State of Learning and Development Today an Interview Series

My conversation with Shay Howe of Groupon

My conversation with Shay Howe of Groupon at 1871 Chicago during TechWeek 2012

For the past almost a year now, I have been working closely with a really great company Entirenet on some really cool projects. Entirenet is an experienced organization in L & D and has some very talented team members. One of the big projects we have been working on is a series of safety videos for the Washington Wine Industry. It has been a fun project. I am looking forward to sharing this project with you all when it is complete.

One of the conversations I have been having with Entirenet’s leadership team is about all the great things happening in learning and development today. As part of those discusions we have talked about our mutual belief in community and sharing our expertise. They really like the interviews that I do with industry thought leaders and asked if I could produce a series for their blog readers and community. I of course was flattered and jumped at the change to collaborate with them on another project.

Paolo Tosolini @ DevLearn 2009

Paolo Tosolini @ DevLearn 2009

As I was thinking about who I was going to interview and what I would talk to them about it occurred to me that there is an opportunity to put some thing really special together. Because my interviews in the past have been intentionally spontaneous and unplanned.  This particular interview series offered something a little bit different. I could be a little bit more strategic about my line of questions and choices in interviews. This type of approach would result in a more comprehensive outcome. What that means to me is that with a little planning this interview series could offer a relevant snapshot of the landscape of learning and development today.  We will take a look at important topics, issues and opportunities happening in our industry.  My goal is that by watching this series of interviews one could potentially leverage the combined expertise and insights of today’s thought leaders to build key strategies and roadmaps for an organization.

The 1st interview in this series Is with well known author, speaker and media expert Jonathan Halls. I caught up with Jonathan in Washington DC during ASTD ICE. We talked about the state of L & D today and how it has been changing in this post industrial age.

For the next series of interviews we will be taking a look at the next iteration of SCORM now called Experience API.  I believe that experience API is a game changer for our industry.  There is tremendous opportunity here and it is important that as a community we help shape this and take full advantage of what this new way of tracking learning has to offer.

Please join me and follow this series of interviews on the Entirenet blog. Click the link below.

http://info.entirenet.net/the-state-of-learning-today-a-conversation-with-jonathan-halls

UPDATE: Here is the second interview! 

http://info.entirenet.net/xapi-following-up-on-the-next-iteration-of-scorm-with-aaron-silvers

Charles Dickens changed the world

I love this perspective on how Charles Dickens changed the world.

Give me 5 minutes a day and I'll give you a happier, more successful life

charles-dickensIf I voted for the best writer of English literature, I would vote for Charles Dickens. His writings about orphans enlightened and changed the way people perceived homeless children and brought about great positive change for them. The photo is Dickens as a boy.

Dickens had to quit school and go to work in a factory after his father went to debtors’ prison. He had very little formal education, but he became one of the greatest writers of English literature. He enjoyed more popularity and fame than any writer of his time.

One reason his writing is so good is that he published novels on installments. That means he published a little each week and eventually the writings made up a complete novel (similar to blogging today). He got feedback regularly and changed his writing accordingly.

Many believe his extreme poverty as a child drove him to succeed even though…

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College Lectures: Not the Best for Learning, Says New Study

sleeping-studentPlease tell me that we are not surprised at the results of this study. I believe most educators and learning and development professionals know that a good hands on experience or interactive module will achieve a better transfer than a lecture any day. Don’t get me wrong lectures have a place in learning but its just not where the real learning takes place. In my option lecture is the place for bringing all the experience and activities together, sort of connecting the dots. To me a lecture is sometimes like drinking out of a fire hose.

I always enjoyed the lab days in school. I still remember some of the experiments we did in science class. Who doesn’t remember lighting things on fire or dissecting frogs. Just saying! The value is in the experience and actually trying things for your self. This is where you start to see the value of concepts like the flipped classroom. There is nothing new about activity based learning isn’t that what an apprenticeship is? Learning while doing is where it is at. Below is the article that inspired this blog.

College Lectures: Not the Best for Learning, Says New Study | IdeaFeed | Big Think.

Shooting Video with an iPhone

iPhone Rigging I’ve written several blogs on using your iPhone for video. I use my iPhone for some of the file leadership interviews I do and it works great. I saw this good video today on this exact topic. It’s a fun video and supports some of the things that I’ve been blogging about. Here’s the link to the video. Shooting Video with an iPhone.
Here are the links to the blogs I have written on the same topic.

 

 

 

 

Mojotillett – Introducing the History of Me!

Here is a little interactive resume I put together to give people an idea of my background and the type of services I offer.  It’s a short little e-learning style presentation with narration that I did here in my studio. This particular interactive piece was done in captivate. I hope you find it valuable or at least fun. Just click on the picture below to check it out.  Enjoy!

History_of_me Because this is a Captivate course that has been exported as HTML 5 there may be some browser incompatibility.  I also created a version where I removed the buttons and exported the course as an MP4.  This is really a great way to create movies without having a video production skill-set.  I uploaded the video to YouTube and then included the embedded version below.

Self Directed Learning on The Fly

The Kalama River with my Dad, Bother and my friend Steve

The Kalama River with my Dad, Bother and my friend Steve

I have been a Fly Fisherman for several years now. I hesitate to say I am self taught but you could say my learning was self directed. I used a combination of informal, social, short format content and good research or reference. Now I know this method is not something all that special or even new. I do believe that there are a lot more resources available to us today that make this method much easier. I would like to offer my approach and technique as an example of how someone can learn any new skill. These techniques will work for professional development within an organization as well as for personal interest skills development. The keys for success are first identifying the skills you want to learn, set some goals and structure to keep you on track and to assure you are moving forward.

I recently discovered that I had a Hernia and needed to have surgery. Ouch! I pause for a short pity party. 😉 The main point here is that I knew I would have some down time. This is something I am normally not too good at. I knew I needed to plan something to do so I would not go stir crazy or even worse drive my family crazy. I was looking at several days of very minimal activity then light activity as I could handle but no working out for about a month. Basically I would be putzing around the house days for weeks. That said, I am not a big TV person. I do like movies but I usually can’t even make it through most movies without having to go to the kitchen or something. I am just not great at passive entertainment, I need to be doing something. I decided that this would be a good time to start learning to tie my own flies.

Where to start? Where else? For me most things start with a Google search. Research is the most important step in self directed learning. You know the old saying you don’t know what you don’t know. You need to build a foundation of understanding so you can put together plan. Fist I would need to know what equipment is needed. I found several Fly Tying kits. By looking at the kits I knew what the basic tools I would need. Further research on YouTube would give me some reviews on the tools and how to use them. There where lots of places to buy online but I decided that finding someone at local Fly Fishing shop to help me make the right purchases would be more valuable than saving a few dollars.

I jumped in the Jeep and headed down to my favorite local fly show Pacific Fly Fishers. I asked owner Michael Bennett help me pick out the basic tools I needed to get started. I then asked him to help me choose two of the most common flies that would work well for the areas I like to fish and the materials I would need to tie them.

My Workstation with Fly Tying setup

My Workstation with Fly Tying setup

My next step was to get my brain around some of the basic techniques so I went on a YouTube marathon. There are many videos on how to use the tools and the various techniques to uses them. I then picked some common flies I have used and watched those videos. I must have watched dozens of them before I tried any myself. I also had been given a book several years back call Beginner’s Guide to Fly-tying and I also spent a great deal of time piling through it.

Ok I was ready to take the plunge. I decided it was time to tye my first fly. I choose the Black Wooly Bugger. It is a fly I have fished many a times so I was excited to have an endless supply. The YouTube video below walked be through the steps to tying the fly and because I had spent so much time researching and studying other videos it was a breeze. I have since then tied several of the same flies and each time I tie it the fly looks better.

In summery I think this is the new model for learning. Even formal education can borrow form this approach. Especially when you consider the flipped classroom. The amount of information and instructional content that is available to us these days I unbelievable. There are so many things I have turned to YouTube videos to learn how to do. From fixing something around the house, installing a part on my Jeep or learning a new software. Now just don’t take my word for it. If you are like most people there is something that you have always wanted to know how to do. Go ahead, do it! Take advantage of the resources available to you and learn that new skill.

Steps:

  • Research
  • Talk to people who have the skill
  • Understand and get the tools needed
  • Review demonstrations
  • Follow step by step videos/instructions
  • Repeat or practice, practice, practice
  • Get feedback and test

Knowledge is not a passive thing

4k4mUSo true. This quote, to me is pointing out the fact the knowledge is not a passive thing. It is born out of action as all growth and achievements are. To learn we must observe, practice and get feedback.  In Martial Arts and in other sports we often refer to a thing called muscle memory. This is when we have practiced a movement enough that the muscle knows what to do instinctively without the brain having to walk us through. Without mind! Bruce Lee once said “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” We should always be students approaching life with an open mind and willing to put effort into something we have been exposed to so we make it our own.

~Jeff

A Student Explains What’s Wrong With Our School System And Why We Mistrust Teachers. Nails It.

nclb-cartoonI am sure most of us would agree that the education system could use some major re-work. Many of the teachers I have talked to have expressed their frustrations to me about the focus on testing and some of the curriculum they are asked to teach. Good teachers spend a lot of time trying to comply with what they have to do and attempting to rise above this adding what they should be teaching as they can. The system is really making it tough on them not to mention the students. Most of them know what is needed and yet they have little to say in what we are doing. We need to stop basing our education systems on funding and start basing it on learning and inspiring you people to become there very best.

 

This post was inspired by the following article:

A Student Explains What’s Wrong With Our School System And Why We Mistrust Teachers. Nails It..

Considering Online Course Delivery: A Graduate Learning Technology Student Perspective

Some great thoughts here on Online Course Delivery. This is looking at online courses beyond the corporate Learning Management System model.

Jennifer Horner Miller, PhD.

Why have we moved so many courses online?

Mobile platforms provide flexibility to a growing global market of adults seeking to improve skill sets needed within a 21st century workforce. Cellular applications used to access online learning content, along with the deliver of MOOCS, offer students convenient approaches to learning online. Globalization combined with an emerging demand from a previously absent third world population within the post secondary market will continue to push for increased access to online learning. Improvements in communication technologies along with increased access in rural environments allow for new markets and platforms to fulfill an ever increasing demand to online education.

Online learning platforms include the following choices to training and higher ed institutions.

Canvas is a free, very sleek and is attractive to users.  It is a very user friendly, providing simplicity.  Social media can be integrated within the system, which is very appealing…

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