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, December 17, 2009

Online Degrees Get No Respect

Saturday Night Live certainly doesn't think much of online degrees a subject that I was thinking was going away since I posted about it back in 2006 - Lower Value of Online Degree Programs?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Prepare to Feel Old

Workplace Learning Today pointed me to a post Ten Common Phrases That Could Soon Be History. I use similar kinds of examples in my presentations (and posts such as Work Skills Keeping Up?). I thought it might be fun for me to catalog some of the ones that I’ve used in my presentations and other places as well as have this ready for future presentations.

So here is a list of technologies that:

  • Boomers – used
  • Gen X – know what it is (probably)
  • Millenial – never used / likely don’t know what it is

If you are a Boomer or an older Gen X, this list is sure to make you feel a bit old.

Pay Phones – Collect Calls

  • Where’s the nearest pay phone?
  • Call me collect?


Typewriter / Ribbon / Correcting Ribbon


"You need to mute your sound"

Records / Phonographs

  • Sounds like a broken record
  • Skipping
  • Needle

Cassette Drive



Floppy Disk / Floppy Drive

  • Dual floppy drive
  • Word Star
  • Word Perfect



Punch Card


Card Catalog


Microfiche Reader


Rabbit Ears


Overhead Projector




Inbox / Outbox


What we did before email …


“Pen Pals”


“Carbon Copy” or even “BCC”

What did I miss?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Twitter Captivate Integration

I mentioned in my post 2009 Predictions How Did I Do? that we are seeing more and more about Add-ins & Mashups as a means to build richer learning experiences.  I particularly cited a DevLearn demo of twitter being embedded inside Captivate as the basis of a social learning experience.

They’ve posted on the Adobe Captivate blog - Collaborative learning using Captivate and Twitter.  You can run a demo (18 mins) to see it in action.  The basic idea is that students will be able to have a social learning experience utilizing twitter as a messaging systems within a Captivate course.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Learned about Learning in 2009

It’s always fun at the end of the year to go back and take a look at what you’ve been working on, what you’ve learned during the year.  I’ve been doing this the past few years.  And as part of this, I’ve been taking advantage of: 2009 Predictions How Did I Do?, 2009 Top Posts and Topics, Top 125 Workplace eLearning Posts of 2009 and just running through my blog posts for the year.

Knowledge Work Skills / Work Literacy

Having realized in 2007 that there's a very important Knowledge Worker Skill Gap, I felt the need in 2008 to find ways to help knowledge workers  and organizations build skills like Leveraging Networks, Network Feedback, Finding Expertise, Using Social Media to Find Answers to Questions, Learning through Conversation and searching, scanning, etc. In June 2008, Work Literacy Launched.

2009 has continued that effort.  I’m convinced that we are all struggling to have our Work Skills Keep Up.  And many of my 2009 Top Posts and Topics are related to exactly this.

Also, a lot of my presentations have been about exactly these things.

When I look at my particular skills, methods and tools for 2009 and compare them to 2008, I would say that it’s mostly a question of degree of use and certainly my use of Twitter has grown.  See also: Twitter Conference Ideas and Twitter and Webinars. I will say that adopting TweetDeck on both my desktop and my iPhone has made it a much better tool for me.

Online Sessions / Conferences / Discussions => Now Visible Networking

I’ve seen during 2009 a real growth in the ability to spark up interesting discussions as online sessions.  During the year, I’ve had fantastic conversations through LearnTrends around SharePoint, Examples and Tour of Different Kinds of eLearning, Social Learning, and the Business of Learning.  Each of these allowed me to fast forward my learning and share knowledge effectively.

However, during 2009, I had a bit of an aha moment.  It came during a presentation when I said:

It's a much better use of my time to use LinkedIn to spark a conversation than it is to go to networking events.

I realized that a lot of the networking that I had done in person in the past could move online and actually be a much more effective use of time.  And a lot of that networking could be public.  So, why not look to make this more explicit and effective?

I started calling this Visible Networking.  This is still relatively new as a name, but it’s something that I’ve been doing for a few years now.  Naming it allows me to better understand it and move it forward.

If you think about it, Twitter, Blog Comments, etc. are all forms of visible networking.  Instead of networking in private, make it a visible conversation online so that everyone can benefit.  And it can turn into great things like: Discussion Forums for Knowledge Sharing at Capital City Bank.

eLearning 2.0 Morphing Into Social Learning and Informal Learning

In the post, Hot Topics in eLearning for 2009, the top two hottest topics across all the eLearning Learning blogs were Twitter and various forms of social/informal learning, especially as it relates to the use of technology to support this.  eLearning 2.0 was considered a hot term in 2007 and 2008, but not in 2009.  For me, it was still one of my top terms, but I’ve found myself discussing things in other ways as well.  I think as we’ve moved past the idea that this stuff has impact, we’ve begun to discuss it in a different way.

I don’t actually think using the terms “social learning” or “informal learning” is the right way to go about selling this stuff either. 

Instead, during 2009, I’ve decided to always be a “Jack” … if you don’t know what that means or what it means about selling social learning then you should look at: Selling Learning Communities – Not Everyone Will or Wants a Group Hug.

It’s something I’ve said in a lot of presentations – you pick a specific, smart target and it’s a “no duh” decision.  Now I have a better way to say it.  Thanks Jack!

Using Topic Hubs to Speed My Learning

In 2008, I launched eLearning Learning. It basically takes what people in the world of eLearning are already doing and turns it into a resource that helps surface the best stuff.  It was great to help me better keep track of what was going on in a world that I know pretty well.

In 2009, I realized that this same approach is even more valuable for areas where I want to learn more as I described in Learning, Extended Brain and Topic Hubs.  So, I have been heavily leveraging the system and working with partners who are gurus in a space to fast forward my learning on diverse topics such as: Community and Networks, Mobile Learning, Nonprofit Marketing, Nonprofit Technology, HR Technology, B2B Marketing, and Professional Speaking.

There’s something really interesting going on here that I’ve not quite figured out.  It’s very powerful stuff and an important extension to my PWLE.

I’m a little surprised that I didn’t get more response to Curator Editor Research Opportunities on eLearning Learning but it may be that other people learn in a very different way.

Slow Dramatic Shifts in the Business of Learning

I really think we are going through some pretty dramatic shifts as described in the Business of Learning and covered more in posts such as Update on Future of Business of Learning, New Learning Solutions, Marginalized, and Free.

There’s always going to be a need for certain kinds of training and traditional learning.  But the economic realities and environment suggests a pretty dramatic shift going on here.

It’s going to cause us to think about models in very different ways such as how Intuit has Outsourced Training to Customers.

Learning Event?  Work Event?

There was a really great case study by HP during one of the Learn Trends sessions that described how they took marketing professionals from across the organization, taught them some basics about Web 2.0 tools, and then helped them engage in conversation around what it means to HP.  This was hosted by the learning organization, but it looked more like a research, innovation project than a learning event.  The outcomes really weren’t known at the start.  The goal was to actually define some meaningful results for the business.

Grow My Virtual Meeting, Collaboration Skills

I was reminded during 2009, that I need to be in a continuous learning mode around building my skills for effective virtual meetings, collaboration, presentations, etc.  Several of my posts during the year were around this such as Learning from Others in the Room, Narrowing Gap between Face-to-Face and Online Presentations, Presentation Backchannel Multitasking, Twitter Conference Ideas.

Final Aha Moments

Need for more eLearning Portal Integration.

There’s bias around Profile Photos and an Email Address Bias.

Friday, December 11, 2009

eLearning Technology and LearnTrends Nominated

The EduBlog Awards are happening again this year.  I’m happy to say there were several nominations for this blog and for LearnTrends.  There are a lot of great nominees in all of the categories.

If you’ve found value from this blog and/or LearnTrends, please click on the links below and vote for them in their categories.  It’s a nice way to support the sources you use.

eLearning Technology was nominated in two categories:


LearnTrends was nominated for:


I also appreciated that several people nominated eLearning Learning for various categories.  It didn’t get put on the short list in any of the categories, but I do want to thank people who nominated it.

Ajaan Rob

Best educational use of a social networking service

Nicole Fougere

Best group blog: eLearning Learning

Gina Minks

Best group blog

eLearning Learning aggregates several different education blogs, and provides a way to navigate by blog or keyword. It also shows whats popular in the eLearning community at any given time. (Full disclosure: this blog is aggregated there)

Renee Robbins

Best resource sharing blog: eLearning Learning (another brainchild of Tony Karrer and just a wealth of information)

Shelly Terrell

Best elearning blog- Elearning Learning has each of my favorite elearning blogs in one spot.

And if you are in the mood for lots of great blogs and blog posts:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Open Source LMS

I had previously written about Low Cost LMS and Rapid Learning Management Systems, but I receive an inquiry from someone who had a very constrained budget and wanted to build an eLearning Portal.

Some details of what they want / need:

The portal we need to develop should be able to handle online registration, producing letters of offer, payment gateway, producing letters of acceptance, producing student cards, downloading syllabi, downloading study guides, processing purchasing orders that trigger the distribution of the textbooks by the Publishers’ office to students, communication between mentors and students, organizing forums, notice board, chat rooms, uploading e-Lectures, downloading topic questions, downloading assignments and coursework, posting answers to mentors, mentors grading the students’ work and posting marks, issuing tutorial time-table, posting final exam dates and posting exam results, transcript issuance and degree issuance and graduation.

Because of their very limited budget, I suggested they dive into more depth looking at open source LMS products.  To help get that started, I looked at eLearning Learning and found some pretty good sources around LMS / Open Source and Learning Management System / Open Source.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

2009 Predictions How Did I Do?

One of my most popular posts each year is my list of predictions. In fact, my 12 eLearning Predictions for 2009, was most popular post for 2009 (see 2009 Top Posts and Topics) and it came up pretty high in the recent Top 125 eLearning Posts of 2009.

I will definitely be coming out with my 2010 predictions. In fact, I’ll be doing a virtual presentation around it as well. Of course, the problem with predictions, especially written predictions, is that you can look back and see how you did at the end of the year. So this post is my chance to go back to the predictions I made at the start of 2009 and see how I did.

#1 - "Self-Directed Learning" Increases

Due to economic pressures, companies are going to reduce training budgets to a point where it doesn't make sense to create content on marginal topics. Instead, we will call this "self-directed learning" and will do our best to support the workforce to learn it on their own with minimal guidance and support.

The first half of the prediction – budgets being reduced was on the mark. But the reality was more than that as I explored in posts like Business of Learning and Models for Learning Questions. They point to an environment of:

  • Decreased L&D budgets (see )
  • Faster pace
  • Increased workforce mobility
  • Shorter job tenure
  • Increased job fragmentation - fewer numbers in any one role
  • Constant increase in complexity
  • Greater concept work
  • Need for faster proficiency
  • Changing expectations for learning

which leads straight to the need to do more with less, respond more quickly, etc. So, it’s a far richer problem than indicated by my prediction.

The second half of the prediction “self directed learning” got less attention during the year than I anticipated, but it was there and certainly was a big part of the discussion around social and informal learning. The specific term had some recent great discussion by Jane Hart and Harold Jarche in the posts Social media and self-directed learning, Using social media for different types of learning that included the following diagram:

Grade: B

#2 - eLearning 2.0 Grows - But Creating "eLearning 2.0 Strategy" Fails

One of the better, cheap support mechanisms for self-directed learning are web 2.0 tools. As such, eLearning 2.0 will show continued growth. We will especially see a rapid growth in the use of wikis for content presentation. There will also be growth in discussions and social networks for collaborative learning.

At the same time, organizations who try to create big eLearning 2.0 Strategies will move much slower than organizations who adopt easy to use tools and make tactical use of these tools.

Corollary: if you have SharePoint installed, you will be using SharePoint a lot more this year.

As I discussed in my look at what I learned during 2009, I’ve found that the term eLearning 2.0 has fallen a bit out of favor and instead we are discussing these as social and informal learning. Certainly the Hottest Topics in eLearning for 2009 were social and informal learning. So, I think the first part about growth of wikis, discussions, social networks for collaborative learning is right on the mark.

As far as companies who focus on creating strategies around eLearning 2.0 moving slower – I think I’m right on the money around that. Yes, I have found myself involved in helping organizations look at their eLearning Strategy that includes a broad mix of solutions including eLearning 2.0. And I think defining this is needed and valuable. But if that’s the only thing you are doing and something that has to come before you begin to do tactical solutions, then I think it’s fair to say you are moving more slowly.

Unfortunately, I used the term “fails” which is not really the case. Companies are moving more slowly, but not really failing at it. So, on what otherwise would be an “A”, I’ve had to mark myself down.

My thinking has definitely evolved around this in 2009. Particularly, I’ve decided to always be a “Jack” … if you don’t know what that means or what it means about selling social learning then you should look at: Selling Learning Communities – Not Everyone Will or Wants a Group Hug.

Grade: B

#3 - Increase in Consumer/Education Social Learning Solutions will Increase Pressure for Social Learning Solutions in Corporate Learning

Sorry, I couldn't figure out a shorter way to say this. 2008 was an interesting year that saw a myriad of new start-ups offering content through interesting new avenues. Social learning solutions like social homework help provided by Cramster; CampusBug, Grockit, TutorVista, EduFire, English Cafe, and the list goes on and on.

What will happen to about 20% of the workplace learning professionals is that some VP/C level in your company will have their teenager or college age kid use one of these services and tell them about it. They will they proceed to wonder why you aren't doing something similar.

Certainly there’s tons of buzz around lots of consumer social learning solutions. Here are just a few of the many web 2.0 / social learning companies being discussed in 2009:


Consumer, K-12 and higher ed are all relatively hot investment spaces. Has this translated into corporate awareness and demand?

I’ve heard from a lot of learning professionals at all levels where the VP/C Level who are asking about and expecting solutions that have these kinds of aspects. But they also are expecting great content to be built – and the expectation is that it should be done fast, cheap and good. Part of this, that wasn’t well captured in my prediction, is that a lot of these solutions aim at providing Free content. This has a dramatic impact on the Business of Learning and perceptions around value and cost.

Overall, while there has been some awareness and demand, probably not to the level I anticipated.

Grade: C

#4 - Quick Wins & Toolkits

With the tough economy, everyone will be looking for quick wins. How can you improve performance quickly and at low cost? The answer for many organizations will be less training and more performance support in the form of toolkits. Teach me less about communication and give me more templates for important, tough communication points.

Off-the-shelf content companies will be moving to meet this need by emphasizing quick wins through resources.

The buzz is definitely increasing around this. During 2009 we saw things like Using Toolkits to Aggregate Learning Resources, where BJ Schone tells us:

I’ve recently seen a trend (ok, maybe it’s just new to me) where training departments create toolkits for employees in order to aggregate learning resources for a particular topic or project. Essentially, the toolkit is a web page containing a ton of great information, links, etc. This way you can send learners to a "one-stop-shop" to get the info they need.

And I just posted about recent growth of eLearning Templates.

Grade: A-

#5 - Virtual Classroom Tipping Point

Based on a few different conversations and experiences, I believe that we've reached a point where virtual classroom training is no longer seen as inherently inferior and a lower value. Some training will still be preferred face to face such as when team building or in-person soft skills are important, but 2009 will be the year when we realize that we should be justifying any in-person training. Price points for virtual classroom training will begin to be virtually the same as for the same in-person classes.

Corollary: transition to virtual means greater demand for help on effective virtual classroom training and for people who are good at creation effective remote experiences.

I believe this is very much proving itself out.

And on the corollary – I was reminded throughout the year (Learning from Others in the Room, Narrowing Gap between Face-to-Face and Online Presentations) that I need to put myself in a continuous learning mode to get better at virtual meetings, collaboration, presentations, etc. We even made the Big Question one month: New Presenter and Learner Skills and Methods.

Grade: A

#6 - Greater Domination by Leading Tool Vendors - Captivate, Articulate, Lectora, Camtasia

Captivate 4 is going to be a great tool. Articulate has a great tool set. Lectora is great at packaging. Camtasia is good at screencasting. It's going to be tough for me-too tools to push out these players in the corporate market. In some settings, free authoring tools may do better, but they probably won't get much traction in workplace training.

I’m looking for the numbers on this, but I believe it’s true based on anecdotal evidence. Does anyone know or have the numbers?

Grade: ???

#7 -Niche Tools Emerge and Get Traction in Niches

So the caveat to the above statement about the big players getting bigger is that I believe we will see more and more niche tools get traction. We've seen some traction by the game show type tools such as those by LearningWare. We may also see use of Flash Quiz Tools, polls, survey tools or something like Harbinger Knowledge's Team Pod. These things can create fun interactions that easily fit into a course built with one of the above tools. They also fit into a wiki page. It's also interesting to see effort's like Articulate's Community Interactions - which is essentially the ability to add specialized interactions including new types of interactions from the developer community.

While there are some definite challenges facing New Learning Solutions, I believe that we are seeing some real innovation. The LearnTrends Innovation Award Winners 2009 had several very interesting niche tools highlighted. And we are beginning (three years later) to hear more and more about Add-ins & Mashups to build richer experiences. At DevLearn, I saw a demo of twitter being embedded inside Captivate as the basis of a social learning experience.

Grade: B

#8 - More Wiki Pages - Same Authored Minutes - Less Classroom Minutes

I pretty much already said this, but I might as well mention it again. The above trends around eLearning 2.0, self-directed learning, quick wins and toolkits all suggest that more web pages - authored via wikis - will be the name of the game in 2009. The goal of lower cost will continue the transition from classroom to courseware which will keep the total number of authored minutes about the same, even with the move of content from courses to web pages.

Again, I searched for numbers that would tell me this, but I don’t have them. My sense is that it’s true, but I’ve seen some numbers that suggest that classes and courseware are going strong as well.

Grade: ????

#9 - Knowledge Worker Skills

Topic growing rapidly, problem getting recognized, more and more people offering workshops and solutions to address this
I realized in 2007 that there's a very important Knowledge Worker Skill Gap emerging. In 2008, I felt compelled to launch Work Literacy, and help 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.

2009 is going to be a big year for this issue. The fact that this is one of the general sessions at ASTD TechKnowledge is interesting way to start 2009. We are now offering a Work Literacy Skills Workshop. This is going to get more and more attention this year. Especially as employers move more towards self-directed learning.

While I had a chance to be involved in lots of discussions, found many people similarly concerned about this issue, I must say that most workplace learning professionals and most organizations don’t really have this on their radar. I still feel like it’s a big issue. Information overload, distraction, need to work effectively in networks and parts of virtual teams, etc. are all coming up as important. But the recognition of the larger issue is still not there.

Grade: D

#10 - Mobile Learning Niche Growth

Last year I said mobile learning would be well below where people were expecting. While I still think this will be a relatively small percentage of activity, this year, I expect to be a year in which mobile becomes more common. I believe that we will see continued increase in the percentage of people walking around with mobile web access. This will offer increased interesting opportunities such as:

  • Real-time Polls - We are just beginning to see tools like Poll Everywhere that allow mobile polling. That way an audience sitting at an in-person conference will have some of the capabilities that they do online. (Did I mention the move towards virtual classroom?)
  • Job aids / quick reference - about 30% of you are going to be asked to make sure your content is viewable on an iPhone.
  • Podcasts / Vidcasts targeting mobile professionals (ex. sales people)
  • Sales challenge scoreboard - For some mobile professionals, specific types of content such as sales challenges will be delivered through mobile solutions.

At the same time, the wild enthusiasm for mobile learning that was present in 2007 and died down a bit in 2008, will remain somewhat subdued. And we won't see much adoption as the central vehicle for learning content delivery.

I feel pretty good reading this prediction. Certainly, we are seeing more smart use of mobile learning solutions. Some organizations are making big use of it. And we are seeing more content getting delivered on mobile devices. That said, for most workplace learning professionals, this is not a day-to-day issue.

Grade: A

#11 - Micro Virtual Conferences

The move towards acceptance of virtual classroom means that there will slowly begin to be acceptance of virtual conferences. Conferences this year will also do this because their other alternative is to be canceled from lack of people able to pay for travel. But because we are all going to be maxed out, expected to do 10% more work with 10% less people, we won't have time to go for several days. Instead, we will see the creation of things that are in between a full virtual conference and something that's a few sessions. These things will be more targeted and deeper. Many of them will be from ad hoc sources, such as George, Jay and myself.

Certainly there’s been a lot of this happening this year. LearnTrends had a bunch of these. And I’m finding myself getting involved in more and more virtual sessions, conferences, etc.

However, I’m not seeing as much of this being adopted by others. I believe that’s still a matter of time.

Grade: B

#12 - Data Driven

With the economic situation, there will be greater demand for results and thus more interest in data-driven performance solutions.

Certainly there’s greater demand for results. Not sure that’s translated into data-driven performance solutions.

Grade: F

Monday, December 07, 2009

eLearning Templates – 20 Resources

Recently, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts come through eLearning Learning that provide eLearning templates or toolkits or other kinds of interesting resources. Here are 20 of them:

  1. e-Learning Methodology Toolkit: templates to design and manage your e-learning projects

    1. Free downloadable storyboard templates

    2. Amazing eLearning Flash Template Bundle

    3. Storyboard Templates and Resources

    4. How to Create a Visual Design for Your E-Learning Scenario

    5. Here’s a Free PowerPoint Template & How I Made It

    6. Here’s How I Built That PowerPoint E-Learning Template

    7. Free Storyboarding templates

    8. Storyboards for eLearning

    9. Social Media in Learning: Handbook and Toolkit

    10. Easy ways to create your elearning templates

    11. Really Fast Storyboarding for e-Learning Projects

    12. Build Branched E-Learning Scenarios in Three Simple Steps

    13. Creating Flash Templates for eLearning

    14. eLearning Flash templates

    15. These PowerPoint Experts Can Make You a Star

    16. Fun Sign Generator

    17. Storyboard Templates in Instructional Designing

    18. Storyboard for Elearning ( Self Paced , WBT , CBT )

    19. Change Your Presentation Template to an E-Learning Template

    Of course the best place to find these and to continue to find them is through eLearning Learning and using the appropriate keywords such as: templates, toolkits, resources, tutorial, examples, guide, etc.

    And the list would be even better with help - see Curator Editor Research Opportunities on eLearning Learning.

    Wednesday, December 02, 2009

    Learning Community, Peers and Outside Experts

    While strife with technical challenges, Nancy White and John Smith’s presentation at LearnTrends 2009 (LearnTrends 2009 Recordings) provided some really interesting food for thought. In some ways this relates closely to the post on Selling Learning Communities.

    By way of background, Nancy White and John Smith are gurus around all things Communities and Networks. I’ve worked with Nancy to create the Communities and Networks Connection which helps me continuously learn. And I keep a copy of their book Digital Habitats; Stewarding Technology for Communities next to my computer.

    The central idea of the presentation was something that Nancy called triangulation. Now, I’m not 100% certain what Nancy meant by this, but I interpret the idea to organize learning community events where you bring together three groups:

    • People inside the host / sponsoring organization who have a particular need
    • Outside experts
    • Outside peers

    You (or an outside facilitator) facilitates a conversation around a particular need.

    Let’s say the need is – Where and how should we apply social learning in our organization?

    The facilitator would get the people inside the company to define the problem. Then would facilitate sharing with peers and with experts around the issue.

    I’ve seen similar kinds of peer sharing at roundtable events. And it’s really powerful. Adding in the experts would make it even more powerful.

    I could imagine where this could be an ongoing sharing dialog that would cross several organizations. For example, you could pull together L&D staff from 10 companies together into a community and then have people like myself and George Siemens who could help facilitate critical issues and conversations and draw in additional outside expertise as needed.

    To me, that sounds like a really powerful model.

    Great stuff Nancy and John.

    Tuesday, December 01, 2009

    2009 Top Posts and Topics

    It’s interesting at the end of the year to go back through blog posts to see what my Best of 2009 is.  I’ll also do a post similar to my post last year 2008 2009 that will look at my 12 eLearning Predictions for 2009.  But for now, let me just focus on my Best of 2009.

    To create this list, I’m using eLearning Learning as described in Using Special Parameters to Create Year End Post for details on how I’ve come up with this list.  I’m including posts from December 2008.

    Top 20 eLearning Technology Posts for 2009

    1. 12 eLearning Predictions for 2009
    2. Top 100 eLearning Items
    3. LinkedIn Guide for Knowledge Workers
    4. Collaboration Tools
    5. Twitter as Personal Learning and Work Tool
    6. Top 99 Workplace eLearning Blogs
    7. Twitter Conference Ideas
    8. Using SharePoint
    9. How to Download YouTube Videos
    10. eLearning Conferences 2010
    11. Tool Set 2009
    12. LMS and Social Learning
    13. Business of Learning
    14. Web Conferencing Services
    15. eLearning Costs
    16. Twitter and Webinars
    17. Remote Collaboration
    18. Share Best Practices – Patterns
    19. 100 Conversation Topics
    20. Better Memory

    Other Notable Posts

    1. Rapid Learning Management Systems
    2. eLearning Strategy
    3. How long does it take to select an LMS?
    4. Discussion Forums for Knowledge Sharing at Capital City Bank
    5. eLearning Portal Integration
    6. Data Driven

    Notable Topics for 2009

    Work Skills and Knowledge Work


    Long Tail

    Side Note – Read Counts

    I also looked at the top posts according to read counts.  What I found is that read counts are actually dominated by mostly older posts.  Here are the top 25 according to read counts:


    The ones from the time frame shown above are already listed in the top list.


    For some reason, December last year was a really good month for posts and page views.

    Monday, November 30, 2009

    Selling Learning Communities – Not Everyone Will or Wants a Group Hug

    Compressed Picture of Jack M for email Jack Merklein from Xerox Global Services did a really great presentation at LearnTrends 2009 entitled - Common tools for Diverse Communities at Xerox Global Services.  You can find the LearnTrends 2009 Recording including Jack’s presentation.  A few follow-up thoughts.

    Jack is responsible for the development, care and tools for learning communities and knowledge sharing initiatives.  In practice this means a lot of different things and across many different learning communities.  A few of the different communities he discussed:

    • New Hire
    • Sustainability
    • CxO

    While the title centered on tools for communities and knowledge sharing and he provided a list of tools …

    Existing Tools:

    • Outlook email distribution lists
    • Live Meeting with Brain Shark
    • DocuShare
    • Calendars
    • Wiki
    • Instant messaging
    • Links to training catalog

    Emerging Tools:

    • Podcasts
    • YouTube
    • LinkedIn (Intra-community)
    • Training videos on YouTube
    • A Second Life Island available

    Most of the discussion didn’t focus on tools.  Instead, it focused on Jack’s no nonsense ability to make communities an effect part of learning.  And particularly, I got to spend time with Jack on how he sells learning communities in the organization.

    Jack does an amazing job of finding out what people in the community really care about and need.  For one community, they meet every two weeks and a lot of times the topic comes a week before and he pulls in subject matter experts to present.  He ensures that the facilitation then focuses on the key issue that the people in the room cares about.  I’ve seen exactly this kind of thing work really well before.  But I’ve not seen it done as systematically as how Jack has designed it.

    Jack was a quote machine during the session, here are some of the phrases he used:

    • "Publication warden"
    • "Billable always wins"
    • “CoP Warden”
    • “not everyone will or wants a group hug”
    • "young and stupid"
    • “Training is a resignation”
    • "Capture it damn it - put on community site" (responsibility of all members of a community to make knowledge explicit)
    • “Amenable to bribing everyone”

    Part of the beauty of Jack and his style is that the language he uses is plain, business oriented.  Everything sounds obvious when he says it.  In a way, he didn’t feel like he was ever “selling learning communities”.  That was my language.  Instead, he asked people if they wanted help with a particular problem.  If he could bring together experts and expertise and facilitate a conversation on X and then help capture that – is that something you’d want.  Absolutely!  In fact, we all want that all the time! 

    In a later session, we discussed the fact that one of the big barriers in many organizations is that they don’t “have a Jack.”  Selling learning communities or social learning or anything other than formal learning / training is hard because we find ourselves using the language of learning or learning community. 

    As an example of needing a Jack, the question - How do you avoid the issue … “I’m too busy” … Jack’s answer is basically, if the value is high enough, you are focused on problems they are faced with right now, they will come.  His example is a community that meets on Friday afternoons.  Yikes.  I’d never plan something then.  But he gets amazing participation because the topics focus on hard hitting topics where people need help right now.  Senior leaders participate because they see the value.  And participation is rewarded through recognition … and sometimes bribed.

    Now let’s all be a Jack!

    Monday, November 23, 2009

    Learning from Others in the Room

    After LearnTrends 2009, I received a note from a person I know and highly respect that said, “I dropped in on several sessions over the last three days and wanted to thank you for your good facilitation skills …”

    It’s great to get that positive feedback, but this was actually a bit of a surprise.  I often felt during the conference that I was not doing a good job of taking advantage of the expertise that was often in the room.

    This was amplified when George Siemens did a highly participatory session where he had the audience list out design considerations for several things like formal vs. informal, etc.  Some tweets during the session:

    • “opens the whiteboard up to let participants create the agenda…whoa! crazy fun! ” @chambo_online
    • “Very intrigued to have 130 people writing on a whiteboard all at once at #learntrends … and amazingly, it didn’t suck” @cynan_sez
    • “130+ people writing on same Elluminate whiteboard and GWave also being completed. Online learning has arrived” @GillianP

    That session flew by and was a great use of the power in the room.  A masterful job by George.  Great stuff.  And something that I believe he and I will be doing together in the future in some way.

    Other than George’s session, most of the rest of the conference had active chat, but it was limited in many ways.  The time we had for open discussion didn’t seem to achieve that much discussion.  It rambled. 

    My gut tells me that if I had designed things in a particular way, we could have had some truly amazing sessions.

    So, please help me so that in a month when I’m designing future online sessions, I can come back here and design something great.

    What are some ways that I can facilitate meaningful learning from others in the room during online sessions?

    Have you seen examples of something that was powerful?

    What conversation would you have wanted to have or see?

    Please comment or post with ideas.  And if you don’t have an ideas, please just retweet to ask someone else for ideas?  And maybe come back in a day and see if some of the ideas help spark other ideas for you.

    Thursday, November 19, 2009

    eLearning Conferences 2010

    You can find other posts about eLearning Conferences in eLearning Conferences 2011, eLearning Conferences 2010, and eLearning Conferences 2009.

    Clayton R Wright just sent me his incredible annual list of eLearning Conferences. Clayton publishes this as a Word document but does not publish it as a web page and so we’ve somewhat established a pattern of published in here. You can contact him at:


    December 2009

    January 2010

    February 2010

    March 2010

    Information for the 2010 versions of the two conferences listed below was not available.

    April 2010

    Information for the 2010 versions of the two conferences listed below was not available.

    May 2010

    Information for the 2010 versions of the seven conferences listed below was not available.

    June 2010

    Information for the 2010 versions of the ten conferences listed below was not available.

    • June 1-3 2009 Redesigning Pedagogy International Conference: Designing New Learning Contexts for a Globalising World, 3rd, National Institute of Education, Singapore
    • June 3-5, 2009 International Conference on Interactive Design and Children, 8th, Milano, Como, Italy.
    • June 5-7, 2009 Japan Association for Language Teaching Computer Assisted Language Learning (JALTCALL 2009): Expanding Learner Potential – It’s Your Call!, Hongo Campus, Toyo Gakuen University, Japan.
    • June 8-10, 2009 Communicating Change: Weaving the Web into the Future, 7th annual, Arts and Humanities Graduate School, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, the United Kingdom.
    • June 10-12, 2009 International Problem-based Learning Symposium: What Are We Learning about Learning?, 2nd, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore
    • June 13-19, 2009 InfoComm09: Information Communications Marketplace, Orlando, Florida, USA.
    • June 16-17, 2009 Innovations in e-Information: the UKeIG 2009 State of the Art Conference, Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester, United Kingdom.
    • June 17-19, 2009 Sloan-C International Symposium on Emerging Technology Applications for Online Learning and Moodle Moot 2009, Hyatt Regency San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.
    • June 23-25, 2009 m-Libraries Conference, 2nd, hosted by the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. May be held again in 2010 or 2011.
    • June 28-July 3, 2009 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo, Cancun Mexico.

    July 2010

    August 2010

    September 2010

    October 2010

    November 2010

    December 2010

    January 2011

    • January 4-7, 2011 Presidents Institute, sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges, Palm Springs, California, USA.
    • January 7-12, 2011 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting, San Diego, California, USA.
    • January 9-12, 2011 Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education (ACUTA) Winter Seminar, Pointe Hilton Resort at Tapatio Cliffs, Phoenix, Arizona, USA.
    • January 30-February 1, 2011 American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) Transfer Conference, annual, New Orleans Marriott at the Convention Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
    • January 30-February 2, 2011 National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., USA.

    February 2011

    March 2011

    April 2011

    • April 2-6, 2011 National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), Caribe Royal, Orlando, Florida, USA.
    • April 3-6, 2011 Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education (ACUTA) Annual Conference and Exhibition, 40th, Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort, Orlando, Florida, USA.

    May 2011

    June 2011

    July 2011

    August 2011

    • August 8-12, 2011 Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, SIGGRAPH 2011: International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, 38th, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
    • August ?, 2011 National Association for Media Literacy Education, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

    September 2011

    • September 6-9, 2011 British Educational Research Association Conference, Institute of Education, London, United Kingdom.
    • September 13-15, 2011 International Conference on Education and Development, 11th, sponsored by British Department of International Development, Cambridge International, Aga Kahn Foundation, and Jeremy Greenland Bursary Trust, Oxford, the United Kingdom,

    October 2011

    • October 2-5, 2011 International Council for Distance Education (ICDE) World Conference, 24th, hosted by Universitas Terbuka, Bali, Indonesia.
    • October 30-November 2, 2011 American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers Conference, 21st annual, Sheraton San Diego Hotel, San Diego, California, USA.

    November 2011