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DevLearn 2008 – Day 3 Recap November 14, 2008

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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Today was the final day of DevLearn, and technically, it was only a half-day. I presented Session 702: Virtually Anywhere: A Case Study of Mobile Learning at Qualcomm, along with Barbara Ludwig. (The slides are below; I’ll try to get the handouts posted soon.)

Unfortunately, I missed the keynote by John Medina, author of Brain Rules. I talked with several people who raved about it, so I may have to pick up a copy of John’s book.

Because I wasn’t able to learn much new info today (I was a bit preoccupied with my presentation and getting to the airport on time), I will defer to two bloggers who did manage to post today. Surf on over to read Clark Quinn’s blog and Brian Dusablon’s blog for updates on Day 3 of DevLearn. And again, don’t forget the other DevLearn bloggers mentioned in this list.

While I liked all of the sessions I attended, I have to say that I enjoyed the people at DevLearn more than anything else. This was an incredible event for networking. I can’t even begin to list off all the people I met (my apologies), but please know that I enjoyed meeting each and every one of you!

Also, I can’t say "thank you" enough to Brent Schlenker and the rest of the eLearning Guild staff for putting on such a great conference. Your hard work definitely paid off!

DevLearn 2008 – Day 2 Recap November 14, 2008

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I kicked off Day 2 at DevLearn by facilitating a Breakfast Byte session on DevLearn Live!, which is the collection of Web 2.0 apps we’re using regularly this week. Not many people showed up, but Wendy Wickham, Matt Wolf, and I spent the time well by discussing our current projects, our impressions of DevLearn, favorite technologies / tools, and more. It was a great way to start the day.

Next, I went to the keynote by Dan Roam, author of  The Back of the Napkin. Here’s a summary of my notes from the keynote:

  • We can solve nearly all problems with pictures. Once we start to think from a visual perspective, things become more clear.
  • Whoever best describes the problem is the one most likely to solve it.
  • Whoever draws the best picture gets the funding.
  • Always be thinking: “How can I explain this situation in a simple drawing or a napkin sketch?”
  • The more human your picture, the more human your reponse. The mind likes to look at pictures that map to the way we see the world.
  • Any problem can be broken down into six pieces:
    1. Who/what (Draw using a portrait)
    2. How much (Draw using a chart)
    3. Where (Draw using a map)
    4. When (Draw using a timeline)
    5. How (Draw using a flowchart)
    6. Why (Draw using a multi-variable plot / graph)
  • Southwest Airlines was started on the back of a napkin in Texas. Two entrepreneurs said they would create an airline that would fly between Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. They drew a triangle on a napkin to represent the flight pattern. They started simple and they succeeded. And if you fly Southwest today, you’ll see that they still print their flight routes on their cocktail napkins. Nice homage.
  • When it comes to visual thinking, there are three types of people: Black pen (people), yellow pen (people), and red pen (people). Black pen people will jump up and run to the whiteboard to draw their thoughts (that’s me). Yellow pen people say, “I can’t draw” – but they’ll eventually draw. Red pen people say, “I’m not visual. I’m not going to draw anything.” They’ll only get up to draw when they’re pissed off. :)
  • If you’re having trouble getting started on a blank canvas, JUST DRAW. Getting over the inital mark on the page is the hardest part. Start with ‘Me’ and ‘My problem’.
  • Need to sketch something on your PC? PowerPoint’s presentation mode provides a great drawing tool that most people don’t know about!

Here are the sessions I attended today…

406 – Managing Learning in a Web 2.0 – and Beyond – World (Lance Dublin)

  • Slides available here.
  • Lance Dublin is great at asking uncomfortable questions to get everybody’s minds thinking differently. If you attend one of his sessions, it’s very likely that he’ll put you on the spot for something. (Ex. “How do you define eLearning?”).  I enjoy the challenge.
  • Web 2.0 and so-called Learning 2.0 has caused us to re-examine how we learn, but has it really changed  us?
  • Lance argued that learning hasn’t changed, only technology has changed. If we look at how humans learn – how we acquire, absorb, encode, and use information – the core skills haven’t changed much over time. Sure, we have fancy new tools to help us organize the information, but we are still learning the same.
  • Lance believes there should be an area of learning called ‘non-formal’ learning. This is when people intentionally learn information in an informal way. (He states that informal learning takes place unexpectedly in an informal way.) It’s an interesting idea, and I bet the concept is easier for upper management to understand; informal learning has always seemed a little too relaxed for some people to see as valuable. Then again, this could all juts be semantics.
  • Lance believes the Learning 2.0 movement consists of these elements:
    • Rapid
    • Mobile
    • Immersive
    • Collaborative
    • Non-formal (rather than informal)

508 – Global e-Learning: Overcoming the Obstacles (Maarten Fleurke and Paul T. Liotti)

  • Admittedly, I didn’t stay through this whole session. The content was decent, but I didn’t see myself applying it any time soon at work (if ever at all). It was a bit more specific than I expected; I was hoping to get bigger-picture strategies for planning global projects. No worries, though. The room was packed and everybody seemed to enjoy the session.
  • Use qualified linguists for translations; don’t shortcut the process by using friends, family, etc. True linguists will be much less likely to make grammatical and spelling mistakes. (Plus, mistakes are expensive to fix, especially if audio or video is involved.)
  • There are no quick fixes when it comes to localization/ translation.
  • 30-45% of a course’s budget could easily go to voice talent and translation expenses (wow).

605 – Using Flash CS3 and AIR to Build Desktop Applications (Dan Carr)

  • Dan was a very laid back presenter, but he definitely knows his stuff. I liked his style; it was easy for me to tune in and absorb lots of great Flash / AS3 / AIR info from him.
  • Building a basic AIR app (desktop Flash app) is much easier than I realized.
  • Dan walked through an example AIR application that could write to an XML file on the desktop. It was simple and straightforward. I believe he will post his example files here, so keep an eye out.

I ended the night by having dinner with Barbara Ludwig. Now, time for bed. DevLearn is wearing me out!

DevLearn 2008 Bloggers November 13, 2008

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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In case you’re not getting enough DevLearn 2008 coverage, here’s a list of awesome bloggers who are writing about their experiences here in San Jose:

Did I accidentally leave you off the list? If so – I’m sorry! Please add a comment with a link to your blog.

DevLearn 2008 – Day 1 Recap November 13, 2008

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Day 1 of DevLearn 2008 kicked off today with a great keynote from Tim O’Reilly (@TimOReilly), where he walked us through the Web 2.0 movement and how it has impacted learning and training. Here are some of the notes I took during his keynote:

  • We should always try to follow the “alpha-geeks.” These are the people who are constantly hacking and studying things in unconventional ways. They are often the ones who come up with the most innovative solutions and they tend to have the most fun. If we follow their fun stuff, it’ll usually lead us to innovation.
  • Tim started Make magazine and Maker Faire as a tribute to the alpha-geeks, and to promote their activities.
  • The idea of Web 2.0 was introduced to re-energize the tech world after the dot com crash. Web 2.0 was a renaissance that soon took on a life of its own.
  • Web 2.0 harnesses collective intelligence; this data is the new “Intel Inside.” Check out the O’Reilly book: Programming Collective Intelligence.
  • Web 2.0 is about finding meaning in user-generated data – meaning which may be hidden from plain sight.
  • Web 2.0 for the enterprise means turning your company data inside out for everybody to see (or paying a startup/vendor to do it for you).
  • Good quote: “The future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.” – William Gibson
  • Tim also spoke about machine learning and patterns. He recommended A Pattern Language and Air Guitar.

So, given all these changes, how do we teach the right skills? Follow these steps.

  1. Follow your own pioneers and alpha-geeks.
  2. Turn them into mentors.
  3. Provide self-starters (tools) with access to the best online references.
  4. Show, then do, with reinforcement from small successes.
  5. Study success stories carefully, then don’t assume they are easy to emulate.
  6. Stop fondling the hammer and focus on the house.

I also attended the following sessions. I’ve included the notes I took in each session:

112 – Mobilizing Tests: Building & Deploying Assessments to Cell Phones (Robert Gadd)

  • Slides available here.
  • Why use mLearning? Because we always have our cell phones on us. On average, corporate workers will return an email within a 4-hour time span. The same workers will, on average, return an answer to a text message with 6 minutes.
  • OnPoint Digital’s mLearning system works with all major phone platforms (iPhone, Blackberries, and Windows Mobile). The system also allows people to choose their preferred modality for receiving communications (ex. by voice, text message, etc.).
  • The OnPoint Digital system looks impressive and it sounds like the cost is reasonable.

202 – Work Literacy – A Key to e-Learning 2.0 Success (Tony Karrer)

  • (After briefly meeting her at lunch, I was able to sit next to Wendy Wickham in this session. Very cool!)
  • Handout / slides available here: http://tinyurl.com/workliteracy
  • Things have changed drastically in the world of information systems. How can we keep up? Our brains are wired to seek out more information, but a barrage of information can ultimately reduce our IQ. We currently aren’t adapting well, given all the new information that is available during this day and age.
  • Darwin quote: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” We need to adapt.
  • For knowledge workers, work and learning are inseparable. We are always learning.
  • We are making a transition from information workers to concept workers.

309 – Learning 2.0 and Workplace Communities (David Wilkins)

  • Slides available here.
  • Case studies of ACE Hardware, Intel, Cisco, and more. All examples showed an overall community using social media, rather than the occasional blog or wiki.
  • The idea of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) is antiquated; we are all SMEs now. All of us can contribute useful information to the overall community.
  • As we use more social media, our roles will change to be social media architects, where we will build and nurture learning environments.
  • Using one-off tech tools does not a add up to a social media strategy. Using WordPress doesn’t make your organization “2.0.” A bigger view is needed to make sure you build up a community within your organziation that can communicate and function on its own.

A-ha! Moments of DevLearn 2008 November 12, 2008

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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Did you learn something at DevLearn this year that opened your eyes? Did you learn something that could make your life easier or save you time?

If so, please add a comment to this post and share your thoughts. This will help us share our great experiences with those who couldn’t make it to San Jose this year.

So, what did you learn?

Using Twitter at DevLearn October 31, 2008

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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My eyes were very much opened to Twitter at the last eLearning Guild conference. About 15 of us used Twitter to…

  • Keep in touch with other conference attendees, co-workers, and friends,
  • Tell others about good and bad conference sessions (ex. “Come check out session 702, it’s great!!”), and to
  • Arrange dinner outings (ex. “Interested in dinner? A group of us will meet in the hotel lobby at 6:30…”).

I’m betting there will be tons more Twitter activity at DevLearn coming up in a few weeks. The official DevLearn Twitter page is here, my Twitter page is here, and as far as I know, these people will also be going to DevLearn:

Did I leave you off the list? If so, please add a comment and share your Twitter name! Also, check out Jane Hart’s Directory of Learning Professionals on Twitter. I’m guessing several of these people will also be at DevLearn.

Let’s Meet at DevLearn! October 31, 2008

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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If you’ll be at DevLearn in San Jose in a few weeks, let’s meet up! I’m always anxious to meet other people involved with learning, technology, and performance improvement – and events like DevLearn provide a great venue for this. Get a hold of me any time at the conference if you want to chat. I will be floating around from session to session, and I will be pretty active on Twitter (http://twitter.com/bjschone). In fact, see my next post… :)

DevLearn 2008: A Case Study of Mobile Learning at Qualcomm October 17, 2008

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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I will be presenting Session 702: Virtually Anywhere: A Case Study of Mobile Learning at Qualcomm, at DevLearn 2008 next month along with a co-worker, Barbara Ludwig. Here’s a quick summary of what we’ll cover in this session:

Mobile technologies are transforming the way we work. But are we harnessing their potential to transform the way employees learn?

Discover how Qualcomm Incorporated, a digital wireless technology company, is extending the reach of training outside the classroom, using a variety of mobile devices including cell phones, iPods, and eReaders such as the Amazon Kindle. See how Qualcomm uses mobile technology to deliver learning resources employees need when they need them, and turns those "in between," otherwise wasted moments into micro-learning experiences.

We will look at how Qualcomm overcame challenges in implementing mLearning, such as designing for disparate platforms and devices, integration with the larger corporate learning infrastructure, security, and keeping ahead of rapidly changing technologies. In this session, we will conclude with a look at new trends in technology such as Web 2.0, social collaboration and networking, games and simulations, and location awareness, and we will examine their potential for mobile learning.

We’ve learned some great lessons while working with mLearning over the past several months. (In fact, Qualcomm was doing mLearning waaay before I got there.) I’m anxious to talk about our experiences, and I hope I can help others save some time and/or frustration. Stop in and say hello before, during, or after my session if you’re there. I’m glad to chat about anything (m/eLearning related or not) and meet new folks.

Advice for Learning and Technology Professionals September 23, 2008

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I will be facilitating one of the Breakfast Byte sessions at the upcoming DevLearn 2008 conference. The session will be called, "I’m new to eLearning and I have no idea where to start!"

This will be an open session for people who are new to the learning and technology (eLearning) field. I will provide resources, tips, tricks, suggestions, etc. I’ll do my best to help people get on the right track. I figured I would break my information into these groups:

  • Learning Management Systems / AICC / SCORM
  • Tools and technologies
  • Useful blogs, eBooks, and books
  • (e)Learning 2.0

I believe I only have an hour, so I will be covering these from a very high-level; however, I will be available each day at the conference, and I’ll be happy to chat if anybody wants more info.

So, what advice would you give to people starting out in the field of learning and technology?

I’ll start out with these…

  • Never trust a vendor that says they are 100% SCORM compliant. Always test courses thoroughly in your LMS before agreeing to any type of purchase.
  • Exciting and flashy interactions do not always equal effective learning.
  • Don’t create boring eLearning; people will fall asleep if they aren’t engaged. Use techniques like storytelling to get (and keep) your learners’ attention.
  • Always read eLearning Weekly. :)

Please chime in if you have any other advice and I’ll be sure to pass it along. Thanks!

DevLearn 2008 – Register Now To Save $100 September 19, 2008

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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Early bird registration is almost over for DevLearn 2008! Register by September 26th to save $100.00 off the total cost.

DevLearn, which runs from 11/14 to 11/18, will be held once again in San Jose, CA. If you’ve never been, DevLearn is an excellent conference for learning and technology professionals. You’ll have great opportunities to learn new skills, see what other organizations are doing, and network with peers. I will be presenting Session 702: Virtually Anywhere: A Case Study of Mobile Learning at Qualcomm, along with a co-worker, Barbara Ludwig.

The Adobe Learning Summit will be co-located with DevLearn, too, so be sure to sign up for that if you’re interested.

Download the DevLearn 2008 brochure (PDF) for more information about the conference.

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