Friday, August 31, 2007

31 Days: Days 22, 23 & 24

I've been seriously lagging in this 31 Day Blog Challenge. For me, the Challenge has worn thin.

The tasks are relentless -- every single day there's something new to do. And yet I feel compelled to continue and fulfill my duty to my fellow Challenge Participants.

Rather than tackle the last nine days in one really long post, I think I'll chunk things out a bit. For my sanity as well as yours.

Day 22: Catch Readers Up on the Basics of Your Blog

As your readership grows, new folks will be wandering in. The idea behind this task is make sure your new readers know what you're all about.

Some key questions Darren suggests you write about: Why did you start your blog? How is it designed to be used? How can readers connect/subscribe? How can readers get more involved? Where should new readers start?

I recently did this in my About Learning Visions page, which is now displayed prominently at the top of my sidebar.

The idea would be to periodically (say every couple of months) write a post answering one or two of the questions above to let any new readers know just what you're all about as a blogger. I'll keep this mind.

Task sort of completed, but one to think about in an ongoing fashion.

Day 23: Go on a Dead Link Hunt

Also known as "Link Rot", this is the phenomenon when items that you link to return the dreaded "Page not Found Error". So the answer is to periodically check your site to make sure that all your links are still valid and active.

Rather than go through each page and test each link manually, there are a number of tools you can use that will spider your site and check for links.

I tried and at first couldn't seem to get it to work for my Blogger blog. It only got as far as my main page and returned a link not found error. I came back again today and tried again. This time it seemed to "work." Dead-Links found what were supposedly a bunch of dead links, but I clicked on most of them and they worked just fine.

When Dead-Links wasn't working at first, I tried Google Webmaster tools. This was new to me and a nice discovery. Turns out there's a lot of tools in there, including a view of who's linking to you. I found a number of blogs that had linked to mine without my ever knowing!

If you're using Google Webmaster to check for dead links, you'll first need to claim and verify your site. I had to add a wee bit of code into my blog template. Once you've done that, go to the Diagnostics tab and choose "Web Crawl".

As far as I can tell, Google didn't find any dead links on my site. But this may simply be a dumb user not fully understanding the data I see.

So I think I can say task completed and also complete waste of my time.

Day 24: Do a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Audit
This is exactly the kind of task I hate and as Darren notes, definitely makes my head spin. The idea here is to make sure you're writing your posts in the best possible way to ensure they get picked up by the most readers and you get more hits and a better ranking.

Darren has a good post on the topic: Search Engine Optimization for Blogs -- SEO that you should read if you're interested in maximizing your search results.

"My main advice to people wanting to optimize their blogs for Search Engines is to keep it simple. Start with quality content on a specific topic and then tweak it using the best current advice going around."
I'll keep it as simple as that.

Task completed (in a completely half-assed way).

If you're just tuning in and would like to track my progress (or lack thereof) in the other days of the challenge, you can read more:

31 Days: Days 17, 18, 19 & 21
31 Days: Days 12, 13, 14, 15 & 16
31 Days: Days 8, 9, & 10
31 Days: Days 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 (I got my numbering off somewhere along the way)
31 Days: Days 1, 2 & 3

And check in with the other 31 Day Bloggers who are taking part in the great Chocolate Challenge:

Tim Davies
Kate Foy
Christine Martell
Michele Martin
Frances McLean
Alex Miller
Kate Quinn
Sue Waters
Laura Whitehead
Al Upton and the miniLegends

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

e-Learning Guild Mobile Learning Report

The e-Learning Guild presentation of the most recent 360 Research Report on Mobile Learning.

Presenters include:
  • Steve Wexler: e-Learning Guild's research guru
  • Brent Schlenker: e-Learning Guild Evangelist. Blogger. Has been in the Educational Technology field for 10+ years (mostly at Intel). Passionate about new technologies and how we use them in the learning and training space.
  • Judy Brown: University of Wisconsin.
  • David Metcalf: in Sweden, but usually in Florida. Researcher at the Institute for Simulation & Training in Southern Florida. Wrote a book on mobile learning (M-Learning: Mobile E-Learning). Has been working with Judy Brown, who is also quite passionate about m-learning.
  • Clark Quinn: Has been doing this for 30 years. Loves any new technologies that helps us achieve our goals. Mobile helps us meet needs that we haven't been able to touch before.
  • Angela van Barneveld: Ottawa, Ontario Canada. Corporate Training Space -- technical training. Her company has implemented mobile access to data. She's beenl looking into mobile learning for the past 3-4 years.

250 page report crammed into 45 minutes of banter and 15 minutes of questions.

Note: surveys are ALWAYS available, so always getting new data. And if you haven't completed the survey, you can do it right now. And you can update your data as you implement new approaches.

What is m-Learning? (Panel)

Committee couldn't really decide if they should include laptops in the survey discussion.

Content that helps people perform their tasks better.

Taking content you're already developing and delivering it on a mobile's not about putting a full course on a thing. Reusing your content in flexible ways.

Definition of mLearning:

"An activity that allows individuals to be more productive when consuming, interacting, or creating information, mediated through a compact digital portable device that the individual carries on a regular basis and has reliable connectivity and fits in a pocket or purse."

Survey Findings (Steve)

Text messaging used much more outside of US and Canada.
64.39% used text messaging on their mobile/smart phone.

Adoption within organization:

  • 33% say they have no plans to do m-learning in their organization (international said 24%, u.s. said 35%, canada said 37%) -- Steve predicts these numbers will change over the next year.
Any industries leading the charge? Telecommunications, Healthcare were at the top, although there were others.

Barriers to adoption:
  • Screens are too small (31%) -- the iPhone may make that issue go away, especially when it gets Flash & Flash Lite
  • Content developed for other media does not transfer well (43%)
Increase learner/user access and availability (46%)
Accomodate leaner/user needs (31%)
Reduce costs (20%)

Do you believe you have received a good ROI (Very good ROI 20%)

What members want:
  • A standard set of tools to develop m-learning (63%)
  • Auto-adapt to diff devices (56%) - that what you develop will work across multiple devices.
  • Great examples of m-learning (55%)
  • How to integrate m-learning with LMS (60%) -- included in the report as a Case Study.

Examples (David/Judy)

  • Performance Support -- the way to go and the proper place for m-learning
  • Review or Reinforcement -- following models of Will Thalheimer for optimal reinforcement to use m-learning as an adjunct to main delivery of training.
  • Knowledge Acquisition -- searches
  • Coaching or Mentoring -- reaching out to other people and connecting to other people (not just repositories of inf..knowing who to talk to).
  • Quick Updates
  • Data Collection -- producer of information
  • Audio/Video Instruction -- where appropriate (iPod)
  • Decision Support -- expert systems or artificial intelligence (AI) or a step-by-step process that is interactive to give you info that you need.
Showed some screen shots of examples.
  • Performance Support: Sify eLearning
  • see more examples at
  • Review or reinforcement: StudyCell Flashcard
  • Pilots doing 30 days test that report back to their LM -- pocket Scorm.
  • Knowledge acquisition: C-Shock Mobile Game (integrates a game being developed in the UK to combat culture shock for international students...opensource...could be used for new employee hires, campus tours, etc.)
  • Knowledge acquisition: Mobile Panflu Prep (carrier specific ) -- created for healthcare workers and is available for downloads.
  • iPod examples
  • Business English in Japan

Report includes examples and case studies.

Design Considerations (Clark)
How do you redesign the way that you design?

  • Not about putting an entire course onto a mobile device. Don't want to make user go through a large amount of content. Instead, take elements (intro, practice, exit) -- and think about how you can reuse them in creative ways. Could you stream out a motivating example to learners before they come to a learning event?
  • Could you provide reference charts available for reference out in the field?
  • Scaffolded practice -- what is the optimum time to space it out? We know that spacing it out over time can lead to greater retention?
  • Can we make job aids available through mobile devices?
  • Can you call someone up after the event in the realworld -- get mentorship and guidance?
  • Reactivation: pump out some extra practice or stories showing how it's working (to remind user).

Small packets (learning objects): repackaged to provide just-in-time.

Problem Solving: what might we do proactively to meet needs in the field? Can you make answers available through mobile device (as people Google, prarie-dogging in a cubicle farm to ask someone the question). If the answer doesn't exist, can you help them solve it? Could you take a picture of a situation and upload it to someone to collaborate on how to solve a problem? Bring in collaborators to help you solve a problem? Can you quickly upload the info so that others can quickly find it? (e.g., blogging from your iPhone).

It's just Different Ways to think about it. Ways to help people be much more productive.

What would make them (your learners) more productive?
  • Can we send quick txt messaging - doesn't need to be perfect prose. Shouldn't be highly dense, more bulleted.
  • What media can you show -- a video about repair?
  • Sales people can't remember all the products -- can you provide a quick tool to find the right product for a customer?
The idea is that we need to think differently about the content and how we can support the learners using these devices.

Business Drivers -- Why Do This? (David)
  • There will be 9x more smart phones in 2011 than there are today (PDAs, blackberries)
  • M-Learning supports best practices in pedagogy (being able to reinforce content)
  • Just-in-time vs. formal learning
  • From mobile consumer to mobile producer
  • It's a key issue to be able to integrate with many back-end business systems.

The iPhone (Brent -- of course!)

Where does the iPhone fit into this connected puzzle of technologies -- to improve the effectiveness of our learning.

No longer about seat time -- how long we make people sit and page through content. M-Learning gives us another way to deliver content to people when they need it.
  • Brent's iPhone worked flawlessly out of the box (vs. his old Treo)
  • Everything goes in and out of your Internet connection -- and you want to have a consistent and great experience whether you're connecting at your desktop or your mobile device.
  •'s not perfect....can't do Flash right now and javascript is limited....but it's the best solution right now for getting content to people.
  • The iPod for "passing" learning.
  • The iPod is now integrated with the iPhone, so you have one device. You can listen to a podcast, get your data -- and then connect to the Internet to find the URL that's mentioned in the podcast.
  • The NEXT iPod will be even better...
Getting up to Speed (Angela)
When should I use m-learning and when shouldn't I use it?

Primary challenge is to change how you're thinking. Old paradigm of what learning is -- we're moving away from a formal learning event to what person needs right now to perform and do.

Technology is unbelievable and can be overwhelming.

How to get up to speed:
  • See/read what others have been doing
  • Play with examples and tools
  • Ask questions
  • Participate

Words of wisdom from those who have gone before us:
  • Make sure people know how to use the device
  • Make access to info easy
  • Keep learning bits short
  • Not everything should be ported to mobile device (can be way too congested).
  • Instructional Design still applies -- focus first on performance needs, then the technology.

Future of m-Learning (David)
  • Mobile consumer vs. mobile producer
  • Things you could not do before -- use of multimedia and personalization...
  • Augmented reality --- so you can have location based learning (point your camera at a starbucks cup, hit send, it will send you the closest locations -- or financial info)
  • Just-in-time, just-in-place learning in mixed media

Can the US catch up? Why is the US so far behind?
  • Too many standards
  • Pricing models (in Sweden, they don't pay for incoming calls, just outgoing calls).

How to Get Free Stuff (Brent)

If you take the online survey, you get a free summary of the report....

  • Go to the elearning Guild website
  • You must be logged in (so sign up today to be a free associate member of the elearning Guild)
  • Go into your profile and find the Mobile Learning Survey for free.
Check out mLearnopedia.

In July, I wrote a post with notes from the eLearning Guild's Synchronous Learning Report.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

3D & Serious Games

My company has some experience doing 3D modeling and simulations for government clients, so I found this recent acquisition of this 3D learning company by Lockheed Martin quite interesting. The equation of 3D graphics with "serious games" is something to note.

Personally, I wouldn't want to be acquired by such a behemoth, nor would I want to focus solely on government contracts. I can't stand all the paperwork.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Building Community in Second Life: Renaissance Island

As you know, I've been trying to walk-the-talk and experiment a bit with Second Life, role my virtual sleeves up and see what all the fuss is about. Last week, I visited Renaissance Island and wrote about it in My Second Second Life Experience.

This has sparked a little exchange in the comments between myself and one of the active members of the of Renaissance Island community. I asked Diogenes Kuhr to talk about how she (or is it a he?) had become involved in Ren Island:

I became involved in Ren Island like most people did..they happened to find out about (I did through a good friend who did a lot of the build) some time hanging around and enjoying it, and then volunteered to do stuff. This last weekend, I volunteered to represent Queen Elizabeth I at the christening of the new galleon and the team, was kind enough to let me give it a shot. We had a blast, and learned a lot in the process (who would have guessed that a Tudor era ships christening was real different from the version we are familiar with today?)

Anyway, the team is sort of informal, although there are a couple of people from the Alliance Library system who are the primary team leaders, so working with us is perhaps part o their job. Other team leaders are some of the people who have been working on it as volunteers for some time.

The group that is active includes people from different backgrounds, including teachers, librarians, a museum guy, and people who work in or have retired various businesses, including customer service, hospitality, and tech related things. The group ebbs and flows and people come and go, which is one of the interesting things about it. It is very much an experiment and definitely an delightful way for folks from disparate locations and backgrounds to come together and share ideas, opinions and experiences.

I think this is a really interesting story of how spontaneous community happens. People with similar interests are connecting in a virtual space to create a virtual world in which they learn about another time and place. Informal learning at its best.

Thanks, Dio!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Kineo's August Rapid e-Learning Newsletter

If you've been following my blog for awhile, then you already know how I feel about the folks at Kineo. They provide some fabulous (free) resources to the e-Learning community and have just been nominated the "Best New Kids on the Block" by the Brighton and Hove Business Awards.

This month's newsletter is no exception. Here are a few highlights:

Sustaining Performance in Rapid e-Learning
includes some great tips and ideas for how to create effective follow-up activities to ensure knowledge transfer on the job. Although it's geared towards "rapid e-Learning" efforts, these guidelines can be applied to any type of training.

They've also got an audio interview with Dr. Itiel Dror who discusses the brain and e-Learning. Dr. Dror is a cognitive scientist, who urges instructional designers to keep the focus on the learner rather than the learning materials and to design the learning experience to the human brain.

Dror states that learning designers shouldn't worry so much about learning theories, which are too abstract and don't guide us in how to design learning. Instead, we should learn about the actual mechanisms in the brain.

Some highlights from the interview:
  • Understand cognitive load so you can optimize the presentation of materials to the learner and increase the capacity of learners to acquire new information.
  • Get into the learner's shoes.
  • Learn ways to help people learn more in less time: use exaggeration to burn concepts and ideas into memory.
Dr. Dror's bottom line: to optimize the learning experience, learning designers must understand the cognitive systems in the brain.

You can read old Kineo newsletters (check out the June newsletter and listen to an interview with me!) and subscribe at the Kineo Newsletter page.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Half of Companies Blocking Facebook

Christy Tucker has been musing on Social Networking as LMS: Problems and Opportunities. One real problem is corporate fear of social networking tools.

This August 21 article posted by Sharon Gaudin in Information Week reports that Half of Companies are Blocking Facebook:
"Employers are increasingly blocking access to Facebook because they're concerned about the time wasted and the information leaked when workers use social networks on company time."
I'm no Facebook super-user and I haven't experienced a huge time suck from it, but I suppose it's possible. But what information is it that is actually being "leaked" through Facebook by these irresponsible employees ?

The article gives no specifics, making me wonder if the threat is real or just imagined by the corporate control freaks.

Update: Also be sure to check out this Facebook post over at the Read/Write Web that follows this same "study." I thought the comments were insightful. (Thanks to Jane Hart for pointing this one out.)

Monday, August 20, 2007

31 Days: Days 17, 18, 19, 20, & 21

If you've been following along with the 31 Day Challenge, you may know that it's starting to wear thin. Nevertheless, I'm trying to keep up.

Not my thing. Next.

This task is about spreading germs. The germs of ideas and wisdom, that is.

The goal of this task is to write a post that links back to some of your greatest hits, unearthing those old treasures from way back when.

I've been looking at which search terms come up as readers find their ways to this blog. "Getting started in instructional design" seems to be a recurrent topic. A few months back I was on an instructional design writing rampage. To complete this task, I attempted to write a summary with some links to my story and other useful instructional design resources.

I think I do a pretty good job of engaging with those who comment here. It's at least half the fun. Then again, I'm not trying to stay on top of hundreds of comments a day.

Ask 'em what they want to read from you or what would be more helpful.

So. I'm not going to bother with a full-blown survey. Way too much effort at this point for this particular gal. (The other Chocolate Challenge participants are holding off on this until December. I may join in then -- we'll see.)

But I will ask my dear readers (informally, of course) if you have any thoughts as to how I can make this blog better? Particularly if you're a reader from the e-Learning field. Is there information that you would like to see more of? Are there topics that you are just burning to hear me expound upon?

Day 21: Make a Reader Famous (or another blog writer)

I do my best to share the blogging wealth. If there's a great comment thread in a post that I think people should read, I'll write a new blog post that points it out. When I come across a new resource or a new e-Learning blog, I spread the word. Most bloggers have much more interesting things to say than I do, and I'm always happy to point that out.

The more people who actively participate in the conversation, the more we can all learn from each other.

You can catch up with all of my 31 Days activity here:

31 Days: Days 12, 13, 14, 15 & 16
31 Days: Days 8, 9, & 10
31 Days: Days 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 (I got my numbering off somewhere along the way)
31 Days: Days 1, 2 & 3

And check in with the other 31 Day Bloggers who are taking part in the great Chocolate Challenge:

Tim Davies
Kate Foy
Christine Martell
Michele Martin
Frances McLean
Alex Miller
Kate Quinn
Sue Waters
Laura Whitehead

Getting Started in Instructional Design

Many readers find their way to this blog because they are interested in learning more about instructional design. I'll share with you what I know and point you in the direction of some great resources where you can learn even more.

I've been working as an instructional designer in the corporate training and e-learning field since the mid-1990s. For me, instructional design is about designing "engaging and effective" asynchronous learning experiences (web-based training programs).

I've also had a few gigs as a classroom teacher, which has mostly been about implementing content and curriculum that was designed by others.

Some instructional designers have advanced degrees in instructional design, but many don't. My learning has all been completely informal. In Memoirs of an Instructional Designer, I describe how I got to the exalted position (ahem) in which I now find myself.

As you'll see by reading my job description, instructional design can include a whole lot of other things, especially when you work at a small company.

I'm a writer and a schmoozer. Many instructional designers are also responsible for building and developing content into working courses. I've always had the good fortune to have a team of graphic designers and programmers who do that heavy lifting. In Instructional Designers' Tools I talk a bit about that.

A few months ago, I started compiling a reading list at Beginning Instructional Designers Toolkit. Some of these resources can now be found in the sidebar of this blog. You can also check out my instructional design bookmarks at deli.cious.

In Confessions of an Instructional Designer I share an aha learning moment when I realized just how much I don't know about instructional design.

If you're interested in learning more about instructional design, read and subscribe to the blogs of instructional designers and e-Learning practitioners who are in the trenches and doing the work on a daily basis. These are some of the folks I tune into:

Like me, you may sometimes need some Instructional Design Inspiration.

If you like this post and would like to hear more from me, subscribe in a reader:

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Plodding Along in Second Life

In the spirit of plodding along, I had another positive experience in Second Life. Friday afternoon, I was fortunate enough to have been given a guided tour by non other than Abbott Bundy (aka Karl Kapp).

Karl showed me around his student sandbox. He gave me a firefighter's uniform, which I figured out how to put on after a few false starts. Showed me the site of the chemical spill where the students had done a group exercise. When we were done, I took off the uniform and tried to revert to my original appearance. I went from being a short blonde to a lanky brunette with a short stint as little red riding hood.

Then we went flying in a helicopter over the island.

We teleported over to Dell Island to take a look at the insides of a computer. All of a sudden, Abott disappeared. He returned a minute later, "I fell." Turns out he fell right off the computer. It's comforting to me that it's not only the newbies who get lost or hung up.

We discussed the fact that navigation in SL is a bit difficult.

And then my hair started walking in front of my body. I was beside myself. Quite literally. I was laughing so hard I was crying for at least two minutes.

Dell Island had some great little UI and SL tips embedded in their experience. You know when you're on the first level of a game and you get target practice to learn how to shoot, or you get to practice riding a horse? So I stopped briefly at a station to learn how to see better. I suppose Orientation Island is full of that kind of stuff. (I obviously need to do more of that basic SL 101 activity).

The computer model at Dell is pretty cool. You can walk through a fan and view a circuit board. The graphics are ok. They'll get better. Dell could do more by adding notes and descriptions along the way to make it an actual learning experience. Without that, you could be walking along in any building just about anywhere.

Karl explained some of the real basics to me as we went along -- how to do "Mouselook" for a better zoom (very useful if you're looking at a PowerPoint slide in SL -- the quality of the graphics is often quite poor); how to make your avatar laugh and do other gestures.

I got stuck in a car on Nissan island. Couldn't get out. Felt a little claustrophobic - that panicky feeling of being trapped. There's a real emotional level to Second Life. Do role plays or disaster simulations and I think you'll feel that stress level kick up a notch or two.

I still need to master the fine art of flying. I kept bumping into things and getting stuck. Karl had to save me with a teleport a couple of times.

My biggest takeaway from this experience: you really need a guide when you're first starting out in SL. At least I do.

Perhaps one day, I'll be able to give you a tour.

If you'd like to read more about my adventures in Second Life, check out my first and second visits.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

31 Days: Days 12, 13, 14, 15 & 16

The 31 Days of this challenge is definitely dragging on. I'm losing my steam, but trying to stay somewhat on target.

Day 12: Introduce Yourself to Another Blogger

Darren Rowse of ProBlogger says, "I find that the most fruitful interactions that I’ve had with other bloggers don’t come as a result of me asking for something - but out of me giving something."

This reminds me of a post I saw today at the Internet Time Community from Andy Jones: Give me a Lobster.

It also makes me think of the whole gift-giving economy which is central to BurningMan, an arts festival and community that is created every year in the Nevada desert.

It's nice to give gifts. And reaching out to someone to say hi can certainly add a little sunshine to that person's day. I know it does to mine.

So go ahead and "Email or IM another blogger in your niche to introduce yourself and your blog". I did.

Day 13: Search for an Affiliate Program
My blog is not about making money. So I just skipped this one. Phew.

Day 14: Analyze Your Blog's Competition
(Determine What Your Blogging Niche Really Is)

I don't view this as a competition, nor does Darren. He says,"I use the word ‘competition’ hesitantly because the thing about blogging is that those blogging on the same topics as you are potentially your biggest allies. "

I think we're all in this together. No competition. That said, I do think each of us finds his or her own niche. As Michele says, it's really about finding your own voice.

I've got good awareness of what many other e-Learning bloggers are writing about. Beyond that, I think all I can do is provide my own take on things in a fairly transparent way. I want to share as much as I can about projects I'm working on. I've tried to post on things that I haven't been able to find much about when I've been doing research, figuring others might have the same info gaps.

Day 15: Stickify Your Blog
(Make Your Popular Posts More Sticky)

Get people to read more; get people to stay. The gist of this step is to add more links within posts to drive readers deeper into your blog, so they can see all the cool things you have to say and ultimately subscribe and become a regular reader. I've been doing this for awhile now, trying to give life to old posts that generated a lot of interest.

You can also put an RSS link right into your most popular posts, making it really easy for them to sign up. I'm not sure I'll bother with that. Maybe I will. I don't know.

Day 16: Create a Heatmap
(Look at a Cool Visual of Your Site Stats to See What Clicks)

Go to CrazyEgg and create a heatmap of your site. Pretty cool. Another gadget to look at. So I just signed up for it (it's free). One day's worth of data doesn't show you that much when you've got a little blog like mine with a fairly compact readership.

We'll see what I see.

You can catch up with all of my 31 Days activity here:

31 Days: Days 8, 9, & 10
31 Days: Days 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 (I got my numbering off somewhere along the way)
31 Days: Days 1, 2 & 3

And check in with the other 31 Day Bloggers who are taking part in the great chocolate challenge:

Tim Davies
Kate Foy
Christine Martell
Michele Martin
Frances McLean
Alex Miller
Kate Quinn
Sue Waters
Laura Whitehead

Keeping Your Fingers on the eLearningPulse

Thanks to Google Alerts, I stumbled across another everything-eLearning feed aggregator: eLearningPulse.

eLearningPulse is "Your daily source for all things eLearning". This site provides free resources to the eLearning development community, including news, discussion forums, job postings, and more.

The site was created by Ben Edwards of Redbird Software and B.J. Schone of eLearning Weekly fame.

While the blog listing is not yet as extensive as the listing over at trainingblogs, I think the jobs section looks great.

Check it out.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Second Second Life Experience

Yesterday I posted about the Second Life Backlash and Controversy, with corporations supposedly abandoning SL and moving on.

At Virtual Learning Worlds "Bartman" responds to that Wired article (A Deserted Second Life):

The problem I have with it [the Wired article], is that it deals almost COMPLETELY with Second Life as it pertains to marketing and corporations…and inevitabley why SL sucks in that space. I really wish we could get away from this argument for a while. Sure, SL has its issues (technololgy infrastructure, support, shady adult content, unstable and unpredictable economy to name a few), but it still holds HUGE potential for education and training opportunities.

And Karl Kapp talks about the inevitable hype curve in which Second Life is now in the midst. Kapp Notes: The Metaverse Hype, Decline and Realism Cycle--We've Seen It Before

However, a small group of people will continue to plod along in Second Life (or other 3D metaverses) because they see the potential. They see through the hype and understand the potential as well as the limitations of these worlds for learning.

So yesterday, after viewing the SL student video that Karl Kapp had posted in Try Before You Buy, I ventured back. I wanted to check out Renaissance Island, the Second Louvre Museum, and other areas of interest shown in the video.

The students suggest that role playing, taking on someone else's role (experience schizophrenia at UC Davis' Hallucinations site), and guided tours of historical sites are great uses of SL.

[In the comments on that post, Sean Fitzgerald left a link to a great listing of educational SL sites.]

Thankfully, my second foray into the virtual world of Second Life was much better than my first. After logging in, I immediately teleported to Renaissance Island. It's an Elizabethan village, complete with churches and sheep. I started off in the town center.

A box next to the landing point offered a free peasant dress. I tried putting on the dress, but all I could do was put the box on my head, which looked really silly. So I stuck with my normal outfit. There's a lot of things I still need to figure out with SL if I'm really going to get into it, but I think there are some things that it's just fine not to master.

I started wandering around town. A young woman with spiked heels, belly shirt and a glowing belly button approached me and we starting talking. I must admit I found the belly button thing distracting.

So it turns out she's an instructor's assistant at a community college that is starting to experiment with SL. They are thinking of potential uses, including biology and chemistry classes. "Students will be able to experiment without blowing up the lab," she told me.

We talked a bit about gender issues in SL. She says she's been hit on plenty of times and simply avoids the "sex" sites.

We parted and I started to wander. I went into a few houses. There was a lovely collection of Renaissance paintings in one, including Jan van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait, which I've always loved. The resolution is poor -- if you were really studying these works for an art history class, you'd want something much better.

I went to a church and learned how to kneel. It was a lovely space. While kneeling in front of the altar, I started to modify my appearance. What sacrilege!

I've been trying to create an avatar who looks something like me, but it's tough. You can spend hours modifying the gravity of your breasts or the height of your chin. After 5 minutes of that, I stopped praying to the Gods of Beauty and moved on.

Another house had a note attached to the wall, which contained a great historical overview of Elizabethan towns. Overall, I think this is a wonderful use of SL with great educational opportunities. Imagine an 8th grade class exploring the village while reading Romeo & Juliet.

In spite of all the SL debate, in spite of the backlash, I intend to keep exploring.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Second Life Backlash and Controversy

The Second Life naysayers seems to be gaining ground lately. And I'm not implying that I'm a Second Life naysayer. As you may know, I've only been there once.

1) Donald Taylor provides a little summary of some of the recent talk in Second Life Backlash:

After all the hype Second Life has had, there is bound to be some push back. In some cases I am sympathetic, in other cases it’s just professional complainers at work. But underneath all the froth, there are some real concerns and some real victories.
Donald does a great job recapping various articles and provides some useful links, including the following:

Second Thoughts on Second Life by Sylvia Martinez. A thoughtful post on one educator's experience in Second Life (and a nice historical perspective). The comments are insightful as well, including some more on the issues of gender in SL.

3) And then this morning, I was pointed to this one by my CTO: Gartner: five reasons why business should avoid Second Life by John Pospisil.

Apparently, Gartner has issued a warning about Second Life, citing these five main reasons:

1. IT Security Risks
2. Identity Fraud
3. Confidentiality
4. Brand and Reputation Risk Management
5. Productivity

The Gartner report that Pospisil is referring to, seems to be talking solely about corporations "setting shop up in Second Life" -- brand names with online spaces using SL for advertising purposes. It's not talking about training or education per say.

Steven Groves in the comments writes:
What the Gartner report went on to say that you left out was a recommendation to continue on in a SL effort anyway, albeit with eyes open and cautiously, keeping a lookout for all the problems they cited.

Christopher Simpson also comments:

As for doing business, holding meetings and such in SL, it's really a matter of what works and what doesn't. Second Life isn't always the answer, anymore than e-mail or phones, or face-to-face contact is always the answer. It takes brains and a bit of technological savvy to figure out what route to follow for any individual situation — something many corporations seem to lack when it comes to new media.

4)In yet another recent post on SL, Brent Schlenker writes, "If people don't have a reason to be in Second Life they will NOT go there." He cites a USA Today article which says, Students "don't like it for activities that can be done in a real classroom, such as lectures or slide shows. But they do like to use it to visit new places or do group activities."

So. "Real concerns. Real victories." And thoughtful experimentation must continue.

I've been exploring the use of Second Life for a client for whom I'm developing an e-Learning strategy. My initial recommendation is going to be to proceed with caution. Theirs is an audience comprised only of women and I'm not convinced Second Life will feel appropriate to them. Don't invest any money. Have a few online meetings. Thoughtfully experiment with 3D worlds and keep our eyes out for other environments that may be more appropriate. But perhaps we can do some of the key things (e.g., create a virtual recreation of their museum) they'd like to do using other tools like Flash.

Friday, August 10, 2007

31 Days: 8, 9 & 10

Day 8: Run an Advertising Audit on Your Blog.
Obviously, that's not my focus so I took Michele's advice and tried to do something from Daren's Get Your Blogging Groove Back series. I attempted to write a linking post.

In More on Learning Styles, I linked back to a lot of older and (I thought) interesting posts I'd written on the subject of learning styles, while also attempting to add something new. I know, from having looked at my stats at the time and the comments that came in, that these posts seemed to generate some interest. It's nice to recycle them and give them new life.

Day 9: Declutter Your Sidebar
I've been doing this off and on throughout this challenge, and even before, so no surprise when this assignment came up. My goal of late has been to streamline and simplify. Personally, I don't like blogs that have countless widgets that you scroll on endlessly. My house might be a mess, but I'd rather my blog were neat and tidy.

  • I used to have a lot more on my sidebar and in looking at stats I could see people rarely clicked on most of those items: I had deli.cious links, access to my LinkedIn profile, another picture of me, and yet another link list. I just deleted a bunch of stuff and/or tried to incorporate it into my About Page.
  • I did keep the Instructional Design Resources list, which seems to be useful to people.
  • I also kept the LibraryThing listing books I'm currently reading (or have read or intend to read at some point...), as this does get a lot of interest (aka "hits"). It has a Facebook widget feel to me, but I think it's ok here.
What do you think? Have I lost anything in the process? Did you even notice the difference?

Day 10: Dig Into Your Blog's Statistics
Not hard to do with tools like MyBlogLog or FeedBurner. I just have the basic MyBlogLog account, so I can only view a week's worth of data at a time. And I just started using Feedburner recently, so only have data back to August 1. My info is limited.

That said, some of the stats that Darren suggests one looks at aren't very interesting to me. My goal is not making money. Maybe it's about creating readership, because that's about creating more community, connections and learning opportunity. So I wanted to look at my stats more from a content perspective -- what are people finding the most interesting of what I write?

If you do want to create a lot of traffic, do a product review. I've recently written about Buzzword (a new online collaborative word processing application) and this is the number one way people get to my site. But sort of off-topic for me. I also did a post on Google Sidebars & Dual Monitors -- which seems to be a hot search topic for people.

My Most Popular Pages as accessed in the last week (in case you were wondering):
  1. Buzz on Buzzword
  2. My main page index
  3. Google Desktop, Sidebar & Dual Monitors
  4. Online Portfolios
  5. 8 Random Facts About Me (the power of the meme)
  6. Real World, Second Life, Facebook/MySpace

More on Learning Styles

Today Mark Oehlert points to Stephen Downes' post Professor Pans 'Learning Style' Teaching Method (in particular, the comments thread which I had missed as I typically just read Downes post right through the feed reader).

The whole Learning Styles controversy just won't go away; it's an entrenched theory at all levels in the education and e-learning field. The Telegraph article that Downes refers to shows how much attention the topic still garners.

I went on a mad crusade a few months ago trying to figure out if the Learning Styles theory holds any water after reading Ruth Clark & Richard Mayer's book, e-Learning and the Science of Instruction. Read about my humble moment regarding learning styles and more on my history with learning styles. Jean Marrapodi, in the comments on that post, urged me not to "throw the baby out with the bathwater."

I went on to write more about debunking the learning styles myth and why some folks consider learning styles to be a form of fortune telling.

The fact is, there are still a lot of people who stand behind the theory and believe it to be a useful tool when teaching. And there are people making a business out of it.

In fact, just yesterday, I received an email from Performance Professionals, the company behind the TIPP Learning System, the "learning character profile" I completed last year for a teaching job.

Some excerpts from that email:
Last month Performance Professionals launched our redesigned website and began offering several new products through the TIPP™ Learning System. The good news for your friends and family is that NOW they too can access the TIPP™ Assessment and receive a personalized Learning-Character™ Profile just like you...

Second, we are also happy to announce the availability of our newest product, a set of Learning-Character™ Profiles for Parent-Teachers. These profiles are specially designed to help adults help kids learn!

A special offer to me, because I took the test in the past:

Because you have used the TIPP™ Learning System in the past, we would like to offer you the opportunity to re-take the TIPP™ Assessment and update your profile (...because our learning-style values can change over time) and receive either a full Parent-Teacher profile (LCPPT) or a new Instructor profile (LCPI) at the significantly reduced rate of $9.95. [My emphasis added in bold].
On the website, Performance Professionals describes the customized Learning-Character™ Profile as a way to "gain insight into how you learn and how you can help others do the same."

To be fair, I did gain some insight from the experience and found my mind more open to the different ways people approach content and, perhaps, learn.

So should I pay $9.95 to see if my profile results are different today than they were a year ago?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

With Community Comes Great Responsibility

In reflecting over the benefits of the first week or so of the 31 Days to Better Blogging Challenge, the biggest thing for me has been the overall boost in community. I've reached out to more people and more people are reaching out to me. It's awesome. But with community comes great responsibility.

(I'm a touchy-feely-people-kind-of-person. I'd like to take the time to personally hug everyone.)

Christine Martell writes:
If you start commenting and emailing multiple people, reading lots of blogs with posts with similar names, it gets confusing really quick. Suddenly, you need a new level of organization and ways to keep track of it all.
This is why using a feed reader (I use Google Reader) is essential to staying on top of all of the blogs you read. Christine's going to set up a netvibes page.

Staying on top of the comments can be tricky. I've been using a tool called co.mment. With a co.mment icon now installed on my Firefox toolbar, I just need to remember to click on it when I leave a comment on someone's blog and want to track the conversation. Then I can go back to my co.mment page later and check in on all the conversations I've been having. My problem is I often forget to click the icon.

CoComment is another commenting tool out there to help you manage all those conversations. I was using it for awhile, but had issues once I moved to Firefox.

Tim Davies is also wondering about how to stay on top of all of these conversations:
The challenge has been great for encouraging me to be more willing to comment, so I've been dropping in input, questions and comments where I can across todays blog reading. Making the time to engage in conversations online does seem to move towards greater abundancy thinking and I'm really enjoying the opportunities it is presenting. I'm a little worried that my current level of participation is only enabled by the flexibility of the projects I'm working on at the moment... and that it will be trickier to keep engaged when work pressure bite.
It does take more focus and time to stay on top of the conversations in which you're engaged. And now that some blog conversations have turned into more private email threads for me, there's a whole 'nother level of effort. But it is worth it. This is where the community part of the whole shebang really happens.

That said, I do think it's ok to not have to respond to each and every email and each and every comment. Sometimes, it's ok to just write another blog entry to continue the conversation! Then you can respond to everyone at once.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Welcome to Tom Kuhlman

Welcome to Tom Kuhlmann from Articulate, who adds The Rapid e-Learning Blog into the mix.

Tom is the author of 5 Myths About Rapid e-Learning which made the rounds a while back. Up until recently, Tom was guest blogging for the Articulate Customer Support Blog (Gabe Anderson), but now he's gone solo.

Tom provides "practical real-world tips for rapid e-Learning success" with enticing blog entry titles such as How Can Baking Cookies Improve Your E-learning Course?

Sounds good enough to eat.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

31 Days to a Better Blog: Days 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8

This whole 31 Days to a Better Blog exercise is proving harder to stay on top of than I had even imagined. But I do think some good is coming out of it.

Michele Martin is doing a fabulous job of keeping this little sub-group connected. See the list of folks who've signed up with her. And I've met some wonderful new bloggers along the way.

I have a bit of catching up to do. In summary:

Day 4: Interlink Your Posts. Go back to old posts and link to newer ones. I've been doing this off and on throughout the day and find it tedious. It seems a bit insincere to me -- has made me realize that I feel like it's morally wrong to go back and edit old posts once they've been published. I have been known to do that in the past in order to fix egregious spelling and grammar errors. But to go back and add links seems strange.

Day 5: Audit Your About Page.
Well, I didn't even have an About This Blog Page. So I created one. It's now a link in the top right corner of my sidebar. Feedback appreciated.

I also added an option to "subscribe via email". I realized my blogger's arrogance in assuming that everyone's using and prefers feed readers. So that's new. And hopefully "better".

Day 6: Email an Old Time Reader.
Be warned. One of you -- my two old timers -- will be getting an email from me thanking you for sticking with me and adding value to my blog content. I've sort of done that already today, but I think I'll do it again.

Day 7: Plan a Week's Worth of Blog Posts.
Already I can tell you that I'm just going to skip this step.
  • I'm not trying to make money off this blog.
  • I've got too much of my real work to do to be that organized.
  • I use this blog as my own learning tool and write about what I feel like writing about -- usually right when it hits me.
I do have a Google Notebook called "Blog Ideas" in which I've occasionally jotted down a future blog topic. I opened it up today and noticed it's been a long long time since I've used it. So maybe my unique take on Day 7 will simply be keeping track of things I'd like to write about.

That said, if there's a particular topic that you'd like to hear my take on, feel free to make a suggestion!

Day 8: Comment on a Blog You've Never Commented on Before.
Like Michele, I've been doing that all week, so I can check that one right off.

I used to have comment anxiety. I'd get shy. And I still do. But I've realized the benefits of commenting: you get a response (usually), you make a connection, you start a conversation. So I invite you to comment on this blog if you've never commented on a blog before. And we'll see what happens.

Well. Stay tuned.

Welcoming Cathy Moore to the Blogosphere

Many of you may already be familiar with Cathy Moore. She's the author of that fabulous presentation Dump the Drone, which we all got so excited about a few months ago. And she's been a great contributer here at Learning Visions. See the intense comment thread on The Real World, Second Life and Facebook/MySpace where Cathy provides some interesting commentary on women in Second Life.

Now Cathy is joining the exciting e-learning blogosphere, offering practical ideas for people who develop corporate elearning. As someone who develops corporate elearning, I'm simply thrilled! Cathy is a fabulous writer, offering great insight and analysis, along with a delightful sense of humor.

Read Cathy Moore's Making change: Ideas for lively elearning and see for yourself.

[Dump the Drone is part of my Instructional Design Resources list found on the Learning Vision's sidebar. If you haven't seen what other tidbits I've got up there, check it out. And feel free to suggest something else!]

Friday, August 03, 2007

My First Second Life Experience

Not so good, I must say.

I spent about 25 minutes trying to make my avatar look sort of like me. It's sort of me-ish.

Then I wandered around Orientation Island, which gets boring fast. And then I teleported myself over to Brandon Hall's Education Island.

I starting talking with another newbie for about 2 seconds when we were accosted. The short story is within my first 5 minutes of exploring an island I was called a "bitch" and this guy was claiming to own "this world" and wanted me to pay him to get off the island. Coage Boucher. Avoid him.

I probably should have reported him, right? Well, I didn't. I just quit. Had to come back to my real computer and review a proposal anyway.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

31 Days to A Better Blog

I mentioned to Michele Martin that I was interested in participating in the 31 Days to a Better Blog Exercise being led by problogger Daren Rowse. I was initially intrigued by Daren's ideas and by Michele's enthusiasm. I'm not blogging for the money or the fame, but I am in it for the community, networking and learning opportunities. So I guess it doesn't hurt to try and get better.

Well, when I stated my interest, Michele went nuts and added me as a participant on her blog list. She's an inspirational task master, really. Since I've now got some authority to report to, I'll do my best to keep up with the homework.

I'm already behind...

Day 1: Email a new reader. Haven't done that yet, but I was inspired to make sure I am actively commenting on commenter's comments. I'll take the leap. I really will. If you are a new reader, why not take the leap yourself and comment on my blog? I'll send you an email and will be taking blogging to that next level together!

Day 2: Sit with a new user while they walk through your blog. Hmm...I need to find a likely suspect who's willing to waste some time with me. I did send my blog link to my cousin Alex who works for a new media company. We were IMing each other and he disappeared for about 15 minutes. When he came back he said, "that's great stuff!" He's my cousin and he's supposed to say that, but I'll take it anyway. Does that count for my homework? (He occasionally posts at his company blog Inspire Action. Check 'em out. They're hip. They're funny. They're new media.)

Day 3: (Which is today -- actually, I think that's tomorrow. Daren is in Australia.) Search for and join forum's on your blog's topics. So I'm thinking I'll finally join Jay Cross's Internet Time Community. Is that what you would call a forum? (I admit to feeling like an old lady by even having to ask that question). Do you have any suggestions for e-learning/instructional design forums?

In preparation for all of this, I did spend some time mucking with Feedburner. I've been using MyBlogLog to track visits, etc. but it doesn't tell me how many actual subscribers I actually have. (Other MyBlogLog users -- am I missing something?) So I set myself up in Feedburner and now have a benchmark and more analytics to check out. I admit to getting overwhelmed at times with all the tools out there. What tools do you use to track readership/subscribers for your blog? Or do you even care?

Online Portfolios

Jennifer Madrell shows us a great example of an online portofolio, which she calls a "svelte and sparkly version of this blog - that is a requirement and capstone project at Indiana University."

She's included samples of wikis and courses she has created, links to podcasts, references and her resume.

Of course, I have nothing like this for myself. For years I had a stack of CDs -- examples of courses I had created over the years. I gave the CDs away on interviews, lost them in moves. The stack is long gone and completely obsolete.

Somewhere on an old laptop I've got examples of old project plans, design documents and storyboards.

These days I've got oodles of documents on my hard drive at work, this blog, but no concrete examples that I could share of courses I have been involved with (it's all proprietary info built for clients).

If I was trying to show my stuff off to someone, I guess I'd send them here to my blog, I'd send them to my company's website, I'd send them examples of project documentation. My LinkedIn account has my resume, as does Facebook. It's kind of scattered.

Should the blog become the landing point for your online portfolio? Your presence to the world? Should I be better about including links to all that other info so people can find out more about me?

I'm not looking for a job right now, so there's no urgent need. But it makes sense to be keeping track of your output as you create it. Otherwise, you can't find that stack of virtual CDs when you need it.

So I have some questions:

  • Do you have an online portfolio?
  • What tools did you use to create it? Would Netvibes work? A wiki tool? Your blog?
  • How do you show samples of e-Learning projects or solutions you've been involved with? Screen captures?

Photo Credit: "Briefcase" by Gerson Robles from Stock.xchng

Yet More Buzz on Buzzword

I posted about Buzzword a month or so again and since then, I've had a lot of traffic to my site. I got listed on their "press" page. Oooh.

Wired has now done a great review of the app: Buzzword: Web-Based Office Docs Never Looked So Good.

"...the web apps status quo is set to change with the arrival of Buzzword, an office-caliber document editor with a visually rich user interface. Buzzword beats current Ajax-based offerings like Google Docs and Zoho Writer in both usability and aesthetic impact. And in a few months, when a desktop version is released, Buzzword will pose a serious challenge to Microsoft Word, the current king of document editing on the desktop.

The application has what you'd expect from a word processor -- copy and paste, find and replace, text formatting -- plus a few more features that have traditionally only been associated with desktop apps. It has intelligent margin, table and image formatting options as well as a sophisticated lists manager. Documents can be shared among users, and your classmates or co-workers can leave comments, which show up as little yellow pop-up notes in the right-hand margin."
I like that it's built in Flash. I like that Virtual Ubiquity is a Massachusetts company. I like that it's a purty application....

It's still in invitation-only beta. I'm on the press page, so I think I should get at invite, don't you?

Public beta will start in the fall. For free. Will the free part stay free?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

8 Random Facts About Me

Michele Martin of The Bamboo Project has tagged me for the 8 Random Facts About me meme.

My very first meme participation -- does this mean I've arrived as a blogger?

First, the Rules:

1) Post these rules before you give your facts

2) List 8 random facts about yourself

3) At the end of your post, choose (tag) 8 people and list their names, linking to them

4) Leave a comment on their blog, letting them know they've been tagged

And here's my random facts:

1) My dad was the captain of a nuclear submarine in the U.S. Navy.

2) My family moved to Hawaii when I was nine. My parents still live there and although I've been away for more than 20 years, I still think of it as home.

3) I went to the same high school as presidential candidate Oback Barama (although I'm 7 years younger and have never laid eyes on him in person). My oldest brother was a class behind him and has observed that he was a "big man on campus."

4) I speak German. I used to speak it fluently; these days I'm pretty rusty. Yesterday I read an e-Learning blog auf Deutsch and I was surprised at how much I could actually understand.

5) I moved to Cambridge, MA after college and thought I'd stay east for a couple of years and then move back to a warmer coast. I've now been in Massachusetts for 17 years. I still haven't gotten used to the winters.

6) I was a competitive swimmer for 11 years (ages 9-20). I swam two years in college and then decided I was done with swimming and instead went to study in Germany for a year (Hamburg) where I proceeded to gain a lot of weight. I still love to swim and feel most at ease under the water, although I don't get the opportunity to swim much these days without a child hanging on my neck.

7) I made a vow when I was in college to never work at a job where I would have to wear panty hose. Except for the occasional sales call, I've managed to get away without wearing nylons. Luckily, women's fashions have also changed.

8) I play a lot of "Godzilla-Lincoln-Log-House-Wreck" these days. My 4-year old gets to be Godzilla while I narrate the scene of mass destruction.

And so I tag:

Janet Clarey
Christy Tucker
Clive Shepherd
Dan Roddy
Brent Schlenker
Tracy Hamilton (who's on holiday this week, but I bet will respond nonetheless!)
Wendy Wickham
Ray Sims

Apologies if you've been tagged previously or have done something similar, I'm just playing the game!

e-Learning Content & Version Control

Earlier this week, Janet Clarey wrote about the "Preservation of e-Learning Content." In response to a lawsuit, Janet had to scrounge to find old training materials and binders. She raised the question about e-Learning content and how well companies keep track of content updates. Can you prove when and how your e-Learning content has changed?

Certainly with the rise of rapid e-Learning tools and the increase in SME-published content we'll start to see an increase in the frequency of updates to e-Learning material.

As an e-Learning vendor, I think it's our responsibility to make sure that our clients have thought this through. But I've never once had a conversation with a client about this subject. This is definitely a gap and I intend to start having this conversation going forward.

After reading Janet's post, I talked with our CTO about some ways that we could build a little bit of "version control" into our Flash Course Development Templates. We've decided to add some simple text descriptors in our admin section that will allow a course creator to identify the content authors, the date originally created, update date, summary text about the course, and notes about the types of changes that were made.

As Janet mentioned, "most companies have digital document control procedures that include e-Learning content." We need to find out what tools our clients use and what systems they have in place.

If they don't do anything, find out why. Maybe it doesn't matter. More likely, if they don't have version control tools, it's because they haven't even thought about it. We'll need to advise those clients on what tools they should be using. At my company, we use SVN for version control (at a basic level I know that it's a tool that allows you to check files in and out and keeps track of versions, etc.).

We'll need to provide our clients with some guidelines for updating content and version control.

I suppose most LMS/LCMS keep track of versions on some levels. (Is that true?) In the Learning Portals that we create for our clients, we need to think about how we can ensure that updates are effectively tracked and recorded and that old versions of courses are properly archived. Again, some of this may be process on the client's end (where and how to archive).

This issue may not matter to some organizations, but imagine an airline company maintenance department that has to report to the FAA. I'm sure it matters to them.

Thanks to Janet for bringing this issue up!

Learning Visions

I'm Cammy Bean and this is my little corner of the world where I talk about instructional design and topics somewhat related to eLearning.

I've been working in the corporate training field since the early- to mid-90's. Most of that time, I've worked for eLearning vendors: companies that design and develop eLearning programs for a wide variety of corporate clients.

I love what I do because I get to learn about some new nook of the world every day. I've served as instructional designer and project manager on programs for banks, airlines, department stores, consulting firms, construction companies, training companies, and more.

I am now the VP of Learning Design for Kineo.

I started blogging in earnest in February 2006. A lot of really smart people were talking about some really interesting things and I wanted in! Every day I learn something new from the blogs I read and from the comments people leave here.

Please join in the conversation and leave a comment on my blog if you've got something to say. Don't be shy. Really.

How to comment:

At the bottom of a post, click on the Post a Comment Link. You'll see a little box in which you can type away.

You'll need to fill out the Word Verification field when you're ready to submit your comment. This is just a means of making sure that a real person is entering a comment, and not some mechanical spam machine.

Once you've entered your comment, it will immediately appear on my blog. I also get an email alert.

If you'd rather your comment was more private, feel free to send me an email at: cammybean @ gmail . com.

How to stay current:

If you'd like to keep reading my blog, but don't want to have to remember to visit it every day, make use of RSS (Really Simple Syndication). You can have updates sent to you automatically through an RSS Reader (I use and love Google Reader) or have an email update sent directly to you.

Subscribe with RSS:

Just click on that orange icon in the top right corner of my blog page that says "Subscribe in a Reader". New blog postings will automatically be sent to your Blog Reader when I post them.

You can even subscribe via email.

If you're into Twitter, join me there. I'm @cammybean.

Thanks for reading. I hope you keep coming back and join in the conversation!