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Thursday, December 06, 2007

ASTD's Big Question for December: New Learning

The ASTD Big question this month is What did you learn about learning in 2007?

I learn so much all the time from students, clients and colleagues, it is hard to narrow it down to just one or two things, but I'll try.

Here are a few of the lessons I have learned. Mostly about the power of the network and Web 2.0 tools.

First, I learned how far a digital asset can travel if people find it has value.One of my student's YouTube videos Educational Uses of Second Life has over 5,500 hits and has been favorited 67 times. And a piece I created called Avoiding Death by PowerPoint has taken on a life of its own. I still get emails about the piece and when we switched servers, got a lot of emails asking me to re-instate the link or provide a new one.

The lesson: Good instruction doesn't need to be long and it stands on its own. If you create a learning nugget that people need...they will find it. Learners hunt for relevant information.As learning professionals we need to find out what nuggets interest learners...not what courses to design.

Second, I learned first hand the exponential power of the social network of the web. My blog book tour was a huge success for me both emotionally and from a sales perspective. See Recap of Blog Book Tour for Gadgets, Games and Gizmos. What really amazed me was how far the blog book tour travelled. We had a number of people join the tour, write about the tour and generally created great discussions about the book...about the boomer/gamer knowledge gap.

The lesson: People/learners will voluntarily join a discussion or dialague when they feel they can add value and when they feel part of a larger group. As learning professionals we can create the framework for the dialogue to occur and let learners know their contributions are valuable.

Third, I learned about the power of the blogosphere and Web 2.0 tools to transform traditional learning when I taught a class this summer using blogs, wikis, YouTube and other tools that required the students to create and distribute their own original content. I summed up my initial impression in my blog entry Tear Down The Walls: Web 2.0 Extends Class and then in a follow up Web 2.0 Lessons Learned.

The lesson: Opening up a class to the blogosphere and leveraging Web 2.0 tools provides learners an opportunity to learn from each other and learn from the larger professional community. Opening classes, rather than closing them behind an LMS, is the future of learning and a great way to spread knowledge throughout an organization, community and profession. As learning professionals we need to create and distribute content that is open and accessible to as many learners as possible.

Look forward to next month's question.

Recommended Games and Gadgets
Recommended Books
Content Guide

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