Teaching the ASTD Certificate Course New York

Here is a night time shot of the Statue of Liberty from the building the class was in. I was surprised at the result.

Here is a night time shot of the Statue of Liberty from the building the class was in. I was surprised at the result.

This December I had the privilege of teaching the ASTD Certificate Course in New York city. I really enjoyed this for many reasons. First off I really enjoy sharing me expertise and experience with others. It is very rewarding sharing what you are good at with others so that they can learn new skills and grow. It’s not a one sided deal I learn a lot each time I get in front of a group of people too. The class is a two day class and covers audio and video production. If you are interested in taking the class check out the ASTD website for additional information.

mLearnCon & mLearning DevCon 2013 Program Chair Announcment

I am so honored to be part of such a fantastic conference and to work with such a great group of people at the Guild. As Program Chair it is my job to take a look at what is needed to design, develop and deploy learning content in today’s mobile landscape. The Guild team and I have been working hard over the past few months to build a great program for mLearnCon 2013. With the addition of mLearning DevCon to the conference it allows us to focus in the “how to” side of the conference. DevCon will focus on building the technical skills and learning the tools needed for developing & deploying learning via mobile devices. Today’s technology options are requiring us to acquire new skills, tools  and approaches. As learning and development professionals we need to be ready and this conference is designed to get you there.

Hope you will join us this year!

~jeff

Google Hangouts and On Air

Love this creative and simple explanation of Google Hangouts and Google On Air from my friend Jay Cross. Jay hosts some great hangouts on some fantastic topics.


If you are new to Google hangouts. I suggest you try it for fun with friends, family or whom ever will pickup your call. 🙂 Pick someone to hangout with that you can just relax and try things no pressure. Test audio levels and position of the camera. My advice to someone on adapting new technology is to just dive into it with no fear and low expectations. After a few hangouts and some digging through the menu options you got it.

I don’t see hangouts as a replacement for the more robust tools like GoTomeeting or Adobe Connect. I do think it is a great tool for small group conversations, panel discussions or project meetings. It also is an excellent tool for public facing conversations. With the On Air features and the ability to record your Hangout and post it directly to YouTube it becomes a very powerful tool for free or low cost.  We have started using hangouts for some of our ASTD Puget Sound interest group meetings they are the perfect use for a tool like this. It’s free and that is good. Where the tool falls short we can outside tools can be used along with it.

The Google help pages are pretty good and will walk you through the steps.

Here is a fun review of Hangouts by Steve Garfield

For a more step by step video check out this walk through by Peter G McDermott How to Use Google+ Hangouts (A Beginners’ Guide) 

Interview with Michael Allen on his book Leaving ADDIE for SAM

For some time now I have been of the opinion that ADDIE needs to be broken in order to work properly in most organizations. I have been part of many water cooler conversations on this subject. We create written documents, host team meetings talking about our ADDIE process and believe we are following it. The reality is we are often frustrated about how projects just are not going the way they should be. In the end our training falls short. We have rapid deadlines and company dynamics such as how other parts of our organizations work to consider. So in order to get things accomplished we have to bend or sometimes break our processes. Much of this can be attributed to the fact that the speed of business is more rapid today. Companies change direction on a dime, launch products continually and time to market is compacted on order to stay competitive. The bottom line is businesses just do not function they way they did in the past. So why to we approach our training projects using the same linear process that we used 20 or 30 years ago? We are just not in-sync with our partners, SMEs and stakeholders.

We should also look at how much the technologies that we create and deliver training have changed. We use rapid development tools so we can crank out learning like a fast food restaurant. Would you like fries with that eLearning? We also have so many more options for delivering training that we did not have before. Lets face it how we train people is really different now. I know there are arguments over whether or not our training is any better today. I believe we are still figuring out how to properly leverage these new tools and technologies. There are some big opportunities here in my opinion but that is another conversation.

If you look at how the software development community has changed their process and workflows so that they might meet the demands of today’s business we may get an idea of how we could improve what we do. Most developers today follow and iterative process called Agile. It allows for a better workflow enabling a project to evolve and improve as needed all they way to launch and even post launch. This model has been a very successful approach for the high paced software development environment. I think it is time to look at how we can borrow from this.

Several years ago Allen Interactions left the ADDIE process behind for a more iterative process so that they could better server their customers and improve their workflows. It must be working for them because they continually produce award-winning learning for their clients.

I caught up with Michael at DevLearn 2012 to talk about his new book Leaving ADDIE for SAM.

Michael Allen CEO at Allen Interactions Inc.

Here is a great article by Richard Sites, vice president – client services for Allen Interactions titled It’s an ICE Time to Leave ADDIE Behind

Be sure and pickup a copy of Michaels book at ASTD.org

What’s on your tool belt?

Working as an Instructional Designer is not what is used to be. There is so much going on in our field it is hard to keep up with it all. So many new tools for designing and delivering training. What do you do to make sure your skills are up-to-date? You need to constantly be sharpening your tools.

I am sure some of you have watched that story on PBS, you know the one with that guy who moved to the Alaskan wilderness and built log cabin with hand tools then lived off the land for 30 years. It’s is pretty impressive. The show is called Alone in the Wilderness and his name was Dick Proenneke. 

So what the heck does this have to do with an ID’s tool set? Well hold your horses, I am getting there. The story is very fascinating to me. Partially because I love the outdoors. But there is more to it. Dick is showing us how he did it. He succeeded and even thrived where others failed. For example the not so successful attempt by Christopher McCandless who’s story did not end so well. He was not prepared for https://i2.wp.com/www.aloneinthewilderness.com/images/building_the_cabin/notching_logs_for_wall.jpgthe challenge. There was a movie about his adventures too titled Into the Wild a film directed by Sean Penn based on the book written by Jon Krakauer. Pardon me while I digress. So back to Dick Proenneke. I have watched that show many times with amazement. There is one major life message that I have gleamed from watching Dick’s adventures. The man spent a great deal of time sharpening and caring for his tools. As a matter of fact at one point he talks about the importance of caring for your tools. Basically he was saying that if you have the right tools and they are kept sharp your job will be much easier.

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New eBook: “We’re Off! A Journey Through the Landscape of Employee Onboarding” – Intrepid Learning

I’m sharing this great blog from my friends at Intrepid Learning Solutions. I believe good training starts with on-boarding. What do you think?

New eBook: “We’re Off! A Journey Through the Landscape of Employee Onboarding” – Intrepid Learning.

Three Great Examples of Video Libraries for Learning

I believe that a good video learning library is a great way to expand the reach of your training. Think of videos as little learning objects. The videos could be part of a large training effort and used in various parts of your training. For example you could embed the video on company websites such as SharePoint portals or maybe in your internal social network. You could also embed the videos into an eLearning or used as part of a virtual training session. Not to forget it is a great way to support or enhance your stand up training.

Me capturing a coaching moment

I am not saying you need to build some sort of expensive video streaming server for a crazy price. In the future it will be easier to do this sort of thing when you have a Cloud Network. For now there are really simple solutions for very little cost using external services. I will give you an example. When I was at T-Mobile we used Viddler as a host for our videos. We actually shared an account with marketing to keep the cost down. The videos permission was set to privet so they could not be found out in the wild as they say.  Once a video was posted you could grab the embed code and post the video wherever you needed. I could post on any sites or I could even add the code to my Lectora course. This method really worked great: post once deploy anywhere. This could also be done  with YouTube or many other media services.

One other possibility is to create your own video library. This could be accomplished a number of ways with a variety of tools. You can still keep your videos hosted on that external streaming media service. The library is just using the embed code as before. This could be done with a SharePoint site or maybe your Wiki. You could also use a standard web server. If you’re worried about writing code for this you could use a tool like Adobe Contribute do handle the heavy lifting. There really are a ton of options for this part. A lot of them are inexpensive or free if you leverage what you already have.

Three great examples of video libraries

YouTube is a rather obvious example of the fact that we can learn from a video. It also showed the world that people love video. It proves that we like user generated content. One major drawback is that it is not great design. It is mixed content. Youtube is optimized for channels. If you want to learn something you may have to search through a few not so good videos. But there are some gems out there. Here is a fun video I enjoy playing as an example of learning from video. It also shows that your video does not have to be high production for you to learn from it. Easily Hack a Combination Lock

One great example of video for learning is Lynda.com. This is a good example of an organized and focused library of learning content. I am a big fan of Lynda.com. I have learned many tips and tricks from Lynda training videos. Not only can you access Lynda when you want to learn some new software but it is also a place you can go to learn how to do a specific thing.

I also have been following the Khan Academy their tag line is “Learn almost anything for free”. They are just being honest, they have over 3,400 videos. The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education. That is a pretty ambitious goal don’t you think? After watching Salman Khans TED video I am a believer. Maybe there are some lessons here for corporate learning.


In know , I know why didn’t I just make a video for this post?

Lectora and Tin Can

There has been a lot of discussions on Protect Tin Can lately. One of the big questions has been about adoption. Will the major tool vendors embrace and join in. Aaron Silvers of ADL has helped build a community committed to change. Not to mention the hard work of Rustici Software has done kicking it off. There where several new apps announced at mLearnCon 2012 created that will support this new version of SCORM. Companies like Float Mobile Learning with Tappestry or my friends at Saltbox with their Wax Learning Record Store. More are announced every day. I think/hope we are seeing a shift in learning and development as we re-evaluate at how we look at what works in today’s world of social, informal and mobile. Some big opportunities here.

Most people that know me would agree that I am a big fan of Lectora by Trivantis. I have used this tool for rapid development for almost seven years now. Wow where did all that time go? I am currently working on some Captivate to Lectora course conversions so they will work on an iPad. I am very happy with how I have been able to recreate the interactions using Actions in Lectora. We can talk more about that in a future post.

I was pleased when I received this press release in my inbox. I can’t wait to get in there and see what I can do. Congratulations to my friends at Trivantis you are awesome!