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Learning a Little at a Time February 28, 2010

Posted by cjescribano in information management, Learning.


This month’s Learning Circuits Big Question asks us to consider how to design instruction in an “information snacking” culture.

A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing
The sheer volume of information available to us has changed the way we consume and digest information. In the past, people had only a few books and newspapers to attend to, so they read them cover to cover—several times even. But today, we are bombarded with information from the mail, books, magazines, the Internet, our mobile phones, the TV…. We know that we can’t possibly consume all that information, so we snack, dipping into a little information here and there. This snacking can be dangerous because it makes us think we know something when we know just a piece of it. 

Snacking with a Purpose
But, if we set up our information snacking to lead us to a specific goal, to deepen our knowledge in a certain area, it might actually be more instructionally effective than a single intensive learning event. In Quiet Leadership, David Rock explains that the brain creates new pathways with repeated stimulation of those paths. Think about the language you learned in high school. If you never practiced it again, you probably can’t speak it any longer. But what if you had spent a half hour every day practicing it. Even though it wouldn’t seem like you were really studying in earnest, you would probably retain more of your ability to speak the language than you did from all that time you spent cramming for tests in high school.

Daily Progress toward a Learning Goal
Daily devotionals have the right idea. Daily reminders can help keep us on the right path toward our goals. Some things just can’t be learned in a single class or even a degree. Skills like leadership need daily reinforcement. Using technologies like blogs, Twitter, wikis, and social networks, it’s possible to set up a course of daily information snacking that can guide us to achieving goals.

For Example: My Twitter Experiment
Last summer, I conducted a Twitter experiment to apply this approach. Here’s what I did:

1. Set a goal. In my case, I wanted to communicate more effectively. I thought that if I focused on that everyday and used Twitter to record and share what I was learning and even get feedback and ideas from others, I could achieve that goal.

2. Set up a daily plan. I had planned to read a chapter of a book on communication skills everyday and then tweet about what I learned or how I was applying those skills.

3. Set milestones to assess progress and determine next steps.

I have to confess that my Twitter experiment was a failure because I didn’t have the discipline to stick with it. When work got busy or my personal life interfered, I got swept away, and I still haven’t returned to pursuing that goal. But I still think the idea and the approach have merit for learning new skills, especially skills that require a long-term change in the way I think and the way I am in the world.

By applying this type of approach, perhaps we can harness our information snacking habits to build a pathway to better performance.


A Twitter Experiment June 21, 2009

Posted by cjescribano in change management, experiments, Learning, Twitter, Uncategorized.

I have recently started using Twitter as a way of staying on track with my goals.

I’ve never been very disciplined with goals. This blog is the perfect example. You can see when my enthusiasm spikes and I write some posts. And then when my enthusiasm wanes, there are long gaps. I have the best of intentions, but mostly those intentions are overcome by events. Too much going on, so I say, “I’ll write that post tomorrow.” And tomorrow turns into the next day and the next, then the next week and the next. Then the next month. And all those good intentions evaporate into nothingness.

Lately, I’ve come to believe that the way to make a change, to learn something new and make it part of your life is to commit to it daily, to do something toward that goal everyday.

I suppose I could do that here, but Twitter seemed a better approach, more suited to the small steps forward that I think will help me achieve my goals.

So, a week ago, I started off, and for my first goal, I chose communicating more effectively. I am fortunate to work with many effective communicators. And I watch as the people in a meeting hang on every word they say, but turn deaf ears to what I say—even when we’re basically saying the same thing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pitched an idea in a meeting that met with lukewarm reception, and then someone else pitched the same idea a half hour later that was received enthusiastically. So, I decided to focus on this skill of effective communication for a while and see where it takes me.

As guides, I have two books: 1) The Power to Connect by Teresa and Chuck Easler and Words that Change Minds by Shelle Rose Charvet.

Each day, I read from these books and make my notes in Twitter: LLLearningLab. Follow along with me as I work day-by-day to become a better communicator.

Personal Responsibility for Learning September 28, 2008

Posted by cjescribano in Informal learning, Learning.
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As the month of September comes to a close, I thought I’d squeak in my response to the Learning Circuit’s big question on To-Learn Lists. I started by spending some time reading everyone else’s responses, and I learned a lot. Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts and lists.

To-Learn lists can help shorten to-do lists
Like everyone else I believe that knowledge workers need to learn continuously to stay abreast of their industries and that to-learn lists are a good way to do that. I also think that to-learn lists can help us shorten and better target those long to-do lists.

In the old paradigm, managers were responsible for an employee’s learning
Tony’s questions on to-learn lists got me thinking about the whole idea of personal responsibility for learning. In the old paradigm, much of the responsibility for a worker’s learning was on the corporation or the worker’s manager. Human resources and/or managers came up with employees’ learning development plans and decided what learning opportunities to make available: Which classes would be approved for next year?

We should be responsible for our own learning
But those who move up in their careers ultimately realize that the responsibility for learning rests on themselves. And while they may work with their managers to make that learning happen, they no longer rely on their managers to plan their development. In many cases, they guide their managers: Here’s the training I’d like to take this year.

Today’s technologies make it easy to develop a personal learning plan
Today’s technologies have enabled informal learning so that it’s easier than ever to develop and act upon a personal learning plan. The first step, and possibly the hardest step (for me anyway) is to set clear learning goals. But once you know where you’re going, development options are many and mostly free. Based on your goals, you can set up your to-learn list. Then venture out to the wide open Web for blogs, social networks, articles, Webinars, colleagues, wikis, videos, tutorials, and all kinds of resources to help you meet your goals and check off items on your to-learn list. Many people are creating their own Personal Learning Environments to help capture their learning and share it with others. Michelle Martin at the Bamboo Project Blog has a whole section devoted to PLEs, with lots of useful advice for setting one up.

Your personal learning plan is not complete, however, without personal measures of success
In The Three Signs of a Miserable Job, Patrick Lencioni makes the case that managers need to help employees come up with personal measures of success so that they can objectively know for themselves when they’re succeeding. Taking that a step further, I’d say that those who want to move up in their careers need to develop their own personal measures of success. They may want to share those with their managers so that they can be sure to align with their organization’s requirements. But at the end of the day, as managers come and go, organizations change directions, new technologies arise, and industries transform overnight, each of us needs to have our own standards and take the steps needed to meet those standards.

So, here is my to-do list, inspired by the Learning Circuits Big Question on To-Learn Lists: 

1. Define my goals.

2. Make a to-learn list based on those goals.

3. Identify ways to check off the items on my to-learn list.

4. Define my personal measures of success.

5. Set up a Personal Learning Environment to capture and share what I learn.

Buzzin’ on the Biz for 5/12 – 5/16/08 May 19, 2008

Posted by cjescribano in blogging, Learning, training industry.
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Not so much buzz, but an interesting thread that I found about blogging. First, I ran across a post by Tony Karrer on whether blogging should be mandatory as a learning tool. And then on Tony’s del.icio.us bookmarks, I found an article in FastForward that talked about blogs as a tool for managing personal knowledge. And if you want to delve into the topic of blogs as Personal Learning Environments, Michele Martin at the Bamboo Project blog has written prolifically on this topic.

Buzz in the Professional Organizations

  • ASTD Learning Circuits: May’s Big Question: Do we have to design, develop, and deliver instruction differently for Digital Natives?
  • E-Learning Guild: Reminder to members to update survey responses on the Guild’s Web sites. (not updated since end of March.)
  • ELearn Magazine: An interview on designing learning with Irene McAra-McWilliam, who specializes in cultural research for social innovation, creativity, new technology, and community and who is a pioneer in the field of interaction design. She talks about “transformation design,” differences in teaching certain subjects online and in the classroom, the use of imagining a person in online course design, the educational equivalent of fast food, the choreography of learning, and the value of face-to-face interaction in education. 
  • Training and Development Blog: Asks readers to think about how well they listen. Are they really hearing what the other person is saying? 
  • The MASIE Center: Masie is conducting a real-time blogging experiment using Twitter to capture his notes from a Harvard Kennedy School event on Presidential Leadership Competencies.
    Also, a post last week talked about NBC’s new group called NBC Learn, which has launched a new product called NBC iCUE, which “takes ‘e-Learning’ a huge step forward, with the introduction of small video chunks (from the NBC News archives), social networking and gaming. They blend these learning and engagement components in new ways, which will form the basis of new pedagogical approaches.”
  • Training Day: Discusses how to prepare your business and your employees to function successfully in the global marketplace.
  • Educause: A long list of podcasts and reading related to the use of technology in higher education, including IT issues in higher education, Web 2.0 and knowledge, communities, and cyberinfrastructure and the humanities.



Research on Feedback: Will Thalheimer has just completed an extensive review of research and data on providing learners with feedback. You can download his free report.

New White Paper: Mobile Devices: This is part of a white paper on mobile learning. This part covers technologies, devices, and networks. The part on designing for mobile devices was included in the E-Learning Guild’s report on mobile learning.

Working Memory Down from 5 – 9 to 3 – 4: This post references a study conducted at the University of Missouri and reported in the April Proceedings of the National Institutes of Health that shows that our working memory struggles when handling more than about 3 or 4 items at a time (unlike the 7 +/- 2 that has been the rule to date).

Mobile in 5 Paragraphs: Clark Quinn provides a quick overview of mobile learning: what it is, what kinds of devices there are, developing content for, and how it enables learning. There are also links to the ELearning Guild’s report on mobile learning and other resources.

Buzzin’ on the Biz for 4/28 – 5/2 May 1, 2008

Posted by cjescribano in Learning, training industry.
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In the latter half of April, there was a “blog carnival” on work at learning/learning at work, which provided an area of focused conversation. Of the 15 bloggers who participated, social learning and informal learning were big topics of conversation. Here’s the breakdown of topics into some categories I created:

  • Learning best practices (my own category for people with concrete suggestions on improving learning at work): 7
  • Learning 2.0 (including social learning): 4
  • Informal learning: 1
  • Leadership and learning: 1
  • Learning sources: 1
  • How we learn: 1


Buzz in the Professional Organizations

  • ASTD Learning Circuits: May’s Big Question: Do we have to design, develop, and deliver instruction differently for Digital Natives?
  • E-Learning Guild: Reminder to members to update survey responses on the Guild’s Web sites. (not updated since end of March.)
  • ELearn Magazine: 14 excellent tips for how to keep students in a distance learning class motivated.
  • Training and Development Blog: In honor of May being Older Americans month, Training and Development provides statistics on how many older Americans will soon be retiring and asks readers what plans they have to capture the knowledge of exiting workers and how they will replace them.
  • The MASIE Center: (No change since last time) Masie’s learnings and impressions from his Learning Systems event last week where he met with 370 learning leaders to talk about learning and LMSs/LCMSs. Also, info about an interesting learning event in Atlanta for high school students–called FIRST Robotics Co-opetition. “It involves intentional use of a game challenge, atmosphere, coaching, “gracious professionalism”, short/intense action spurts and a design/build experience. Creative use of “failure” is also leveraged in a way that could be deeply emulated within corporate learning designs.”–Intriguing! Masie will be live blogging on this event and posting video interviews.
  • Training Day: Best practices in Second Life. This article says that if you’re just using Second Life for meetings/conferencing, you’re probably using the wrong tool. It also introduces a new feature in Second Life, called robotic avatars, that allow SEcond Life to be used for asynchronous e-learning. Learners interact with the robotic avatars, which seem to be real people but are not. Their completion of tasks and progress can be tracked via reports.
  • Educause: Advertises a free Webinar on Digital Visual Literacy, which has become an essential skill for the 21st century college graduate; Discusses an Educause Learning Initiative on the social network, ning–7 Things You Should Know About Ning; Discusses the Senate committee meeting on the future of the Internet and network neutrality; LOTS of podcasts on topics related to technology and learning


HR in Second Life: Provides a summary of a plenary session at the HRPS conference that talks about how companies are using Second Life for HR functions. Also provides videos that were used in that session.

Jane’s E-Learning Pick of the Day: Provides a brief writeup about a new tool or resource for e-learning. A great way to keep up with technology!

31-Day Comment Challenge: Challenges people to become better blog citizens by sharing their thoughts, ideas, and learnings on as many blogs as possible through comments.


Buzzin’ on the Biz for 4/14 – 4/18/08 April 17, 2008

Posted by cjescribano in Learning, training industry, Web 2.0.
1 comment so far


The Buzz was busy as a bee this week, so this is a slightly abridged version. I didn’t have time to look through all 50 blogs I usually track. But here’s a run-down of the professional organizations. Plus some summaries of articles worth reading out there. Enjoy!

Also, a quick glance through my RSS aggregator showed a lot of references to the E-Learning Guild Annual Gathering. So, if you want to catch up on that event, plenty out there to read.

Buzz in the Professional Organizations

  • ASTD Learning Circuits: April’s Big Question: What would you like to do better as a learning professional? There are some interesting answers to this question–about interactivity, ROI, and pushing back. There’s even a post from Bulgaria.

  • E-Learning Guild: Reminder to members to update survey responses on the Guild’s Web sites. (not updated since end of March–probably busy with the AG.)

  • ELearn Magazine: Usability testing of e-learning. Interesting article that talks about why to usability test and provides tactical information about how to test.

  • Training and Development Blog: Celebrate Diversity!–article calling for companies to celebrate April as Diversity month. There’s also a good article on April 4 about problems with communicating with millenials.

  • The MASIE Center: Masie’s learnings and impressions from his Learning Systems event last week where he met with 370 learning leaders to talk about learning and LMSs/LCMSs. Also, info about an interesting learning event in Atlanta for high school students–called FIRST Robotics Co-opetition. “It involves intentional use of a game challenge, atmosphere, coaching, “gracious professionalism”, short/intense action spurts and a design/build experience. Creative use of “failure” is also leveraged in a way that could be deeply emulated within corporate learning designs.”–Intriguing! Masie will be live blogging on this event and posting video interviews.

  • Training Day: Discusses ways to relieve stress at work.

  • Educause: Several new books are featured; there’s also an interesting article about a keynote speech at the 2008 Midwest Regional Conference, in which Susan Metros talked about new IT strategies for a digital society.


The Power of Networking
Really, really great article about a group of bloggers who met online, wrote a book together, and finally decided to meet in person. Talks about the value of having a powerful social network.

What Work-Learning Audit Reveals
Will Thalheimer, who always offers excellent analyses of what’s going on in the learning world, provides some interesting data about where learning happens for retail clerks (hint: only a small part happens in classrooms and e-learning).

Seven Habits of Highly Connected People by Stephen Downes
Really good list of habits for a socially networked world. Good snapshot of the Web 2.0 culture.

Extreme User Research
This may seem old-hat to analysis pros, but I think this article puts forth a quick and easy way to get valuable user data for a design. I especially like that he uses sticky notes to organize his data and look for patterns.

Running Virtual Groups
Jay Cross posts some lessons learned from interviews that he conducted at a company that “lives and breathes community.” Another good description of Web 2.0 culture.

Buzzin’ on the Biz for 3/31 – 4/3/08 April 4, 2008

Posted by cjescribano in Learning, training industry.

Buzzin on the Biz

Given that we “celebrated” April Fools Day this week, there were several humorous/tonge-in-cheek entries this week.
Of the 46 blogs currently being tracked, here was the breakdown in topics:
  • Design–4
  • Humor pieces–3
  • Info on Conferences/Classes–3
  • Writeups on software apps–3
  • Web 2.0–3
  • Podcasts–2
  • Second Life–2

The rest was all miscellaneous, everything from someone’s trip to Norway to a really inspirational video about what a father has done for his son who has cerebral palsy.

Buzz in the Professional Organizations

  • ASTD Learning Circuits: April’s Big Question: What would you like to do better as a learning professional?
  • E-Learning Guild: Reminder to members to update survey responses on the Guild’s Web sites.
  • ELearn Magazine: Ten Web 2.0 Things you can do in 10 minutes to be a more successful elearning professional
  • Training and Development Blog: In Ohio, dozens of staff members were ordered to change their focus from human services to human development (basically changing the mentality from “giving them a fish” to “teaching them how to fish”).
  • The MASIE Center: April Fools edition with some outrageous predictions, including a new Google product called Giggle used to search for humor, an e-learning for super-delegates, Level 9 evaluation, speed presenting, and outsourcing classroom participation.
  • Training Day: Discusses issues with labeling people as “high potential” and ask readers to think about how they know those people are really high potential and not just good at playing politics.
  • Educause: Wikis and emergent roles for teaching and learning; update on key U.S. copyright developments; how innovators can learn from Hollywood how to address resistance to change
  • HCI featured blogs: Interestingly, HCI does not seem to be featuring blogs on their home page anymore. Within each of their communities, they link to a lot of different blogs, but they do not seem to be featuring any in particular anymore.


Search Patterns: This site has a collection of different types of search patterns with commentary on how each is useful and what each says about user behavior and the information architecture of search. And what’s really interesting is that they used Flickr to do this.

PowerPoint Accessibility: Really interesting article on PowerPoint and accessibility—deficiencies in PowerPoint with regard to accessibility and how to fix those.

Benchmarking Your Learning Culture: Jay Cross describes a free tool from Harvard Business Review with questions to help define organization’s learning culture and then compare it to benchmarks.

Project Initiation Checklist for Rapid ELearning: Links to a document with a checklist of things to consider at the beginning a rapid elearning project. The checklist includes many of the things we already do, but it goes a step further into implementation considerations, such as marketing and communications. I have put this document out on the Home Team Connection Shared Documents folder, under Rapid E-Learning.

Work/Learning Blog Carnival: A blog carnival! Different bloggers unite to talk about the same topic, in this case—“working at learning;  learning at work”. Very interesting approach, and very interesting reading.

In Which I’m (Almost) Convinced of the Value of Twitter: Michele Martin of the Bamboo Project Blog talks about some exploration she’s doing into the value of using Twitter. What’s really great about this article are all the links to more information about Twitter and how people are using it.

Buzzin’ on the Biz, March 7 – 21 March 17, 2008

Posted by cjescribano in Learning, training industry.
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Buzzin on the Biz

Once again, design topped the list of hot topics, with several posts providing tips for making learning more engaging. Tied at the top of the list were posts on useful tools.

Also hot:

  • The brain and learning
  • Social media

Buzz in the Professional Organizations

ASTD Learning Circuits: March’s Big Question: What Is the Scope of Our Responsibility as Learning Professionals? There are now a bunch of responses to this question, so check them out.
E-Learning Guild: Review of serious gaming software developed by IBM. (not updated since last time)
ELearn Magazine: How to measure success for a Web site for which the goal is personal enlightenment
Training and Development Blog: Cites a recent Novations Group study that showed that most diversity training does not include tools to reinforce the training, does not have metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of the training, and did not address any of the organization’s development or advancement practices.
The MASIE Center: 1) References a research paper conducted by Cisco that confronts myths and assumptions about how people learn and the role of media in the education process. 2) Provides a link to an article about how the CIA is using podcasts for language training. 3) Talks about how the room dynamic changes when a trainer/facilitator sits down with the class. 4) Lists features that learners have requested be included in LMSs.
Training Day: With more and more asked of workers, productivity may be increasing, but is quality suffering? How do companies measure productivity, and what metrics can help ensure quality along with quantity?
Educause: Understanding communications: a key to effective leadership; Teaching in Second Life: a report from the trenches; How Flickr embodies Web 2.0 technology
HCI featured blogs: 2008 National Human Capital Summit Blog provides blog posts for key sessions of this conference.


Multimodal Learning Research conducted by Cisco
This research paper, commissioned by Cisco, provides current information on how people learn, and how media can facilitate learning.

Multimodal learning through media
Provides a brief overview of Cisco’s Multimodal Learning research paper, which Elliott Masie pointed out in Learning Trends.

25 Tools Every Learning Professional Should Have in their Toolbox—and All for Free
Whittled down from a list of 100 must-have tools, this is an interesting list of tools that the author says learning professionals should have.

Social Media How Much Is Too Much?
Good article that describes all the ways that Brandon Hall will use social media for their upcoming conference, but also questions whether or not it’s too much.

Nadira Hira Talks about Generation Y
Really good recap of a presentation by a Generation Y writer at Fortune magazine, with lots of links for more information on recruiting, hiring, and training Generation Y.

10 Emerging Technologies 2008
Technology Review’s list of 10 technologies that they think most likely to change the way we live.

Buzzin’ on the Biz March 6, 2008

Posted by cjescribano in blogging, e-learning, Learning, social networking, training industry, Web 2.0.

As a service to the company for which I work, I’ve been doing a biweekly summary of hot topics of conversation on learning-related blogs. It occurred to me, with a little help from Michele over at the Bamboo Project blog, that this information might be valuable to people outside my organization as well. So, here’s the first installment of Buzzin’ on the Biz for the worldwide audience.

Buzzin on the Biz

This week’s hot topic on learning-related blogs:  Good Design, with a number of posts providing tips and showing examples of good online learning design.

Games and Web 2.0 as always were big topics of discussion. Also, since ASTD had just had their TechKnowledge conference, there were a number of posts about that, as well as a post about ELearning conferences in general.

Miscellaneous topics covered everything from Shakespeare to ELearning as a green solution.

Buzz in the Professional Organizations
  • ASTD Learning Circuits: March’s Big Question: What Is the Scope of Our Responsibility as Learning Professionals?
  • E-Learning Guild: Review of serious gaming software developed by IBM.
  • ELearn Magazine: Graduate student experiences of how they learn through blogging.
  • Training and Development Blog: Big brother is watching your Internet use.
  • The MASIE Center: Use of emerging technologies in the political campaigns; and a video about the Starbucks training shutdown.
  • Training Day: Make sure you’re not trying to solve every problem with training.
  • Educause: The value of feedback; and how people can experience the flight deck of the Space Shuttle in Second Life.
  • HCI featured blogs: So many Internet postings—does anyone work anymore?; result-Performance Management; d-Future business blog; reference to a blog with ideas about creativity, marketing, advertising, branding, interactive, social networking, web 2.0, design, democratization of the web etc.


Check out these top-notch posts:

100 Ways your iPod can up your IQ
Need some ideas of how to use iPods for learning? Prepare to be overwhelmed with GREAT ideas!!

Welcome to Creepy Valley – Motion Portrait – 3D Facial Animation
This is absolutely amazing technology that converts a static image to an animation. The face actually follows the movement of the cursor. You can output the animation to PC, TV, Game Console, and Mobile devices.

5 Ways to Make Linear Navigation More Interesting
There’s a great slideshow here that provides 5 great tips for making learners WANT to click that Next button.

Wikiful Thinking
Talks about considerations for making wikis successful as enterprise tools.

Instructional Design Conversations
For the past month or so, there’s been an interesting discussion about whether or not people need a degree to be an instructional designer. This post adds to the discussion, but provides links to other parts of it. Really interesting!

Are Social Sites Good for Educating? 
This is an old post from last fall, but provides some insight into 1) how schools are handling social networking and 2) the online and social networking usage of the 9 – 17 age group. Fascinating stuff. The link to the report in this post is wrong. Use this one instead:

Formal Learning at TechKnowledge March 1, 2008

Posted by cjescribano in Formal learning, Learning, Web 2.0.
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I’m just back from the ASTD TechKnowledge conference in San Antonio. I forgot how intense conferences can be, especially when you’re presenting. I had planned on blogging every night to share what I was learning. But most nights, by the time dinner was over, I was so exhausted, I just went to bed. And then there was the piano bar night, but that’s another story.

Anyway, since many presenters spoke about formal, non-formal, and informal learning, I thought that I would provide a quick summary of all the things I learned–both formally at the sessions and informally the rest of the time.

This post summarizes the formal sessions. Stay tuned for my informal learning anecdotes.

David Pogue’s opening session:
Despite a last-minute hard-drive crash, David gave an interesting and entertaining overview of four key technologies to watch, including:

  • Phone and internet devices, such as Voice over IP
  • Ala carte TV and movies
  • Wireless everywhere, beyond laptops
  • Web 2.o

He ended his session by putting his musical talents to work with some side-splitting renditions of popular songs, for example a song about long waits on help lines sung to The Sound of Silence.

Will Thalheimer’s Measuring Learning Results:
Several years ago, I happened upon Will’s Work-Learning Research site and have found it very helpful in finding ways to make learning as effective as possible. So, when I saw him on the schedule, I went to the session to see him in person as much as anything else. It was a great session in which he guided the group through some thinking about how to best measure learning results, including:

  • Conducting assessments at different intervals after a learning event
  • Conducting assessments in different contexts
  • Making tests as authentic as possible

Some of what he presented, I recognized from a wonderful tutorial called Don’t Forget Forgetting that he published on his blog about a year ago. Because of that tutorial, I have been focusing training designs more on transference to the job and on-the-job support. This session just reinforced that shift.

Lance Dublin’s Exploring Emergine Learning 2.0 Technologies:
In this session, I learned a new term: “nonformal learning,” which is a structured form of informal learning. Lance gave a whirlwind overview of the evolution of Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and predicted the future of the Semantic Web in which the computer can look at your patterns of online behavior and begin to suggest links to you. He also gave many good examples of how various Web 2.0 technologies have been applied for learning.

Joe Miller of Linden Lab’s overview of Second Life:
Joe provided a nice overview of Second Life. Much of it, I already knew, but I heard about some exciting new features, such as 3D voice, mobile clients for cell phones, and revamped search capabilities. He also talked about some sites I’m interested in checking out, such as Vassar’s Sistine Chapel inworld. And he also showed some examples of “Mixed Reality” situations where live events had Second Life components.

UBS’s case study on developing simulations using SimWriter:
It was interesting to see the thought processes behind the design of the simulation, and we got to try out the SimWriter software.

Kevin Jones’s Learning 2.0–The Learning Revolution:
This was a very valuable session for me because Kevin laid out 7 key things to consider when implementing Web 2.0 technologies in an organization, including:

  • The current learning environment
  • Which technical principles to capitalize on and when
  • The type of environment that will be best for the organization and when to introduce pieces of the solution
  • How to implement the human principles of social learning
  • How to anticipate and overcome objections
  • How to introduce and manage the implementation
  • Creating a plan to build momentum

Kevin had recently completed a Learning 2.0 project for a client/employer, so he had good stories to tell about what worked and what didn’t. The worksheet he provided for thinking through the implementation will be useful to me right away.

JIMPACT Closing Session:
Jim “Mr. Energy” Smith did a great job of bringing the session to a close and helping us to see how we could apply all that we had learned. He offered a wonderful 5-step process for anchoring your learning:

  1. Get on your manager’s calendar right away so you can tell him/her about what you’ve learned and how those learnings could help your organization. If you’re having trouble getting in touch with your manager, send e-mail teasers.
  2. Show your manager what you learned in an engaging way. Get him/her involved. Make your presentation a good experience for him/her.
  3. Show your manager your plan for implementing what you learned. Be sure to include how you’ll measure results.
  4. Put together an affinity group to help you achieve your goals; make sure you’re not the smartest person in the group.
  5. Believe in you!

I also loved some of Jim’s pithy quotes like: “You’ll always get what you’ve always gotten until you become the person you’ve never been.” and “You are the CEO of You.” and “Grow through the conference.” and “Does your difference make a difference?”
He also talked about creating a highlight reel every month of your accomplishments–great idea!