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

Learning has gone to the Birds

eagleSince I was a kid I have been into birds. When I was about 12 my family lived on a small farm in central Washington. A friend of the family gave me some Pigeons. It was a great experiance for me taking care of them and learning about them. I could put them in a crate and take them anywhere to release them and they would be at home waiting when I got back. These birds where amazing creatures. I dreamed of learning how to raise falcons or hawks. I really developed a love for all birds. These days I love shooting photos of them and look for opportunities to do so. I love that I can mix two of my passions together photography and birds.

As a family we regularly vacation in Central Oregon. One of our favorite activities is going to the Nature Center. The have some amazing birds there, some of which they are rehabilitating. On one visit staff Naturalist Cody Osborn used an iPad to assist in his presentation and nature walk outside the center. He used a really cool app called iBird. The app is fantastic for identifying birds. It is a rich multimedia app. IMG_3740-150x150One of my favorite features is the ability to upload photos I have taken into the app. I can then play a slideshow and the app will cycle through the photo I have taken and play the corresponding bird songs with my photo. I think that is pretty awesome! The app has a tremendous amount of information about birds. I can see the value of this as not only a tool for in the field as they used it at the Sunriver Nature Center but also as a great tool for the classroom. Even better if the students can use the app as a foundational tool inside then move outside and further explore in the field.

Ijay spent this past Memorial Day weekend at my in-laws cabin as we normally do. One of the   simple little fun traditions in putting peanuts out for the Jays. We put them just outside on the deck so we can sit watch them swoop down and grab them. It is fun to watch. My dog Toby can do this all day!This time I happen to have my Canon XA10 with my so I strategically set in out with the peanuts just in front of it. I hope you enjoy the footage as much as I do.

 

 

7 Simple Photography Hacks

Screen shot 2014-05-14 at 9.59.31 AMI am always looking for new tips and tricks for shooting better or more interesting photos. There is so much to learn about photography it seems like I will always be a student but that is what I like about it. Here is a really cool video I stumbled on.

 

7 Simple Photography Hacks

 

 

Rode Videomic Pro

744768I few years ago I bought a Canon T2i for shooting video. Right away I discovered that audio was going to be a problem. As a matter of fact the audio recorded straight out of the DSLR was crap to use a technical term. I could not use it at all. Of course the easiest way to deal with it was to record off board audio. That is use a second device to record the audio. After doing some research I picked up a ZOOM H4n. Can plug in my boom/shotgun microphone into it and I get fantastic sound. I am very pleased with the results. That said there are times when I do not want to mess with a second piece of hardware. I just want to point and shoot. One of the issues was that even if you plugged in an external mic you had no control over the gain. What the heck? I was a bit frustrated but I knew there had to be some solution. I did some more research and discovered the Magic Lantern had a firmware update that you install on your SD card that not only gives you control over your audio but it gives you a  bunch of other new controls that professional film makers use. Now we were getting somewhere. I still needed a good compact directional microphone.

Kodak Zi8 with the Rode Microphone

Kodak Zi8 with the Rode Microphone

I looked at a ton of options but the reviews for the Rode Videomic Pro where the best. Most of the people who bought them where using them on DSLRs too. I have been more than happy with the performance of the microphone and with the control that the Magic Lantern update gives me its a perfect setup. As a bonus I can use my Rode with my other gear too like my Kodak Zi8 or with my Fostex audio add on for my iPhone.  Here is a good blog on the Rode Videomic Pro.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Social Media Prediction: Video Is Going to Be Bigger Than Ever This Year

This setup is all pro-sumer level gear I came across this article today titled Social Media Prediction: Video Is Going to Be Bigger Than Ever This Year. I couldn’t agree more. If you been reading my blog you know I’m a video guy and I believe in the power of video. It’s exciting times for video.  Today’s technologies make video a great way to reach your audience. Web distribution for video is extremely accessible through channels like YouTube or Vimeo.  All of the social media tools handle video very well so making your video seen is pretty simple.  I have helped a lot of companies implement video into their learning and it has seen a great deal of success.

One aspect of video that is often overlooked is the fact that you can make one piece of content that will work on all platforms and devices.  It follows the old adage will once and deploy many. Video brings big value.

Okay I’ve heard it said the video is not interactive, I beg to differ. There is lots of ways the video can be used for interactivity. One really simple example is when used in conjunction with social media. The video can stimulate conversations, create questions and can be extremely provocative.

My conversation with Shay Howe of Groupon

My conversation with Shay Howe of Groupon

I have also use video as components of classroom training, or e-learning as part of an interaction. For example, show a video and ask for a reaction to the video such as make a choice. I.e. did the salesperson in this video interact with the customer correctly?  Then, based on their interaction show another video as feedback.

Still I think there are some tricks to doing great video that require practice and skills not all organizations have.  But that’s why I’m here to help you get there!

Below is the article that inspired this post.

Social Media Prediction: Video Is Going to Be Bigger Than Ever This Year | Video | Entrepreneur.com.

The Best Action Camera: Spring 2014 Edition

Wearable cameras have become extremely popular especially for capturing action.   There are a lot of options  for these types of cameras out there and more are becoming available all the time. In the broader category of wearable cameras we are now seeing things like Google Glass. There’s a lot of uses for these types of portable video cameras. I’ve  seen a lot of–cam footage on YouTube lately especially from other parts of the world. There’s lots of interesting video captured from cameras mounted on people’s cars and vehicles showing crashes and near misses etc.  Some of this might fall into the category of citizen journalism.  You also see a lot of this type of video captured by law enforcement. Some of this has been used in court to protect officers and in some cases the citizens. But still the most popular video is capturing extreme sports sports. It’s become a big part of entertainment for us on the Internet. I  specifically love the GoPro videos with their amazing footage time with epic soundtracks. It’ll be interesting to see as these technologies get less expensive and more acceptable to see how people use them. I’ve tried a few of these but I own a GoPro I just love it. It’s been a great way to capture our family adventures. I love all the accessories and options for mounting the GoPro for me this is what makes it stand out.

Here is a video produced by my boys Evan and Alec of some of our adventures.

Here’s the link that inspired this post, a great recap of the options for wearable mountable action cameras.

The Best Action Camera: Spring 2014 Edition.

Wearable action cam serves up 4K video at 25fps

panasonicThis is pretty amazing 4k video wearable cam.  I love my GoPro its a fantastic and fun camera. Although I have to admit I really haven’t seen it much since I got it I brought it home and my boys have been using it ever since. They have done a ton of projects with it I really don’t mind because they’ve done a fantastic job of documenting our adventures.  It’s amazing how much fun you can have with a mountable camera. We’ve purchased all sorts of attachments and mounts and that’s part of the fun. Check out this video that Evan made about some of our four-wheel-drive adventures.  I think our next purchase will be a drone I’ve been looking at them they’re fairly inexpensive.

 

 

Here is the article on the 4k wearable video camera

Panasonic’s HX-A500 wearable action cam serves up 4K video at 25fps.

Lyrics of the Week – Your My Best Friend

your-best-friend

Queen – You’re My Best Friend

Ooo. you make me live
whatever this world can give to me
It’s you, you’re all I see
Ooo, you make me live now honey
Ooo, you make me live

You’re the best friend
that I ever had
I’ve been with you such a long time
You’re my sunshine
And I want you to know
That my feelings are true
I really love you
You’re my best friend

Ooo, you make me live

I’ve been wandering round
But I still come back to you
In rain or shine
You’ve stood by me girl
I’m happy, happy at home
You’re my best friend.

You’re the first one
When things turn out bad
You know I’ll never be lonely
You’re my only one
And I love
The things that you do
You’re my best friend

Ooo, you make me live.

I’m happy, happy at home
You’re my best friend
You’re my best friend
Ooo, you make me live
You, you’re my best friend.

LUUV Camera Stabilizer for GoPro and Smartphones

LuuvIf you follow my blog you know that I’ve done a lot of vblogging or interviews on my iPhone. It has a great quality video  and I have a nice Fostex add-on for capturing good quality audio you can read more about that in the blog I did here My Road Kit for Rapid Video.  One of the things I talked about in some of my blogging and in sessions that I do at conferences is using a tripod. People don’t have much tolerance for shaky cameras you see a lot of it out there but it really brings down the quality of your video. We are pretty tolerant these days because of YouTube and not expecting broadcast quality video even for professional use. You need to have good quality audio and a decent image. I put a lot of emphasis on framing my subject correctly.  I definitely considered that it might be viewed via a mobile device so I frame accordingly. But one thing that really bothers people is a shaky image tripods can fix this but even better especially if you need to kind of run and gun.  You will need something that stabilizes your image my new Canon XA10 has image stabilization built-in  and it works pretty good.  I was pretty jazzed about this image stabilizer below. And think it is a pretty good solution. It doesn’t take much to stabilize a camera it’s really just to counterbalance. But there are a lot out there and some are extremely expensive this seems like a good value and a pretty good solution.  Even though there demonstrating this with action it would work well for covering events or doing interviews and such.

LUUV Camera Stabilizer for GoPro and Smartphones :: Gadgetify.com.

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