Archive for the 'Presentations' Category

CEOs: Scratch the learning from the past. Embrace lifelong learning in your workpace

This environment did not train the workforce we need today and tomorrow:



We need to start fostering a learning environment and culture within our own organizations that encourages life long learners. Without this culture & environment we will not be able to generate the innovation and solutions that allow us to be leaders in the market yet alone keep up the pace demanded by changing technologies and a public who demands inter-connectivity via technology. 

Learning organizations both grow and attract star innovators and performers. Organizations that refuse to change wisely & rapidly often fade or fail. There are no magic bullets when it comes to developing a learning culture and environment. It’s really damn hard work, that doesn’t seem to pay off immediately, but it does require a vision and courage to change.


Slideshare: Meeting the Needs of a Rapidly Changing Workforce with the Learning Organization of the 21st Century


Fighting Management Preconceptions about Social Learning

I just found this wonderful preso on Social Learning. I kept on slapping thigh laughing as I read… “Oh yeah, that’s a good one!” For me the highlights were:

Yes, Play is OK – you need it to grow innovative, collaborative and fast-adapting employees.

“Control is an illusion” – Okay… this is where I slip into incredulous teenager mode: Duh! You can control what people are learning and sharing about as easily as you can keep water in a sieve.  The presenters note that “80% of learning happens outside” of formal learning systems in their control. This is “Informal Learning” in action. The faster leadership realizes that building a company culture where learning is valued, the quicker they will start fostering a truly effective organization. Also, it’s very important to build the expectation that employees are really responsible for learning (their job and how to enhance their work).

People already share bad information – no kidding. Everyone has experienced the grapevine effect in a workplace. Human beings honestly seek knowledge about the goings on, some need it to function and work effectively without fear. They will even speculate on management’s behavior when they have no information, which is why transparency is less dangerous than keeping your lipped buttoned.

I also really liked the fact that they provided some solutions for measuring ROI (Return on Investment).(CRUD: I actually wrote this section but it got lost in the blog ether when I was trying to save my post)  I think it’s possible to tie a company’s increased success to social learning initiatives through anecdotal stories.  Also, connecting increased levels of innovation could also be possible. Think James Burke’s Connections (the show from the early eighties). Much of the show argued that the worlds most famous and influential innovations such as the combustion engine would not have happened if people did not make connections with each other.  I think if you analyzed the history or development of a particular innovation at your company you can actually trace the connections that were needed to make the innovation happen. You may be able to identify whether or not these connections would have happened with the social networking  efforts in place.

Some excellent points were made, but I suspect that no amount of brilliant arguments will convince the hardcore curmudgeons that insist that Social Learning/Networking is bad and evil. My only question… Can I work for the folks who made this presentation?

SALT Conference Lecture – Mobile Training Multimedia Training

I will be posting my notes periodically to the lectures that I attend at the SALT conference. Please note, I do not attend conferences for a living I just happened to be presenting at this one. I will post my lecture slides to this site as well as post and ‘audio-enhanced’ version later when I get the chance. Please note: as with the Distance Learning Conference notes, I will post my initial impressions and then later edit the post with a more detailed reflection.

Mobile Training

Presenters: Tom Held and Daniel Mika Govar


Terrific presentation!

These guys did a wonderful job of presenting a few examples of training application for both podcasting and mobile hand-held devices. Essentially, they had more experienced workers share stories (on video/audio) of accidents that happened as part of safety education. This delivery method embodies two things about mobile learning which are important to me:

1.) The content has to be real/and delivered from people/peers in the industry who are explaining real-life experience

2.)The content is reviewable when I have the time to access it.

The second example they shared was of a employee customer-service training program for a hotel company they contracted with which they shared with employees using the Sony PSP. Luckily the had the budget and were able purchase 200 PSPs. Here’s the wonderful thing about this training. They were able to deliver it to employees nationwide, without requiring them to travel to a face to face training. As the presenters noted this actually can help your training budget if you’re having to train to an audience that doesn’t stay in positions too long, therefore, the ROI for having them travel to face to face training is not so good.

I didn’t get to ask them this, but I would like to know if live-mentoring from more experienced employees was actually part of this training process. It’s one thing to provide the video and training via video but how can you get actually people with experience providing feedback.

Summary Notes from the Distance Learning Conference – Madison, WI

Please note: I was able to add more information to the previous post. I will also link to the actual presentations once they become available on the conference website.

  • Collaboration and Cooperation are KING/QUEEN
  • It’s still always good to approach things with a critical mind. Technology can be good, but never loose your ability to question what you’re getting into
  • E-mail communication is for old people

Not necessarily mentioned at the conference, but I still thought about it:

  • Not everyone has access to the technologies/economic divide is tech divide

More detailed notes on the summary items.

Collaboration and Cooperation are KING/QUEEN:

New social networking and gaming technologies have rendered a generation of more cooperative and collaborative workers who see the corporate workplace as more of a level playing ground rather than a hierarchical dog eat dog structure the way the baby boomers saw it. This new generation isn’t as likely to hoard information like their baby boomer counterparts. Learning must take place in the forms of cooperative endeavors, and as a developer of online learning experiences you MUST help instructors build a sense of community among students. Asynchronous discussion threads and assignments that comprise mainly read and reflect activities are just not going to cut it anymore with the younger generations. People also learn using social bookmarking. Check out this post from Christy at Experiencing E-Learning which includes a video that introduces the concept of social bookmarking.

No more Sage on the Stage!!!!!

Stop turning class time into nap time. Stop lecturing and sharing in front of a virtual or live course using hour + lectures in front of a PowerPoint presentation. Students need to learn using the media they grew up with. Of course, they should still learn how to read, write and reflect, but still allow them to explore, document and share using digital media, video, audio, etc.

If you still believe that the old way is the ONLY way, watch this video. It actually does a decent job of sharing some college student’s feelings about attending school in an “Analog World.”

Digital Students @ in Analog Schools

In addition to being able to express their ideas creatively… these same students need to be able to develop critical thinking skills which allow them to continually question what is being put before them. These skills will make them truly flexible and creative and ready to deal with any changes put before them. Teachers and professors can leverage discussion that occurs naturally within social networking structures to promote or generate discussion among peers that allows them to develop these questioning skills.

It’s still always good to approach things with a critical mind. Technology can be good, but never loose your ability to question what you’re getting into

Don’t just accept technology and changes without thinking about the consequences critically. Think about how it can be used both for right and wrong. Millions of individuals are sharing personal information online (some of it incredibly personal). They are doing this by choice. Even sharing information via a meme on line can be problematic. As you share this information it is now possible to track relationships between individuals. I don’t want to sound paranoid, but perhaps this is not such a good thing now that I think about it. Also, how will learning using new media technologies continue to include development of essential traditional skills such as expository writing? Though honestly, I believe ALL LEVELS of education high and lower are failing students in their efforts to teach them decent writing skills. I believe the answer to this and all other concerns about educating in the new media are out there; however, we as educators need to take the initiative to come up with creative solutions rather than fight changes.

E-mail communication is for old people

Apparently this was the feedback of one prospective college student to a wooing college. She and others didn’t want to get information about the college in a glossy flyer or an e-mail. She wanted to interact with the media online. Others wanted to be able to participate in a live chat with university representatives and a real student who was attending there at the time. The long e-mail thread conversations also irritate younger folks…. use a wiki or discussion board to send out your thoughts. Hopefully there will be an active chat feature that can help you find the one or two original thoughts you wanted to come back to.

Email communication is for old people  -Ars Technica

Distance Learning Conference – My notes

I’m currently attending the Distance Learning Conference in Madison, WI (when I have time I will post the conference stats/details), and will post my notes and general reflections on the lectures that I attend.

Please note – these notes are not complete, I’ll fill out the details to some of these notes more as I go along.

Problem Based Learning for Online

Margaret Drew and Lori Mardis

Note: clicking on the image above will open up the full concept map.


Suggestion: Provide a collaborative lab project.

  • Provide something that’s broken and get people to fix it.
  • Multiple solutions to complex medical prob. (suggestion – use blog).
  • Idea-make people take an active task oriented solution
  • What…about using blogging to facilitate discussion/collaboration on the process.
  • Creation of individual learning scaffolds… learning is meaning full
  • Began with open-ended ill structured problem that initiated discussion.

Building Virtual Communities

Dr. Rena Pallof & Dr. Keith Pratt
Importance of online Community

Now, I’ve always suspected that it’s not okay to just dump and run when it comes to delivering online content, but now it seems that the novelty of this realization is becoming dated. This presentation highlighted the importance of instructors establishing a rapport and building a ‘community’ among the students. Big takeaway for me was the presenter’s suggestion not to openly communicate intent of building community because many learners will protest because they’re just in the class to get credit… and or NOT to make friends.

I believe that it’s important to demonstrate the value in learning from your peers by providing learning experiences that allow the students to do this. Those people who continue to want to be anti-social can do so, but not at the expense of the rest of the students. Also courses an the purveyors of a curriculum who employ this social approach to learning should continue to do studies and investigations to the efficacy of this method of learning and provide education on the importance of virtual communities.


Note: the “suggestions” are part of my notes to myself not the lecture.

Construction of Online learning community in which instructor is on the same level as students as a contributor… research says.

Intentional work on the development of presence online as well as other means which community can emerge are important… on student learning satisfaction.

Give the instructors and opportunity to communicate with students as a human level.

Suggestion: Encourage Office Hours / Train Instructors on how to do this effective

  • Need to be intentional and create the environment… you have to make the effort.
  • Aspects of learning:
    • Teaching students howt o inquire/construct knowledge
    • Teaching students to become self-direct

Suggestion: I-Search Papers

Competencies of Online Instructors (Martha Davidson):

  • Creating a Learning Community that is Intellectually Exciting and Challeging
  • Pepper collaborative activity throughout the course
  • Encourage learners to perform to the best of their abilities
  • Demonstrate Effective Use of Group Dynamics and Dialogue – need to know when to intervene and when not to intervene
  • Use a variety of methods other than lecture
  • Stress the interrelatedness of the complete curriculum and the value
  • Know workplace trends and perspectives
  • Draw out creativity, innovativeness, and ideas in a collaborative manner
  • Integrate curriculum designed to provide learners with experientially based learning environment
  • Evaluate learning outcomes
  • Continue personal development


  1. You must be able to connect with the people in the course.
  2. You need to establish a sense of rapport/ and portray yourself as a ‘real’ person in the online environment
    1. Non Example: professor who put his whole CV online
    2. QUESTION: Do you think there’s a level of infomality in creating this presence that some instructors might not be comfortable with? How do you get them comfortable with this?
  3. When there is a high degree of interaction between these participants…

Social Presence Online Correlates with:

  • Increased learner satisfaction
  • Greater depth of learning
  • sense of belonging to a learning community
  • Increased perception of learning
  • Begin the course by focusing on the development of social presence.
  • BUT DON”T TELL THEM THIS…. (They say…I didn’t take this class to make friends… I just want to take the class to get a grade).


  • Give minimal guidelines (note to self – don’t make up fussy rules)
  • Let students know -It’s NOT okay to do all your posts on the same day
  • Agree on what’s a substantial post
  • Allow them to disagree

Suggestion: offer modeled examples and many practice opportunities for instructors. For example show them samples of chat discussions (recordings, simulations), have them practice in various online activities

Working as a Team: Collaborative Online Course Development

Emily Hixon, Ph. D

This was the best lecture/activity I’ve attended at the conference so far.

She provided 4 case studies of working with Faculty and SME’s talked about the challenges of working with faculty to develop an online course. She outlined the challenges and provided suggestions for selecting Faculty participants. I’ll post more details later including some interview criteria she listed for selecting good Subject Matter Experts (or Faculty).

One of the biggest takeaways I got from this was… bottom line – you need to find SME’s who are collaborative and can work on a team of folks who also communicate their process and progress along the way. Moreover, you have to find a SME who really believes that teaching online is possible.


Managing Flash Game Development

Jon Aleckson

Another great lecture and probably one of the best here at the conference, that I was able to attend… because the presenter basically confirmed my hunch that creating really great learning activity requires a well-balanced team with the right skills and doing this takes moolah. If you want to be stuck with word documents and handouts then discount the need for these types of people on your team or look to moving into the online publishing business.

Biggest Takaways

  • Good Game Design Requires a Superlative Team including:
    • Instructional Designer/Writer
    • Artistic Illustrator
    • ActionScript Flash Programmer
    • Project Manager
  • DONT SKIMP IN HIRING (Note: I will post my notes on each of these position descriptions later)
  • Using CMMI (CapabilityMaturity Model) – importance of logging time for data collection purposes and learning for future teams and projects. It is important to communicate intent for data collection to employees (positively)
  • Use a Wiki for Knowledge Management/Capture – Saves time builds knowledge
  • Brainstorming tools:
    • Learning objectives and content outline
    • Activity List
    • Benchmarking
    • Include people with different roles!
  • Game or Simulation Continuum (3 dimensions)
    • Roles
    • Goals
    • Interactivity

Using Webcasting technologies

Coco Kishi and Tomoko Traphagan

What students wanted out of player technology

  • Wanted to see what the instructor was doing clearly
  • Synchronized audo, video, slides (clearly see the blackboard or slides
  • Content Searching
  • Playback and Speek Control
  • Flexible Viewing Controls
  • Bookmarking
  • Annotation

MySpace is not YourSpace

View the slides from the link here:

Christy actually took better notes than I did during this presentation. Check them out.

I really liked the fact that these presenters encouraged us to think about the consequences of technology and also really question whether or not some learning media were truly appropriate for all learning.

Survival of the Fittest Learner

Learner centered or learner driven models of education engage the learner. However, it’s fair to say that not all learners are the same, and the learner-driven model may not work well for others. Some learners will self-initiate learning and others will not. Some learn fairly well in a crisply structured and linear learning environment, some do not. Some learners need a combination of both structure and lack of structure to learn effectively. Still, it seems that any organization that espouses a culture of self-education and exploration is an advantage over those that do not care about growing their people.

I’ve been a sporadic reader of Jay Cross’s blog Informal Learning as I feel very strongly about the possibilities of fostering a true learning/networked culture in any organization. Cross posted a recent presentation on his blog. Though I wish I had been present to hear the speech and commentary that accompanied these slides, as always he presents visuals that are both rich in imagery and are thought-provoking. I guess I could open Internet Explorer and view it (see the post on the Informal Learning Blog), but lately using IE makes me itch.

I am especially drawn to this slide (Slide 14) of the presentation, which basically communicates: If you cannot learn to adapt, you die (or become obsolete).

Given any new situation of change (change of demographics, changes in technology, environmental change, market shift, etc.), unless you learn to adapt you become unable to function in the newly changed environment.

Any leader of any body of more than several individuals whether this be a group, school, community, company, town, or country, should have the foresight to understand which changes will really impact his or her people. * Good leaders know the value of having well-educated and informed self-learners beneath them.

*Good leaders have their ear open to their people and know how to spot those who can inform them properly.

Great Resource for Determining How to Display Information

Thank you April, for sending me the link to this!

If you are ever stumped on how to present information via web or print this is a great reference for methods from good old Area Charts to Knowledge Maps to Time lines. Excellent stuff! I so can’t wait to apply these items to my work in Flash.

The methods are divided into six families:

  • Data Visualization
  • Information Visualization
  • Concept Visualization
  • Strategy Visualization
  • Metaphor Visualization (my favorite)
  • Compound Visualization

Click the image below to travel to the page/tool:



My place outside of work to explore and make connections with the ideas and things (sometimes work-related) that I'm passionate about.

My Tweets

Blog Stats

  • 287,574 hits