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DevLearn 2007 – Day 3 November 8, 2007

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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Ok, so I’m cheating a little. Today is a half-day at DevLearn, and I’m writing this before I attend the events. I’m headed out for a few days of vacation right after the conference, so I thought I’d go ahead and put up a brief post…

This morning’s keynote speaker is Frans Johansson. After the keynote, I plan on attending a session by Jay Cross titled Informal Learning – A Management Guide to Strategic Planning. That’s it! It’s been a great conference…and I’ll definitely be back for the next one. The Adobe Learning Summit takes place over the next 2 days, but I wasn’t able to attend. Maybe next time!


DevLearn 2007 – Day 2 November 8, 2007

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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Holy cow – today went by FAST! It was a blur but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Here’s a recap:

  • I began the morning by dropping in on a discussion led by Clive Shepherd on the use of Facebook and social networking applications in learning. It was a great discussion and Clive is quite knowledgeable on the subject. I don’t use Facebook myself, but I was surprised and encouraged to hear about the possibilities it presents. Just like wikis, Facebook allows learners to contribute their own information and collaborate with others, which shows good potential. We also discussed the fact that there’s still a definite generation gap with tools like this, but we believe that’ll fade with time. It was good to kick ideas around regarding social networking and learning. Many of us think there’s a lot to benefit from in this area, but I don’t think any of us know exactly how to use it in a training scenario (yet).
  • Paul Saffo gave an interesting keynote on the progression of media usage and how it may ultimately affect learning. He discussed a shift from media consumption (ex. watching TV, reading web pages) to media creation (ex. YouTube, Wikipedia, etc). Paul believes the eLearning world could strike big in this movement, especially as people begin to better understand the importance of learning-how-to-learn. He said our industry is "Standing on a whale, fishing for minnows." Hold on!
  • Later in the day, I attended Clive’s session, 30-Minute Masters for Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Clive, along with Cammy Bean, came up with this concept, and I’m already a big fan. They suggest that we (training professionals) spend time with SMEs and teach them basic instructional design skills and then provide them with rapid development tools such as Captivate and Articulate. Granted, you can’t get too deep into instructional theory, but you can definitely give them some high-level design dos and don’ts. This way, SMEs are able to quickly create training and (hopefully) address the basic needs of most individuals within the organization. This frees up the training staff to focus on more complex training solutions, high-end courses, immersive learning solutions, etc.

    Later in this session, we began discussing the management of content (ex. training modules, job aids) generated by SMEs. Clive suggested that their content could be dumped into a large repository and we could allow users to search it, just like they search Google or YouTube. He also suggested allowing learners to rate the content (ex. 4 out of 5 stars). This way, higher-quality content (training modules) float to the top and are featured in the system. This approach would weed-out (or bury) poorer quality modules. I like this idea, and I don’t think it’d be that hard to implement.

    Clive set up a wiki for the 30-Minute Masters – check it out.

  • Silke Fleischer held a session where she covered several (Adobe) rapid development tools and showed excellent examples of how they can be used to create podcasts, eLearning modules, audio clips, and short videos. Some of the tools included Captivate, Visual Communicator, Contribute, SoundBooth, and others. My big A-HA moment came when she showed how Contribute can be used as an editor for writing and editing blog posts. How cool! I’ve never been happy with WordPress’ editing capabilities. It’ll be nice to use the Contribute editor instead; it looks very intuitive.
  • Finally, I attended a session on Instructional Alternate Reality Games (I-ARGs), put on by the folks at Exceptional Software / Media Edge. WOW, this is cool stuff. They covered the ARG concept in full, which is just SO cool, and talked about ways in which it can be used for training. These folks are the first ones to tackle ARGs in the education/training world. I think there’s major potential here… I’m going to keep an eye on this stuff.

    Here are a few links related to ARGs and I-ARGS:

Oh – and then I went out for drinks with several other eLearning bloggers. Good times! Now, it’s time for sleep. Good night!

DevLearn 2007 – Day 1 November 6, 2007

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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I made it to San Jose and attended my first day of DevLearn 2007 today. So far so good! I’m staying at the Fairmont Hotel, where the event is being held, and I’m quite impressed. As always, The Guild comes through.

Here’s a recap of my first day:

Keynote: Sir Ken Robinson

What a great way to open the conference! Simply put, Sir Ken gets 5 out of 5 stars from me. His keynote focused on the premise that creativity is being ignored and even squandered by the corporate world. Unfortunately, I think he’s right. He cited several studies that show people "grow out" of creativity as they reach adulthood. How unfortunate… However, he encourages folks to snap out of this funk to ultimately improve how we live and grow. It probably sounds corny (unless you were there)…

Sir Ken has a book called Out Of Our Minds. Pick it up. Even though I haven’t read it, I can 99% guarantee that you’ll love it. Sir Ken gave a similar talk at the TED conference in 2006. Check it out here. He’s amazing. (Tony Karrer also blogged about Sir Ken’s keynote.)

I attended 3 sessions today. Here’s a quick wrap-up:

Session 1: Instructional Design for mLearning (David Metcalf)

I’m pretty new to mLearning. I think it’s a great idea (in theory), but I think it’s trickier to implement (in practice). David did a great job of showing examples and discussing ways in which mLearning projects have failed…in order to show what can be successful. He provided several great examples; I’ll post links soon.

Session 2: State of the eLearning Industry (Brent Schlenker and Steve Wexler)

Brent Schlenker and Steve Wexler discussed the findings of The eLearning Guild’s research staff over the past year. They covered everything from salaries of eLearning professionals to the effectiveness of simulations and mLearning. This is awesome info. These guys should be applauded for the work they’ve done. If you’re not a member of The Guild, you should join just so you can access this information!!

Session 3: Applying Narrative Storytelling Approaches to Instructional Design (Carolyn Lee and Laura Kratochvil)

This session focused on incorporating storytelling in eLearning. This isn’t a comfortable area for all people because it requires creative thinking and storytelling skills that aren’t always easy to come by. Carolyn and Laura presented several ways to structure a story, using methodologies such as the hero model, anti-hero model, and several other ways of structuring stories to enhance learning. Good stuff…

The best part…

Just like The eLearning Guild’s Annual Gathering conference in Boston earlier this year, I’m finding that most learning comes from mingling with colleagues during breakfast and lunch sessions (and everywhere in between). I met 10+ people in my first day, and I know that number will continue to grow. We’ve discussed pros and cons of different tools, vendors, and methodologies. This is why I come to these events… Great stuff.

(FYI – Clark Quinn is blogging about DevLearn here. Brent Schlenker is doing a good job, too.)

The eLearning Guild Announces (Great) Membership Changes November 6, 2007

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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The eLearning Guild announced several great changes to their membership options at DevLearn today. I’m going to let Brent Schlenker give you the details. Thanks, Brent!