jump to navigation

DevLearn 2009 – Day 3 Recap November 13, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
7 comments

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.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

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!

Elgg, Ning, and SocialText September 2, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
3 comments

Several social media platforms have emerged over the past few years which allow you to create your own social network. Organizations are using these platforms to aggregate some or all of their social learning tools so employees don’t have to keep jumping from application to application. These platforms generally have user profiles, status updates (pseudo micro-blogging), collaboration tools (ex. wikis, blogs), and more. I personally haven’t had a ton of experience with these platforms, but I’m anxious to dig in and learn more. Please chime in and comment on your experiences if you’ve used Elgg, Ning, and/or SocialText.

Elgg

    "Elgg empowers individuals, groups and institutions to create their own fully-featured social environment."

    Pricing
    Elgg software is licensed under the GPL version 2 from the Free Software Foundation. The full license is here.

    Hosting
    You can download and run Elgg on your own servers or you can pay to have somebody host it for you (see hosting information).

    http://elgg.org

Ning

    "Ning lets you create and join new social networks for your interests and passions."

    Hosting
    Ning hosts your social network(s) for you.

    Pricing
    Ning has both free and paid options. The free version has ads. For some reason I was unable to find the exact pricing details on the Ning site.

    http://www.ning.com

SocialText

Again, please chime in if you have experience with any of these platforms. I’m curious to hear feedback!

Highlighted Blog: Social Media In Learning August 16, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

Jane Hart’s Social Media In Learning blog is proving to be a great resource for keeping up with technologies related to social learning, a.k.a. Enterprise 2.0, a.k.a. Learning 2.0. This blog complements the Social Media In Learning Handbook & Toolkit, which is a free resource for those who want a quick, easy-to-use, structured introduction to social media for learning as well as a practical guide to using social media tools. If you’re new to these tools and technologies, Jane’s blog and associated tools provide an excellent starting point. (And the info is still helpful, even if you’re a seasoned veteran.)

Jane continues to offer amazing resources to the learning and technology community. As I’ve said many times before, thank you, Jane!

(Pardon my short post this week; I ran a half marathon today which has had me a bit distracted recently!)

#lrnchat August 8, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

If you’re looking for a great way to connect with other learning professionals to discuss experiences and share best practices, #lrnchat may be your new best friend. #lrnchat is an online chat that happens every Thursday night 8:30-10pm EST / 5:30-7pm PST on Twitter. Participants are people interested in the topic of learning from one another and who want to discuss how to help other people learn. (If you haven’t yet joined Twitter, this may be a good opportunity to give it a shot!)

#lrnchat is hosted by @marciamarcia, @quinnovator, @moehlert @koreenolbrish and @janebozarth. The official twitter account is @lrnchat.

You may want to consider using a free service like TweetGrid or Monitter to follow #lrnchat; these services make it much easier to tune into the conversation.

Transcripts are available if you are unable to attend the live #lrnchat sessions. Personally, this has been really helpful for me, because I can’t seem to synch my schedule to participate in the live chat sessions. Here’s an example transcript of #lrnchat from July 30, 2009.

Thanks to Jane Hart; her recent post on #lrnchat reminded that this would be an excellent topic to cover in eLearning Weekly.

Enterprise 2.0 August 1, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
4 comments

Enterprise 2.0, the use of social media and social networking tools in a business setting, is having a major impact on how employees learn and share information. As learning professionals, it’s becoming increasingly important that we stay aware of these changes and understand how and why they’re happening. We need to play a bigger role in understanding and selecting Enterprise 2.0 tools, and we need to partner and collaborate with our IT departments along the way. Let’s dive in to learn more about Enterprise 2.0 and learn more about why it matters to us.

What is Enterprise 2.0?

According to the Enterprise 2.0 Conference web site: "Enterprise 2.0 is the term for the technologies and business practices that liberate the workforce from the constraints of legacy communication and productivity tools like email. It provides business managers with access to the right information at the right time through a web of inter-connected applications, services and devices. Enterprise 2.0 makes accessible the collective intelligence of many, translating to a huge competitive advantage in the form of increased innovation, productivity and agility."

Essentially, Enterprise 2.0 is the idea of creating an ecosystem of open, connected tools while growing and nurturing a culture of learning and sharing. Yes, it sounds a little soft and fluffy, but the main idea is to encourage employees to exchange ideas, learn from each other, and become more independent learners. This is very much in line with the theory of informal learning and social learning. Some of the more common tools related to Enterprise 2.0 are blogs (ex. WordPress), wikis (ex. MediaWiki), micro-blogging platforms (ex. Yammer or Present.ly), social bookmarking sites (ex. Scuttle), and even in-house social networks, similar to Facebook.

What role should we play?

Rather than look for ways to integrate Enterprise 2.0 tools with the LMS, I believe we need to take time to experiment and identify which tools have the most value at our organizations. Enterprise 2.0 is definitely not a one-size-fits-all situation. In fact, I find that if you have the right mindset, you’ll naturally figure out what works at your organization. For example, if you determine that you’re going to help connect people to people, and people to information, you’ll start to see areas where these tools will fit naturally in your organization. Don’t try to shoehorn fancy new technology where you think it will succeed. Listen to your learners, run small pilot programs (many of these tools are open-source / free), and experiment. Fortunately, unlike an LMS, you can install several of these tools and experiment under the radar. Then, after you start to see potential areas of success, you can be more visible and vocal with your efforts. (Depending on your situation and your comfort-level with technology, you may want to have an ally in your IT department during your experimentation. They can help install some of the tools / systems for you.)

Enterprise 2.0 Resources

Take some time to check out some of the links below. These are some of the best Enterprise 2.0 resources I’ve found:

Social Learning Resources June 6, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

I wanted to highlight a few social learning resources this week that I find to be very valuable. Take a look at the slideshows below for several perspectives and best practices for using social learning at your organization.

Defining Your Social Learning Strategy

Social Learning and Internal Communications

Harnessing the Power of Social Networks in Teaching and Learning

Social Learning Success Stories, Models, And Roles

Also, be sure to check out these books:

Micro-blogging at Work May 30, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
11 comments

I’ve been on Twitter for over a year, and I find great value in the ability to ask questions to a large group of people (ex. friends, peers, etc.) when I need to find information. I often get excellent answers and suggestions that have much more value than a Google search would have yielded. I also enjoy the ability to share helpful resources that I find, and I do my best to answer questions that other people have. It only makes sense that organizations are starting to bring the same concept of Twitter (micro-blogging) in-house to improve communication between employees.

What is micro-blogging?

Micro-blogging is the process of sending short text updates that describe what you’re doing and/or thinking to a web site or web application. The messages are available to whomever has subscribed to view your messages. There are many micro-blogging platforms (see below) that allow you to easily track messages from your friends and peers, and they also make it easy to search for messages that were previously posted. All of the information is saved and it can be searched. Read a more detailed definition of micro-blogging.

How can micro-blogging be beneficial at work?

Here are a few examples of how micro-blogging can be beneficial at work. Micro-blogging can be used to:

  • Ask questions
  • Share project updates
  • Make organization-wide announcements (for non-critical information)
  • Build a community (ex. have new employees communicate with each other and share their experiences)
  • Promote a culture of information sharing

We’re in the early stages of a micro-blogging trial at work. I can’t say much about it, but I am very pleased with what I’ve seen so far. I’m seeing employees making connections with co-workers in different divisions, and I’m seeing employees provide each other with assistance on a regular basis. While I can’t articulate a rock-solid business case for micro-blogging, this behavior screams success to me.

Selecting a micro-blogging platform

If you are concerned about your employees sharing confidential or proprietary information, you will probably want to be very careful when selecting a micro-blogging platform. You can use an internally-hosted micro-blogging platform, or you can consider using a solution hosted by a vendor. Some of the most popular platforms are:

Involve the right people

When considering micro-blogging at your organization, you’ll need to make sure to involve the right people. I highly recommend you bring in people from the following departments. Help them understand micro-blogging and why you’re interested in using it:

  • Corporate Communications
  • HR
  • IT
  • Legal

Run a pilot program

Consider running a pilot program, where you use micro-blogging for a small group of users (perhaps the training department?). This will let you get a feel for how the concept works, and you should be able to figure out its potential pretty quickly. (I would also recommend that you jump on Twitter, just to get a quick understanding of how micro-blogging works.)

Good luck, and please leave a comment below if you have experience using micro-blogging at work. I’d love to hear how it is going.

The Future of eLearning is Social Learning May 2, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
2 comments

Jane Hart has been creating presentations recently to help explain social learning to her clients. Fortunately for us, she is now sharing some of this content online: Jane is working on a 3-part series related to social learning, and the first 2 parts are now available (and embedded below). Keep an eye out for the third part, which should hopefully be published in a week or two.

These presentations are valuable for several reasons. First, they explain the significance and importance of social learning in simple, people terms without getting overly technical. I would feel very comfortable using these presentations to help educate upper management on the benefits of social learning without hesitation. Second, the presentations describe a solid approach (using Elgg) for getting started with social learning. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the social learning tools out there, and even though I’ve never used Elgg, it seems like it would be a great starting point. Finally, the presentations are extremely portable on SlideShare; you can embed and share them very easily with others. Take a look…

Part 1: The Future of eLearning is Social Learning

Part 2: Using Elgg as as Social Learning Platform

Part 3: Coming soon!

Beware of Social Learning Backlash April 11, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
4 comments

I’m finding out that the old adage, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” has some major significance when it comes to introducing social learning (specifically, social learning tools) at an organization. In fact, even worse things can happen if you don’t market your offerings correctly…

When introducing social learning tools and concepts, it’s easy to get excited and anxious to share our findings. We often see the potential of how these tools can impact our organization, and we can’t wait to tell everyone we know about it. But here’s the tricky part: A good portion of our audience may not see the same potential, and it’s important to understand their point of view. They may have these feelings for several reasons:

  • They may not understand the concept(s)
  • They may fear new technology
  • They may be afraid to learn something new or change their current processes
  • They may feel intimidated or threatened

In fact, some people may undermine your efforts by expressing doubt to others and they may refuse to use new tools. To be clear, I believe constructive criticism is always a good thing. I’m only concerned about the people who counter your efforts because of one of the reasons listed above.

On a sidenote, it doesn’t help that many of the social media and social learning tools have goofy names. Many non-technical people immediately dismiss the idea of using these tools because they can’t take the name seriously. (Personally, even though I am a fan, I think Twitter’s name is one of its biggest downfalls.)

Here are a few tips to prevent social learning backlash:

  • Communication and change management are key
    Begin by explaining the basics of social learning and gradually work up to the benefits of using social learning specifically at your organization. Explain all benefits and be honest about possible shortcomings.
  • Seek out allies in your organization
    Find people within your organization who can help you tell the story of how social learning can benefit your organization. This way you won’t be seen as the person trying to make all the changes on your own.
  • Don’t just talk – produce
    I can talk about Web 2.0 and Learning 2.0 until I’m blue in the face, but it won’t do anybody good until I actually produce something. I would recommend staying light on the concepts and heavy on the examples. As they say, actions speak louder than words.
  • Carefully connect social learning to familiar external sites
    Explain that most people already use social media and social learning resources outside of work, whether they realize it or not. For example, what tools do you usually use when you have a question, or when you need information? Wikipedia, Google, and social bookmarking sites like Delicious are a few simple examples.
  • Re-brand the technologies in-house to use more conventional names
    If you install any social learning applications in-house, you may consider re-branding their names to something that makes sense within your organization.

Kevin Jones has done a fantastic job of covering all things related to social learning. Be sure to check out some of his posts below. You’ll find additional tips for improving the adoption of social learning at your organization:

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 548 other followers