Slow Learning – #change11
DECEMBER 3, 2011
2009). Michael Allen’s eLearning Annual 2009. This is a longer post launching my week in the #change11 MOOC (Massively Open Online Course). . Our formal learning approaches too often don’t follow how our brains really work. We have magic now; we can summon up powerful programs to do our bidding, gaze through webcams across distances, and bring anyone and anything to pretty much anywhere. Our limitations are no longer the technology, but our imaginations. The question is, what are we, and should be, doing with this technology? like to look at this a couple of ways. Readings.
Seed, feed, & weed
SEPTEMBER 17, 2009
In my presentation yesterday, I was talking about how to get informal learning going. As many have noted, it’s about moving from a notion of being a builder, handcrafting (or mass-producing) solutions, to being a facilitator, nurturing the community to develop it’s own capabilities. Jay Cross talks about the learnscape , while I term it the performance ecosystem. The point, however, is from the point of the view of the learner, all the resources needed are ‘to hand’ through every stage of knowledge work. But if you build it, they may not come. Networks take nurturing.
Whither the library?
MARCH 10, 2009
I go to libraries, and check out books. I admit it, when there’s a lot I want to read, I’d rather read it on paper (at 1200 dpi) versus on the screen. And some recent debates have got me thinking about libraries in general, public and university. There’re some issues that are unresolved, but leave me curious. As the editor on one for-profit journal (British Journal of Education Technology), and now on one ‘open access’ (Impact: Journal of Applied Research in Workplace E-learning), I’ve been thinking more about the role of the journal, and the library.
The ‘Least Assistance’ Principle
FEBRUARY 20, 2009
While I agree vehemently with most of a post by Lars Hyland, he said one thing I slightly disagree with, and I want to elaborate on it. He was disagreeing with “buying rapid development tools to bash out ill formed ‘e-learning’ to an audience that will not only be unimpressed but also none the wiser - or more productive , a point I want to nuance. I agree with not using rapid elearning to create courses for novices, but there is a role for bashing out courses for another audience, the practitioner. And there’s something deeper here to tease out.
McAfee Keynote at DevLearn 2009
NOVEMBER 11, 2009
Andy McAfee gave us a lively and informative presentation on his view of Enterprise 2.0. BTW, Cammy Bean’s has posted a prose recitation of the talk. With no further ado
Creating meaningful experiences
DECEMBER 8, 2009
What if the learner’s experience was ‘hard fun’: challenging, but engaging, yielding a desirable experience, not just an event to be tolerated, OR what is learning experience design? Can you imagine creating a ‘course’ that wins raving fans? It’s about designing learning that is not only effective but seriously engaging. I believe that this is not only doable, but doable under real world constraints. There are really two components: what we need to accomplish, and what we’d like the learner to experience. And commitment.
Top Posts of 2009
JANUARY 1, 2010
Predictions for 2009. welcome your thoughts of what made these the most interesting posts of 2009. Seeing all the top 10 lists, I thought I’d look at what the top 10 posts were for Learnlets (using Google Analytics), and I have to say that the responses were interesting, as some weren’t the ones I thought were most interesting. suspect that they’re the ones that other people pointed to most for a variety of reasons (including me pointing people to the Broken ID series beginning). Here’s the list: The ‘Least Assistance’ Principle. Learning Twitter Chat!
Less than words
JANUARY 22, 2009
Yesterday, while I was posting on how words could be transcended by presentation, there was an ongoing twitfest on words that have become overused and, consequently, meaningless. It started when Jane Bozarth asked what ‘instructionally sound’ meant, then Cammy Bean chimed in with ‘rich’, Steve Sorden added ‘robust’, and it went downhill from there. Other overused words mentioned include: adaptive, brain-based. game-like, comprehensive, interactive, compelling, & robust. Similarly, clicking to move on is, apparently, interactive. Ok, let’s play!
The Performance Environment
AUGUST 17, 2009
I’ve represented the performance ecosystem in several ways in the past, and that process continues to occur. In the process of writing up a proposal to do some social learning strategizing for an organization, I started thinking about it from the performer perspective. However, I wasn’t creating mine so much as a conceptual framework, yet it shares characteristics with many.
Future of the training department
DECEMBER 12, 2009
Entreprise Collaborative , a cross-cultural endeavor bridging English and French to provide a jumping off point on organizational collective intelligence (and co-led by my Internet Time Alliance colleague Harold Jarche ), is launching a blog carnival. The first topic is: the future of the training department in the Collaborative Enterprise. I’ve written before about the changes I see coming for organizations (e.g. here ), and they’re driven by the changes I am seeing in business and in society. This doesn’t come for free. Who is responsible for ensuring this works?
Competing conference contexts
NOVEMBER 18, 2009
Last week I was at the excellent-as-always DevLearn , and this week I attended the Virtual School Symposium (VSS; for the first time). Both are about online learning, but the former is in the corporate world, and the latter is in the K12 world. There are a lot of differences! There are similarities, for example both are great conferences. Both are experiencing growth, offer good lineups of presentations, have appropriate exhibitions, good food, and socializing. Both also have a passionate attendee base, as you would expect from the growth. mobile) and approaches (e.g.
Driving formal & informal from the same place
SEPTEMBER 8, 2009
There’s been such a division between formal and informal; the fight for resources, mindspace, and the ability for people to get their mind around making informal concrete. However, I’ve been preparing a presentation from another way of looking at it, and I want to suggest that, at core, both are being driven from the same point: how humans learn. I was looking at the history of society, and it’s getting more and more complex. Organizationally, we started from a village, to a city, and started getting hierarchical. In both cases, the learning is facilitated.
Monday Broken ID Series: The Introduction
FEBRUARY 8, 2009
First Post in the Series. This is one in a series of thoughts on some broken areas of ID that I’m posting for Mondays. The intention is to provide insight into many ways much of instructional design fails, and some pointers to avoid the problems. The point is not to say ‘bad designer’, but instead to point out how to do better design. One of the first things learners see is the introduction to the content; it’s the first place that they can be disappointed, and all too often they are. Which is a wonderful way to start a learning experience, eh? What we want to do is bring in the emotion!
(New) Monday Broken ID Series: Objectives
FEBRUARY 1, 2009
This is the first in a series of posts on some broken areas of ID that I will be posting on Mondays. The intention is to provide insight into many ways much of instructional design fails, and some pointers to avoid the problems. The point is not to say ‘bad designer’, but instead to point out how to do better design. The way I’ve seen many learning solutions go awry is right at the beginning, focusing on the wrong objective. Too often the objective is focused on rote knowledge, whether it’s facts, procedures, or canned statements. That’s why we use external aids like calendars.
Predictions for 2009
DECEMBER 30, 2008
Over at eLearn Magazine , Lisa Neal Gualtieri gets elearning predictions for 2009, and they’re reliably interesting. Here’re mine: The ordinary: Mobile will emerge, not as a major upheaval, but quietly infiltrating our learning experiences. We’ll see more use of games (er, Immersive Learning Simulations) as a powerful learning opportunity, and tools to make it easier to develop. Social networking will become the ‘go to’ option to drive performance improvements. continue to see interest in games, and naturally I’m excited. welcome your thoughts.
DECEMBER 25, 2009
Wishing you and yours the best for the new year
NOVEMBER 9, 2009
How do you systematically design learning experiences that effectively engage the learner? This was the question I set out to address more than 5 years ago. Based upon years of deep investigation into learning & instruction theories and design processes, and practical experience in designing games, I wrote Engaging Learning: Designing e-Learning Simulation Games.
Extremophiles & Organizational Agility
OCTOBER 30, 2009
A number of years ago, I co-wrote a chapter with Eileen Clegg called The Agility Factor , that appeared in Marcia Conner & James Clawson’s excellent collection of organizational culture articles in the book Creating a Learning Culture. The focus of the book was on empowering organizations to be nimble in a context of increasing change. are known as extremophiles.
The Future of Organizational Learning event
OCTOBER 25, 2009
At the upcoming DevLearn conference, Jay Cross and I are holding a pre-conference workshop titled: Be the Future of Organizational Learning: Become a Chief Meta-Learning Officer. We already know we’ve got critical mass in terms of signups, so we’re excited about the possibilities, but we really want to do our best to ensure we deliver a valuable experience.
Virtual World Affordances, updated
OCTOBER 8, 2009
Corrie Bergeron (@skydadddy) pointed out that I hadn’t really accounted for the ability to create a persona, a representation of yourself via avatar that reflects how you’d like to be perceived. Of course, you’ll have a persona regardless, if you’re present in the world, but the ability to customize one is the unique opportunity. Thoughts and comments always welcome
Extending Virtual World Affordances
OCTOBER 6, 2009
I recently attended the 3DTLC conference, as I reported before. Chuck Hamilton presented on his (IBM’s) take on affordances on virtual worlds. start with what I think are the core affordances of virtual worlds, that there’s a 3D world, that you can visit, and that’s digital. through the internet). Feedback solicited!
Learning Experience Creation Systems
SEPTEMBER 2, 2009
Where do the problems lie in getting good learning experiences? There’s been a intriguing debate over at Aaron (@mrch0mp3rs) Silver’s blog about where the responsibility lies between clients and vendors for knowledge to ensure a productive relationship. One of the issues raised (who, me?) is understanding design, but it’s clearly more than that, and the debate has raged.
MARCH 12, 2009
While I’ve lots more to say, I put a short version of my vision of elearning strategy in Michael Allen’s 2009 e-Learning Annual. It’s about both getting the individual elements right, and establishing the connections between the elements to achieve synergy, not irrelevance (or worse). You can download the article (PDF). I’d welcome your thoughts and feedback.
On the road again
AUGUST 21, 2009
I like going to conferences: exchanging ideas, meeting new people, and just variety. However, I haven’t been on the road since early June for any conferences , after running a workshop at ASTD’s international conference and then presenting at DAU/GMU’s Innovations in eLearning Conference. But it’s that time again. Others come close, but they really strike the best balance.
Monday Broken ID Series: Seriation
MARCH 15, 2009
Previous Series Post. This is one in a series of thoughts on some broken areas of ID that I’ve been posting for Mondays. The intention is to provide insight into many ways much of instructional design fails, and some pointers to avoid the problems. The point is not to say ‘bad designer’, but instead to point out how to do better design. And more. Show Me, Let Me).
Workplace Learning in 10 years?
MARCH 2, 2009
This month’s Learning Circuit’s blog Big Question is “What will workplace learning look like in 10 years. Triggered by Jay & Harold’s post and reactions (and ignoring my two related posts on Revisiting and Learning Design ), it’s asking what the training department might look like in 10 years. I certainly have my desired answer.
FEBRUARY 28, 2009
However, real instructional design theory (particularly when it’s cognitive-, social-, and constructivist-aware) is great stuff (e.g. Merrill, Reigeluth, Keller, et al); it’s just that most of it’s been neutered in interpretation. The point being, really understanding how people learn is critical. However, it’s not enough. There’s also understanding information design.
FEBRUARY 21, 2009
In addition to working on the technology plan for my school district, I’ve also been assisting a not-for-profit trying to get strategic about technology. The struggles are instructive, but looking across these two separate instances as well as the previous organizations I’ve assisted, I’m realizing that there are some common barriers. The obvious one is time. Yet, we must.
FEBRUARY 6, 2009
I’m on the Board of Directors for an educational not-for-profit that has had almost 30 years of successful work with programs in classrooms, nationally and internationally. However, 5 years ago or so when I joined, they were doing almost nothing with technology. It’s been a slow road. Persistence pays off, even in the most hidebound environments. Jumper cables, anyone?
Tools and tradeoffs
JANUARY 28, 2009
Old Site. I’ve been busy updating my website. RapidWeaver uses templates: there are quite a few included, and you can pay for more. I wasn’t completely happy with any, but by systematic exploration (aka messing around), I managed to make one I was happy with. New Site. The more general lesson is that there are no right answers, only tradeoffs.
The Quiver & The Gun
JANUARY 14, 2009
(No, I’m not talking about weapons, or anthropological determination, sorry :). Organizations have to be nimble; the environment we face is more like sitting in the ocean waiting to ride the ever-changing waves than it is striding down a concrete road. Increasingly, in these chaotic times, changes are unpredictable. There are changing tides, swells, weather, and the resulting waves.
The big blindspot
DECEMBER 24, 2009
I was talking with a colleague over lunch the other day about her company, platform, and organizational learning issues. And something occurred to me: we’re trying to merge onto a freeway right at a blindspot. In orgs, there’s a real tendency to bucket any discussion of learning into ‘training’, and dismiss it. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t think training has to be irrelevant (though in practice much of it is). Except that, too, has a real easy knee-jerk rejection. The problem, then, is where do you come in? That’s a big blindspot.
DECEMBER 23, 2009
I love talking with my Internet Time Alliance colleagues, they’re always sparking me to new thoughts. In our chat, we were talking about learning, and I riffed off Charles’ comment about defining learning to opine that I see learning as a persistent behavior change (in the same context). It’s very behaviorist-influenced (given that I’m a cognitive/connectionist/constructivist type), but the point is that it needs to manifest. However, it got me to thinking about individual versus group behavior. that innovation isn’t solitary.
DECEMBER 22, 2009
In the conversation with Kris Rockwell of Hybrid Learning I mentioned previously , we talked about the definition of mobile learning. We both agreed that it wasn’t about loading your average asynchronous elearning course onto the phone, and that it was more about performance support. Brevity is the soul of mobile, as well as wit. And I also am happy to think of mobile as an augment to formal learning: reactivating knowledge, distributing practice, contextualizing learning, and even performance capture. But then we came to the ‘grey’ area of so-called microcourses.
Content Models and Mobile Delivery
DECEMBER 21, 2009
On Friday, I had the pleasure of a conversation of Kris Rockwell , CEO of Hybrid Learning for my in-process mobile learning book. I’d sought him out because of how he was developing mobile. Using content models to separate out the content from how it gets rendered for display, he’s creating more flexibility across devices. This combines two of my passions, and is part of a performance ecosystem strategy. Hybrid uses DITA , a standard for wrapping definition around content, to develop their content. He presented powerful arguments to use this open source topic-based approach.
Virtual Worlds Value Proposition
DECEMBER 17, 2009
In prepping for tomorrow nights #lrnchat, Marcia Conner was asking about the value proposition of virtual worlds. ripped out a screed and lobbed it, but thought I’d share it here as well: At core, I believe the essential affordances of the virtual world are 3D/spatial, and social. There are lower-overhead social environments (but…which I’ll get back to). However, many of our more challenging tasks are 3D visualization (e.g. work of Liz Tancred in medicine, Hollan & Hutchins on steamships). Now you still might not need a social one, so let’s get back to that.
The Great eLearning Garbage Vortex
DECEMBER 15, 2009
Norbert Hockenberry here, reporting on a giant floating patch of elearning that has recently been discovered. Like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch , this has been created by discarded material being gathered by oceanic currents into a giant mess. Unlike the Pacific patch, this isn’t an environmental disaster so much as a economic and social catastrophe. The waste of organizational resources, and learner time, is tragic. Seldom has so much been done, for so many, for so little gain. What is the cause of this mess? Two main things: bad design, and mismanagement. Bad Design. Mismanagement.