Monday, January 30, 2012

ASTD TechKnowledge Wrap Up in Pictures #ASTDTK12

Back home now after another exciting week in Las Vegas for ASTD’s TechKnowledge 2012 conference and expo. (I took a redeye home Friday night and then went camping with my son’s cub scout pack Saturday night.  Crazy, I know.)
Held at the Rio in Las Vegas, this year’s conference featured great keynote sessions from Jane McGonigal, Stuart  Crabb of Facebook, and Lisa Doyle of the VA; concurrent sessions and creation stations with Jane Bozarth, Connie Malamed, Julie Dirksen, Kevin Thorn, Aaron Silvers, Judy Unrein, Kris Rockwell, Ellen Wagner, Reuben Tozman, Cindy Huggett,  and many others; TK Chats on varied topics; and endless hallway conversations.  I know my brain was full but invigorated!
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I live blogged most of the sessions I went to:
Here are some other highlights of the conference, in pictures:
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 Talking authoring tools and HTML5 at TK Chat with Dave Anderson of Articulate, Patrick Krekelberg of Allen Interactions, Thomas Toth and Judy Unrein.
This year’s TK Chat sessions ran the gamut, with particularly hot topics around Social Learning, Gamification and tools.  One of my favorite conference moments was during the TK Chat on mobile when Kris Rockwell (@hybridkris) gave someone her conference AHA moment about QR codes. 

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Kineo was onscreen as-large-as-life every time I walked past the the Adobe Booth, where they had a Kineo Captivate project running on endless loop. 
Although Kineo’s Managing Director Steve Rayson was in London at the Learning Technologies conference, there he is on the screen behind Adobe’s Allen Partridge.  Kind of a fancy magic trick, eh?

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This year was the second annual Monsters of Instructional Design TK Chat with esteemed ID professors: Steve Villachica (Boise State), Allison Rossett (SDSU), Karl Kapp (Bloomsburg), and Ellen Wagner (Sage Road Solutions).
We talked about the disconnect between many ID programs and the demands of the industry, and tried to resolve the big problems of the biz – like trying to hire talented professionals well-versed in the whole elearning professionals pie: the Science of Learning, the Art of Learning, the Technology of Learning, and the Business of Learning.

Thursday’s general session was keynoted by Stuart Crabb, head of learning at Facebook. With over 70% of Facebook employees born since 1979, they’ve got some different cultural challenges than a lot of orgs.  Perhaps a picture of the way things will be?
I took it as an opportunity to go all meta and posted to Facebook while listening to Stu talk about Facebook.

photo (12) But not all of the magic happened during the day. One night I hit the town and saw Penn & Teller. Here’s me with Judy Unrein (@jkunrein) talking to Teller (yeah, he talks). Later, Judy’s phone ended up inside a frozen fish in the back of the auidence.  I got to call her phone while it was in the fish. Talk about thrilling! (Photo credit: Kevin Thorn @learnnuggets)

Cammy at ASTD
My role as chairperson of this year’s Planning Advisory Committee for TK12 included emceeing all the general sessions.  (Photo credit: Kris Rockwell @hybridkris)
Here I am looking particularly passionate about something. Either that or I was ready to break into song – it was Vegas after all. 
All in all, a great conference and I was thrilled to have been able to play the role that I got to play.  Thanks to ASTD for letting me play along this year!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Lisa Doyle Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy #ASTDTK12

My live notes from today’s closing session at ASTD TK12 in  Las Vegas. Lisa Doyle is the Chancellor of the Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy and named Chief Learning Office of the Year by CLO Magazine for 2012.

“The more we understand our Veterans, the better we will serve them.”

VA – second largest cabinet level agency in the US. 300,000 employees. 152 medical centers and hospitals across US. Second only to the Dept of Ed in providing educational benefits. Largest cemetery system in teh US.

55% of VA workforce is eligible for retirement in the next ten years.

Opened the Acquisition Academy in 2008. Competency based programs.

Opened five schools to train. (acquisition internship school, contracting prof school, facilities management school, program management school, supply chain management school).

Critical success factors:

  • environment
  • holistic model
  • theory to practice
  • quality control (maintain and evaluate learning across the enterprise)

The Academy is a two story brick and mortal building. A learning environment and not a workplace. It’s full of color and curved surfaces. The board room has no square walls to inspire innovation and creativity and risk taking (properly managed).

16 classrooms – can train 450 people a day. With interactive whiteboards, etc.

The walls are painted with the mission: why we’re here: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan.” ~A. Lincoln

The holistic model

3 year internship program—training the next generation of professionals (second careers, those out of college)

technical skills, interpersonal skills, writing, speaking, self-understanding, leadership skills (you serve as a leader at all levels – so this begins on day 1), skill building (learning laboratory). mission service.

Scenario Driven Learning Laboratory

Preparing interns to do the work when they go out on job rotation. VAAA’s IDs use VA work to create scenario driven exercises, case studies, etc to expose learners to the actual job environment

Job rotations are critical – so they can be added bench strength – in medical centers and hospitals throughout the US.

Decreased time to competency.

Education with a purpose.

Internship program for wounded warriors. Over 100 million veterans are unemployed. The rate for post 9/11 Veterans is higher than the rest of the veteran population (particularly those ages 18-29).

Veterans are ideal candidates and make excellent employees. The attributes that Vets develop during their time in service are attributes that employers look for: leadership skills, discipline, rigor, team members, they take care of each other…

It’s a little different from standard intern program:

  • infused education (it requires 24 hours of business credit – they’re in college 2 days a week onsite at the VA Academy – they partnered with a local college and the professors come to them)
  • peak performance training (managing mental emotional and physiological responses to perform at peak levels – helping wounded warriors transition back from the battlefield). Also includes study skills – many of these went from high school to the battlefield. 

Wounded Warrior program helps VA with succession planning. Allows them to hire experienced employees. Creates a career path for wounded warriors where they can progress in the VA.

It’s Veterans serving Veterans.

Learner Experience Design with Julie Dirksen #ASTDTK12

My live blogged notes from Julie Dirksen’s Friday session. Julie wrote the book: Design for How People Learn.

Learner experience design: overlap between user experience design (uxd) and instructional design

User experience design – how Amazon makes sure that customers can buy a book. – as long as someone can get to the end of the process, it’s a success.

With Instructional design – we have a higher standard – it’s not just about getting to the end of the process – it’s about creating behavior change.

Making the user interface invisible to the learner. Reducing cognitive load – don’t want the learner thinking about how to get through the program, want them expending their cognitive load on the content…

Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett – the layers that go into user design (

When something doesn’t work in classroom training, you know immediately. You’ve got an immediate feedback loop and you adjust it.

So how do we get that type of feedback into the process?

Question: How do you do analysis? Send out surveys, interview SMEs, job shadowing, observation…contextual inquiry.

Job shadowing/contextual inquiry: following them around. Go in for a 2-3 day engagement to kick off a project – 1st day you talk about the problem you’re trying to solve…then “can you sit me with someone who’s doing it?” (you get a ton of information and it really doesn’t take that long).

You learn things that the SME might not have told you – they print out the form to compare it, there are other reference materials he has nearby, he jots some notes down that he’ll need 3 screens later. If you watch them do it, you can find out all sorts of interesting things. If you hadn’t done this, you would have missed some big things.

We do a bad job matching up context of our learning environments to context for use.

The best place to study for a test is not a coffee shop, but in a windowless classroom with noisy HVAC system – study in the environment where you’ll be taking the test. Context matters.  By having more context in our learning environments, we help with retention. (this is very well researched – if you study with a vanilla candle, you’ll do better on the test if you’re burning a vanilla candle…)

Creating a trigger response (if you hear an angry customer, what triggers for you that you need to use your angry customer training…?  If you see this, do this..if you see that, do that…)

high context vs. low context training

metaphors that are cute waste the opportunity (e.g. a course on lean manufacturing that uses a world soccer cup metaphor is a bit of a waste – we want to trigger lean process when they’re on the job and not watching soccer on the weekend).

User Personas

In User Experience Design, you use PERSONAS to do your audience analysis.

“This is Alice, age, job function, description – She’s been with the company for 3 years and started as a tester…she uses this at home, she says this type of thing…” – it’s much more of a fleshed out story of the person.

Typically have 3-4 user personas.

It’s not fiction writing.

Takes a bit of time – typically do it on bigger projects.


Really important when you’re creating more interactive learning…(not as critical if just doing page turners)

(Trying to prevent the problem of building something and THEN having people say “oh, that’s not going to work…”)

Create a wireframe prototype in PowerPoint – can take an hour…Get feedback on what the interaction is going to be (roughly).

Keep it quick and dirty – if people get hung up on “it’s the wrong font” then you’re having the wrong conversation.

The act of prototyping helps you uncover design issues…

Usability Testing

Test your designs.

Steve Krug’s books on usability testing: Don’t Make Me Think; Rocket Surgery Made Easy

What it isn’t: not user acceptance testing, focus groups, demos, sending out for feedback.

It IS watching someone using your application. You sit next to them or you do it on a WebEx.

  • Create a test plan (there’s a sample on Julie’s resource page I’ll list below).
  • Recruit users 5-6 users; 1-1.5 hours each. By the 3rd user you’ll start finding the big issues.  You could do 3 users and then make some changes.
  • Write a script. Let them know why you’re there; I’m here to test the interface and not you; don’t help them as they go through it (don’t say “oh, you just click on that..”; Have them talk aloud as they go through it.
  • Then document your results.

Julie’s resource page:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Moving to the Virtual Classroom: A Trainer’s Roadmap to Success with Cindy Huggett #ASTDTK12

My live notes from Cindy Huggett’s @cindyhugg session at ASTD TK12. She’s been doing virtual classroom since 2001.
She wrote the book: Virtual Training Basics
Two types of virtual training: webinar vs. classroom
One def of virtual training: “an online synchronous instructor led class with participants in dispersed locations, that uses a virtual classroom software program” vILT (virtual instructor led)
Step #1: Clarify definitions and expectations.
Ask what do you mean by virtual training? what are your goals?
Tells the story of an org that was having issues – she had told them one person, one computer, one phoneline, but they were all in the same room.
Construction site – might not be the best use of virtual.
Step #2: Remember that virtual training is still training.
Apply what you already know – learning outcomes – to change behavior, learn skills (although may just be knowledge acquisition).
Lots of people forget what they know to do in the classroom -- when they get to virtual and instead they do death by powerpoint.
How many people do you typically have in a face to face class? Mostly in the 15-25 range for f2f classes. How many people do you put in a virtual class? Is it the same number? Just because you can cram in lots of people, doesn’t mean you should. The # you have in the virtual class is the same you should have in f2f.  (If 100 people showed up to your class that you designed for 20 people, it probably wouldn’t work).
You can design classes for larger classes.
Skills trainers need: facilitate discussion, engage participants, present content, use technology, give instructions, observe particpants, keep track of time…
Three main differences for a facilitator going from f2f to online:
  • technology is the delivery mechanism
  • different type of multi-tasking for the facilitator
  • engage participants in new ways (because you can’t see them)
Step #3: Learn your virtual classroom software.
Learn what it looks like for you and your participants. Learn every button in that tool. Know what it can do.
(What’s the difference with the tools? Like cars, every tool has unique features. They all do similar things, but they have different layouts, etc.)
[Cool: Cindy’s using Poll Everywhere right now – 35% of participants using WebEx].
And always ask – what version of the virtual classroom software will be used? (e.g., Citrix goto meeting, goto training, goto webinar – they do different things!)
So how do you learn? All the vendors have classes, etc. – then use it – then practice.
Step #4: Set up for success.
Have a consistent setup for every class you deliver. (what does your desk look like when you facilitate online?”
Cindy shows us a picture of her desk when she gives a webinar:
  • Two computers – one logged in as presenter and one as the student. AND she has an extra backup computer. (some platforms let you see what the student sees)
  • Water (with a lid!)
  • Print out of her presentation in case something goes wrong
  • Sticky notes with reminders (do you speak too fast, too slowly? etc.)
  • Headset for phone (use the phone that you’ve got a clear, solid connection on – could be VOIP, landline, cell phone – but have backup)
  • Thumbdrive with materials
  • Backup Internet connection (she has a USB wifi…) in case power outage, etc…
  • Clock in the background
Get into your space an hour before the session starts – not when it starts!
Step #5: Be prepared. Be extra prepared.
Prep your notes, practice, have tech backups for internet, do you have a copy of your link if you lose connection?, have options for exercises if they don’t work…– download her “checklist for virtual delivery” – to help you think through your back up plan.
Step #6: Get good at multi-tasking.
It’s about preparation and speed. Making quick corrections and adjustments (it’s like driving – you need to be able to monitor many things at once but keep moving forward).
Tips for multitasking:
  • be prepared – know your content really well
  • know your software – make sure you know where the button is to find the poll question!
  • have a co-pilot – a producer or a co-facilitator – when you have shared responsibility, it makes it easier. 
  • be a proficient typist
  • practice!
  • resist temptation to do too much
  • know what’s ok to let slide (you don’t have to comment on every single chat that comes in through the chat window)
[it can be more expensive to do virtual – I need a co-facilitator, another computer, headsets…you have different expenses than you might in f2f]
Step #7: Harness your voice.
Pay attention to your volume, rate, tone and overall sound. (Record a virtual class so you can hear your own voice – then listen for 10 minutes!)
Modulate your voice.
Get used to your microphone (it can change the sound of your voice).
Step #8: Engage participants.
  • Plan for interaction at least every 3-5 minutes.
  • “Teaching online is like teaching after lunch.” ~ Jennifer Hoffman
  • Open poll, use breakouts, app share, use chat, annotate, handouts, notes, etc. – use the tools
  • “let’s do a pair chat – joe, sally – find each other in private chat and have a deeper conversation”
  • Use handouts in your session – not your slides – but something that goes along with it (might email, they download, ship them a box with a popcorn bag, bag of tea and the handouts…”come join us at 1:00 on Friday”)
  • Use the whiteboard – even in large classes, you can say “if you’re wearing blue today, let’s answer this question” on the whiteboard.
  • Remember, not a passive webcast – but an active virtual training experience.
  • Start before you start…as soon as the learner logs in start engaging them –
  • Set ground rules upfront and let them know it’s going to be an interactive session.
  • Set the calendar invite for the meeting start to 5 minutes early (so people aren’t logging in at one minute after the start).
  • Don’t spend 20 mins introducing the program – get them in right from the start.
  • In small classes, keep people OFF mute (encourage them to go to a quiet conference room if they need to so they can have a better learning experience).
Step #9: Practice, practice, practice.
vILT can cost more so you can take the time to learn the software, to practice, etc. – make the commitment and the investment.
Step #10: Know what to do when everything goes wrong.
Expect challenges and prepare for them!
What can go wrong? (audio – there’s an echo, it goes out; technology snafus – the link changes, etc.)
If you’re running a virtual classroom, set your email response to “I’m in a virtual class right now. And if you’re a participant, here’s the link…”
  • Prepare participants (send the link in advance so they can test, work with IT so people’s systems are set up)
  • Prepare yourself
  • Prepare your backup plans
Tips for the in the moment (when it all goes wrong):
  • Expect tech challenges
  • Stay calm and take a deep breath (don’t get flustered….)
  • Let the producer handle it.
  • Spend moment or two troubleshooting.
  • Use your backup plans.

Stuart Crabb of Facebook #ASTDTK12

My live notes from the general session at ASTD TK12 on Thursday.

Humans have been collaborating since the dawn of time. Facebook didn’t invent that, just created a great tool.

What does it mean to be social? It’s not new. (Cave drawings from 32,000 BC – telling a story, sharing with those around them). We’ve been doing social networking for millions of years.

(He’s using Facebook timeline to tell the story).

Middle ages the Guttenberg Press – huge advance in mass communication. Mass distribution of thoughts and ideas.

1970 Marshall McLuhan ‘the medium is the message’

1995 The Internet

2004 Facebook and the social graph – the social layer of the internet which allows people to connect and share. People want the opportunity to share and connect – this is why it’s taken off, not because Facebook created this amazing product…

Newsfeed – sharing the story of what your friends are doing.

YOU are the censor of your own social graph. You are at the heart, the center of your social graph.

Who is Facebook?

Huge potential to push out content at scale within organizations.

Five Values:

  1. focus on impact
  2. move fast
  3. be bold
  4. be open (everyone needs to be able to challenge things throughout the company)
  5. build trust (need the trust of our users)

How do you motivate the Facebook generation? – research on generations. Danger in talking about stereotypes and in assuming these are absolutes.


Boomers: strong work ethic, respectful, loyalty, hours equals output

Xers (1964-78): independent, skeptical, job change drives worth, work/life balance

Ys: values driven, need to know why (offspring of helicopter mom’s), many career changes, very peer oriented (more concerned with what peers say than managers.


Boomers: moving up ladder

xers: flex, control of work/life

Y: need & expect praise (feedback systems in orgs need to change), flexibility in life, co-worker recognition matters

Y generation is more connected to technology and the social platform than any before them.


Need to challenge assumptions about our performance culture.

Five insights gained at Facebook – found through trial and error – to create a performance culture that speaks to this generation:

Not “I can learn most from those with more experience than me” – but “I want to learn from those around me”.

  • Not “Excellence is defined by what I know and what I do well” – instead “Excellence is defined by my strengths and what I ship” (so no more competency framework – instead a strengths based partnership)
  • Not “Progression in my career is vertical & logical” – instead “career development is like a jungle gym” (propogate the notion of people moving all over the jungle gym – to give opp to do something cool that plays to strenghts)
  • Not “effective learning is in the class and rooted in books” – but “small bites of real-time learning on the job are the most powerful.” (FB subscribes to the 70, 20, 10 model – 10 % formal learning, 70% on the job, 20% coaching/mentoring)
  • Not “The performance review helps me stay on track and grow” – let’s take performance reviews out to the back shed and shoot it -- "instead “constant real-time feedback helps me get better everyday and know what’s next” – this allows people to course correct very quickly. (FB has an internal platform to record feedback and share it –it’s social – anyone can give feedback to anyone else).

Traversing the jungle gym is not about title, hierarchy, level or compensation (roles) but strengths, learning, self-improvement (experiences) – there are amazing opps in front of you but you have to earn that.

70% of Facebook were born after 1979.

Extrinsic things, to create alignment:

  • No office or cubes
  • fighting to keep a small culture as they grow
  • one job title “engineer” (common job roles)
  • Food is free at facebook, take care of dry cleaning, fitness center (want to create an environment where it’s easy to come to work and there’s no great friction getting there – they can focus on task at hand)
  • Reward for impact and execution – all reward decisions are based on peer calibration

Intrinsic factors:

  • everyone is an owner – we tell people when they come in the door “don’t be a douchebag” –
  • We sprint and pause – you have to own that
  • we give thanks – built a tool to give people recognition and thanks. give a clear signal that you did something right.
  • We are hackers

In a survey, 83% said they value feedback from their peers.

It’s not about the hours, it’s about output

He shows a four minute video of interviews with new employees:

  • “move fast and break stuff”
  • “it’s about making mistakes and learning from them”
  • “be super ambitious the moment you walk in the door”
  • “I’m amazed at how many lives it touches every day”
  • “everyone believes we are changing the world”

Join the conversation.Don’t block it!

Use the FB platform to build apps…

Learning needs to be a social experience. Communities of practice – built on authenticity, social by design.

It’s a jungle gym out there. Opportunity based career experiences – shift conversation from structure to opportunity.

Set your organization free from traditional career development!

Be an architect of change.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How to Combat Cognitive Overload with Connie Malamed #ASTDTK12

My live notes from session at ASTDTK12 with @elearningcoach.

Long term memory is like a server farm.

We can hold 4-5 bits of info in working memory (this is based on newer researcher – the old info was 7 +/- 2 bits…)

Rather than concentrate on pushing facts on our learners, we should concentrate on what they have to DO. Give them small bits of info.

Long term memory – as far as we know, it’s infinite. It stores info in schemas.

Often we can’t remember something is because we don’t have the right retrieval cue --


collection of generic properties about a concept or category – it’s how we organize info.

Write down three notions when you think of comic books: stories, cartoons, superheroes (those are mine)

In some cases, your audience is going to have the same schemas as you – in some cases, not.


We form schemas in working memory. We then bring them into long-term memory.

But to understand something, we have to bring it back from long-term memory to working memory.

Working memory is very vulnerable to overload.= high cognitive load (which leads to poor comprehension and obstructs learning)

Cognitive load affected by # of interacting elements.

This is a framework – haven’t discovered an anatomical structure in the brain…


Source of load matters:

germane CL (devoted to processing information, construction and automating schemas)

intrinsic cl (not much we can do about it)

extraneous cl (imposed by the manner in which information is presented to learners – this is what I call “clicky-clicky bling-bling” –this is what we can control!)


If you present info with big words that people have to interpret, you’re imposing high cognitive load.


If we can eliminate the extrinsic load, we help the learner.

Our jobs:

  • help learners construct schemas to free working memory capacity – give them a clean network.
  • automate schemas to free w.m. capacity (most adults don’t have to think about how to read while a kindergartener has to work hard; procedural memory gets automated)

Remember the difference between novice (clumsy, error-prone, slow, difficult) and expert (skilled and fluid, they have lots of schemas, it’s smooth and effortless). Help people construct schemas so it can become effortless.

The Five Moments of Need (Google it…) – bring this list to your SME meetings – when will the learner NEED this information?

(More than half of the audience works in small teams  of 3-4 to build elearning.  Today we do more with less).

Ways to combat cognitive overload:

  • Make the learning meaningful – so they can understand it, make it relevant to what you’re doing in the workplace, connected to the network of schemas)
  • Help create schemas – refer to previous knowledge because it’s like giving them free schemas – so they can build on something they already know – always remind learners of what they already know. This increases working memory capacity. And if they can connect it existing schemas, it will help them retrieve it later more easily.  Use analogies: “a database is like a file drawer system…”

    The expertise reversal effect: (avoid redundancy for experts) – if you treat an expert like a novice, it taxes their working memory. They’re getting drawn down to the novice level guidance. They have their own rich schemas and you’re just messing with it. So remove redundant info, guidance and prompts for experts. Provide resources for informal learning.
  • Add meaningful learning to the training – solve real-world problems, case studies and worked examples.
  • Chunk and organize information
  • Give learners an overview – a mindmap for a visual audience – that’s where learning objectives came from – an advanced organizer (but now everyone just skips the objectives screens!)
  • Streamline your multimedia – keep attention focused (avoid split attention: learners watch a video and then have to read separate text bullets…instead present words as narration rather than onscreen text! if not using audio, integrate text with animation or video)…you can’t have two different things going on the screen!
  • Use simple graphics – you can replace text with graphics. people learn better from simple line drawings than complex photos….

I couldn’t stay for the entire session…apologies for abbreviated session notes, but hope this is helpful!

Jane McGonigal: Getting Serious about Games #ASTDTK12

Jane McGonigal, author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Happy and How they Can Changer the World opening keynote at ASTD TK12. These are my live blogged notes.

1 billion gamers right now (‘gamer’ = plays more than 1 hour a day)

Shared some mind blowing stats about how much people play games (hard core Call of Duty players play one month of full time work a year – 170 hours!)

Angry Birds – we want to solve problems, we want to be engaged.

‘the opposite of play isn’t work – it’s depression’

Playing games gives us optimism and energy.

10 positive emotions that gamers get: joy, relief (from stress/anger), love, surprise, pride, curiosity, excitement, awe & wonder, contentment, creativity. (#10 is joy, #1 is creativity)

Creativity – we get to see our impact on the world around us.

And then we just played a massively multiplayer thumb playing game! (thumb playing at an epic scale)—we just got an oxtytocin lift from holding hands with each other for more than 6 seconds (love) – this will last for the next hour!

71% of US works are actively disengaged (*Gallup 2011) – they aren’t growing and learning, no creative agency in their work. This costs $300 billion a year!

Fix this lack of workplace engagement to the kind of stress we feel when we play a good game. (we play games to be challenged) At work, we feel negative stress.

We want more positive stress – same physiological symptoms – increased breathing, etc. – but because we feel in control, this feels like excitement and enthusiasm. The only thing that’s changed: ‘am i in control? did i choose this challenge?” Eustress

Relishing the challenge. A blissed out sense of being in flow.

Gamers spend 80% of their time failing (not completing the level, etc.) – but then you keep playing the game! In the real world, we walk away.

Four learning superpowers: blissful productivity, social fabric (we understand the motivations of the people around us – when you play games with other people you learn their skills so you can partner more effectively) , urgent optimism, epic meaning (connect to a purpose)

(The symptoms of ADHD disappear when kids are playing games – they can stay focused and follow through)

In the US 99% of boys under 18 play games; 94% of girls play – less of a dividing line between genders.

92% of two year olds laying games (on phones and ipads).

By the age of 21, you’ll have spent 10,000 hours playing games (virtuoso skill!)


EVOKE – learning environment created for world bank institute to teach social innovation. (jane mcgonigal created this game) - “now the network needs a new hero, you” A game that will teach you to solve the world’s problems. Teaching collaboration, entrepreneurship, sustainability, creativity, local resources, etc.

A crash-course in changing the world. “If you have a problem, and you can’t solve it alone, evoke it.”

YOU can play this game!

An online platform. Created a video trailer. Textbook is set 10 years in the future.

You create your origin story. 10 questions you answer, 1 per week (like spiderman’s origin story)…at the end of 10 weeks, they had an interactive calling card to get funders and collaborators.

People used social media tools to document their projects. Someone started a farm.

In 10 weeks, enrolled 20,000 students. lots of people played the games to learn to start their own businesses. The World Bank ended up selected over 50 new companies.

If you completed all 10 missions, you had created a business plan. They funded over 50 enterprises.

World without Oil

(another game example)

Created a six week simulation/social media game. 1,700 full time players.

Teaching a skill – future forecasting – but learning from our players.


The opportunity for learning at workplaces is not just about conferring content – but we can create new collective intelligence so that companies can learn from the employees.

If you’d like a copy of her slides: email

Tony Bingham Opening Session #ASTDTK12

These are my live blogged notes from the opening session at ASTD’s TK12 in Las Vegas.

2012 is the year of collaboration. Why now?

Opening video produced by video – Search on in 2011 – the year in review. “2011 was the year of…” – go Google it and watch it.

Q4 2010 smart phones outsold computers.

Sharing lots of stats…800,000,000 on Facebook, iphone sales, tablet sales, etc.  This is not a flash in the pan.

The New Social Learning by Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner - “how can we help people bring this social media tools into their learning environment?”

Seth Godin “if you wait until there is another case study in your industry, you’re too late.” – we need to di it now.

Telus (Canadian telecom company) – they equip workers with flip cams while they’re on a post high up in the air and they’re sharing those with each other. Dan Pontefract at Telus – creating a culture of collaboration. We’re all responsible for sharing our knowledge with each other.

NetApp – advanced app where you can learn, onboard, ask questions.

Mayo Clinic – creating a culture of collaborative caring. They set up a twitter account to share with the public, prospective patients, med/research communities. A woman with wrist pain started following @mayoclinic. She learned about a doctor…she got the correct diagnosis and got surgery she needed.

CIA – we need to share. Created the CIA WIRe (World Intelligence review). Share info too broadly, people can die; share too closely, people can die.

Hilton – using mobile to support formal efforts, etc. making it more personal and accessible. lpads for senior leadership.

Getting started:

  • think mobile (design for the device)
  • realize small successes – don’t expect overnight transformation
  • find an executive sponsor
  • partner with IT and others
  • use low cost software tools available today (yammer, etc.)
  • Drive IMPACT vs. ROI
  • Govern lightly

Monday, January 23, 2012

ASTD TechKnowledge 2012 #ASTDTK12

ASTDTK logoI’m gearing up for an early morning flight tomorrow to Las Vegas, baby.
Looking forward to a week of learning about learning with 1,200 of my peers at ASTD’s TechKnowledge 2012.
As this year’s Planning Committee Chairperson, it’s been a real honor to help Linda David and the rest of the ASTD TK team plan the education format for this year’s conference.  Working closely with the fabulous TK12 Committee members (Aaron Silvers, Cindy Huggett, Judy Unrein, Kris Rockwell, Darlene Christopher, Steve Villachica and Terence Wing), ASTD has put together a program that includes practical sessions to help learning professionals do what they need to do today (and do it better!) as well as forward thinking sessions to prepare them for what’s to come.
I’m looking foward to partaking of as much learnin’ as my little brain will permit. 
I’ll be catching as many sessions as I can and posting my blogged notes here, so be prepared for a deluge of long posts with poor grammar and spelling mistakes…
When not flitting around like a bee, I’ve got a few tasks I’m responsible for – so fee free to hunt me down and say hi:
  • 7:15 Hosting the conference orientation session.
  • 8:30 Leading off the general session (as the TK12 Committee Chair, I’ve been asked to emcee the event.  I’m trying to channel Billy Crystal.)
  • 1:30 Assisting the fabulous Ellen Wagner with a session on talking to Senior Leaders (“Batter Up! – what’s your pitch?”).
  • 4:30 Leading a TK Chat on Instructional Design with Ellen Wagner, Allison Rossett, Karl Kapp, and Steve Villachica.
  • 11:00 Running a concurrent session on learning design “Yawn-Proofing Your E-Learning”.
  • 10:15 Leading a TK Chat on Mobile Learning with Chad Udell and Kris Rockwell.
  • 11:30 Channeling Billy Crystal again as the emcee of the final closing session.
Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Accidental Instructional Designer


I’m extremely honored to be the featured article in this week’s Learning Solutions Magazine: The Accidental Instructional Designer.  I’m enjoying the comments on the article as well – would love to hear your story, too.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Kineo Webinar: What Color is Your Parachute Case Study Jan 13

If you’re still wondering what the buzz is about open-source learning management systems and their place in the corporate world, come check out this free Kineo Webinar, this Friday January 13, 2012 10-11:00 AM Central time.  We’ll be showcasing what you can do with Totara LMS – a corporate distribution of Moodle. 

3671497559_c1d96ae542When Capella University partnered with career guru and author, Dick Bolles, to create an online complement to Mr. Bolles’ seminal work, What Color is Your Parachute, they turned to Kineo and Totara LMS to create a truly interactive portal.   Capella and Bolles were looking for a solution that added “online oomph”.  Their goal was to take advantage of today’s best online features and tools to help people discover their passions and turbo-charge their job hunt.  

The solution is an online course which employs a number of best practices to leverage technology to bridge the content / action gap.  Features include: an online version of the renowned flower exercise, the e-Parachute community, video elements and more.

Register for the webinar here

Photo credit:  Parachute by oObsessed.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Instructional Designers: To Degree or Not Degree?

I've been running a survey on my blog for a number of years now, asking practicing Instructional Designers if they have an advanced degree in the field.  It's been awhile since I've shared updated survey results, so here's a quick rundown:

  • About 63% of practicing IDs do NOT have an advanced degree.
  • 16% of those without degrees say they have been declined work because of that.
  • 58% of respondents work in the corporate sector.

Here are the latest survey results if you want to see more details.

If you're thinking about going down the advanced ID degree path, be sure to check out the eLearning Guild Research report by Patti Shank: eLearningDegrees and Credentials: Needs of the eLearning Professional.