Thursday, February 25, 2010

EU #LRNCHAT - Learning via Twitter at new time supporting Europe

We just completed the first run of the EU #lrnchat. It was great! For me it was fun to see how everything worked behind the scenes. Special thanks to @mrch0mp3rs for showing @bschlenker @c4lpt and @neillasher the ropes of running the backend.

If you are new to #lrnchat then go here to find out more:

If you are familiar with twitter then you can just follow @lrnchat ( to get updates on when the mass collaboration sessions take place.

Today's highlight for me came from @neillasher with his comment regarding ddie...
huh? It's not what you think ;-)

DDIE = do or die... because nobody does the a

This comment came as we were discussing the creation of learning solutions for large audiences.  (We used to call this "sheep dipping" when I worked at Intel.)  The conversation quickly went into why we don't analyze the audience and create targeted learning solutions.  That's how we got to Neil's tweet above.

My point is this:  The unfortunate reality is that instructional design does not influence people's use of new technologies.  Industrial designers, Software engineers, UX Designers, etc...THEY are the ones that have the power to influence the use of a new technology.  Our job, an instructional designers job, IMHO, is to figure out what our learners are currently familiar with and deliver a learning experience they can consume in whatever medium they are comfortable with.

I absolutely do NOT believe instructional design should be influencing the use of technology.  As much as I want my learners to be comfortable with social media, video production, image/video uploading, mobile devices, blogging, wikis, etc., there is nothing I can do.  Nothing?  Maybe not nothing.  If you are in the envious position of having leadership mandating new media usage within the enterprise then you have no choice but to help preach to and convert the masses...and yea, influence their usage of it.

You must go where the learners are.  If they are still in the classroom then maybe that will be the best, most efficient, and effective option for your design to revolve around.  Maybe not.  From my experience every case is different.

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Neil Lasher said...

How can I let your great blog go past without s thank you for the mention.

Neil Lasher.

Rachel Upadhyay said...

Your post was well put. As a graduate student of Instructional Technology with a desire to become an Instructional Developer, I can see where it becomes easy to fall into the trap of designing instruction towards whatever technology is "in" or "fun" at the moment. We need to remember that our purpose as instructional technologists is to work with the learners, developing instruction for them that best suits how they learn. You said it best when you said "if they are still in the classroom then maybe that will be the best, most efficient, and effective option for your design..." It was refreshing to read your post and be reminded that it's not always about electronic media solutions.

Aaron said...

Dude, there's no way it could be done without YOU!

Unknown said...

I'm not sure if I technically agree with you. I'm currently a graduate student in an instructional technology program, including all aspects of design. New technologies are constantly and will always be forming, students today especially rely on technology to get through the day. I believe that instructional design can use social networking sites and technology to receive vital information. I think that every instructional designer should definitely be familiar with and incorporate some aspects of technology in the learning process. I understand where you're coming from, but to completely wipe it out of the ID process doesn't fancy my position. I think it can actually be pretty beneficial. I agree that they aren't the sole leaders in technologies, but I most definitely think they should have a firm understanding and allow it to influence learners in some way shape or form.