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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

eLearning Predictions Further Thoughts

I recently posted my Top 10 eLearning Predictions for 2010 and did a presentation on the topic.  You can access a WebEx recording of the presentation here:

Thought I’d do a quick post with some random follow-up thoughts:

Skim Long Posts

I asked at the start of the online session how many people had read my post that basically was very similar content.  There were only a few people who answered that they had.  And several who said they skimmed it.  My guess is that most everyone who saw it prior to the session had taken my advice from long ago Stop Reading - Skim Dive Skim and really just skimmed it.

Social Learning Communities

It was interesting that ASTD DC / Todd Slater has created a Ning community.  My belief is that we are going to see lots of virtual communities created as it makes sense to aggregate outside of a local geography for common interests.  That certainly goes along with what we’ve done with LearnTrends and what’s going on with social learning.

Is Mobile Learning Real This Time?

A question was asked:

There was a big interest in mobile years back and then it seemed to disappear, we will be seeing this come back?

Mobile learning a couple years ago was an attempt to put courses on mobile devices.  There are a few people out there who are claiming success doing this.  However, I think the amount of content that people will consume on mobile devices is limited. 

Instead, tools, quick reference guides, quick hit videos, etc. will be the real win.

What’s the real change though is that we are becoming used to getting content both via our computer and on our mobile device.  Thus the questions will be a bit different this time around.

We’ve come through the trough and are starting to see smart, slow growth.

Home vs. Work

I asked the audience if it was easier to get information at home or at work or about the same.  Generally people felt they had easier access at home.  This goes along with the prediction that employees will increasingly hack work so that they can get access to information and people they need to reach. 

Some comments:

  • home is better -- @ work there are blocks on our network as to what we can and can't access
  • Firewalls an issue at work
  • Work has faster connections
  • not supposed to access internet at work
  • less network security at most homes, or firewall issues
  • Firewalls at work prevent connections

Certainly the issues with access certain sites, e.g., our LearnTrends site that’s hosted by Ning, is an issue.  People end up staying home to be able to attend virtual events.  That should be a bit of a “wow”.

I ran into a post about Using Twitter at Work.  I expected it to be about how to use twitter as a knowledge worker.  Instead it was about hacking work.

If you are working for a company that falls in the first category (no social media please), its better that you install a Twitter mobile app on your cell phone and not use the office computer at all for tweeting. After all, your boss will get a web usage report at the month-end and he will easily figure out which sites have you been visiting secretly during office hours.

Fast and Okay Rather Than Slow and Good

One of the predictions I made was that we would be creating more, lower cost learning solutions.  There were a couple of great questions/comments around this:

  • Learners are trying to absorb the most amount of info in the shortest possible time
  • Fast & OK rather than Slow and Good

Well said.  There was concern around skills that take time to develop.  There will still be that kind of thing.  But the pain point for companies and for CLOs is responding to the pace and living up to the commitment that they are going to do more with less.


We had some very interesting exchange around SharePoint.  But I had to share the comment:

When I train on SharePoint, the biggest issues is that people don't understand what's possible.  They don't know how it will make their lives better.  Once they have the vision in mind, it's not too hard to use.

I really think that’s a big source of SharePoint Fear and Loathing by Learning Professionals.

I just read a great post by Dan Pontefract - SharePoint 2010: The New Employee Gateway? that explain a lot of what’s going on around SharePoint and learning organizations.

Google Wave as a Mashup?

When I was discussing Mashups and pointed to the Twitter Captivate Integration and my example of taking notes/asking questions widget, someone suggested:

Google Wave looks like it has a lot of potential for that

Great point!  I must look into Google Wave as the basis for social interaction that goes along with a course.  It’s instant threaded discussion.  Can I easily mash it with a course?  Maybe not yet, but soon.


You had to be there – was very glad there were a couple of people who understood me. :)

Open Courseware

Turns out that a lot of folks are not familiar with what’s going on around this.

Virtual Worlds

Great comment:

Your number #1 point was how busy everyone is, who has time for virtual worlds???

I agree that access of virtual worlds needs to be as simple as getting into a WebEx session.  The barrier is a bit too high right now for mainstream.  But it’s amazing that WebEx doesn’t have avatars for participants or any sense of space.  I’ve given up on my predictions of a 2.5D virtual world, WebEx type product.  But it will happen at some point.  It won’t take any more time than what we currently have.  And it will make you feel much more part of the event.


Bill said...

Especially frustrating on hacking work. My travel laptop (small, inexpensive Dell) is more powerful than my office machine and I often bring it in to work so I can actually do analysis faster. Firewalled to the max which is extremely counterproductive when you are trying to use YouTube or Twitter to learn about a piece of software that you need for work. Sometimes, I just grab the netbook and head to the local coffeehouse so I can get some work done.

It's the update from the old consulting joke that when a company tells you that they trust their employees, check to see if they lock their supply cabinets.

Tony Karrer said...

Bill that's a great capture of what's happening. Take your netbook to the coffeehouse to get your work done!

John said...

When we did Google Wave for the LearnTrends, it served a few purposes: people outlined the content, there were "what did he say about x?" questions, and there was discussion about the topics.

Given that it was the first use of Wave for just about everyone there (I started it so I could see how it would work for this -- it was my first, too), I would rate it a qualified success. I saw people coming in as late as mid-December.

I think setting up some rules when starting is good. I made the wave totally public and that was great, but a wave with people who planned to work together, like a study group from college, might be more useful for some aspects. If the overall group were small, having everyone on the wave would be something to try. That is, replacing or augmenting the chat window with Wave. There is a mindmap gadget that might help too, as it matures.

I don't think Wave is the answer to everything, but alongside regular events it seems pretty good.

Tony Karrer said...

Wow - mid-December? I hadn't looked back at it after the event. Even then I had a hard time keeping up with all that was going on since I had not participated real time.

Elearning Solutions said...

Nice blog post. I like your predictions. We can all see it coming right? That's all possible. Elearning is the key for the future and today.