Tony Karrer's eLearning Blog on e-Learning Trends eLearning 2.0 Personal Learning Informal Learning eLearning Design Authoring Tools Rapid e-Learning Tools Blended e-Learning e-Learning Tools Learning Management Systems (LMS) e-Learning ROI and Metrics

Thursday, November 15, 2007

eLearning 2.0 Random Thoughts based on Chat

Going back through the back chat / back channel during my presentation was really interesting to me. Since I couldn't read it at the same time I was presenting, it was amazing how much conversation was going on among the participants. I'm not sure I get how anyone could keep up with all the discussion there and listen to my presentation at the same time.

It appears (based on a couple of comments - see Back Channel Use) that it was somewhat difficult to do both. Congrats to Brent who managed to attend my session, participate in the back channel, and attend a session in Second Life at the same time. That's multitasking!

So here are my random thoughts, comments, links, ideas, quotes, etc. that I got from running through the chat log:
  • How was this conference marketed? how can more hear about participating?
There are over 1,000 attendees. All the marketing was done through viral means - blogs primarily. Of course, having the conference free makes it a bit easier to attract attendees.

One interesting result is that the audience for my eLearning 2.0 presentation were much more sophisticated that audiences at ASTD, ISPI and even the eLearningGuild. The general sense was that because of how it was advertised it attracted folks already more familiar with these technologies.
  • Back Chat or Not to Back Chat

Someone mentioned that their boss had wanted to close off Back Chat. I just put this in a separate blog post.

  • How do you find out about this stuff?
You learn about this using these tools and scanning sources like blogs, trying things out, forcing yourself to make time to learn.
  • John Smith from Australia

It was a "wicked time" for John Smith - 4 AM in Australia. John - it's an honor to have someone willing to get up at that time for a presentation. I hope it was worth it.

  • George Clooney

Karyn's claim that I look like George Clooney has somehow traveled. Now someone named Martin picked it up during the presentation. My wife thinks that's "hilarious."

  • Social Bookmarking and Wikis and Blogs are a form of social networking

I never said this, but several people pointed it out in the chat. Very good point. I should absolutely make sure I mention it explicitly. I certainly talk about a big part of the value of blogs being building a network. The same thing can be true with social bookmarking, wikis, flickr, etc. Any shared content leads to meeting people interested in similar topics.

  • We can pull up a tag anytime, but what are some strategies for documenting a thought string (i.e. blog to blog to wiki to person) and coming back to a particular node in that string?
That's a great question. It's a bit hard to do right now. Co.comment works okay for across blogs. Using social bookmarking or meme tracking works okay. But right now, a distributed discussion is hard to effectively track. Or maybe I'm missing something?
  • I'm on board with all of this, but my colleagues are intimidated or indifferent

Find an opportunity where it makes sense. Start tactical. And build from there.
  • "It makes sense for Senior Managers to blog" - "What level should you go to get the blog? Senior? grassroots?"

I often hear this. Senior Managers should blog for a different reason. They blog to share their vision, strategy, etc. Most of us blog to Learn and Network. Linking blogging to senior people, which is often done, is a bad thing to do. Don't perpetuate this!
  • "Honey pot" means something very different in the rural US (think septic system)

Whoops. I will have to find another name. BTW, the term honey pot comes from a security term - it's a place you set up to attract people.

Suggestion anyone?
  • How can you put policies/procedures on WIKIs when I thought the nature of them is that anyone can edit? You wouldn't want everyone changing policies, right?

You can control who can do what on many wikis. So, give the appropriate people in HR the ability to change the policies page. Give support the ability to change the FAQ page on the reference site you just create. Actually, let them edit anything. Oh, heck, let the users edit stuff. In most corporate environments, you won't find people making bad kinds of changes to most content. Yes, policies and SOPs need to be more controlled, but most content is not.
  • A lot of this discussion seems to have to do with personal learning - individuals learning about things we are interested in. Most of the corporate learning we support is teaching critical skills to folks, or enabling JIT learning on the job. This feels a little different.

I wonder if any of the folks you are trying to enable with JIT learning on the job need to go to Google to find out about something, ever bookmark pages they find, write up their thoughts, share those with others. It is exactly that kind of JIT learning we are talking about.

You are right that it feels different because it's NOT FORMAL.

So is that part of the job of a corporate learning organization? Supporting informal learning?
  • How do people manage their regular deliverables while exploring all these tools, keeping up to date, learning new tools, etc?

Good question. We have to make choices about what we focus on. Do you spend time reading about the newest simulation authoring tools or do you get more up to speed on some of these tools? It's a tough choice. But, someone in your organization should be looking at how these tools (blogs, wikis, social bookmarking) could be used by different people in the organization and helping to build work/learning skills.
  • Some links

Search for "Shift Happens" on youtube

  • Miscellaneous Comments

of all the tools out there, wikis seem to be having the biggest impact

not everyone blogs, but everyone can wiki

i think blogs and the ability to follow a string of thought to different bookmarks and wikis are the critical piece

if you want to really see the future of learning, watch kids learn on the Wii!

I use a wiki for that same purpose of "extended memory"

a blog is like having access to experts at the water cooler

blogs allow us to externalize ourselves to the network, which then allows us to connect to others

If you have never used an RSS feeder, that is a MUST to keep learning

when I went to the BrandonHall conference, I added everyone I met to my Facebook and I find I've stayed in touch with people more then I have in the past after a conference

Long lost colleagues have 'found me' through Facebook but other than that, it seems 'fun' rather than 'serious'

good use of wikis will cut your meeting times dramatically

If IT departments get in the way, bloggers will just go outside the enterprise!

To be more specific on the IT is Evil comment, it's the security surrounding many of the Web 2.0 technologies which force IT departments to do a thumbs-down -- specifically when public-facing.

Dave Warlick points out that for young people today this is 1.0

or just 0.0

control is so 1990

I think if we are to add value to the enterprise, we as learning professionals need to learn how to support learning within the existing constraints, and find tools and approaches that work within IT as we try and change things.

I found that social bookmarking is a better way to manage some of the hard to find things on the corp intranet

We also need to find ways of supporting formal learning - learning where the organization sets business requirements for learning for a individual or group of people - as well as supporting self directed learning.

Informal Learning to supplement, complement, reinforce 'formal' learning

I have to say I like one-stop-shops like Facebook where I just have to log in to one place instead of a million little things to log into

the lines blur in eLearning 2.0 - it's messy as Stephen Downes mentions in his conferences

I think before we can put these tools in orgz, we need to do a mental shift

a lot of corp are concerned about officially controlling content because everythign becomes public record...throw in the fact that a lot of y-geners seem to blur private behavior with what is appropriate at work...potential issues

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know that you'd need to change "honey pot" to something else. Google doesn't have a huge number of sites in which the term is used for latrine, septic tank, etc. (though there is an interesting publication, "Honey Pot Men of South Stockton": "Let us now make a vote of thanks to the honey-pot men of old who plied their trade in the dead of night and, by their deeds, kept sewers clear and emptied the cess pits...."). It was, um, fresh on my mind due to recent trouble with my septic system and my long and strangely fascinating discussion with the honey pot man.

Thanks for the thought-provoking presentation & discussions!