Monday, March 20, 2017

TLDChat - Another First for the L&D Industry


Last year we experimented with a daily live streaming show called L&D Talk. It was a fantastic experience, and convinced me that this crazy idea of daily live streaming was now possible. I've been thinking about this since my days in broadcast television back in the early '90s. The live streaming tech that exists today makes it possible within a simple interface. And we are looking forward to moving the L&D industry forward and seeing the future. But we are also focused on how you can do the work of training today and provide immediate business value.

Crowdcast.io

There are many new apps, tools, services, launching in this space, but we've decided on Crowdcast.io to get us started. So far the tool has been wonderful. The Q&A and polling features are simple to use and add an interesting element to the conversation. The screen sharing is simple to use as well, and now that I have tested it I am looking forward to using it more often in unique ways.

TLDChat

#TLDChat is a part of the TLDC brand experience. TLDC is the Training Learning and Development C...: Community, Conference, and Chat. All aspects of the experience revolve around YOU, the members of the community. Technology has given us all the ability to organize more efficiently than ever before. TLDC is here to facilitate your success through interactivity with your peers and the experts the you want to hear from.

Rings of Focus

Are you familiar with the Rings of Focus yet? Maybe not. This is just one way that we looked at designing the TLDC experience. There are 5 rings: YOU in the center, Projects, Team, Organization, and Industry in the outer rings. These 5 areas make up the work in your career. You focus on yourself in order to produce great projects within teams for organizations or clients. You then have the ability to share key learnings and experiences within the industry as a part of giving back to the community that most likely helped you succeed. It always comes back full circle.


TLDC.us and TLDC.events

Check out TLDC.us to see a list of episodes and review the notes and archived recordings. If you want to participate in the live streaming conversation you can find us at TLDC.events.

The TLDCommunity is yours. Tell us what you want to discuss, learn, and share. We will figure out how to facilitate that for you. Because we probably want the same things. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Brent Schlenker Says Good Bye to Litmos!

The Big Idea

Today Litmos is announcing that I am no longer working as their Chief Learning Strategist.  We still plan to work together in the future, but currently have no specific plans to announce.

A Quick Look Back...

I remember meeting the Litmos founders via twitter back when they launched. And seeing them exhibit for the first time while I was Program Director for DevLearn was a highlight. I remember being so excited to finally see a SaaS based Learning Management System disrupt our industry. Of course today, just about all LMSs are SaaS based, but as far as I know Litmos was the first.

Litmos was acquired by Calliduscloud back in 2011 and I joined the growing team in 2014.  Up until that point I had experienced corporate training, and L&D, from just about every angle. As a practitioner that included instructional designer, eLearning & virtual reality developer, Director of Training, and other titles across different organizations like HR, logistics, manufacturing, IT, and corporate universities. My passion for technology as an early adopter and evangelist for what we called Learning2.0 launched my industry career beyond my corporate career as a practicing L&D professional which led to my role in programming DevLearn for 5 years.

Why Did I Work for Litmos?

The piece of our industry that I had not yet experienced, on the inside, was the vendor community. So, in 2014, I jumped at the opportunity to work with the vendor I saw disrupting the industry the most. I learned so much and enjoyed offering them leading industry knowledge, thought leadership, and playing a role in their tremendous growth. Through my industry presence blogging, being active in social media, presenting at events, and marketing campaigns, I provided Litmos visibility across many different channels giving them a voice, and face, in the larger community.

So, What's Up?

It's been a fantastic 3 years.  Experiences like this have given me a more complete picture of our L&D industry that is unique and valuable. I'm looking forward to taking this experience, and new vision of the future of training/learning into my next role. I'm grateful to the Litmos leadership team for the amazing opportunity. We plan on continuing our relationship while I continue to pursue opportunities helping other corporate training and L&D organizations optimize their training systems and processes.

As always, you can find me on twitter @bschlenker, or on snapchat as @schlearning. And my Facebook page is http://fb.com/brentschlenker .

Friday, March 03, 2017

Corporate Trainer as Knowledge Broker

I've often referred to the corporate training professional as a Knowledge Broker.  And not in the academic sense (Google it and you'll see what I mean), but in the framework of the corporate training profession. In all honesty, in the corporate setting that just seemed more closely aligned with what training professionals did on the job, and the value they provide to the business.
A Knowledge Broker connects those that have the knowledge with those that need the knowledge. - Brent Schlenker

The Knowledge Broker & Their Solutions

Designing and developing courses as solutions is only one part of the job. Actually some of your most valuable solutions to the business do not involve the creation of training content or courses. The Knowledge Broker has a much larger bag of solutions to choose from than the traditionally defined training professional. But don't get too caught up in the semantics of it all.  No matter what your job title is, thinking differently about how you provide value to the business is the ultimate goal.

"Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match!"

It may seem over simplified, but here's the reality: Some employees HAVE the knowledge and other employees NEED the knowledge.  New employees, often overwhelmed, approach the training department looking for answers, for content, for training... but mostly just for help. And more often then not, just connecting the new hire with the subject matter expert is all they need to get started.  It's 1:1 training. And it's the most valuable thing you can do.
That may not sound like "your job", and that you didn't really do anything because you didn't design a solution. But I would argue that you did.  In fact, you designed the most elegant and, likely, most effective solution.
"A designer knows when he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to take away." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Remember To Keep It Simple!


Remember to keep your solutions simple, and always look to add value to the business.  Part of your job as Knowledge Broker is simply being a matchmaker. Try adding Matchmaker to your toolkit of solutions.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Remembering L&D Entrepreneur Leader Don Pierson



The L&D industry lost another member of the community last week. Don Pierson died in a car accident last Friday.  Read In Memory of Don Pierson here.

This month last year we lost Jay Cross who was such a visible and outspoken advocate for learning and development. But Don was not part of that side of our industry. He was a strong member of the Phoenix entrepreneur community and a builder of software products. He was part of the L&D vendor community. Most ISDs, and practitioners of training and eLearning, probably didn't know him. But many of you have used the products and services he's built for us over the years.

Don was a co-founder of Learning-Edge, and founder of Interactive Alchemy. Then went on to launch Flypaper which was acquired by Trivantis 3 years later. He then jumped outside of L&D, but not by much, and started a business that could track and predict sales performance based on activities (at least that's how I understood it.) He most recently joined the Indecomm team providing software services for some of the largest companies you can think of.

I met Don in 1997 when he hired me to work for him at Learning-Edge. That was my first experience working with a small company and the entire team he assembled was top notch. I was honored to be a part of that team. I didn't end up staying long, because I was just starting my family and Intel was pulling me back with offers I couldn't refuse. I was only there a year, but that year built many great relationships.

I lost touch with most of my Learning-Edge colleagues during my Intel years until I discovered the Interactive Alchemy offices a half mile down the street from my house. Then he and I met for lunch and he introduced me to his latest project, Flypaper. It was very cool! I was programming DevLearn at the time and I remember their first appearance in the expo...they had the coolest stickers. Those were the golden years of eLearning to be sure.

Don and I had just recently started meeting for lunches again and talking L&D.  I was actually looking forward to our next lunch today. I will miss him. And my heart goes out to all of his family and friends.

Don was a big part of the Phoenix startup community. StartupAZ #yesphx has created a memorial fund in his name that will support the StartupAZ Foundation. Please consider giving a small donation in his honor. http://startupaz-donpierson.strikingly.com/

Friday, August 26, 2016

Video Friday - Scoping Video Projects for eLearning

Today we're joined by the President of Cine Learning Productions, Diane Senffner, for a fantastic discussion about all things Video Learning!

You can find out more about Diane and Cine Learning Productions at: http://CineLP.com/

Some fun tangents videos we referenced:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YxVMg8pWH8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2128crl2JaA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wew6K4zpGf8

Keep this conversation going on LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7059426

Also chime in with your 140 characters of comments on Twitter!
https://twitter.com/search?q=%23ldtalk

...And we'll see you here every weekday at 8am Pacific / 11am Eastern

Thursday, August 25, 2016

L&D Talk: Gartners Emerging Tech Hype Curve, LMS Platforms, The Changing L&D Industry

L&D Talk is presented by Litmos.com - Get your FREE trial at litmos.com/trial

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Today our panel discussion centered around the new Gartner Hype Cycle For Emerging Technologies report.

We also discuss LMS markets, trends, and issues.


Keep this conversation going on LinkedIn:


Also chime in with your 140 characters of comments on Twitter!

L&D Talk is every day 8am Pacific Time. We are currently testing new live streaming platforms.
But you will always find us at LnDTalk.com.


Thursday, December 03, 2015

Christmas Items for the Training Professional on Santa's Nice List

Check out these 3 great lists of gift ideas for the corporate training professional in your life.

This is a 3 Part Series from The eLearning Blog.

Books
Trainer's Emergency Kit Items
Video Recording Gear

You can also see the Holiday Gift Guide for that Special L&D Professional in Your Life from Brian Washburn at his blog Train Like a Champion.

Brian was the inspiration for part 2 of the Litmos blog series the Trainer's Emergency Kit. So, I'm certain you'll find more cool stuff in his latest post.

There are big items and there are stocking stuffer ideas. You're sure to find something for the trainer in your life. Let's stop giving apples :)

Monday, November 09, 2015

Remembering Jay Cross and Informal Learning


We lost an great leader in the Learning and Development community this weekend. His presence will be missed. But his impact will forever be felt by an industry struggling to see the future that appeared so clearly to him. 

I will miss Jay's casual, yet driven, approach to spreading the word about informal learning...and that smile. Oh, and those shirts. They were the perfect informal vehicle for carrying his message of informal learning. His warm presence will be missed at industry events all over the world.  

We love you. Rest in peace, Jay.

-----------------

I am encouraging everyone in the industry whether you knew him or not, to record a short, "informal", video with a short story, or comment about Jay's impact on your work.  I will be collecting and editing them together to be posted on the ITA website or other appropriate internet location.

You can use wetransfer.com to send large video files. And send it to brentschlenker(at)gmail(dot)com. 

Thanks!



Sunday, July 19, 2015

My Advice for New Bloggers - Don't do it!

Nick Leffler shared a tweet of mine in his blog post Community Advice for New Bloggers.

It's a great post. And I say that because it got me thinking. Not many posts that I read, or write for that matter, do that any more. In fact I reflected so deeply on the post that I felt moved to blog here again. I haven't posted here in a while and the few posts that I have done have been few and far between. So, special thanks to Nick for writing the post and for all those who shared their thoughts about getting started.

Blogging has changed so much over the last 10+ years. In the early 2000s blogs were pretty much all we had for sharing our own content online. Compare that to today's social media cacophony and I can see why people don't even feel it's necessary to blog. Why bother, when I can just post to twitter, or update my status in Facebook, or share an article on LinkedIn, or share photos on Instagram...I almost typed Flickr but that's not so cool these days...and now I feel old.

Today's blogosphere seems to have a lot of rules. There are a multitude of books on how to blog, how to write the best headline, how to make money with your blog, and so much more. The wild west world wide web of yesterday it seems has matured into the big city internet.

Professional writers have taken over the internet providing an unending stream of content to large blogging sites like The Huffington Post and so many others. Blogging has simply become a shorter form of writing for the professionals and aspiring professionals. And I find that quite sad. Those who simply want to write in a blog stop themselves because they don't feel like they are good enough, or ready. I call BS!

I never started writing this blog to "become a writer". Although I will say it built my confidence in sharing what I know. Honestly, my favorite part was knowing that I didn't need to be a good writer to start my blog.  I didn't need to worry about spelling, I didn't need to worry about grammar. I just didn't care because the only person I was doing it for was me.

When I first discovered that people were finding my blog and reading it, and commenting on my grammatical errors I was SHOCKED to say the least. But after getting over the initial fear and uneasy feeling of being judged I found a comfortable groove and enough positive, friendly supporters, that I just kept going.

It actually became quite fun to know that I had the power to irritate the grammar nazis with a misplaced apostrophe, or using too instead of to. But my personal favorite has always been using too many exclamation points. I LOVE IT!!!!! And more importantly...I really dont' care if you don't!!!!!!!

See?! That's what blogging was.  It was the internet's first gift of user-generated content. Then it all when to hell from there.

If you really want to start something with a little more 21st century kick, start a YouTube channel. If you really want to write about your chosen profession, then just use the platform built into LinkedIn. You don't need to mess around with wordpress, or the headaches that come with it, just to express yourself these days. There are plenty of really simple platforms for expressing yourself in writing.  Make your life easier and just start blogging in those spaces.

My blogging advice to those who are set on doing it stands as stated in Nick's blog.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that really isn't what I should be advising anyone. If you are a writer, or want to be a writer, then fine. Go start a blog and practice your craft. There is no better environment for practicing than in the real world. So go for it.

However, if you are looking to express yourself with the medium of tomorrow then consider video. The YouTube explosion today, is what blogging was 10 years ago. It's raw. It's undefined. And yet, it's got a large enough community for support and encouragement. Check out the backchannel for Vidcon this week. It's the largest gathering of YouTubers. You'll probably see me tweeting about it quite a bit this week.

Don't start a blog! Start a YouTube channel!!



Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Is Vertical Video the Next Big Thing?

I've always wanted a reason to try out Storify and so I took my own advice and just did it. This week I posted about Mary Meekers Internet Trends Report on the Litmos blog. There are just under 200 pages of information.  And each page lights up a new nugget of information shining light on an otherwise unseen trend in technology.

One of the most interesting items Mary reveals is the trending of vertical video.  You've seen these people. The soccer moms recording their kids with their smartphones in portrait instead of the video standard landscape mode.  Well, it's not just that soccer moms are doing it wrong.  They may actually have been the early adopters.

And of course knowing that the eLearning industry is a technology lagging indicator, I wrongly assumed that it would be a long time before training departments starts producing vertical video.

Wrong again!

Shortly after publishing my Litmos blog post I had this conversation on twitter.