Author Archive

ASTD is now ATD

July 9, 2014

In case you did not catch the news, in May of 2014, the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) officially changed it’s name to Association for Talent Development (ATD).

My personal take on this change is positive. First off, we are an international organization, not just an “American” organization. Second, this is a shift towards a focus on people.

Previously, the way we thought about training was that we trained “stuff” to people. This new vision flips that model. We now need to think in the way of teaching people to do “stuff”.

As a practical example of this change, in my organization (a financial software company), we used to say things like “I train loans” or “I train deposits”. Well, the reality behind that is that you don’t teach loans or deposits anything – they are inanimate objects. Rather, what we really do is train Loan Officers or Customer Service Representatives to perform their job better using our software tool, which leads to the financial organization meeting its prescribed goals. It’s about the people.

Here is a link to the ATD page that describes the change.

On that page, you will find a short video by Tony Bingham, President and CEO of ATD.

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ASTD – What are the benefits of being a National ASTD Member?

January 11, 2014

Did you know the national organization has revamped their membership structure? Did you also know that if you were a national member in 2013, you were automatically upgraded to the highest membership level.

The goal of being a national ASTD member is to be connected to your industry.

Here are some items to look for as you review your current membership benefits or if you are considering becoming a national member.

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Mobile: What is mLearning, Really? Part 2

June 16, 2013

Read Part 1 of this article…

There is a new term in web development that is directly relevant to delivering content onto a mobile device. That term is “responsive web”. This is a design approach that makes use of flexible layouts, images, and uses Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to adjust the look and feel of the content depending on the device. It essentially solves the design problems that occur when viewing the same content on screens of different sizes.
Think of all the possible screen sizes that exist. What you don’t want to have to do is develop different content for each possible option.

  • Desktop monitors
  • Laptop screens
  • Tablets (iPad, iPad mini, Kindle Fire, Android Tablets, Windows Surface, and so on)
  • Smart Phones (iOS, Android, and hybrid size phone/tablet or “phablet”)

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Mobile: What is mLearning, Really Part 1

May 27, 2013

There are many new technologies that are starting to take hold within the Learning community. mLearning is interesting because it ties them together.

These technologies are:

  • Performance Support – This is a way of delivering content that is not specifically training, as we have referred to it. It brings information to your learners closer to the point of needing it – in the workflow.
  • Mobile Apps – These are the programs that run on the device.
  • Analytics (Experience API/Tin Can) – This tool allows you to identify who is using your content, when and where they are using it, and eventually provide you a better understanding of how learners are using your content.
    mLearning encompasses the use and delivery of these items.

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Economy – 700 New Simulation Jobs To Orlando Over Five Years

January 28, 2013

Orlando is about to get a slew of high-paying jobs that are part of the simulation/training industry.

We are about to see almost $300 million dollars in new defense training contracts. With these new contracts, Orlando is solidifying itself as a high-tech hub for the simulation industry.

The recipient of these contracts is a local company, Cubic Defense Applications. They are known for some of the best combat simulations in the industry.

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Two Ways to Curate Your Life

December 30, 2012

This year, the term “curate” came up a few times. Basically, it is the concept of pulling the quality content, or content that is useful, out of the mass of data the world presents us with on a daily basis.

I was doing a little research over the last few days and identified two really good ways to curate information, so I thought I would share them with you all.

One is related to bringing industry information to you and the other is related to what you see on Facebook.

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Industry Tidbits

November 29, 2012

This blog post covers two items:
What is the most popular LMS and trends to watch for in 2013.

WHAT IS THE MOST POPULAR LMS?

According to a report from Capterra, Moodle is the most popular learning management system in the world.

 http://www.capterra.com/top-20-lms-software-solutions#.UJFvE45dgyC

The list, measured by total customers, active users and overall online presence, lists the top 10 most popular LMSs. Rankings are also broken down by academic and corporate users.

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Technique – Effectively Using Video

November 27, 2012

Research is proving that video is becoming more and more popular as a training tool. We are also seeing evidence that content retention is stronger from video than it is from just audio or text on the screen. With the newer rapid eLearning tools, such as Captivate 6, and camcorders on our devices and in tablets, it becomes very simple for any of us to create video.

However, as with any technique, just because something is easy to do doesn’t mean something is actually easy to do. Remember all the crazy transitions and animations in PowerPoint? Just because you have access to them doesn’t mean you should use them without a real purpose behind why you are using them.

Hollywood has been creating film and video for many decades and they know how to create effective productions (generally speaking). Let’s look to them as a model. The big key is to plan ahead and not just rush to shoot the video.

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Elearning – Project Tin Can Will Potentially Change Learning

November 16, 2012

Like much of today’s learning, 90% of learning events occur  outside an eLearning course or in an instructor-led classroom event. They occur in an informal environment. Project Tin Can, the next iteration of SCORM, can capture and track these informal items as learning events.

What makes Tin Can so unique? It goes beyond the types of data we receive from traditional eLearning. It allows you to track activities you may have previously thought weren’t trackable.

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News – Khan Academy Partners with Samsung

November 6, 2012

For those of you that are looking at mobile devices as a way to enhance your learning environments for you clients or employees, here is a little something to keep your eye on.

Khan Academy Partners with Samsung

I have written about Kahn Acacdemy in the past and its impact it is having on the K-12 education system in the US.

They just announced a new partnership with Samsung that will provide the Galaxy Note tablets as part of a pilot program to Mountain View Whisman School District in California. The tablets will ship with a pre-loaded Khan Academy app that provides direct access to their extensive library of instructional videos.

The electronic device market has truely affected how we access information and thus how we learn and collaborate. The logical next step in this progression is moving this technology and its capabilities to our education system and making it available as a tool for our teachers to better educate our youth for the next generation of careers.

 As a side note to this story, let’s clarify the picture a little for you. This story appeared this morning in USA Today: Shift to Mobile Devices Causes Concern. The crux of this story is about how the shift in internet access from the desktop to the mobile device has created a serious wave that many of the current tech companies are having issues keeping up with. For example, Dell, HP, Intel, and Microsoft are all behind the curve when it comes to mobile devices – they are rooted deeply in the desktop or laptop environment.  Google and Facebook were able to conquer the online web space…in a desktop environment. However, both these companies have a revenue model that is weighted heavily on selling online ads. When you move to the mobile device, the screens are so much smaller, that you can’t just fill the screen with ads and both these companies have apps that launch what you need without ads. Now, new tech companies may step in to fill this void and figure out how to actually make money in this new space.

Personally, I find it very interesting how mobile devices have been able to completely change the world we live in. In this author’s humble opinion, we are about to see a new tech boom, much like in the 90’s around the web and in the 2000’s around search and social media. My prediction – apps and connectivity to learning content. I am pretty sure I am not the first to say this though.