The Learning Generalist

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Using Gamification to create a Blogging Culture

The Learning Generalist

(This is a rehash of a co-authored blogpost with my colleague Gayathri Sekar ) Our story begins in ThoughtWorks Pune, somewhere in October. We’d recently decided to hire a journalist to mine stories from the ground. She’d try to translate ThoughtWorkers’ voices into words and if necessary write their stories for them. As it turned out, we agreed it wouldn’t be. It was then that we had an epiphany.

Why my daughter doesn't deserve school

The Learning Generalist

It''s a provocative title isn''t that one? It''ll probably set the alarm bells ringing among proponents of the right to education. guess it may have incensed feminists as well. Some of you may call me a crazy parent. I''m quite happy to take all of the criticism as long as you have the patience to read to the end of this article. want my daughter to grow up as a beautiful human being. Let''s see.

Here's why consistency is terribly overrated in corporate educations

The Learning Generalist

One of the things that we talk quite a bit in corporate education is consistency. I've spoken about it quite a bit earlier as well. It seems this is something that every training manager out there is thinking about. After all, if you want to train hundreds of people, then you need a consistent process and a consistent output. There's a small problem though, people aren't consistent. Sumeet Moghe.

Social Media in Learning and Social Learning are just not the same thing

The Learning Generalist

It concerns me how a lot of the social learning conversation seems to veer around the tools in the space. Tools are arriving thick and fast and yeah, it's easy to get caught up with all the bling. And this is not to say that I'm never excited by tools - nothing could be far from the truth. This said, social learning is less about the technology and more about the human interaction. Sumeet Moghe.

How to Choose Between On-Demand and Instructor-Led Training

Not sure whether to offer on-demand or instructor-led training, or both? Each has its pros and cons and your decision will depend on your organization’s needs and goals. Download this eBook to learn which option is better at scale, as well as the resources needed to implement each training type.

4 Lessons Photography has taught me about Learning

The Learning Generalist

If you follow me on the web, then you perhaps know that I'm big on photography. absolutely love taking pictures - my Flickr stream with about 13000+ pictures will tell you just that. I'm no pro, but something makes me feel I've gotten better with time. As I reflect on the last 10 years of having owned cameras, I think I've some interesting insights on how adults learn. Try Again. Fail again.

Knowledge Management in the age of Social Media

The Learning Generalist

Last week Dinesh , Nikhil and I encountered the second stage of our social business journey at ThoughtWorks. Over the week, we had a few conversations with other ThoughtWorkers focussing on one common question, "Where do I put x?". It's been about four years since I last created a very structured folder system on my computer. Content also doesn't come up as a result of an imposed structure.

I'm sorry, education is a scam

The Learning Generalist

My friend's daughter got accused of being ADHD a few weeks back. My colleague Dinesh is keen to take his son Aravind out of school. My friend Sandeep is trying to build software that recognises every child to be a unique individual with their own little achievements. I see a growing sentiment in my friends circle about the current state of education and it's impact on young minds. Not in school.

Next big innovation for Enterprise Social Software - Simplicity

The Learning Generalist

One of the things I remember reading about, early on in my enterprise 2.0/ social business journey was Andrew Mcafee's definition of what makes social software tick. He spoke of three characteristics - emergent, freeform and frictionless. Those definitions still ring true in my head. As I look at how enterprise social software matures it seems to be moving away from those characteristics quite a bit. To the extent, that enterprise social software loses the edge it promised to provide. Take for example Twitter - 140 character status updates. Or Pinterest - create a digital pinboard. And more!

Skill based learning – How it drives an organization’s performance

Training and learning organizations today play an active role in contributing to the bottom line of any organization by aligning their objectives to the immediate business objectives. This provides a solid ground for cost justification and encourages businesses to place training groups right where they should be, at the heart of a growing, thriving, learning culture.

The Agile Elearning Design Manual - Think Small (Iterations, Action Maps, Storyboards, and Mini-Modules)

The Learning Generalist

We explored the waterfall approach towards elearning development in a prior post of this series. As you will notice in the above representation of the model, the issues are: Too much time gets spent in upfront design and planning when all of this is quite likely to change. Can we reduce flab in our analysis and design phase? Can we create more opportunities for customer feedback? Rapid Elearning?

4 Reasons Why YOU Don't want to Touch Social Learning with a Barge Pole

The Learning Generalist

So, you recently read Jane Bozarth's Social Learning for Trainers and followed it up with a read of Enterprise 2.0 by McAfee and The New Social Learning by Conner and Bingham. You're excited by the promise of social software for learning. You're already a Facebook and Twitter junkie and life couldn't be better with vendors announcing "Facebook for the enterprise". Errrm. think again. Or should you?

Preparing For Serendipity - A Crucial Knoweldge Work Skill

The Learning Generalist

Before I begin today's blogpost, I have to mention the biggest event in Indian cricketing history over the last three decades or so. India won the 2011 Cricket World Cup on Saturday and what a win it was! The eleven played like true champions against a tough opposition and at the end of it came out on top. People actually took to the streets in celebration. believe there's a reason for this.

Challenges and Failure are Great Tools for Learning

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For the last few months I've been a self confessed fan and avid user of iPhone OS. Yesterday, as an impulse buy, I picked up a Droid. Months of conditioning to Apple's interface left me confused when I first saw the HTC Sense skinned Android interface. That was at noon yesterday. little over a day and I'm happily doing all of my mobile computing tasks using my Android. What do you think?

Whitepaper: When The LMS Isn’t Enough

In this whitepaper, you will discover the main reasons why the LMS alone is no longer meeting the needs of the modern learner. More importantly, you will learn what you can do to enhance its value.

Intraversion at Work

The Learning Generalist

For the 30 odd years of my life I've been an introvert, a facet of my character that I have tried very consciously to run away from. Recently I was in Africa for work and that work involved meeting a number of unknown people and attempting to build relationships with them. felt very tired in the evenings. Not physically, but emotionally. The entire hypersocial experience of adjusting to new coworkers in a new office, meeting new people and building relationships was tough for me as an introvert. should have been happy in a way, but somehow years of feigning extraversion seem to have done me in.

Here's how I'm approaching Personal Knowledge Management

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A few months back, Harold Jarche wrote a very interesting article about sense making with Personal Knowledge Management (PKM). Harold suggested a model that he uses to manage his personal knowledge and stay on top of his social media intake. strongly suggest that you also look through the webinar he did on PKM at the LearnTrends conference. Using my information - Reviewing & Retrieving.

I'm Sorry - Training isn't a Bad Word

The Learning Generalist

"We're dropping use of the word 'training.' Replacing it with learning? Training materials? Training materials? We don't need any stinking training materials Training is a turn off! Learning is what I go for. Training is what you do to me. Learning is what I do for myself I hope "training" is discontinued on an ongoing bases - requirements change. More sunset laws for training programs.

Your Brain on Graphics with @elearningcoach

The Learning Generalist

I've just run into Connie Malamed 's sessionabout research around visuals and I'm late. I'm going to start blogging right away. Connie's been talking about the power of visuals - e.g how Dan Roam simplified the US healthcare problem. Connie's the author of one of my favourite books - Visual Language for Designers. Here's what she's covering. We're hardwired for visuals. What things pop out?

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Seven Simple Secrets to Off-the-Shelf Course Success

Off-the-shelf elearning is applicable for a wide audience, but it won’t address your organization’s unique situations or distinctive content. So are these courses all that helpful? For sure! Read on for 7 secrets to make off-the-self learning your own.

Fun is Serious in Social Business

The Learning Generalist

When I went to Ranthambore this year, I was pretty awestruck by the glory of the men's moustaches there. As some of you know, I was inspired enough to grow my own moustache. week down the line, when I was back at work I thought of the Movember tradition and wondered if people would be willing to donate to a charity if I kept growing my moustache. Errrm. That value is fun. What's the ROI?

The Agile Elearning Design Manual - Agile Re-explained

The Learning Generalist

In my last post we looked at the problems with our existing approach to building elearning. In summary, the problems we noticed were: A lack of shared understanding within the team, about the the customer's learning problem. The high risk associated with not having generalists in the team. The delay in seeing working pieces of elearning. The time spent in creating documentation and in analysis.

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3 Visual Design Tips to Make Your Presentation Slides Pop

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Cammy Bean is hilarious - and she's also just spot on. Some months back she wrote about her newly discovered syndrome - SoMeFat. My friend Neil Lasher talked about that on his blogpost to kick off the year. It feels like a bit of an epidemic to me, I tell you because I think the SoMeFat bug has reached me. There are several ways of creating contrast. You should see the slides here.

Here's why social business will not save your cheese

The Learning Generalist

If you're reading this article then I guess you have a keen interest in social business or are perhaps already running your own setup. If my guess is true, then you perhaps have some frustrations running your internal program. Now don't get me wrong, I am a big, die hard fan of social media in the workplace and frankly I wouldn't have it any other way. The truth is that not many enterprise 2.0

Leaving performance reviews behind: Where to start [Guide]

Is your company ready to move beyond the annual performance review? Where do you start? What are the keys to success? In this guide, you’ll gain an understanding of: the forces driving change, three foundations of success and take a deep dive into the skills gap many managers have that will sink your efforts before they start and how to address them.

Photography for Elearning Developers - Why shooting in RAW makes sense

The Learning Generalist

I've always thought of this blog as just a place to air my thoughts. Turns out it's a bit more than just that. I'm sure some of you've noticed my absolute laziness in posting to the blog in the last couple of months. While there are reasons for it, I also feel really grateful about the number of people that emailed or DM'd me on Twitter admonishing me for my laziness. So let's begin. Nice huh?

Micro Learning - Knowledge in Four Minutes or Less with @intellectus_kc

The Learning Generalist

I've just run into Joseph O'Malley's session on Micro-Learning. Given my fascination with YouTube and things like 50 Lessons , this is a topic I'm quite interested in. So I'll just liveblog what I'm learning. Joseph seems to be a very entertaining guy, given the conversation he's striking before the talk begins. So I think the session (which is a full house) will be entertaining to say the least. Joseph is the senior director of knowledge for St Luke's Health System. Directors go to project meetings and take credit for others work. So we're sitting back and relaxing and letting him drive.

Mobile Learning Best Practices and Lessons Learned with @JudyB

The Learning Generalist

This morning, after my successful iPad purchase (yeah!), I'm attending Judy Brown 's session on mobile learning best practices. Judy's an absolute goddess in this neck of the woods, so I'm hoping to learn heaps from her, so without further ado, I'm going to start liveblogging and letting you know what I think I'm learning. Technology is changing rapidly and it's a whole new world today, says Judy. The US seems to be a little behind Japan in terms of technology, but they're definitely up there in learning innovation. Judy is speaking about her stint with Asian Development Plan with UNESCO.

How to be an awesome Pecha Kucha host

The Learning Generalist

A lot of my friends in the learning community have been intrigued by the fact that we run Pecha Kucha nights every week at ThoughtWorks University. often get asked how I run these and what value I see. The constraint of 20 slides for 20 seconds each is a great way to force some positive presenter behaviours. Firstly the 20 second limit forces you to prepare well. Take a quick look. Cheers!

Attract, Engage, and Develop Talent using Open Badges: An IBM case study

Companies have an incredible opportunity to use badges to help attract, engage, recognize and develop talent. There have been significant developments around digital credentials and particularly the fast rise of badges and micro-credentials. Learning Professionals need to be aware of what's happening and innovators should be taking a leading role. In this session, David will go through the well-known IBM Open Badge Program to help explain badge programs.

Using the Dreyfus Model to engage people in your Online Learning program

The Learning Generalist

The success of your Knowledge Management or online learning initiative depends on how well you can engage different people in your organization and really, how apt is your mode of delivery, to the content you're delivering. Very simply, the purpose of any online learning/ knowledge sharing implementation is to make capabilities explicit in an organization. Most new beginners tend to start here.

Knowlegeable to Knowledge-able with @mwesch

The Learning Generalist

I'm very excited to be at Michael Wesch's keynote at Learning Solutions 2011. Michael's from the department of anthropology at Kansas state university and is a well known figure exploring the effects of new media on society and culture. This is a topic that I'm particularly interested in and it really gets me warmed up to see someone from academia come up with a talk like this. This deeply matters.

Be open, be nice

The Learning Generalist

One of my friends in the wildlife photography circle is very strict about the copyright notices on his images. A lot of his images have descriptions such as, "Copyrighted by. and may not be used, downloaded in any form, or Print Media website without written permission of the Photographer." consider it against the very fabric of the sharing culture that makes us human. No doubt about that.

Think Workscapes, not Training

The Learning Generalist

A few days back I watched a pretty awesome video by Nick Shackleton Jones about the Affective Context Model. Nick told a great story about the importance of the affective context - the emotional metadata that allows us to connect and remember various pieces of information. Nick's also written a splendid article about this very topic for those who want more detail. People learn by doing.

Best Practices for Launching an LMS

When launching a new platform to deliver customer and partner training, there are a few key items to keep in mind. The best and simplest way to stay organized during this process – and be able to measure success – is to follow the tried-and-true practices outlined in this eBook. Click to download.

Customising your Social Business platform - 5 things to keep in mind

The Learning Generalist

Most social business platforms are maturing quite fast. The landscape now has players that have been around for a while and provide functionality that'll put some consumer apps to shame. That being said, often times the stock platform isn't 'exactly' what you want. You may need to customise the platform to get the most out of it for your company. This is where a thorough evaluation comes in.

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