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Assumptions about attentiveness: is eye contact engagement?

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At BP’s Future of Learning event in November, we were lucky enough to have the fabulous Crystal Washington as our guest speaker at dinner (follow her on Twitter @CrysWashington ). Crystal delivered one of the most dynamic, engaging and passionate presentations I’ve seen for some time. Keeping the attention of a room full of people when you’ve got the after-dinner slot and everyone’s been at a conference all day isn’t easy!

How I used Wordle as a basic TNA tool | Good To Great

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12 Responses to How I used Wordle as a basic TNA tool. Craig Taylor | November 30, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Reply. You certainly did Stephanie. I loved the use of Wordle as TNA tool… I think you may have started a craze as I know that I and 1

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Brilliant backchannel tweeting: what to do after an event

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A conference can be a fairly exhausting experience, and if you’ve been preparing for days and then tweeting throughout it’s perfectly understandable that, on leaving the venue, you want to switch off and spend some time away from the backchannel. But to be a really valuable contributor, you need to switch back on and engage again before too long.

Front garden stories, back garden stories and highlight reels

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A message came through at Dare last week that was reinforced on Tuesday by The Writer ‘s storytelling event. It’s about the version of your story that you present to the world, and how that compares to your real story or the way you see your story yourself. Karen McGrane , whose brilliant keynote you can watch on the Dare website, believes that insecurity comes from comparing your own behind-the-scenes with other people’s highlight reels.

5 Essential Virtual Selling Practices Every Company Must Have by 2023

Speaker: Erika Bzdel - Vice President of Sales and Craig Simons - Director of Marketing

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Five great resources for presenters

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Does presenting come naturally to you? It definitely doesn’t to me. I’m a bit of a wallflower by nature and don’t usually enjoy being centre of attention. I think that’s why I enjoy writing: I can put a bit of me across without actually having anyone look at me. The thought of speaking to a large group of people for any prolonged period of time (whether in a real or virtual venue) used to terrify me and still makes me nervous.

Brilliant backchannel tweeting: what to do during an event

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Previously I’ve suggested some reasons why you might want to improve your backchannel contributions , and some things you can do before an event to set yourself up for success. Avoiding that feeling of not-quite-keeping-up as you tweet from the conference will be much more achievable if you’ve done the preparation! But while preparation is key, it’s not everything. Tweeting well throughout a conference is hard!

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Learning 2012: the 30 Under Thirty experience

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When I attended Learning 2012 last month, I was lucky enough to be there as part of 30 Under Thirty : a group of 30 ‘future leaders’ in learning and development. Actually, there were 32 of us in the end: Elliott explained that he usually expects a few to drop out so overfills the spaces; that didn’t happen this year but contrary to his on-stage threats at the opening session, the audience didn’t vote on which two of us to evict and we all survived the week!

Why I’m a pen-and-paper girl

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I’m slightly late to the party, so you may have already seen the debate prompted by Craig Taylor’s recent blog post ; if not, take a look. Craig was shocked at a recent event when some people expressed discomfort at him taking notes on his iPad.

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A ‘very important’ writing tip

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I just came across a real gem of a letter on Letters of Note , sent by C.S. Lewis to a young American fan in 1956. Isn’t it lovely and quite remarkable that he replied to his fan mail in such a thoughtful and personal way? Aside from that, though, this letter stood out to me because of a particular piece of advice shared in it, which I think all e-learning designers (indeed, all writers!) should be mindful of: In writing.

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Increasing Equity and Access: A Canvas Case Study of Virtual Arkansas K-12

Virtual Arkansas, a fully online school, had a mission to provide high-quality courses in rural and urban areas throughout the state. How would they simplify content creation while enhancing learning? Discover 3 key insights to transform your classrooms.

Changes in language learning for busy adults

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I’ve been learning foreign languages since primary school. I started with an after-school French club, added German and Spanish at GCSE and A-Level, studied French and Spanish at university and last year took up Greek. What’s perhaps unusual these days is that all my language learning has been done through traditional methods. Aside from a couple of Greek vocabulary flashcard-style apps, it’s been classrooms, textbooks and handwritten homework.

On self-confidence and the leading edge

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It’s been many months since I last posted on this blog, and I’m not really sure why. In truth, there are probably many reasons, but I think part of it is a question of self-doubt. I’m not writing this now in search of flattering reassurances – I’m writing it because themes of not knowing, waning self-confidence and feeling like a fraud have been cropping up everywhere I turn lately and so I thought perhaps it was worth sharing my perspective.

Five days to better e-learning: recap

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If you were following last week’s series of blog posts about refreshing and improving an old e-learning course in five days , there was a lot to take in. If you were putting it into practice as you went, it will have been even more intense! So here is a quick recap of the key things we focused on. We looked at everything from the big picture (learning outcomes, high level structure and flow, and overall character) to the detail (all components of interactions and specific wording choices).

Tweeting from conferences: what and who is it for?

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Since I joined Twitter in 2010, I’ve attended and tweeted from quite a few conferences and events, from half-day single-session events to multi-track conferences over a few days. But, if I’m honest, I don’t think I ever gave how and why much thought until attending Learning 2012 last week.

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An e-learning chemistry lesson: how to mix text and audio

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I came away from last week’s eLearning Network event on rich media with a long list of takeaway lessons, things to try and topics to explore further. (I I wasn’t the only one, as the Twitter backchannel shows.) One of these is the enduring question of how to use text and audio within e-learning, which prompted some debate and some interesting experiment results.

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Nine tips for writing excellent RFPs

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How many times have you sent out a request for proposals and been disappointed with the responses you got back? Maybe they’re too long, too short, or just miss the mark. Or, if you’re a provider, how many times have you laboured over a proposal only to find – on rejection – that it all hinged on a vital piece of information you didn’t have?

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#EDCMOOC: utopias & dystopias – looking to the future (part 3)

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In 2009, Rebecca Johnston wrote a paper called ‘Salvation or destruction: Metaphors of the internet’ whilst working towards her PhD. I was surprised to see a relatively old paper on the resource list for the second week of E-learning and Digital Cultures , but actually found it interesting reading.

#EDCMOOC: utopias & dystopias – looking to the future (part 1)

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The second week of the E-learning and Digital Cultures course still centres on utopian and dystopian accounts of technology. Where last week looked at past accounts of our existing relationship with technology, the films this week explore ideas of the future of digital culture. The first two films are video adverts setting out visions from Corning and Microsoft of how they see their products evolving and how daily life will change accordingly. A Day Made of Glass 2. Productivity Future Vision.

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Five days to better e-learning

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There’s no shortage of information and advice out there about designing fantastic e-learning – and lots of it is very good advice. But it strikes me that most of that advice relies on you having a blank canvas, as well as (more often than not) plenty of time, money and manpower. What if you don’t? What if your licence doesn’t extend as far as starting from scratch?

Learning 2012: what worked, what didn’t, even better if…?

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Learning 2012, held in late October in Florida, was my first experience of a non-UK conference (in fact my first trip to the USA!), and it was quite an experience. The sheer scale of Learning 2012 – 1600 people, attending 200 sessions, over four days – was very different from conferences I’ve attended in the UK, and just being there was a learning opportunity in itself, even before considering the content of the sessions.

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Day 4: Tone of voice, style and character

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After two long days focusing exclusively on interactions, it’s time for something a little different. Today we’re going to look at how we can bring your e-learning course to life and inject some personality into it. As always, rather than simply tell you what I think, first of all I’m going to share what my webinar participants said when I asked them: what small changes can you make to your existing e-learning course to bring it to life?

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Day 1: Learning outcomes and structure

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Today we’re going to make sure that your e-learning course will have a positive impact on the business. We’re going to do this by looking at the learning outcomes and making sure that the course content aligns with those learning outcomes and flows well. Review and improve the learning outcomes. First things first: we need to re-examine the learning outcomes of the course. (Or Or perhaps write them, if they were never defined in the first place, but I hope that’s not the case!).

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Superstar conference tweeters, bloggers and curators

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I wanted to cite a couple of excellent and experienced conference tweeters in my last post about preparing yourself for backchannel tweeting. So I turned to Twitter, of course, and asked for recommendations.

How to avoid common consistency mistakes

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I recently mentioned the importance of consistency , and then rediscovered this article about common consistency mistakes. As the article says, ‘the first line of defence against consistency errors is simply being aware of them’ So, be sure to check these 10 things before submitting your next document: Phrases in capitals. Hyphenated phrases. Heading case inconsistencies. Numbers in sentences. List or bullet punctuation. Table or figure labels. Spelling. Punctuation in tables.

What do you want to know about storyboarding?

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In a few weeks I’ll be delivering a short presentation at the next eLearning Network event in London, which is all about copy, storyboarding and scenarios. I’ll be tackling the storyboarding element, and I’ve got some ideas, tips and templates to share. But, in the interest of delivering something relevant and useful, I want to find out what the people who’ll be attending would like to hear about.

Three themes at Learning Technologies 2012

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This year’s Learning Technologies event was a bit different from previous years for me. In the past, working for a supplier, I’ve spent most of my time on the exhibition floor – although I gained something new from the experience each year. This year, though, I was able to really experience the conference as a delegate and a track chair.

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Six benefits of real quality assurance

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Some people hate quality assurance. They enjoy the creative stages of a project, when they can map out storyboards or design ideas and turn policy-speak into friendly, accessible language. They don’t enjoy having to review that friendly, accessible language for typos. I have to confess though – and I’m sure this won’t surprise anyone who knows me even a little bit – that I do enjoy QA. There’s definitely an editor inside me.

Find 15: 16-20 January

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Last week I decided to save up my Find 15 slots and attend Chat2Lrn – a new tweetchat, and my first. If you’ve not yet been initiated into the world of the tweetchat, it’s a scheduled conversation on Twitter using an agreed hashtag to bring all contributors together. Last Thursday, 60 people joined the first Chat2Lrn, sending nearly 800 tweets in an hour! Once I’ve attended a few more, I’ll try to share some of my tips for making the most of them. (In

Learning 2012: what worked, what didn’t, even better if…?

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Learning 2012, held in late October in Florida, was my first experience of a non-UK conference (in fact my first trip to the USA!), and it was quite an experience. The sheer scale of Learning 2012 – 1600 people, attending 200 sessions, over four days – was very different from conferences I’ve attended in the UK, and just being there was a learning opportunity in itself, even before considering the content of the sessions.

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#EDCMOOC week 1: utopias and dystopias

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Last week, I enrolled on Edinburgh University’s Coursera MOOC called E-learning and Digital Cultures. I did this partly out of curiosity about MOOCs generally and partly because this particular course sounded like it might be interesting. There’s been a lot of debate on Twitter and elsewhere about the merits of this course – the organisation, the language used, the subjects up for discussion.

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Day 2: The right interactions at the right time

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Today we’re going to take a look at the interactions in your e-learning course. We’ll review what you’ve got, where they are (or where they should be, if there aren’t currently any interactions), and what they are focused on. Take a big picture view. We’re going to start with my trusty ‘screen type index’ tool. I’ve talked about this in detail in a previous post so I’m not going to harp on about it too long here.