Thursday, December 22, 2011

Creating Passionate Learners 2005 = same in 2011

For those of you that were not into the blogosphere WAY back in...oh... say... 2005 or 2006, the name Kathy Sierra is probably new to you.  It's about time we ALL start learning how to "Create Passionate Users", or in our case Create Passionate Learners...and I'd argue they're the same thing, but I digress.  Let me start with why I am blogging on this topic.

@moehlert tweeted a reminder of an IT Conversations recording of her keynote from the Tools of Change conference (2/16/2011). So, I took 25mins and listened to her story.  I already knew most of the story but its always fun to get a refresher from thought leaders who bring a unique perspective to our industry.  And yes, she IS a learning person...turned blogger...turned top-selling, uber-tech author at O'Reilly.

If you are new to Kathy Sierra, after listening to the recording above, you should read the archives of her blog at  That will give you a pretty good idea of where she stands on turning users/learners into PASSIONATE learners/users.

My favorite moment in blogging...

I started blogging in August 2005 and I did not have anyone "following" me at the time.  So you can imagine how psyched I was when, after 4 months blogging, Kathy posted a comment on my post 2005 Review of eLearning.

Kathy Sierra said...
The chart that Kathy references
in her comment
What a great post Brent! You've given me about 15 different things to think about here... and I could not agree more. What I didn't mention in my "is it interesting" post (and thanks very much for the nice comments) -- but that you must have picked up on -- is that the ones who were approving my checklist were the ISD'ers and the heads of the LMS team at Sun. They basically said, "If it isn't supported technically by the LMS, it *must not be relevant.* Talk about tail wagging the dog... ; )

I'm especially interested in that diagram of courses vs. collaboration, too.

Thanks for this great blog, Brent. I'm so glad I found it.

As I was writing this post, and reviewing old posts, so many things struck me:
  1. How amazingly powerful blogging and social media was and is,
  2. how easy it is to forget about our learners in the process of ISD,
  3. how much I miss Kathy's blog posts,
  4. how much I wish she'd agree to speak at DevLearn 2012,
  5. and how strange it is that my review of 2005 could easily be my review of 2011.
That last one, number 5, really has me thinking and pondering this question, "If I just changed a few dated words, and re-posted that post with a new 2011 title, would anyone know the difference?"
Because, ya know, it is that time of year where everyone reviews the past year and pontificates about the year to come.

But more importantly, are things STILL so much the same?  I've done a lot since 2005 and I'm sure all of you have too, and yet I wonder why so much of our industry still feels the same.  We've seen new iPhones, iPads, and iOS, Android, tablets, twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, HTML5, apps, apps, and more apps, and on and on and on.  So why are still talking about building courses? Why do job reqs still read the same?

My guess is that if we started thinking like Kathy and focused on what can we do to help our users kick ass in THEIR job that we would be looking at eLearning A LOT differently.

So, lets make 2012 the year eLearning actually becames about the learner!

Here are some other posts where I reference Kathy Sierra.

@KathySierra Learns Spanish via Twitter
Should We Twitter Face-to-Face?
Cubicles Cause Brain Damage

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