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Five Words To Describe Corporate Learning in 2010 December 18, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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Jeanne Meister, author of the New Learning Playbook blog, wrote a post yesterday on the five words she predicts will describe corporate learning in 2010. I think she’s right on target… Here’s a brief summary, but be sure to check out her full post for more info.

  • Social
    The word ‘social’ is overplayed, but what it represents is still relevant and will continue to be in 2010 (i.e. collaboration, information sharing, etc.). I still think we need to come up with another word besides social; it isn’t a good business word – but we’ll save that for another time.
  • Mobile
    Our mobile devices are becoming more and more powerful. It only makes sense that we will have more opportunities to use these devices in a learning context.
  • Collaborative
    None of us is as smart as all of us. Collaborative technologies such as wikis have proven to be very useful for learning and information sharing.
  • Engaging
    If I’m bored, I won’t learn. Learning solutions need to be challenging and as thought-provoking as possible.
  • Fun
    As Clark Quinn says, “Learning should be hard fun.” It isn’t always easy to make learning fun in a corporate setting (ex. compliance training), but it’s our job to give it a shot.

Are any of the concepts above ground-breaking for 2010? No, they aren’t, but I believe they put us on the right track to continue to improve our learning solutions and experiences for our end users. Hey, at least we’re trying! πŸ™‚

Hot Topics in eLearning for 2009 December 4, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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Tony Karrer posted a list of the trending hot topics in eLearning for 2009, based on stats from his eLearningLearning.com site. Nothing is too surprising, but it’s very helpful how Tony linked to some of the more popular articles and blog posts related to each topic.

Below are the hottest trending topics we saw in 2009, but be sure to visit Tony’s full list to see even more great info.

Hot Topics in eLearning for 2009

  1. Twitter
  2. Social Media, Social Networks, Social Learning, and Informal Learning
  3. Google Wave
  4. SharePoint
  5. Video
  6. Mobile , Mobile Learning and iPhone
  7. Changes in Design and Instructional Design and our Roles
  8. Webinars and Virtual Classrooms

Any predictions on what we’ll see as the hot topics in 2010?

Exploring the Benefits of Using WordPress for Learning November 20, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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Below are the slides from my second presentation at DevLearn 2009. I also co-presented this session along with my colleague, John Polaschek. The presentation covers the basics of blogging and describes the advantages we’ve found with using WordPress. We’ve used it internally at Qualcomm and we’re very pleased with the results. Check out the slides for more info!

Have you introduced blogging at your organization? If so, please share a little bit of your experience with us. 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

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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

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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

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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!

I’m speaking at DevLearn 2009! October 7, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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Ok, I’ll admit it: I only wrote this blog post to show off my snazzy new DevLearn 2009 badge:

DevLearn 2009 Badge

But, since we’re here, I’ll go ahead and let you know that I’ll be presenting two sessions next month at DevLearn:

I will be co-presenting these sessions with John Polaschek, who also works at Qualcomm. Please drop by and say hello if you’re there!

Update:
I should mention that I have a beard now, so just imagine a hairier version of the picture above. πŸ™‚

Elgg, Ning, and SocialText September 2, 2009

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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

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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

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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.