Friday, May 18, 2012

Going Social

If you know me, you know I'm a bit of an extrovert and I crave social interaction.

And, like most of us, I like to learn through collaboration and conversation.  (Ideally, while roasting marshmallows around a campfire...)

So last month when I prepared for my LearnNow conference presentation on "Implementing Social Learning", I reached out to my social networks.

Highly suggest joining Jane Hart's Social Learning Community if you want to dip into this topic more and learn what real people at real organizations and doing about facilitating more collaborative and social work environments.

And big hat tip to Sumeet Moghe of Thoughtworks for sharing his presentation at LSCon on implementing a social learning platform (they went with Jive).

Jane Bozarth's diigo page was another great resource.

To consolidate some of my own learning on this topic, I wrote an article for this month's Kineo Newsletter: 

Going Social -- Let's Get This Party Started.

Updates from the Road (April ASTD Events!)

As you may remember, April was my ASTD month, with bi-coastal appearances at the ASTD New England Innovations in Learning Conference outside Boston and the LearnNow event in San Francisco.

Here's a recap of my comings and goings...

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Nancy Duarte: Creating Stories that Resonate #storytraining

These are my live blogged notes from an eLearning Guild/Citrix presentation with Nancy Duarte, author of Resonate and Silde:ology. 

The story: a likeable hero, she encounters roadblocks, she emerges transformed (the perfect three part story structure)

Organizations need to keep creating ideas to continue to reinvent themselves. The lifecycle of an org (start, grow, mature, decline)…so we need to reinvent ourselves all the time.  And that’s what good presentations can do.  They can spawn ideas to reinvent…

good stories make our hearts race.  But there’s often a gap from storytelling to presenter…and the presenters just fall…flat.

Powerpoint so often used to present reports.

But when you have a high stakes opportunity to persuade, you need to use story.

How do you incorporate story?

Every great presentation should have a beginning, middle and end.  But there needs to be a turning point between those acts.

The audience is the hero of the story.  They have all the power in the room. They’ll determine your fate.  The presenter is the mentor.  They help the hero get unstuck, or they leave a magical tool.  When someone leaves your presentation – you should be giving them something of value.

Joseph Campbell came up with an 18 part story structure:  ordinary world, a call to adventure, refusal of the call, meeting with the mentor, crossing the threshold (as you persuade them…)

The shape of great speeches:


What is – what could be – and you call out the gap…

It’s like sailing – as you sail against the wind, you need to capture resistance.  Think about your audience, what  will they throw back at you.  What will be there resistance?  Plant that resistance into your presentation. Your audience will get to your point of view quicker, if you plant that resistance into your talk.

Your ending should paint the picture of what the future is going to look like.  A picture of your hope.


She goes on to analyze Steve Job’s speech unveiling the iPhone. 

A STAR moment “something they’ll always remember”

The stakes are higher for making better presentations! TED and Twitter…people will trash your presentation if it’s not up to par.

If you have an idea, a dream, a way to move your company forward, you need to latch onto that and share it and change the world.

Questions from the crowd:

If you’re doing product training – let’s hope you have a good product!

Nancy encourages everyone to find their passion…people won’t invest in their communication skills unless they’re passionate about  what they’re communicating about…

If you’ve got to complete something in three days, odds are that the stakes aren’t that high.  Instead it’s “grind this out for the planning meeting.”  Categorize the importance of things and fight for the ones that are really important. When it’s really hard stakes, then fight hard for  the time. And then knock it out of the park.

When you’re doing a webinar – stand up, move around, use your hands.  Post pictures of people in your space to help you remember that there are people on the other side of the technology!

Make sure it’s bite size chunks of content.  You need to be more interesting than their email.

Be a consumer of great communications.  Watch TED talks…and then PRACTICE your skills.

For training programs where the SME wants to include everything and the kitchen sink – remind them that this isn’t a report, that we need to focus on the story. for more!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Learning to Fly

A few weeks ago, after an Easter candy sugar fueled meltdown, my six year old daughter learned how to ride a bike without training wheels.  In about 20 minutes. 

Here’s how it went down:

“Hey, let’s take off those training wheels and see what happens…”

“Really, mom? OK…”

I held onto the back of her back a couple of times and then just let go. She was off.  A few weeks later, she’s zipping up and down our street like an old pro, a face full of wild exuberance.  It’s good to be a kid.

Some thoughts from her experience:

  • IMG_2551She started at the beginning and went through the paces.  A tricycle for a few years, then training wheels. (scaffolded learning support)
  • She had my support and encouragement when we took off the wheels.  I held the back of her back and quietly let go when I could tell she had balance on her side. (a gentle guide)
  • She was motivated.  Her older brother has been riding for awhile and she likes to keep up with him.  (Note: he did not learn this whole bike riding thing nearly as quickly).  (social learning)
  • Plus, bike riding is really FUN. (intrinsic motivation)
  • She was ready. (learner readiness)

What have you learned lately? And how did you learn it? How is her experience different from yours?

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Karl Kapp Book Tour: The Gamification of Learning and Instruction #gamiLI

Kapp_CoverIt’s the Cammy Bean stop on the blog book tour for Karl Kapp’s newest book: The Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-Based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education
Karl Kapp is a professor of instructional technology in Bloomsburg University’s Department of Instructional Technology in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. He’s one of my favorite professors that I've never actually studied with (although he has taught me a ton).  Over the years, Karl and I have had wonderful arguments about gamers and gender and instructional design. He took me on my first tour of Second Life and opened my eyes to the possibilities of virtual worlds. He wasn’t my professor, he just wanted to share. So thanks, Karl, for sharing with all of us yet another thoughtful book about a topic on everyone’s minds these days: gamification and learning.  And now I’ll share a few thoughts of my own…
If you think gamification is just about putting badges into your courses, then this book is for you.
If you're still on the fence about whether games work for learning, then this is certainly the book for you. 
If you need to gain buy-in for games within your organization and need to know what theories to cite to support your arguments, this is the book for you.  
If you need some examples of how games can be used in learning, yep, this is the book for you.
But if you really want to start designing and creating games, go out and play 'em.  
But still, that's not enough. There's a practical element we’re going to need if we’re really going to get this learning game thing right, so I just want to take a moment to focus on what it will take to build a game within an organization.  
In Chapter 9 "Managing the Gamification Design Process", Karl talks about the process for designing a learning game and who you'll need on your team.  At the moment, I suspect this project team list will be too daunting for most internal organizations:  
"The following team members typically are involved with a project for the gamification of learning and instruction. Not all of these individuals will be involved every time. It depends on the size and scope of the project. However, a project manager, instructional game designer, artist, at least one subject-matter expert, and a programmer or two are almost always involved." 
(Karl then goes on to talk about the need for animators, music/sound technician, and other specialized roles.)
Karl says if you don't have an instructional game designer (and these are hard to come by), you should go out and get an instructional designer who likes to play games.  But if you then consider that many organizations, especially smaller ones, are working with "home grown instructional designers" (who are maybe just powerpoint jockeys or really good at Captivate, but not actually instructional designers in the truest sense), then I'm not sure that many organizations will be able to do this in-house -- or at least not do it well.  I'll go out on a limb and say this bodes well for the growth of the outsourced instructional game design companies!
Karl doesn't talk much about budgets or time frames in all of this, but something to bear in mind.  Seems like it takes more time and more money than a lot of organizations have for a lot of their "learning" projects. Karl, what say you? (And he'll probably say something like, "it doesn't have to take more time or more money".)   
Jeannette Brooks of Articulate wrote about the book just yesterday and talked about how Storyline (Articulate’s soon to be released development tool) will put “gamification within easy reach of any e-learning developer.”  What do you think? Will Storyline make this all possible?  I suspect there’s more to good game design than the tool though, right?
So should there be more learning games? Absolutely.  Will more organizations design and build them.  Absolutely.  Will there still be a lot of the same old training solutions coming out of the same old training departments?  Most likely...
So I'll leave you with this cautionary tale from Karl Kapp:
"Too often the learning profession embraces a new concept as the answer to all learning problems and overhypes the concept to the point of backlash. It is important to approach the gamification of content and learning carefully and methodically. If gamification is seen as a panacea and applied to every single learning event, it will quickly become trivialized and non-impactful. Stay focused on using gamification for the right learning outcomes."
(Which is to say, don't be part of the problem. Instead, go out and read Karl’s book and find out why gamification isn’t just badges and points, but much, much more….)
Game on.
Follow the conversation on Karl’s Facebook page:
And be sure to buy the book:  The Gamification of Learning and Instruction.

And a final note about our modern lives and the need for games…
This really has nothing to do with Karl's book, but more just a pesky rant I've got in me about games and gamification in general.  It seems our modern world has lost so much purpose...we need and want to be entertained because most of the challenge is gone (a very first world problem)...or we need to be numbed to the challenges we do have.  And now we need to dress up our boring jobs with games because otherwise who wants to learn them or even do them...I don't know. Kind of makes me sad…