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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Karl, The Meme has You...Again, Again

Once again, the Meme has arrived. This time the request is to share seven facts about myself. Thanks to Rachel and Jane and Rupa who tagged me for this meme.

I've been a little slow in blog entries so I got tagged multiple times and thanks to Janet and Cammy for passing the meme around (as per Jane's email.) Not sure just where or when this meme started. It would be an interesting exercise to trace memes and study them.

Anyway, this meme has four simple rules.

The Four Simple Rules:

Link your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.
Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
Let them know they’ve been tagged

So, seven facts about myself that I haven't shared before. Well before I do that, here are some links to previous memes entries.

Wake up Karl, the Meme has you.

Wake Up Karl, the Meme has you...Again

Here are seven new things:

1) Movies I enjoy watching almost all include Leslie Nielsen. Of course starting with the Airplane series and progressing (if I can use that word in this context)to The Naked Gun films to the Scary Movie saga. Always funny and engaging. I laugh everytime, I hear "We have to get this man to a hospital"..."Hospital, what is it?"..."It's a big building with patients...but that's not important right now."

or

"Surely there must be something you can do?"..."I'm doing everthing I can...and stop calling me Shirley."

As a reminder of part of Nielsen's body of work, here is a group of clips from Naked Gun and Airplane, its not all appropriate for work or even politically correct but most of it is funny.
*Look for OJ cameo.



2) I once wrote a joke book called "If Dan Qualye Can Get a Job, Why Can't I." It was a parody of all the job search books I was reading at the time. I no longer have the electronic copy but I think I have a hard copy somewhere. I think I should scan and put on the web some day.

3) All of my son's friends think its so cool that their Dad plays video games. Unfortunately my son's beat me all the time. They are great players. Currently we are playing three games in our house.


4) Speaking of James Bond, I like to drink (on occasion) a Dirty Vodka Martini Straight Up. Other times a simple Rum and Coke will do (and it has to be a coke, Rum and Pepsi is just not as good.)

5) For Christmas I got my brother-in-laws custom bobbleheads. Great gift idea. I sent in a photo and got a great realistic image of my brother-in-laws as bobbleheads. Lots of fun. You can check it out at Headbobble.

6) Even though I lived in the North all my life, I am really getting tired of snow. Every year I pledge to move south when January, February and March come along. Some day I will...maybe.

7) I've sort of, kind of, started another book. This one is about Learning in 3D and discusses Massively Multi-Learner Online Learning Environments (MMOLEs) and Virtual Worlds. The contract is not totally inked but it looks like it is going to happen...then another blog book tour which I completely enjoyed with my last book.

Ok, so who to tag

Ryan's The Learning Journal
Mark's Virtical Education
Joe's Learning Altitude
Susan's Leadership and Traning Innovations
Robyn and Brandy's DishingDesign
Ben's Learning Design and Performance Improvement
Lisa Neal Gualtieri's blog (which I don't think has a name)

And Happy New Year to All!
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Friday, December 26, 2008

ASTD's Big Question for December 2008: New Learning


The ASTD Big question this month is What did you learn about learning in 2008?

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

Here are a few of the lessons I have learned. Mostly about finding a good "model" for mobile learning course design, how others tend to view immersive learning environments and how Social Media is taking off in the least likely places.

First I learned that the best mobile learning device has to be the Nintendo DS. The powerful little computer literally has dozens and dozens of games that teach every thing from Spanish to French to Problem-Solving and even how to cook. These games, are all designed by many different organizations but all have elements that can be easily applied to mobile learning designs. Too many mobile learning initiatives want to place entire courses on a mobile device...not good.

I wrote a number of posts this year about mobile learning:

Five Holiday Semi-Learning Related Games
How Widespread is Mobile Learning?
Mobile Learning Via Audio

Lesson One: If you want to find out how to create effective mobile learning, purchase a Nintendo DS and some educational games. Then begin to design your mobile learning objects.

Next, I learned that virtual worlds are starting to gain the attention of publications like the Harvard Business Review and that the need to understand how to effectively use this technology to teach is acute because many learning and development professionals still think the use of Virtual Worlds for Learning is over hyped.

Of course, I wrote a number of posts this year about virtual worlds:
Some Facts about Immersive Learning Worlds
We Have 2D Virtual Classrooms? Why 3D
Teaching Higher Order Skills in a Virtual World
Complaint? Students Don't Hang Out in Virtual Worlds After Class
Virtual Jeans=Real Jeans

Lesson Two: While there is a lot of press and buzz around Virtual Worlds, there's still not a great deal of understanding of how to create effective and meaningful instruction within virtual learning worlds. More work needs to be done to help education people about the possibilities and proper use of these spaces.

The third big learning was that organizations who seemed the least open, most secretive and most regulated jumped into Social Media with both feet while other industries are still floundering. Examples include the United States Intelligence community and the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer

I wrote a number of posts this year about Social Media for Learning:
Adopting Social Media in Your Organization: A Few Considerations
A Pharmaceutical Leveraging Web 2.0 --In a Big Way
Social Networking Not Corporate Enough for Your Company?
Pedia Palooza

Lesson 3: If highly regulated and highly secretive organizations can leverge Social Media for learning, any organization can overcome obstacles and leverage Social Media for Learning.

Those are a few of the lessons I've learning and I am sure there are so many more as I learning through blogging, writing articles, speaking with others, reading and being part of the overall learning and development community. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to my knowledge this year!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Three Vitrual World Learning Best Practices and A Holiday Greeting


Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas, here is a little visual post card from Second Life wishing you and Your's a Great Holiday Season and a Happy New Year....plus some virtual world best practices thrown in as a gift>):

Three virtual world learning best practices to consider when implementing 3D worlds in 2009.

Introduce Virtual Learing Worlds in a face to face environment.Do not simply set the learners loose in the Virtual World environment the first time they are supposed to work or learn within that environment--they might panic. Instead provide a safe environment where a proctor or instructor is available to guide the learner the first time. After that, the implementation and use of the virtual world will be much easier.

Create realistic but not "to scale" areas and locations. In a virutal world, an avatar needs more room to walk down hallways and to move around objects than a real person in the physical world. For example, make the ceilings a little higher than normal because avatars will rez on top of each other and may get confused if their line of sight is the floor and because they may fly or may jump in the space. When designing a 3D learning space, consider the movement of the avatar and do not make the buildings 100% to scale.

Allow time for avatar customization. One of the advantages of a 3D learning worlds is that the dimension of personalization and looks can be added as opposed to 2D environments. However, that dimension cannot be explored if you do not allow time for avatar customization. Include that in any type of orientation you do for your learners in the 3D world. It may seem frivolous but contributes to the overall sense of identifying with the avatar.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Adopting Social Media in Your Organization? A Few Considerations

Here are few things to consider if you want to help your organization adopt social media tools for learning.
  • Cultural influences in terms of sharing and open information is more important than the technology. An atmosphere of sharing is required for Social Media to be adopted. If people feel they will be punished or “get in trouble” for postings, Social Media will not work within the organization.

  • Social Media cannot replace all e-learning or stand up instruction, but it can reinforce, enhance, and enrich it.

  • Give people a few simple but firm guidelines and rules and then enforce that small set of rules vigorously. Expect mis-steps and wrong information but use those events as learning processes for the organization and individual.

  • While many of the Social Media tools seem intuitive, some learners will need to be oriented to Social Media in face-to-face sessions. Providing up-front assistance and training is essential for the majority of employees to adopt. A small group will adopt irregardless of training.

  • Consider starting with a simple, low risk item like a glossary of acronyms to allow employees to get comfortable with the concept of editing materials and then work to more comprehensive collaborative sites.

  • Prepare to scale quickly. One or two people using Social Media tools does not change an organization, even 200 makes little impact but 2000 people using Socail Media effects change.

  • Start with “seeded” wikis which provide basic information onto which others can being to add links, images and other contributes.

  • Create a rating/ranking system to identify widely popular or important Social Media elements and incorporate them into more formal learning process such as e-Learning modules.


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Thursday, December 18, 2008

The 2008 Top 3 Semi-Learning Related Books

Here are some great reads to take you into 2009 and to get you to think about technology, learning and games from a new perspective. They'd make great stocking stuffers for the geeky person on your Christmas list as well.

Number 3: Mastering the Hype Cycle: How to Choose the Right Innovation at the Right Time (Gartner) by Jackie Fenn and Mark Raskino



This book describes how a technology enters the collective awareness of everyone (read learning professionals) and then gets overhyped and then crashes and no one likes it any more but the small group of people who continue to plod along find the technology aids productivity. The learning and development industry seems particularly vulnerable to Hype Cycles. I've written about the concept in The Metaverse Hype, Decline and Realism Cycle--We've Seen It Before


Number 2: Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (Forrester Research) by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff

If you want to understand how Social Media or Web 2.0 or Informal Learning is impacting organizations and moving the power into the hands of individuals, this book is for you. It doesn't approach the topic from a learning perspective, instead it provides a much broader view and does a good job of explaining the impact these technologies are already having on organizations. My entry Pedia Palooza hits on some of the same issues by providing links to all types of social media articles.

Number 1: The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses by Jesse Schell

This book approaches the concept of game design by asking the reader to look at designing a game through a number of different lenes. In the book the author describes the activity of game design in a staight forward, enjoyable manner. What struck me about the book is how many of the concepts can be applied to almost any type of instructional design process. I also really like his list of 15 "Nitty-Gritty" brainstorming tips. Applicable for any brainstorming operation.

So there you have it, the 2008 Top 3 Semi-Learning Related books for you to read before 2009. :)


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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Five Holiday Semi-Learning Related Games

If you are doing some last minute shopping, here are some games that are semi-learning related and a lot of fun.

Number 5: Spanish for Everyone (Nintendo DS)


Nintendo DS has a number of educational games to teach a variety of subjects. This fun game challenges the player/learner with various Spanish words and phrases. As a player you take a journey to Mexico where different people you meet help you learn Spanish. (There is also a French and Japanese game for the Nintendo DS.)

Number 4: Brain Age (Nintendo DS)


Brain Age is actually a series of games. These games are a lot of fun and are a real challenge. You take an initial quiz and from that point forward engage in small quick little games that work your mind in new and complex ways. In one game you pick out letters from a moving stream of letters to correctly id a word. In another, you have to do quick math and you actually write your answer on your Nintendo DS. If you want a glimps into how engaging and interactive mobile learning can be then this game and the Nintendo game system is a great start.

Number 3: History Channel Civil War: Secret Missions
(PlayStation 2, 3, XBox360, PC)


Time for a little history. This game casts you in the role of a solider in the American Civil War and then you must fight behind enemy lines in the well known battles of the war. Your goal is to disrupt enemy by any means necessary, including conducting train raids, stealing ironclad ships, stopping enemy supply lines, destroying enemy artillery and the events are drawn from the real life actions of famous partisans, scouts and rangers. What a great way to "accidently" pick up some history. If you want to see how facts and concepts can be embedded into a strategy-type game, this is a good example.


Number 2: Wii Trauma Center Games (Wii)

The Trauma Center series has a bunch of different games. My favorite is still Trauma Center: Second Opinion. But New Blood has some neat new surgery as well. Learn about how doctors work and some medical terminology as you play the game. And, you can even get surgical accessories for the Wiimote which are interesting. If you want a glimpse into the future of interactive training for motorskills, this game is worth a look.

Number 1: Crazy Machines 2 (Windows 2000 / XP / Vista)


In this tools and machines-based game, you build imaginative machines in an environment that is creative and difficult but fun. As a player you turn cranks, rotate gears, pull levers, and other tools and machine related efforts to build unique contraptions. You have access to Physics engines with air-pressure, electricity, gravity, and particle effects. You can also experiment with gears, robots, and even explosives. All the mad science stuff you want to do in your garage but because of legal, health and compliance issues...you aren't able to do. Great simulations of experiments, and physics concepts.

If you know of any other games, please feel free to post in the comments. I'm always looking for neat semi-learning games, gizmos and gadgets.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Top 5 Funny and Semi-Learning Related Videos

Holidays can stress people out, so here are some lighthearted, funny videos that can add a smile to your face. Also, if you choose to think deeper about the content and how it applies to designing instruction and delivering instruction in our modern, fast-paced world...some are actually quite profound...enjoy.

Number 5: Wii Fit Parody

,

Here is my original blog post on Wii Fit Parody. Why in the Semi-Training Related series? Because it reminds me of the hype of "oh-so-many" training programs dreamed up by management.

Number 4: Second Life in Real Life


Why is it in the Semi-Training Related series? Because there is a lot of hype around 3D worlds like Second Life but many of the activities in those worlds are a little goofy...even if I do think 3D worlds actually are the future for teaching certain topics online.

Number 3: YouTube Contest Challenges Users To Make A 'Good' Video

YouTube Contest Challenges Users To Make A 'Good' Video

Here is my original post on this social media improvement effort. Why is it in the Semi-Training Related series? Because it makes you think that perhaps you need a few parameters for helping people within your organization understand the best way to post Social Media-type entries into your corporate YouTube, Wiki or Blogs. We want to encourage users to create their own "learning events" but we as ISD folks need to create some parameters around that process.

Number 2: Death Star Help Desk Interview


Here is my original post on the Death Star Help Desk post. Why is it in the Semi-Training Related series? Because training and "help desks" are so intertwined and helpdesk issues, if tracked properly, become part of training...but some things just can't be "trained." And because I've made the "ID Ten T" error millions of times.

Number 1: Building a "Stop Sign"


This video is in the semi-training collection because it is so scary...its funny.
I love this line, "We are primarily targeting women but also targeting men secondarily"...It seems client always wants online learning to teach as much information to as many people as possible but still...they always have some sort of "target audience" in mind (and then they wonder why the online learning isn't as effective as it could be??)

So, anyone who has worked with an instructional design or training client has encountered this scenario. I love the women who announces that "Fire Engine" Red is owned by the fire company...a stakeholder arises out of nowhere and changes the scope...oh I've so been there. That is why this is the number one Top 5 Funny and Semi-Learning Related Video.

Here is my original post on Building a Stop Sign.

Hope you got a laugh out of the videos and that they made you think a little about learning events...let's not take ourselves too seriously and let's always have fun.

If you know of other funny semi-learning related videos, please post a link in the comments...share the laughs.
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Monday, December 15, 2008

Let's Not Pretend





Ok, let's make a deal. I will not pretend to be a salesperson, a doctor, a banker...if...(and I said if) these people stop pretending to be instructional designers and/or trainers?



Why do organizations take people with no formal training in instructional design, adult education or anything close and make them a trainer/instructional designer. It is not fair to that person and it is not fair to the trainees within the organization.

Organizations do it because the people they choose are "Good at what they do?" or "Have been with the organization a long time." or "Are good at speaking in front of people" or "Know a lot about the subject."

None of which qualifies them to design, develop and/or deliver instruction...none.

Please why can't organizations hire people with the right degrees and right knowledge for the right job???

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Training: A Bottleneck

Recently I've been working with a couple of organizations that have related but not exactly the same problem. At one organization, the training of a new employee takes so long that managers and supervisors are becoming frustrated at the slowness of the rate of preparation. It is almost 6-8 weeks of nothing but training.

At another organization, employees get hired but the training is not "available" because of timing issues or not enough trainers so new employees finally get into the "orientation class" six months after they are hired. By that time bad habits are formed or they know so much they could be teaching the class. Not enough classrooms, instructors or, in some cases, students to run the classes.

In both cases, training has become a bottleneck. It is not longer assisting the organizations for which it is designed to serve. In one case, training takes so long that the cost and effort is almost not worth it because the needed employees take so long to get up to speed. In the second case, by the time the training is delivered its too late.

In both cases, the solution is to disaggregate the training. The problem is that organizations view training through the narrow lens of classroom training. In both of these organizations, the view is that classroom training must occur and it must dictate the entire learning process. This view is not scalable. It is not sustainable.

Instead, if the training was brought to the learner instead of taking the learner to the training, the individual employees could be more productive sooner or get the necessary training they need sooner. In fact, I don't think we should call it training at all...call it Learning Events.

Now, the first organization could provide a short 1/2 day orientation overview and then allow employees to go back to the job and work through a series of online modules. Some could be self-paced but some could be virtual classrooms that are instructor-based. This would allow a mixture of "formal" instruction, informal instruction by peers and self-directed instruction. The 6 week training class should be modularized and presented in small increments with exercises, assignments and mentoring interspersed. This would allow the learner to contribute to the organization in small pieces rather than trying to "train up" a person before they ever arrive on the job. Giving someone 6 weeks of "out of context instruction" doesn't work. They need to have real work assignments and tasks onto which they can ground their learning.

This would also help in the second case as well. The new employees could attend training to get an overview and then take individual learning events to supplement the on-the-job learning and they could become more productive more quickly.

The answer is to create a learning process in which some of the learning is in the classroom, some is on the job through e-learning and some is mentoring and some is escalation of assignments. We really need to get away from learning being anchored by a classroom event and expand learning throughout the enterprise to encompass many small learning events that lead to an employee who is knowledgable in his or her assignments.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Great Machinima about Machinima

Check out this great video explaining machinima by a former student of mine...she has exceeded her professor as all good student do.


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Recommended Games and Gadgets
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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Upcoming Webinar: Communicating with the Next Generation

Here is some information for a webinar I am doing this Friday. The webinar is titled "Communicating with the Next Generation." Here is the description of the event. Be sure to register


Communicating with Today's Generation
Date: Friday, December 12, 2008 10:00 a.m. MST
Length: 90 minutes

Description:
Are your classroom lectures designed to teach the new generation of students? One raised on a steady diet of video games, electronic gadgets and the Internet? Confused by the correct use of Wikis, Blogs, IM and Podcasts for the classroom? Ever wonder how to communicate with the ever-connected, but seemingly isolated, new generation of students? Then this webinar is for you. Based on the hot selling book, "Gadgets, Games and Gizmos for Learning," Dr. Karl M. Kapp will explain how and why the incoming "gamer generation" requires major changes in instructional delivery methods and techniques. He will also explain steps and tips for reaching today's generation through the use of their own "New Media".

Register Now!

NetWorks webinars are free online seminars presented by subject matter experts. The audio and visual portions are conducted through Elluminate, a free online web conferencing service. For more details about this and other upcoming webinars, visit the NetWorks Webinar Calendar.

Past Webinar Recordings:
Did you happen to miss a NetWorks webinar? Search NetWorks Digital Library for past webinars to listen, watch, and learn.


Hope to virtually see you there.
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Catalog of Recommended Books, Games and Gadgets
Recommended Games and Gadgets
Recommended Books
Content Guide

Monday, December 08, 2008

Cost Consious Gift Idea

It is always so hard to determine what type of corporate or academic gift is appropriate for clients, co-workers collegue or your boss? What do you get them that is not too expensive but not too inexpensive, that is business or instructionally-focused but not boring. With these tough economic times, such decisions can be difficult.

However, I think the perfect answer is Gadgets, Games and Gizmos for Learning., it is fun but serious, informative but easy-to-read, insightful but not overly academic. Check it out as a gift for yourself, your entire team or your client.

Here is what ASTD's Magazine, T&D had to say about Gadgets, Games and Gizmos for Learning.
[This book, like others, talks about] the impending retirement of baby boomers and how companies are dealing with the critical knowledge transfer that needs to take place.

But what makes this book different is its unique approach to the knowledge-transfer issue...This book is a valuable resource for any business looking to find practical solutions to the boomer-gamer knowledge-transfer gap. It reveals new methods and tools that are being used successfully in a variety of settings, including Flash mobs and cheat codes, video iPods, instant messaging and blogging.

Several of people I know from the field have sent copies to clients and co-workers as gifts. So if you need a last minute gift...


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Recommended Games and Gadgets
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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Pedia Palooza

Lately there has been a lot of buzz about using Social Networking software and techniques in organizations. I've written about a number of uses:

Social Networking Not Corporate Enough for Your Company?

A Pharmaceutical Leveraging Web 2.0 --In a Big Way

I have recently, given a presentation on the topic.
Wikis, Blogs and Social Networks Presentation Materials

And I have noticed a number of other Social Networking uses in corporate and government arenas focusing on a Wikipedia-style open exchange of information.

How about the intelligence community's use of Intellipedia.

Or the FBI's use of Bureaupedia

Or the US State Department's use of Diplopedia.

Of course we know software companies have been doing things like making the Microsoft's Developer wiki public for a while. It is called the MSDN wiki. But somehow a software company doing Social Media doesn't have the same Wow impact as say a bank...

Wachovia Bank now part of Citigroup has a wiki they are slowly rolling out. You can read about it in Wachovia Turns To Wikis, Blogs To Support Growth

To see a great list of all types of organizations using blogs, check out Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki which provides a large list of customer facing blogs created by large corporations.

Also, here is a thought provoking presentation titled Learning from Wikipedia: Open Collaboration within Corporations.

If you know of any examples of internal or external social media in corporations or even schools...please leave a link or a reference in the comments.
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Recommended Games and Gadgets
Recommended Books
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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Shout Out: Rachel Troychock

Speaking of alumni (see yesterday's post)

This month ASTD's magazine T&D featured one of Bloomsburg University's Instructional Technology alumni, Rachel in their article FUTURE LEADERS 2020. The article is about up and comming folks and what they are doing in the field of learning and e-learning.

Here is what the magazine said about Rachel:
Rachel Troychock is technology based learning manager at KPMG. Currently, she is leading an initiative to incorporate the use of Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs and wikis into learning. Previously, she was an instructional designer responsible for developing learning for large real estate agencies.
If you'd like to read the article yourself, you can click on December T&D Magazine here.

If you'd like to read more about what Rachel's doing check out her blog Rachel's eLearning Blog

I've blogged about Rachel's presentations before. Here she is with fellow alumni Pete Mitchell talking about using vodcasting for e-learning on this very blog.

So a big CONGRATULATIONS to RACHEL. It is awesome to see alumni making an impact in the field, blogging and getting involved with the industry. Keep up the good work, you make us proud.
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Recommended Games and Gadgets
Recommended Books
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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Blog Field Trip-"Virtical" Education

Today I thought a blog field trip would be fun. What is a blog field trip?

Well, if you regularly view this blog and leave a comment or just lurk (which is great as well). Today, I thought you could spend your time at "Virtical" Education and leave a comment there or lurk on that site. Like an actual field trip, visiting another blog will give you a new perspective and something to think about. New surroundings. This one is by one of our alumni and has already received a comment from another alumni. Blogs...a great way to keep in touch.

I left a comment on post on the entry "Hybrid lives at home, but not at school?" I encourage you to leave a post on that entry as well. See you over there!

Our last field trip was a visit to Cognitive Technologies.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

For Sale---Test Space

Well commercialization has finally impacted something as neutral and seemingly advertisement free as a student's math test. A calculus teacher in San Diego, California sells ads on his test papers: $10 for a quiz, $20 for a chapter test and $30 for a semester final.

Check out the USA Today article Ads on tests add up for teacher for more price quotes and information. But why stop at tests? Imagine for a moment, negotiating with a business minded educator such as myself...

If you are curious, yes, I will accept advertisement payment for tests, homework assignments, quizzes, even space on my PowerPoint slides. In fact, my forehead and even my stomach area are available for ad space as are the bottom of my shoes and the back of my knees. In fact, if you pay me enough I'll just pass out ads to students without any educational value. If you want a billboard in my classroom, give me a call. Also, the sides of my car are available


But seriously...ads on tests? Not Good.

In fact schools are a little too commercial as is...on the other hand if state, local and federal government keeps underfunding education, what are the alternatives?
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Recommended Games and Gadgets
Recommended Books
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving




I won't be blogging the rest of this week due to spending quality time with my family and recovering from eating all that turkey.

So just, remember to be thankful for all you have, I know I am. Even in these tough times, we all have much to be thankful for...

Enjoy the holiday.

And if it isn't a holiday you celebrate...take some time to just give thanks.

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Recommended Games and Gadgets
Recommended Books
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

YouTube Parody

Social media has many upsides but it also has a few downsides as well. Their is certainly value in many people creating all types of videos and you can find all types of good information on YouTube and other video sites but...you can also find some...not so good material and here is a parody of a contest involving YouTube. I rate the video as "fairly funny, LOL" (Contains some potentially offensive language.)


YouTube Contest Challenges Users To Make A 'Good' Video


It makes you think that perhaps you need a few parameters for helping people internal to your organization understand the best way to post Social Media-type entries into your corporate YouTube, Wiki or Blogs.
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Recommended Games and Gadgets
Recommended Books
Content Guide

Monday, November 24, 2008

CAC Re-Cap

Here are all the posts related to the Fall 2008 Corporate Advisory Council Conference held at Bloomsburg University last week through our Nationally Acclaimed Instructional Technology program.

CAC Kickoff
CAC: Corporate Presentations
CAC: Student Presentations

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Recommended Games and Gadgets
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Corporate Advisory Council Conference:Student Presentations

As a culmination of our Corporate Track, students are required to answer an e-learning request for proposal (RFP), create a prototype of the proposed solution and give a 20 minute sales presentation to a group of representatives from various positons within the field of e-learning.
Describing the rules of the exercise to CAC Members.


This year we had two teams (seven students total) presenting their solutions to the Corporate Advisory Council during the student portion of the event. We had two great presentations with everyone doing a professional and top-notch presentation. This year the Request for Proposal was a fictious request to create training for Traffic Enforcement Officers for the city of Pittsburgh. The students were asked to create a blended approach of online, on-the-job and classroom instruction. The students are then required to provide a 20 minute sales presentation highlighting portions of the 40 page proposal they have written.

Then the 48 members of our Corporate Advisory Council asked them questions for 15 minutes. At the end the teams are judged based on Best Written Proposal, Best Prototype, Best Presentation and then Best Overall. But regardless of which team actually "wins" all the students are trully winners as they presented top-notch solutions and they all particpated in interviews with 9 different companies looking to hire the gradautes.

The first team to present was E-ssential Solutions. Who provided an innovative solution of using Second Life to develop the instruction.
E-ssential solutions present their Second Life Solution.


They also included a large portion of on-the-job instruction. They group of three provided a good presentation with insightful information and ideas of how to use Second Life within the classroom.
E-ssential Solutions presents their budget to the CAC member.


The second team was named E-Tegrity and had four team members. They provided a working prototype using a combination of Flash and Trivantis's Lectora Version 8. The solution included on-the-job training, e-learning and classroom instruction.
Here the team of students gives an overview of their presentation.


The team provided a description of their instructional solution and a discusson of how the planned on implementing the e-learning within the existing structure.
The E-Tegrity Team answers some tough questions.


John and Robyn of DishingDesign served as the hosts of the event giving students both positive and not-as-positive feedback on their presentations. All done in the spirit of continous improvement as the entire exercise is a learning experience.
John and Robyn provide instructive feedback to students.


Both teams did well and each team captured different awards. Winning written, prototype and overall was E-Tegrity and winning the sales presentation portion was E-ssential Solutions.

Another great CAC and we hope to have 48 attendees next semester as well. Thanks everyone!
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Corporate Advisory Council Conference: Corporate Presentations

The Corporate CAC presentations this fall began with a little snow fall at Monty's but quickly progressed into some great presentations and sharing of information.



Here is a brief re-cap of the presentations.

First Presentation
Christopher Reese discusses Knowledge Management with CAC members.

Christopher Reese opened the corporate presentations with a talk about Knowledge Management and NASA. He indicated that we should think about Knowledge Management to include traditional venues like Training, Education, Workshops and Courses. But also Debriefs and After Action Reviews and newer technologies where soldiers just finishing a patrol are providing "real-time" data for the next patrol so they can learn and be aware of possible issues.

Knowledge Management needs to also include Case Studies, Lessons Learned documents and procedures and even Experience-Based Documentation. He advocated for Pause and Learn, the act of taking time to make sure that you can think about what you are doing. Take just a moment to step back and make sure we are doing the right thing. He talked about avoiding "organizational silence" in terms of the space shuttle accident at NASA.

Second Presentation

Peter Rizza discussing the features of ExpressTrain.

Peter Rizza from the Princeton Center for Education Services discussed ExpressTrain which is a software suite that allows companies to utilize a Microsoft Word-based tool for writing their SOPs and best practices into a database from which they automatically create training and support materials in a wide array of delivery formats -- from PowerPoint slides to web-based training to publishable documents.

Third Presentation
Cliff and Rhonda discuss the Erin Manning scrap booking site development.

Cliff Sobel and Rhonda Dorsett from The Phoenix Group presented some wonderful work thy did on the Cannon EOS-1D Mark III product piece. The piece is located at the Cannon Digital Learning Center where they have done a lot of work on creating instruction for all types of Cannon cameras and equipment. They discussed the development process, the timeline and the considerations that went into creating a visually appealing and educationally inclusive web site.

They also demonstrated the Erin Manning Scrap Booking site they created which features a number of videos and instruction on scrap booking.

Fourth Presentation

David Weatherbee of Weatherbee Media provided an engaging discussion of various methods of working with clients on major projects. He discussed the trade-offs instructional designers need to make in terms of balancing client expectations, time lines and desires with the need to create intstructionally sound materials. He described to the audience the different thought processes that he uses when consulting with clients and discussing the various options they have when creating online instruction. He also discussed how to deal with a conversion of training materials created in an older technology into a new technology.

Fifth Presentation

Bobbe Baggio presenting a lively and engaging presentation.


Wearing two hats, one from La Salle University and one from her own consulting firm, Advantage Learning Technologies Bobbe Baggio provided a lively and engaging presentation discussing the creation of visually effective instruction. She made many good points in a short period of time as, of course, the program was running a little late and she was right before lunch...but she handled it with elegance and grace. She introduced the concept of creating effective visuals by following four key elements:
-Contrast
-Repetition
-Alignment
-Proximity
And, yes, she knows it spells CRAP. She tells the story that when she was teaching high school, she presented this concept and one of her students said "do you know that spells crap" and she said "yes, if you don't consider these elements of visual alignment your images will be "crap." Well said.

Sixth Presentation
John Stone discusses mimicing various layers of skin for the VMT.

To round out the corporate presentations, John Stone from MountainTop Technologies presented a fasinating Virtual Medical Trainer (VMT). The Virtual Medical Trainer is a web-based, SCORM-conformant, medical simulation developed in Flash and XML. The simulation models a peripheral nerve block procedure, and is designed to teach the cognitive concepts underlying psychomotor tasks. VMT demonstrates how web-based technologies can be used as a supplement to traditional training methods to improve knowledge transfer. The software was demonstrated with help from Rebecca Lauper and provided an interesting look at how Flash can mimic 3D environments to provide a realistic simulation.


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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

CAC Kickoff

Dr. Doll discussing the 3D Internet.

Our bi-annual Corporate Advisory Council (CAC) has started. We kicked off a little differently this year, we had Dr. Doll present a mini-workshop about Web 3.0 and provides great insights into the concept. His blog to support the presentation is available here.

Dr. Doll providing CAC members a glimpse of the future.


Tomorrow are corporate presentations and student presentations. Look for updates here.

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Playing with the 3D Web

Here is my "home page" in 3B.net a 3D package that links the upcoming "3D web" with the current 2D web.



You have to download the browser but take a moment and check it out at 3B.net.

Google's Lively World




NOTE: Just learned that Google announced that as of December 31st, it is shelving Lively...getting rid of it. Read about it in Death of a Virtual World from Learning in Tandem.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Seed Company Finds Growth with Online Learning

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Golden Harvest Seeds, Inc. was frustrated with its sales-training program for 250 employees and 2,000 independent crop-seed dealers.

Costs were rising, it was hard to find good trainers and in addition, the sessions took valuable time out of workers’ days. So the company hired a vendor to produce and post online videos for teaching sales reps how to sell Golden Harvest seeds.

The results indicated that not only were employees watching the videos, mostly on Saturdays or Monday mornings but sales increased as a result of the online training. The training has contributed to setting records in new customer acquisitions and new dealer recruitments.

In fact, in the first full year of the online training, the company’s revenue jumped 14% or about $30 million.

Check out the article for yourself...Firms Go Online to Train Employees

The article also discusses how small business are using e-learning. The image below describing how small business use different training delivery methods accompanies the article.

As you can see, e-learning is right up there with print-based learning materials. In this economy with large corporations laying off employees, you may want to consider designing e-learning for small companies (if you are a content developer.)


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Monday, November 17, 2008

A Pharmaceutical Leveraging Web 2.0 --In a Big Way

If you think Web 2.0 can't be used in your company because of legal or regulatory concerns, think about this...

Pfizer, the world's largest research-based biomedical and pharmaceutical company, with its corporate headquarters located in New York, created Pfizerpedia (based loosely on Wikipedia) in 2006 and has been leveraging the interactive-community-based tool ever since.

The site started out as an online encyclopedia but has grown virally and morphed into something far more powerful than an encyclopedia. It has become a user-generated, centralized index of all things R&D across Pfizer's worldwide organization including people, projects, events, blogs, and discussion groups. Integration with the enterprise directory and other data sources greatly enable "people finding." With a simple search, users can quickly locate colleagues doing relevant work—and not only find their contact information, but also recent projects, publications, and seminars.

Pfizerpedia is resource-sharing Web 2.0 site containing information on mechanisms of action, employee and project profiles and Pfizer products and other information useful to researchers and sales personnel within Pfizer.

Pfizerpedia’s popularity has grown and it is fast becoming an on-line resource of first preference for R&D employees, seeking knowledge pertinent to their job role. Pfizerpedia now has over 2500 contributors creating over 5000 content pages. More than 3000 pages have received at least 1000 hits each. In total, there have been over 11 million page views and approximately 100,000 page edits since it was set up.

Bookmarks of interesting information from Pfizerpedia and other sources can be tagged at tags.pfizer.com by individual employees. Those might be bookmarks of a favorite blog page or other information from an internal Pfizer resource and then they can be stored and viewed to determine the information of most interest across the organization. For those of you who wonder about regulatory and legal issues, even Pfizer's ultra-cautious regulatory affairs group is using the wiki to generate ideas.

According to one article, one clever thing that Pfizer did to promote the use of Pfizerpedia was to create a series of small slide shows to indicte how Pfizerpedia would work-so potential users of the site would understand its value. (as shown in the slideshow below.)

meet Jessica
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: web_2.0 enterprise_2.0)


In the future…Pfizer plans to launch Pfacebook—a social networking site modeled after Facebook.

Here is an article from InformationWeek on the topic.

Here is an article from ON Magazine called Enterprise Collaboration 2.0: Is it time to jump in and swim? by Christine Kane which contains good information on the topic.

Another interesting article on the topic, Pfizerpedia: knowledge repository at Pfizer

Also see Pfizer launches RSS for R&D and eyes "Pfacebook" social network

Also see Pfizer Case Study.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Right Place to Find Help: ASTD's Big Question


This month's ASTD Big Question on the Learning Circuit's Blog is about Social Networking and finding help and expertise if you have a question or a concern for which you need input and/or advice. The basic question is "If you need input from people, where's the best place to ask?"

But, then the question breaks into sub-questions.
-How to reach out and find expertise
-How to use Social Media to Find Answers to Questions
-How to Learn through Conversation

And then the questions are even broken down further into more sub-questions which you can read for yourself at the original ASTD Blog posting Network Feedback.

The assumption seems to be that there is one "best" place for asking a question. One social network for Learning Management System questions and, perhaps another, for a question about learning strategies or business strategies or marketing strategies. If only you could pinpoint that particular location or network then you could be more efficient in finding answers.

I think the question sort of misses the power of social networking and Web 2.0 tools. Let me explain.

In the old days (before Web 2.0) when working a network to find information the whole process was severely constrained by time and resources. Seeking out advice, counsel and ideas from your network or a related network was time consuming and costly. You had to take the time to make a phone call to a friend who, hopefully, knew someone who might be able to answer the question. Then you had to call that person, reference the discussion with your friend and launch into an explanation of the question you wanted to have answered. That person would, possibly, answer your question for free, offer to help for a fee, or refer you to another person.

If they referred you to another person, you had to start all over again with more phone calls, explanations, etc. It could literally take you all day to find the one person who had the specific answer you needed. You really had to "work your network" to find the right person to answer your question. You had to hope the Return-On-Investment for the time you spent finding the answer was worth it. There was really no cost effective way for the average person to "broadcast" a question to a large group of people.

With Web 2.0 and social networks, the cost of asking a question and seeking advice from several different channels simultaneously is so minimal that it no longer matters whether or not you know the right place to ask the question. Ask it in multiple places because you never know who might have the answer and the overall cost is negligible. And once you ask the question, you can then work in parallel until the answer arrives. You don't need to stop working while seeking the answer.

For example, we have an alumni network consisting of professionals who have graduated from Bloomsburg University with a Master's Degree in Instructional Technology (very competent and accomplished folks.) If I need to ask a question or seek input from the field I do the following:

-Send the question to our Yahoo! Group Listserv
-Post a discussion question in our NING network
-Post a question in our LinkedIn network
-Ask a question to the alumni group on Facebook
-Send a group email via our CAC Conference web site which has registered members

Total time to post the question in all five places...about 5 minutes. The ROI for using all five methods is phenomenal. I invest a small amount of time writing the question, copy and paste it into the proper location in the social media spaces and SHAZAM! I have hundreds of folks (maybe even thousands) who have the potential to answer the question. I don't need to pinpoint or target a specific group or person. In this case there is some overlap but if you broaden the concept beyond alumni...even the overlap is reduced.

I think this low cost of "working the network" is the power of Web 2.0 and social media and is what makes it so effective. Therefore, I don't think a whole lot of time needs to be dedicated to finding the "best place to ask a question." Instead, place it out there to multiple networks and wait for an answer.
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Blending Online and Classroom Instruction: At the Same Time

Last night, Scott came to my class to talk about "Polished Presentations" usually he drives up to Bloomsburg for the presentation but last night, due to a mix up on my part, he was unable to make the 120 mile trip. Scott has a theatre background and a great deal of experience presenting in front of groups and he provides great advice and ideas to students as they prepare for their major presentation to our Corporate Advisory Council.

Due the the distance, this semester we leveraged technology and Scott gave an online presentation...so far pretty normal stuff. However, Scott's presentations are typically highly interactive with a lot of physical activity required of the audience. I was curious to see how the combination of online and required classroom movement would work. Would the students choose to participate or ignore his requests for interactivity since their was a large distance?

So first, here is the set up. We used Adobe Connect, two computers and a web cam in the classroom. On Scott's end, one computer and a web cam. In the classroom, I projected my screen showing both cameras to the audience of students.
Notice the small web cam on the podium.


Scott then proceeded to provide his presentation. It worked pretty well, although we did have some lag a couple of times. Scott provided his content and interacted with the students through the classroom mic (students came up and asked questions) and from time-to-time Scott would ask them to raise their hands in agreement or to check understanding. Then he really got them moving and put the students through their paces by having them do some breathing and speaking exercises.

Screen shot of the presentation where the students practice the famous Buh, Duh, Guh exercise.

Then Scott got the students on their feet and had them do even more breathing exercises. He really interacted well with the students over a distance and was a great example of how a person can present to an audience via distance and still engage and keep the attention of the learners.

Everybody stand up.


The class was a great example of how an online presentation to a group of students can be engaging and interactive. Scott stood up to illustrate hand placement and aids like a pen to assist with speaking and breathing and we could still see him on the web cam. He could see if students were raising their hands and he could direct them through exercises. The set up worked well and while the interaction wasn't ideal, it still showed a great deal of interaction and promise. This is especially interesting since Scott provides such movement and physical activity in his talk. Overall I'd say it was a great example of the impact and potential of distance learning.

To top off the class, Robyn from the Dishing Design blog made a guest appearance and spoke to the students about networking which they will need next week when the meet the corporate professionals at the Corporate Advisory Council Event... I'm sure they'd be glad to get any advice...so if you have some, please comment.

Robyn providing valuable networking tips and techniques.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

President Elect Brings Web 2.0 to the People


We all know that President-elect Barack Obama used text messages and his web site to a distinct advantage in the election.

Well, we now know his is going to be using those tools in his presidency as well. He just launched Change.Gov

The web site will be used to revolutionize the way the commander in chief communicates with the American people through online videos and interactivity via the web. For example, Barack Obama could start doing a weekly YouTube video and fireside chats for the 21st century by allowing people to text or email questions to him that he might answer live during the webcast.

Check out the entire article Obama launches Web site to reach public.

Then ask yourself, if its good enough for a president-elect to deliver messages and information via social media and Web 2.0 tools...isn't it good enough for your learning and development department and your company to use these tools? If you want to break down the traditional and artificial boundaries of the learning function within your organization, you can use the web to help do it.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

More Learning from Video Games

Here is some interesting results related to playing video games from the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association that was held in August.

The article, Playing video games offers learning across life span, say studies, does a good job comparing the good and bad of video games and states that:
"The big picture is that there are several dimensions on which games have effects, including the amount they are played, the content of each game, what you have to pay attention to on the screen, and how you control the motions," said Gentile. "This means that games are not 'good' or 'bad,' but are powerful educational tools and have many effects we might not have expected they could."


Similar to other media, there are good and "not so good" aspects of playing video games.
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Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Lost Footage...

Several weeks ago my original link to this video was lost. This video is from a local television station that interviewed me about Gadgets, Games and Gizmos for Learning.

Unfortunately, somehow it was deleted. Finally, I found the lost footage and have been able to post it. You can see the original blog posting at Roll The Tape.

video



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