Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Conference Attendees: What Three Things Did You Bring Home?

In my recent round-up post on ASTD TK11, Shelley left a comment that I’m not sure I can answer as I’m mostly working conferences these days rather than attending (but I will do my best!).

Here’s Shelley’s question:

“What things have you started doing as a direct result of attending the ASTD conference?”

And I open this question up to any training or elearning conference (Training, TK, DevLearn, Learning Solutions, etc….) as she goes on…

“Sometimes, it can be challenging to justify the cost of conference attendance. We all know that we learn new things, think up ideas, and feel inspired...but how does that translate into concrete benefits weeks later?”

So what about you? Care to share what you’ve brought home from a recent conference and actually put to work?

Feel free to share in the comments or post to your own blog and then share the link here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Clark Quinn: Designing mLearning

With lots on my reading list, Clark Quinn's latest book Designing mLearning: Tapping into the Mobile Revolution for Organizational Performance is on the top of the pile.

Client's are starting to ask, we're starting to tinker. Get ahead of the curve and actually figure out what you need to be designing.

That's my plan. I really don't want to get caught with my proverbial pants down...

ASTD #tk11 roundup

I did a short roundup of the recent ASTD TechKnowledge Conference in San Jose.

Aside from all the good times that were had, we actually learned a thing or two.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday, February 04, 2011

Karl Kapp on Instructional Design Today #TK11

My live blogged notes from a session with Karl Kapp at ASTD’s TechKnowledge in San Jose: Instructional Design Today: What We Really Need to Know as Practitioners, Researchers, and Designers.


Sound instructional design techniques work for the new technology (gadgets, games, etc.)

1) Follow an abbreviated ID process (instructional strategies make it not an information dump)

2) Apply the Keys to Instruction that Changes Behavior

3) Match the right content to the right instructional strategy

Designing performance based instruction


  • Facts
  • Concepts
  • Rules
  • Procedures
  • Principles
  • Problem solving

(to understand the concept you need to first understand the fact)


New information, anything we have to memorize (i.e., acronyms)

We learn facts through elaboration (get additional info about the fact – visual or textual)

Visual images as elaboration – images probably stick longer than the text bullets

Use recall to elaboration “well you already know…”

Organizing facts into logical groupings (chunking) – tables, diagrams, lists, models, mnemonics

The learning rhymes we learned as children that we still remember – powerful tools for recall – have learners come up with their own mnemonic

Drag and drop good for associating facts

Games to teach facts – board game example to teach inventory – the score is the inventory count (learning to keep inventory low).

Creating muscle memory through repetition – so we have information quickly

Word search game – to think about definitions and terms.

Games shouldn’t be your primary mode of learning – quickly get overloaded or your trivialize the content

We recommend facts more when told in a story rather than a bulleted list.

Karl’s blog: accidental learning and power of stories: http://www.kaplaneduneering.com/kappnotes/index.php/2007/05/accidental-learning-and-power-of/


At the end of your training, have a really hard scenario – now what would you do, how would you tackle this? (help ensure the transfer when we go back to our desks)

Have congruency in your instruction – if people really die at your hospital, then build that into your scenarios

Show tangible representations of a concept.

Tie learning into strong feelings it’s easier to recall (can do this in virtual worlds – create episodic memories that you can draw upon) – e.g., experience a tidal wave.


Relationship between concepts

Let people see what happens when you don’t follow the rules – let people fail so they can see the consequences.


Do an overview of the whole procedure – then teach the parts and have them put it all together.

Think performance supports instead of instruction.

**** Sadly, I had to leave, but Karl’s already got his slides up!

Using Scenarios in eLearning (My #TK11 Presentation)

What’s the most boring eLearning project you’ve had to work on lately?

This is the question I posed to the group at my presentation here at ASTD’s TechKnowledge in San Jose. 

We then proceeded to have a conversation about a lot of really boring things people are working on: compliance training, policy training, product knowledge training, systems training.  Boring, boring stuff.

And then we took a look at some simple ways you can incorporate a more human voice (my mantra: it’s all about the people, man!) into your eLearning – to create something less boring, more relevant without completely blowing your budget on high-end Hollywood style video.  The truth is you can do a lot with text/graphics or text/graphics/audio. 

It was a great group, some lively discussion, great questions and lots of examples.

I showed a lot of demos – here you’ll see static screen shots of stuff I showed, but not all the details.  Hope it gives you some ideas just the same.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

#TK11 Keynote: Google’s Karen Wickre and Ann Farmer

These are my live blogged notes from Thursday’s keynote at ASTD TK11 with Karen Wickre (Global Communications Team) and Ann Farmer from Google.

Social Media @ Google

  • Part 1: How Google manages external communicates to make news and info about google findable to the outside world
  • Part 2: Internal communication and discovery

Part 1: How Google communicates publicly:

Don’t do traditional press releases

150+blogs!, 100 Twitter accts, 20 FB pages…this is all for Google corporate info (how tos product news, etc.)

No dedicates editors – no long approval chains.  Writing by individuals not execs.

Corporate Comms oversees the internal process for blogs, etc. 

Twitter = “an information utility” – mostly use them as a heads up on what’s going on – raising information to a level/surfacing it.  In Twitter, there’s a great self selection going on.

Facebook – a consumer marketing platform – great for promotions, contest, activities, feedback on naming things, civic and community involvement

Communicate with an educational mindset.   Ask yourself, “What else can I share with people?”

Google has a social media toolkit:

  • Wtools to use when (they serve diff purposes)
  • Style guides – a blog style is the voice you’re writing in, Twitter has space limitations – how do you stay brief? snappy or straightforward?,
  • How do we promote it?
  • Analytics

Part 2: Ann Farmer

How successful communications work – ambiguity and encoding…

@ Google everyone and everybody contributes to the intranet…

On Twitter, hashtags provide context.

Supporting existing online training:

Phase 1: Organize existing online: – this is a gadget, loads anywhere someone wants it – Sifting terms – browse for training via specific keyboards

Phase 2: Wanted to support volunteers who were not IDs.  Created instructions for them on how to create the assets for a program.

Volunteer makes selection and then gets panel instructions…

Organizing info and making it findable.

Example – organize FAQs for the performance management guide

Problem: sorting through long lists of FAQs.

Solution: tag each FAQ – link to job roles.

“Everything is Miscellaneous” (David Weinberger) – must read!

Producing and consuming metadeta.

In the physical world, things have a place.  Think Dewey Decimal system. In a digital world, things don’t have to taxonimized in that same way…

Identifying where metadata is a side-effect of behavior.

There is no one way to organize data.  Context is everything. We need to become mind-readers

Ask yourself:

  • who needs to find what?
  • what terms would be meaningful to the user (anticipate the terms Joe User might search on…)


I think what she just showed us is the future of the Learning Management System. 

This wasn’t a session to easily live-blog.  Apologies for any confusion :)

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

ASTD #TK11 – Opening Keynote Kara Swisher

These are my live blogged notes…

Kara Swisher – All Things Digital

What is happening now in Silicon Valley is a quantum leap – changing industries.

5 issues you need to be aware of (if you’re involved in delivery of information):


  • Computers have traditionally been hard to use…
  • Google is like giant yellow pages.  Information is ever-changing
  • When you apply social tools to information, it makes it more useful
  • Quora as an example of information with social
  • Everybody becomes a producer of content (people make Facebook useful by posting pictures, text, links, etc. FB creates value because everybody is there) – producers of content are the consumer of content – so you care more about the content
  • Information is no longer controlled by gatekeepers.
  • people want to be able to move content around, shift it, recommend it.  We want to decide what we are interested in (rather than have news, hollywood etc tell us what to watch/read…)


  • Smart phones are the way of the future
  • Google unveiling new Honeycomb system (tablet platform…)
  • iPads – sold 15 million over 9 months!
  • Move to tablet is fast and furious
  • Strength of mobility – it’s instant, you have a relationship with your mobile device…”it’s one of the best relationships I’ve ever had” – you feel it’s part of you, it’s important to you – it’s your digital identity and how you interface with the world


  • These devices know where you are
  • FourSquare – where you check in…
  • Using mobile devices to find each other in the physical world
  • moves the physical world and the online world in a very significant way
  • GroupOn
  • Open Table (restaurant app – hey there’s another rest closeby with open tables and here’s a 20% off coupon you can use right now)
  • Big PRIVACY implications

Open and Cloud

  • Everything is “in the cloud” – no longer attached – it’s all brought down to you
  • Smart devices don’t store things locally, you pull it down
  • Training apps will be in the cloud
  • Your browser is the operating system
  • It’s an open environment (the days of Microsoft dominance are over) – and yet FB is closed (it’s all in their cloud) – FB Connect becomes your defacto digital identity…
  • The fighting over standards in tech industry – you turn them on and they should work.  Their shouldn’t be an ongoing fight about what works and where…it should all just work.

Ubiquity/multi-touch/screens everywhere

  • You put a device down anywhere and the surface becomes a screen
  • Kids now touch computer screens to touch them – this will become the way it all works
  • power is a big issue – the number of cords for our devices – keeping things charged up

Consumer is leading everything right now. 

No more retrograde person than the CTO in a company…they don’t want these changes.  But these changes are coming.

“The Facebookization of the enterprise.”

Yammer, Socialcast, Jive, etc. – taking these tools people use in their personal lives and bringing them to workplace.

Training becomes a 24/7 things.

Future things to watch for:

  • Health care: embedded devices in people (a smart pill that you swallow)


  • Anticipation of needs: devices will anticipate your needs before you have them because of your past behavior
  • Mobile devices know what you’re doing now and what you do next – “a probe in your pocket”
  • It becomes a database of humanity


  • The rest of the world – mobile devices will change how the rest of the world can get access to information
  • The ability to change things in  a much more profound way.  Much harder for fascist governments to limit these things…

Questions from the crowd:

How do you guarantee the quality of the content when it’s all user-generated? (in an identity-based environment, you get more out of user-generated content.  People filter it, they provide good information.  The benefits far outweigh…although you do get trolls.  Once people can’t be anonymous, they stop saying bad/dumb things…)

Privacy? The password solution is completely inadequate for protecting our digital identity.  This is a huge business opportunity…we are on the cusp of a real problem.  People are getting blase about it. When you start creating digital footprints everywhere, you’re leaving footprints…

When will desktop computers be dead?  Aren’t they dead already? You’ll see screens – you plug your tablet into a screen with a keyboard…that business is over.  Even laptops are becoming tablets with screens…

ASTD #TK11 Opening Keynote Tony Bingham

Here we are in sunny San Jose, kicking off ASTD’s TechKnowledge 2011.

These are my live-blogged notes from the opening session.


Tony Bingham, President of ASTD on the future of learning…

IBM Study (Capitalizing on Complexity) of senior leaders:

  • complexity is the biggest challenge (can you help
  • Most not equipped to cope with it
  • Need creativity and innovation to handle that complexity (how do we teach organizations to adapt? to be creative?)

Is Web 2.0 a Fad?

Gartner study –

  • by 2013 80% of orgs will support working use of tablets
  • by 2014 90% will support corp apps on personal devices
  • More buzz about “the cloud”

We’re becoming “device agnostic” – can start a learning program on one device, then continue it on another.  How do we support this?

Search will keep getting smarter: knowing, who you are, your place on org chart, your stage of career dev, your learning preferences.

From an ASTD study:

Despite the ubiquity of mobile devices, most companies aren’t delivering yet…

Learning on-demand is starting to have meaning with mobile devices.

“Learning professionals are still playing catchup with web 3.0, but plan to catch up quickly”

Strategies for Learning Professionals…learn about the mobile web, the smarter web, the immersive web (identity management, governance, search and discovery, mobile and augmented reality)

In 2015:

  • mobile learning provided by most orgs,
  • ISD (instructional design) will demand new skills and mindsets – interactive, multi-media, dynamic, device management
  • target and immediate…

Are you ready?