Saturday, August 30, 2014

Weekly Review - August 25-29 - Blogs, Conference Season, and Tools

2 Weeks of Blog Posts

This week was interesting. I read another post about the death of the LMS and it inspired me to write "The LMS is Evolving...Not Dying!". And a conversation with a friend inspired Thursday's post "To "e", or not to "e", that is the eLearning Question."

And since I forgot to do a Weekly Review last week, I'll mention that this blog celebrated 9 Years of posts on the 23rd. Going into it's 10th year I hope to use it as an anchor for work. While I enjoy social networks like twitter, linkedin, G+ and others, there's just something special about having your own space carved out on the internet.

And of course there was the post congratulating The eLearning Guild on the upcoming 10th DevLearn. If you want to read more check out the post here.

Conference Season is Coming!

And as the summer comes to an end, I find myself preparing presentations for the fall conference season. I have not created a completely new presentation in several years, but look forward to delivering all new material in the coming months. I look forward to seeing new and old faces alike from around the globe.

Tools

This week on the tool side of things I found out that Twitter has made its reports freely available. Check out Analytics.twitter.com.

I haven't used SoundCloud in a long time so I decided to record one of my blog posts and embed the SoundCloud player in a post here. Check it out.  Do you like listening to blog posts?

Twitter

The Corporate Training tweet in shape of Jurassic Park was one of the highest scoring tweets over the last 2 weeks.

Also, for #lrnchat this week I tried launching a G+Hangout called #lrnchat Live. And while, it only had 6 viewers during lrnchat I did learn a lot.  And had enough interest afterwards to keep me excited about going at it again next Thursday.

But my tweet asking "Can we use improv in Corporate Training?" scored even higher which surprised me. I have some ideas around this topic and will be collaborating with some friends to see what this might look like. Stay tuned.

And in the spirit of the Emmy Awards, this weeks Twemmy Award goes to @Dave_Ferguson for this brilliant twitter retort to one of my blog post quotes.


Lots of great conversations this week with so many of you. Thanks to everyone who reaches out to say hi. I love hearing about all the cool projects you're working on.  So much so, that I've got some ideas for holding Hangout "office hours" so people can just drop in and chat about Corporate Training, eLearning, or whatever else is on your mind.

Have a safe and fun Holiday weekend!
Cheers!
Brent


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The LMS is Evolving...NOT Dying! (audio)

If you'd rather read the blog post you can find it at Litmos.com/blog.
 

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Look Back at 9 Years of Blogging - Corporate eLearning Strategies and Development

Tomorrow, August 23rd 2005, 9 years ago, I embarked on a most excellent adventure. It started with an unassuming welcome message, on a very plain, boring blogger template. I know, I know, I should be on wordpress, bla, bla, bla...
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Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Welcome

Thanks for stopping by Corporate eLearning Development. I chose the title because it can mean so many different things, and I hope to cover many topics that are so real to me at this moment in my career.

I've been wanting to start this for quite some time and the time has come. After presenting 2 topics at the eLearningDevCon2005 in Oregon, I have committed to making this blog and it's resources a reality.

I don't believe that many eLearning professionals, especially those under a corporate blanket, understand that the field as we now it is undergoing a drastic change we are not prepared for. I am constantly amazed at the number of seminars, conferences, and EdTech curriculums still preaching old school ISD and how to create all of the "elements of effective eLearning"...forget about it. I would urge you to consider updating your skills in graphics design, color theory, image manipulation, Interaction design, cartooning, comics, audio/video production, and story telling.

Please read the following books: Re-imagine! by Tom Peters, and A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink...

I will be following this post with updates to the blog as well as other materials
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placeit.net image - eLearnDev.blogspot.com
And that's how it all started. I did not start it to make money, or optimize my search ranking, or anything like that. I was simply fascinated by the idea of writing publicly for no other reason than to think out loud, share my thoughts, and well...yes... to vent...a little. And I wanted to participate. I wanted to fully engage in this thing called Web2.0. Not as a mere searcher and consumer of content but a PLAYER! Maybe not in the Gary Vaynerchuck Player style, but in my own personal way. An active player in my own personal game of Life...online.

Even today the internet blows my mind. I can publish any type of media and anyone around the world can view it.  Not only that, but they can respond and we can connect and have a conversation, and often build friendships.  Heck, one click and I'm in a video room chatting with colleagues via G+Hangouts. Again...it. blows. my. MIND! But everything moves so fast these days, and everything on the web is now part of mainstream news...and it's crazy, and funny, and dramatic, and horrifying.

But it's also AMAZING! Sit back and think about it. These are AMAZING days to be alive!

I've met people from all over the world and have had the most amazing conversations all because I started this blog. It's been the most powerful learning tool I could ever imagine. And better than that, I feel like I've helped others in their online journey.

At my first anniversary of blogging I felt like I had learned more than in my entire formalized education.  I read more, I wrote more, and I had deeper conversations leading to more reading and more writing. I was hooked! This was the future, and I was going to tell the world about it!

At my 5 year anniversary things had changed. I was contemplating just shutting it down. It was 2010 and there were new communication channels. Twitter, Facebook, and others had popped up seemingly out of nowhere. And the social media battle for attention was well underway. Also, by then I was busy programming the DevLearn Conference & Expo for The eLearning Guild. Blogging, RSS feeds, and feedreaders just weren't interesting any more.

I jump started a nice little career from being a below average blogger, and an even worse writer.
But hey, it's mine. And it's me. And I'm cool with that. As I head into my 10th year of blogging I just want o say thanks to everyone who's been a part of my career IRL, and/or followed my adventure online. I'm still lovin' this stuff!

Friday, August 08, 2014

My Weekly Review - eLearning Tools, Iterative Development, Pedagogy, and more

I started the Week in Review posts on July 11th...yea...I've missed a few weeks...Sorry.

Here is my review for this week August 4-8.

eLearning Content Creation tools

Okay, so they aren't specifically tools just for eLearning. They are general content creation tools, but WOW! They are pretty darn cool! I suppose we have HTML5 to thank for giving browsers the ability to do this kind of content editing. Check out my posts at the Litmos blog to get my reaction to Adobe's Voice App for iPad, and 2 browser based tools: Canva.com and Placeit.net.


Iterative eLearning Development

My Litmos blog posts on tools distracted me from my series on iterative elearning development. But I will be getting back to it. Honestly, I was beginning to think that my thoughts on 21st Century Corporate Training Development were perhaps a little too radical...perhaps before its time. But then this morning I saw a post on G+ from my UK eLearning friend, Clive Shepherd. His post is "Why eLearning Should be in Perpetual Beta". He is such a great writer, and has SO much industry experience that perhaps you will better understand the process I'm attempting to define by reading his posts on the topic as well. Here's a small piece...
"I once asked the CEO of a major e-learning company how much of their work was maintenance of existing content, thinking that this would be a substantial revenue earner. I was surprised to find that hardly anyone maintains their content. They just wait four or five years for the content to become obsolete, then they start all over again."
I believe, no matter what we call it, corporate training development and support as an ongoing service is where 21st century learning development is headed. The days of a 1-off product launch are numbered:  Still necessary in some situations, but not the norm.

My Hangups with Pedagogy

I published a post recently titled Mobile Learning - No Pedagogy Required! It sparked quite a conversation which I enjoyed immensely. I like to think out loud...publicly if necessary. Go to the post and catch up on the comments if you would like to engage.  But as a review I wanted to comment on the conversation.  Everyone was kind and rational in stating their views, thoughts, and opinions. Even the disagreements were cordial and I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who spent so much time on thoughtful responses.  
Seeking clarity and understanding is not always easy. Asking questions on the internet often leads to putting people on the defensive and the conversations spiral downward out of control. But conversations like this remind me why I love the social nature of the internet.

Random Stuff...

The Litmos team has started weekly webinars focused on different aspects of LitmosLMS. This week's webinar tutorial was a big success! If you're a Litmos user be sure to put it on your calendar...or watch the recordings. Madeline (@mghonig) Does a fantastic job!

#lrnchat was fun this week. I was distracted by...SQUIRREL...#dadchat though. Lots of fun with those folks as well. But the best part was finding this...Thanks daddydazed.com.


And with that I'll leave you to your weekend! Cheers!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

21st Century Learning - Let's Leave 20th Century Education Behind!

I'd like to restate something I've learned over the years living through and participating in the latest significant historical, world-changing event: The Internet. And you may find this to be obvious but here it goes...

THE INTERNET CHANGES EVERYTHING!


And if that statement seems a little vague then let me attempt to clarify it a little.

Pre-internet there were gate keepers for everything: 
  • Newspapers and big TV networks were the gatekeepers of news, 
  • publishers were the gatekeepers of books, 
  • record companies were the gatekeepers of music, 
  • universities were the gatekeepers of knowledge,
  • corporations(and government) were the gatekeepers of jobs, and so on.  

If you don't fundamentally believe that the internet, the cloud, and connected devices, together, are powerful enough to have changed ALL of those things...and more...then stop reading right now.  

Because the internet, the cloud, and connected devices, have handed you the power: 
  • You can report news, 
  • you can write and publish books and other digital content,
  • you can create and publish music,
  • you can learn anything, and teach anything,
  • and YES, you can even earn a living from any/all of these activities.
There are no excuses, no "yea, but...", no gatekeepers other than owning a computer, and an internet connection.

And in this new world we should not be trying so hard to apply 20th century theories, and models, to the 21st century world. Or desperately try to apply 21st century technology into 20th century classrooms. Shouldn't we start fresh? Ya know, remember and respect the past, but create a new future.

And when we do begin to create NEW theories, models, and frameworks, we should be careful in how we choose our words. Words like pedagogy don't necessarily apply to a 21st century world because of the baggage it holds from the 20th century.  

In the 20th century a person would spend the majority of his/her life being a student before a large, gatekeeper, institution would bestow upon them the right to be a teacher in that institution where only teachers are able to teach. Schools and universities put the teachers on a pedestal, in front of the class, and the class would, in theory, learn. Understanding and applying a method or practice of teaching was important and so it was given a name: Pedagogy. 

But in the 21st century, when everyone is empowered to be both teacher and/or student, pedagogy only addresses the former.  Shouldn't there be a fancy word for this new model of life long learning where teaching is a part of the process and not reserved for only the select few?

Actually, I don't believe that it really matters. I still hold my iPhone in my hand, at times, and just marvel at the how empowered it makes me feel. And the insane reality that I hold in my hand access to the sum of the world's collective knowledge.

It continues to blow my mind that schools seem so stymied by this. High school math classes still require the use of a "graphing calculator", but won't allow students to use the more powerful version on their phone.  And kids still forced to carry 40 pound backpacks filled with books. And they think crying out for more funding for computers in the classrooms is going to help.

And don't get me started on the laughable courses that still exist, and are mandatory, for corporate employees to suffer through.  We know these courses don't change behaviors yet the laws still force their existence and we pat ourselves on the back as if we've cured some major problem.

The 21st century world of learning isn't coming. It's HERE! NOW! Large bureaucracies will take decades to embrace it...if they ever really do at all. The internet doesn't just enable 20th century systems to "go online".  The internet empowers you to opt out of those systems and do better!


 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mobile Learning - No Pedagogy Required!


I've published a few blog posts at Litmos.com/blog over the last 3 months.  Most of the conversations around those posts occur in other places other than the blog, like Twitter, or Google+, or LinkedIn, etc. I started responding to someone in the comments today and realized it was getting very long and it would be better to share this thought as a blog post.

The following is in response to my blog post The Two Paths to Mobile Learning

I love academic journals...at times. But after 20+ years in the corporate world I've learned to take it in with a healthy dose of skepticism.  Actually, that's not true. I'm not skeptical of the research or the authors, but I do question the practical applications of these learning theories, models, and frameworks. And it bothers me that we put the technology as the focus point.

Despite the technology being the catalyst for changing everything, 21st Century Learning is about People, NOT technology. It's about the shift in power and control.

Pedagogy is defined (according to a quick Googling) as a method or practice of teaching.  Mobile learning is not about teaching.  Mobile learning is about...well...learning. What's the word for "a method or practice of learning"? Most of what the world learns via mobile devices is not created by people who studied pedagogical theories of mobile learning.  It's just common citizens sharing their knowledge with others.  Do we have a fancy word for that?

It may be important for some people to understand pedagogy, but in the corporate world employees and customers just want convenient access to the information they need to be productive: No pedagogy required. 

And in my experiences what you end up with then are two options: 1) existing content capable of being delivered via mobile devices, and 2) Specific learning content/experiences created with mobile device delivery in mind. In either case, no academic understanding of pedagogy is required...despite our best efforts to make it so.

Remember: Social media is a conversation. Give it a try.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Reviewing the Week: Knowledge Brokers, mLearnCon, Rock and Roll, and Apps

The week leading up to the July 4th holiday weekend was very quiet around the office. It gave me some time to think and write quite a bit.  The first 2 of 4 blog posts written during that time were published this week:

What Learning and Development can Learn from a Rock Band and YouTube - This post started out as a review of mLearnCon 2014 but quickly took a left turn at my stage presentation.  I realized that I've never really explained my thinking behind why I tell the Arnel Pineda story and so, as my blogs tend to do, it became a post about that in the end.

How Corporate Training Professionals Add Value as Knowledge Brokers - I really like the term Knowledge Broker....always have.  Some have said it connects to closely with the Knowledge Management world, but I didn't think anyone even talked about KM any more.  I like to keep life simple and so the post boils down to this...

Knowledge Brokers connect those that have the knowledge with those that need the knowledge.

There are many ways to do that, but the true essence of what we do in the T&D and L&D world is just that.
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I'd like to give a shout out to the Train Like a Champion blog and the post Hello! My name is Brian, and I'm a Training Snob. Brian mentioned me in his post, but more importantly he's blogging. I'm always happy to see new names and faces stepping out and expressing themselves in the bloggosphere.
I look forward to reading more about Brian's experiences as a training professional in the corporate world.
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And I'd also like mention my friend Steve Crawford from ASU who gave a presentation at a conference and then tweeted some great App ideas.  Follow him @srcrawf2.
His list was long and I already use most of the apps but for me there were a couple nuggets that were either new to me, or I had forgotten about.

Adobe Voice - This just looks fabulous! I'm definitely going to try it out.  And its a free app so why not?
Doodlecast Pro - This looks very interesting as well.  You gotta see the video to really understand.

For the rest of his app suggestions just check out his twitter stream.


Monday, June 02, 2014

6 Lessons in Powerpoint Design You Should Apply to eLearning Design

I am fascinated by designers...not just good, or great, designers either.  I'm talking about the designers who seem to just be born to be designers.

I found another one today and have added him to my list. Emiland De Cubber redesigned the epic 2014 Internet Trends deck by Mary Meeker and I was amazed by the results.

Lindsay Kolowich at Hubspot does a great job in highlighting and explaining the critical design features that make De Cubber's presentation more a appealing and I'll guess easier to learn from as well.

Just highlighting this makes me cringe at the thought of another communication vs. learning conversation. So, just to play it safe I will restate my montra:
 
Training is an event
Learning is a process
eLearning supports both
 
With that said, good design should be important to ALL the media produced for ALL of your training, learning, and eLearning efforts. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New Integrated Iterative Training Development Process

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I've been thinking a lot about how the management, design, development, and delivery of training happens these days.  One thing I know for sure is that the old, and current, processes for getting training done don't work in every situation.

I've written a couple blog posts about it:

I know that many training organizations have done training the same way for many years.  And if your culture still supports your processes there is no need to change.  In fact, attempting a new process might drive your company culture crazy.  So, if you are in a business that has been around for a long time and expects their training events to be just so...well, you will definitely need to do some change management communication work.

Let me know what you think.  

Monday, April 28, 2014

Quick Thought: The Importance of Learning Org vs Training Dept

I don't normally get much activity on LinkedIn, however this Jack Welch quote seems to resonate with many.
I have never seen Mr. Welch deliver a keynote, and I don't think I've ever read any of his books. With that said, I'm hoping you might be able to clear up for me exactly what he is referring too.

I'd like to think that the Training & Development industry relates to this sentiment for reasons other than the importance of the training department in an enterprise.  Does this statement still hold true for smaller organizations that do not have a training department? I believe we would all say yes.  But my concern is that maybe...just maybe...we read quotes like this from important people and instantly feel validated in the work we do and elevate our standing in the corporate org chart of importance.

An organizations ability to learn is more dependent upon its culture and less dependent on the training department.  Even though training departments support organizations with strong learning cultures as well as weak learning cultures, it might be wise to understand that training departments are more necessary and important to the latter. And, if this is true, we might now see Mr. Welch's quote as not so flattering to our chosen career and/or field of study.

What do you think?