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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

2008 2009

It's always interesting to look back at the past year - 2008, think about what has changed for me during the year, and think about what that means for the next year - 2009. My blog is really the hub of my thinking and activity, so by going back through posts for the 2008, it gives me a pretty good perspective on what's been happening inside my head during 2008.

To do my review, I first looked at what I was writing about and what people were reading on my blog in 2008.

Top 2008 Posts based on Read Counts:
  1. 100 eLearning Articles and White Papers
  2. Free - Web 2.0 for Learning Professionals
  3. Ten Predictions for eLearning 2008
  4. Test SCORM Courses with an LMS
  5. Request for Proposal (RFP) Samples
  6. Training Method Trends
  7. Corporate Learning Long Tail and Attention Crisis
  8. SCORM Test
  9. Web 2.0 Applications in Learning
  10. Learn Trends 2008
Top Posts of 2008 based on delicious Save Count (which I believe is a better indicator of quality):
  1. 100 eLearning Articles and White Papers (149)
  2. Ten Predictions for eLearning 2008 (39)
  3. Second Life Learning Videos (38)
  4. Personal Learning Tools and Technologies (38)
  5. Corporate Policies on Web 2.0 (37)
  6. Training Method Trends (27)
  7. Examples of eLearning 2.0 (26)
  8. Web 2.0 Applications in Learning (24)
  9. Free - Web 2.0 for Learning Professionals (20)
  10. Tools Used (18)
  11. Learning 2.0 Strategy (15)
  12. PWLE Not PLE - Knowledge Work Not Separate from Learning (15)
  13. Corporate Social Bookmarking Tools (14)
  14. Corporate Learning Long Tail and Attention Crisis (13)
  15. Test SCORM Courses with an LMS (13)
  16. 90-9-1 Rule aka 1% Rule in Collaborative Environments (13)
  17. Social Conference Tools - Expect Poor Results (13)
  18. Instruction eLearning 2.0 and Quality (11)
  19. Social Learning Objects - Flash Cards (9)
  20. Learn Trends 2008 (9)
  21. New Work and New Work Skills (8)
  22. Concept Worker (8)
  23. Online Conferences and In-Person Conferences (8)
  24. Searching for Expertise - LinkedIn Answers (8)
  25. eLearning Learning Launched (7)
  26. Learning Communities List (7)
  27. Forums vs. Social Networks (7)
  28. Blog Learning (7)
  29. Good Questions Identify eLearning 2.0 Opportunities (6)
  30. Real-Time Collaborative Editing (6)
  31. Web 2.0 Corporate Access (6)
  32. LinkedIn for Finding Expertise (6)
  33. Social Learning (6)
  34. Long Tail Learning - Size and Shape (6)
As a side note, I used this as an opportunity to update my Blog Guide. It's nice to go back and look at some of the past articles.

Okay, well having done that, there's quite a few interesting things that happened in 2008 that were somewhat "aha" moments for me...

Work Literacy

Having realized in 2007 that there's a very important Knowledge Worker Skill Gap
emerging, I felt that in 2008 I needed to find ways to help people and organizations upgrade skills like Leveraging Networks, Network Feedback, Finding Expertise, Using Social Media to Find Answers to Questions, Learning through Conversation and searching, scanning, etc.

June 1, 2008 was when Work Literacy Launched.

In my Ten Predictions for eLearning 2008, my last prediction was:
Prediction #10 => Knowledge Worker Skills - Just Beginning in 2008, Big in 2009

The discussion of knowledge work skills is going to be BIG ... We won't hear much this year, but in 2009, this will be something you'll hear in a big way.
The fact that this is one of the general sessions at ASTD TechKnowledge is interesting way to start 2009.


I had a major "aha moment" about my LinkedIn Connection Approach.

Corollary - if you are reading this and are not linked to me on LinkedIn, I wonder if we are missing an opportunity.

I put up a couple of screencasts that show how to use LinkedIn for Finding Expertise and Searching for Expertise - LinkedIn Answers.


I'm still not sure what my Twitter Status will be. I use it a little bit. Find somewhat random things. Is good for more general, quick hit questions. Was great at DevLearn. But still have doubts, such as those in Twitter Mass Follow - Nevermind.

Free Virtual Conference => Discussions

We held our second annual Learn Trends conference. And there was a fantastic course Web 2.0 for Learning Professionals. Both were big successes. Lots of really interesting conversations.

My guess is that in 2009 we are going to change the shape of the discussion to make it more frequent and narrow going forward. No reason to make these experiences be so compact.

This lines up with what I predicted in 2008 ...
2008 Prediction #9 => Niche Online Discussions
... I'm starting to think that the way to go is to have frequent, more targeted online, virtual discussions on particular topics. ... For example, I just had someone ask about using Facebook in a corporate context as part of on-boarding. I'll likely schedule a call with this person to discuss what they are trying to do. Why not have several people involved in the discussion? Why not record it? Is the barrier the lack of free access to the tools? The overhead of pulling it together? ...
Corollary - I (we) would like to get help to organize / moderate this. I likely can create very interesting conversations and can help advertise these. Can someone help with logistics?

eLearning 2.0

2008 Prediction #1 => eLearning 2.0 - Increasing Pressure
It's safe to predict that you'll be hearing more and more about eLearning 2.0 during 2008. While large scale adoption will be slow, specific solutions aimed at particular audience needs will be more common. There will be increasing pressure on each of us to understand eLearning 2.0 for ourselves in order to apply it within our organizations (eLearning 2.0 - An Immediate, Important Shift). This will increase adoption of Web 2.0 tools by learning professionals (More eLearning Bloggers). It will also cause us to look more closely at Personal Learning for Learning Professionals - Using Web 2.0 Tools to Make Reading & Research More Effective.
Nailed it. ;)

In some ways, 2008 was the year that eLearning 2.0 went mainstream and likely this will continue to grow in 2009. I think this has a lot to do with Corporate Learning Long Tail and Attention Crisis. Certainly in 2008, we saw lots of people are making tactical adoption - see Examples of eLearning 2.0. In Training Method Trends, we show that while still small, use of the tools is increasing very quickly. 2008 was also the year when many organizations started having Corporate Policies on Web 2.0. It was worthwhile to look at the question of: Scope of Learning Responsibility?

Real-Time Collaboration

For me, 2008 represented a pivotal year for real-time collaboration. I expect this to gather speed in 2009.

As I mentioned in Real-Time Collaborative Editing and in Collaboration Tools, I had a fantastic experience participating in group editing of a Mind Map of collaborative tools during a session at Learn Trends. You can see the result below.

This mind map started with just the first level nodes that represented the categories. He asked people to add to those and people started typing in all sorts of things. It was very interesting to see.

I've also been using a lot of Google Spreadsheets as a means of real-time collaborative editing. It's quite an experience to have a work group edit a project status document real-time.

To-Learn List

Catherine Lombardozzi introduced me to the idea of a To-Learn List. It's a list of things that you want to learn. It's been good to create a more formal list of what I want to research, blog about, use on projects, etc. This is going to be a great on-going practice. This end of year, I should create a few more longer term items to go on my To-Learn List.

Temporary Learning Communities

A new batch of Learning Communities emerged. But I'm also realizing that many learning communities form and go away - and that's okay.

eLearning Learning Launched

One of the things I didn't seem coming at all a entering 2008 was the need and opportunity around eLearning Learning. It basically takes what people in our world are already doing and turns it into a resource that adds value in terms of surfacing the best stuff. It's a bit like this post but rather than just being focused on my own blog, it uses more diverse input to form it across a broader conversation. I'm very excited with where this is going.

Mobile Learning and Games

Starting 2008, one of my more controversial predictions was around mobile learning -
2008 #5 => Mobile Learning - Continued Scattered Examples and Disappointment

This is going to be another somewhat disappointing year for mobile learning. While the iPhone and other mobile devices continue to proliferate and while the amount of web access via mobile devices will continue to grow rapidly (now approaching 20%), mobile learning solutions will continue to find adoption in scattered, specific examples. More podcasts and video casts for audiences with easy access, think students, remote sales forces, etc. Specialized tools for mobile professionals. But large adoption of mobile as THE learning platform still won't be there.
Again, see Training Method Trends, and it shows mobile learning as the biggest loser in 2008.

Feeling good about my predictive powers right now. Oh and this also vindicates:
2008 Prediction #8 => Serious Games - Seriously Sorry, Not for You

They will continue to get talked about A LOT. And people will continue to be interested and excited. Likely YOU will get to attend a session on them. But YOU won't get to build one, or buy one, or participate in one.
Simulations and games way down as well.

Other Predictions -
2008 Prediction #2 => Virtual Classroom Tools - Meeting Tool + Second Life Lite

A medium size Virtual Classroom / Meeting Tool will announce features in 2008 that are not 3D immersive, but that are more like Mii characters in a 2.5D world. This will allow more natural kinds of interactions in classroom settings, especially for things like breakout activities.
Did anyone see this come out? I'm still bullish on the concept, but maybe I'm a year or two early. Maybe 2009?

2008 Prediction #3 => Authoring Tools - Captivate and Articulate Will Dominate

It rhymes and it's an easy prediction that these two tools will dominate authoring. Interestingly, they both were originally considered rapid authoring tools but now are becoming THE authoring tools. Some lower-end, PPT + Audio tools will do well with none winning huge shares of the marketplace. Wiki + SCORM + Add-ins will become more common for easy authoring.
Okay, so Captivate and Articulate are doing very well. Recent Guild research still puts them at the top, but I left out Lectora for course authoring which is a great development and packaging tool that is very close to Articulate in terms of reported usage. And in the Rapid eLearning Tools space, I left out Camtasia which is great for screencasting.

Not sure that the emergence of Wiki Course Authoring really translated into adoption. And while Harbinger has provided some interesting tools that are essentially mash-ups for authoring, not sure I've seen much adoption.
2008 Prediction #4 => Less Authoring - More Web Pages

While we may want to use our authoring tools all the time, there's going to be more and more cases where clients (internal or external) are going to be just find with some web pages and maybe some embedded training snippets or an embedded fun Flash Quiz. Short, fast and to the point will be the standard. This will increase the discussion of the relevance of ISD / ADDIE (see also ADDIE Not Relevant?).
I don't have numbers to back this up, but I'm pretty sure that it's the case that we are creating more content on web pages outside of a course and less inside of courses. Expect that will continue in 2009.
2008 Prediction #6 => Metrics-Driven Performance and Learning Interventions

My article coming out in January will spark discussion around what is actually a quite common model. And because it ties directly to metrics that matter to the business, this will get significant attention during the year.
The article came out and there was no discussion. Of course, that just made me realize that I had not published the article in any usable form. Whoops. What an oversight.
2008 Prediction #7 => LMS => More of What You Don't Want

Large players will continue to move towards functionality in Talent Management - likely mostly features that you really don't care that much about. Luckily a few will also add in more community and wiki capabilities. Unfortunately, these will be even worse than Sharepoint, the solution you already hate. All of this will cause of to continue to ask Do You WANT an LMS? Does a Learner WANT an LMS?
Wow, I'm so positive in this prediction. Largely, I think it was pretty accurate. Kevin Oakes sounded the bell in Kevin Oakes on the Rise and Fall of the LMS as large LMS vendors began to move towards Talent Management. Mzinga is going a different direction focusing on collaboration and social media capabilities. Mzinga certainly is way better as a product that my dire prediction. I'm not sure I buy what some of the other LMS vendors are providing around social software.


Anonymous said...

Hey Tony! The insight is really appreciable.. I’m a huge fan of ur blog posts..
Although i’m a newbie in this e-learning industry i’m trying to make my presence felt and learn and emulate the industry veterans like yourself..
You may find me on web at

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony, I really appreciate your recap of your blogging year. Since I participated in Web 2.0 for Learning Professionals, and Learn Trends, my work literacy quotient has increased exponentially. So much so that I'm planning to begin blogging myself. I've also started reading and subscribing to different blogs, which have answered many of the unanswered questions I've had floating around my head about the elearning industry. If I use your blog as a jumping off point, I can easily see from this post alone where I've already gleaned knowledge from, because I've already read many of the links. Looking forward to reading more about your blog journey during 2008 (and implicitly, learning trends during 2008.) A great way to get up to speed. Thanks, Susan

Tony Karrer said...

James and Susan - thanks for stopping by and commenting. James - I've added your blog to my trying out list. Susan, let me know when your blog is going.

And I've got a post coming that I think will interest you as new bloggers.

Anonymous said...

Great post as always Tony. Thanks for the props on our LMS direction. I agree completely on the Talent Management stuff -- analysts keep hyping this and buyers keep asking and companies never use it as designed if at all. Feels like "re-usable" learning objects all over again -- another great idea in theory that didn't translate well to real world practice.

On the authoring tool front, we should show you Mzinga Publisher sometime. All the bells and whistles of Lectora, converts PPTs like Articulate, but also has built-in gaming templates and support for embedded social media -- blogs, discussions, comments, ratings, YouTube video, Google mashups.

All of these elements are available in your typical asynchronous WBT course or assessment, and through them, learners can connect and share ideas with other learners. It's also a collaborative environment that allows for multiple authoring roles so you can extend the formal authoring model to SME's and even learners.

We've just begun a push to educate the market on this part of our strategy. Suffice to say our approach is not just limited to LMS plus Social Media. We've done at least as much on the Authoring tool side of this which we think is incredibly important in moving toward a blend of formal and social learning strategies