Browsing the Blogosophere January 19, 2008Posted by cjescribano in blogging, e-learning.
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As part of my study of blogging, I am also trying to pay attention to the hot conversations. The Marketing Director at my company wants me to find the “high-value” blogs for our industry–talent management. I happen to know that the Human Capital Institute pulls together a number of industry blogs to browse. So, I started there. And since my personal focus is learning and performance support, I focused on the High-Impact Learning blogs. I don’t want to call out any blogs specifically, just focus on the main topics being covered so I can see if there are any trends.
So, here’s what’s hot in High-Impact Learning:
How Google works
Online resources for learning more about new technologies–from here I linked my way to a site where you can create your own Harry Potter character avatar. My daughter has been busy for HOURS!
Data portability–centralizing your identity online: good thing or bad thing
Mapping the domain of ignorance with a taxonomy of fallacies
An online community where people help to grant each others’ wishes
Creative training ideas mentioned in a recent issue of ASTD’s T&D magazine
Episode 30 of the e-Learning Lingo podcast series
Social networking in education–time for the hype to give way to thoughtful research
Virtual worlds are to become as important as the Web–references a ComputerWorld article about the recently released Forrester Report
Talent Development–a question from HCI about how interdisciplinary and organizational language is taken into account when developing simulations
And then if I go to my own personal faves, here’s the conversation:
InspireAction–Effective e-learning? It’s about a lot more than browsers: Discusses the results of a recent survey of the top e-learning tools by ELearn magazine.
Karl Kapp–Web Stats Meme Answer: Talks about blog statistics in response to Tony Karrer’s e-learning technology: 2007 Traffic Stats: Hopefully a Meme; AND a callout to me! Nice! I’ll definitely have more to say about this one because it has some good thoughts about blogging stats and reasons people blog.
Elliott Masie–Learning Trends #499: Classroom 2.0–what will the classroom of the future be like; and Learning in a Recession.
TrainingDay–Low CEOs?: Talks about different ways of understanding your CEO better
Learning Circuits–January’s Big Question: Asks for predictions for the learning industry in 2008.
Influencer by VitalSmarts–Supporting Your Social Networks: Describes tactics for becoming a valuable, supportive member of your social network
Will at Work Learning–Neon Elephant Award: Will awards his Neon Elephant Award to Sharon Schrock and Bill Coscarelli who wrote a book “advocating against the use of memorization-level questions in learning measurement and for the use of authentic assessment items, including scenario-based questions, simulations, and real-world skills tests.”
Tom Kuhlmann’s Rapid E-Learning Blog–How Walt Disney Would Use PowerPoint to Create E-Learning Courses: Tom shows some good strategies for adding animations to PowerPoint, without having to be a trained graphic artist.
I guess I’m not really surprised, but the decided majority addressed issues related to using technologies for education. It took me about an hour and a half to look through all this, and I definitely learned a lot doing that.
Too Many Tools? July 30, 2007Posted by cjescribano in e-learning, information management, tools.
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This month’s ASTD Learning Circuit’s Big Question is about choosing tools for e-learning. This year, I’ve been experimenting a lot with blogs, wikis, and personal knowledge management tools. Here’s what I’ve discovered so far.
My quest for tools began with a promise to myself that this year I would master the glut of information that pours into my office and computer every day. It was clear to me that all those unread books and magazines, emails, blogs, newsletters, etc. weren’t doing me any good. What could I do to better harness and use all the information available to me?
That question led me to tools–lots and lots of tools, including blogs, wikis, a post-it note tool called stikkit, PersonlBrain, as well as Google and all its gadgets. So, now my problem was compounded. With all the choices, how could I find the tools that would help me solve my original problem?
That led me to my professional network of colleagues. It was clear that I couldn’t know everything about every tool, but there are plenty of people I can ask and learn from.
So, here’s my 3-step process for staying current on tools:
1. Clearly define a purpose. With all the choices available today, it’s more important than ever to know where you’re going. Otherwise, you’re bound to get lost and overwhelmed. Having a clear purpose, and criteria for what the tool must do, is a quick way to eliminate a bunch of choices.
2. Draw on your networks. Once you know what you’re looking for, use your networks to get as much targeted information as possible. Read what other people are saying on blogs and wikis. See what tools are mentioned most frequently. Ask questions: “Hey, do you know of a good tool I can use to…”
3. Get to know a tool. Reading about a tool is no substitute for using it. I read a lot about blogs before starting my own, but I didn’t really know how to use them and couldn’t see their potential as a learning tool until I’d played around with them for a while. I’m still learning. You have to use a tool and make it your own before you can get the most out of it. Recently, I worked with a graphic artist, Rob, who uses Adobe Presenter a lot. When I was certain that something couldn’t be done, he would find some way to make the tool do exactly what we wanted.
I think that the number of tools is just going to continue to grow. All we can hope is that at least one of those tools will help us find, learn about, integrate, and better manage tools.
Examples of E-Learning June 28, 2007Posted by cjescribano in e-learning, Learning.
Anyway, to respond to the Learning Circuits Big Question, I am proud to share two e-learning examples developed by my employer, Vangent, Inc. of Arlington, VA. At Vangent, we help organizations create a high-performing workforce through a variety of talent management services, including customized blended, instructor-led, and e-learning solutions. I wish that I could say that I had designed either of these two pieces, but I didn’t have anything to do with them. I’m just glad I work with such talented people.
Example 1. American Red Cross Disaster Services Training.
Purpose: To motivate people to become Disaster Services volunteers and to provide more information about how to volunteer
What to Notice:
- This piece was created using our library of standardized Flash templates. These templates have been usability tested and used for numerous organizations, so we know they work.
- The piece does a nice job of guiding learners through a process of getting them interested (why), providing them with more information (what), and then inspiring them with a call to action (how).
- Drama is created using only photos, music, and sound effects. This engages learners and motivates them to find out more.
- The teaching is held together via a storyline of a fire. Learners watch how Red Cross volunteers respond, and occasionally they are invited to help out.
- Interwoven through the action are Red Cross principles and testimonials from celebrity volunteers.
- The module ends with a call to action. Learners complete a survey identifying their interests; then, they can view relevant volunteer positions.
Example 2. Fifty Lessons
Purpose: To provide managers and leaders with targeted leadership lessons from the world’s most prominent business leaders
What to Notice:
- These lessons harness the power of storytelling to convey important lessons on leadership.
- Each video is about 3 – 5 minutes.
- Supporting materials, such as Ideas for Action and Questions to Ask, are provided to facilitate knowledge transfer and behavior change.
- I especially like that you can select a topic and then pick from a list of relevant lessons.
- The lessons are flexible–offered in a variety of different media and different packages.