkers.
  12. If you can, offer to be a presenter, break-out facilitator, discussion moderator, or any opportunity to get involved.

Read Dan’s full post, How to Get the Most Out of a Conference, for more information on each of his suggestions. And if you see me at a conference, please stop and introduce yourself!

Additional resources:

Attending AG09 Remotely February 27, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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As I’ve mentioned before, I won’t be able to make it to the upcoming eLearning Guild Annual Gathering conference, but I’m already starting to figure out my plan of attack for keeping up with the conference from 2,400 miles away. If this conference is anything like past eLearning Guild conferences, many social media and social networking sites will be buzzing with updates on a regular basis. I plan on using the following sites/tools to keep up with everything:

What else? What am I missing?

And please let me know if you’ll be there – and if you’ll be blogging from the conference. I’ll be sure to publish a list of AG09 bloggers. Thanks!

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