Archive for the ‘Delivering Training’ Category

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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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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Technology – Taking Advantage of “The Cloud”

October 28, 2012

Before we can even have a realistic conversation about taking advantage of cloud computing, we have to actually understand what this is.

Cloud technology, when applied to a learning organization offers:

  • Anywhere, anytime access to learning applications
  • Instant scalability to meet the size of your learner population
  • Seamless compatibility with social and collaborative platforms and tools

Cloud computing is essentially a series of hosted computing systems.

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Learning Theory – The Margins of Learning Management: How to Keep Learning Indispensible

October 11, 2012

Author: T M Stafford, MS MA

One of the key issues that needs to be considered in adult learning is the balance between the load of life and the managing power that one feels he has to counterbalance the load that he finds himself under. Consider this as an example, when one is sick, immediately the load of life becomes overpowering to the person to the point that they can no longer function in the same way while under this new load. This forces the learner to make decisions about what is expendable in this situation so as to help balance out the weight of being sick. For different people this list of negotiables includes: (1) missing work, (2) visiting the doctor, (3) taking an over the counter medicine, (4) going back to bed and a host of other options that each person can sort through while considering the weight of the load.  Howard McClusky captures this scenario is his, Theory of Margin, where he shows that the fulcrum of balancing life is the key for the adult learner moves variably between the load of life and the power of life to counteract that load. There are several significant factors that are critical to understanding how this theory affect eh adult learner.

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Webinars – 10 Tips for Wonderful Webinars

September 19, 2012

1 ) Scheduling is important. The best time for a webinar seems to be Tuesday’s between 9AM and 1PM. This allows everyone to be fresh. Monday is the beginning of the workweek, so people deal with all their beginning-of-the-week stuff. Friday afternoons are terrible because people mentally are out the door. 9AM allows people time to get in and check voice and e-mail messages. Ending by 1PM allows people to still get a reasonable lunch. After lunch, people get tired and attentions dip.

2) Have a backup speaker. What if your presenter has laryngitis or gets sick?

3) Have a backup computer and impromptu Q & A content. What if the presenter’s computer dies?

4) Have a backup phone line. What if the conference call line has an issue?

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Education – Massive Open Online Courses –MOOCs

September 13, 2012

Today, I saw an article in USA Today that was interesting and could be a game changer down the road. Here is a sampling from the article.

MOOCs have the potential to be a “pivotal development” that can revolutionize higher education. Questions remain whether these online courses can be profitable and whether traditional colleges will award credit for them. But if successful, MOOCs could lead to lower costs for families and access to higher-quality instruction for anyone in the world who has Internet access.

“The industry has operated more or less along the same business model and even the same technology for hundreds of years,” says John Nelson, managing director of Moody’s Higher Education. “MOOCS represent a rapidly developing and emerging change and that is very, very rare.”

Read full story: College May Never Be The Same

Webinars – Are we Due for a Redesign of Webinars?

September 9, 2012

We all have sat in or run a webinar. It might be WebEx, GoTo Meeting, LiveMeeting, or some other web conference tool. I bet you can describe the experience off the top of your head.

The event will last between 45 minutes and one hour. Half the registered attendees will show. Of those that participate, a large percentage of them will split their attention between what is being said, checking e-mail, working on a document, or surfing the internet. Much of the content will be a dry PowerPoint presentation. You might get lucky and have a poll or whiteboard involved.

  • Your organization probably uses webinars in one of these areas:
  • Compliance training – The goal is exposure to content
  • Blended Learning – This is usually a follow-up to a live or eLearning event
  • Corporate Communications – This usually allows opportunities for executives to interact with the workforce. This typically takes the form of a strategy change or a way to share more of the corporate culture.

As the economy has become worse, corporations looked for ways to cut travel costs. Today, in a distributed workforce, hosting and attending webinars is just a part of “how we do business”.

Here’s a novel idea…maybe we should consider redesigning how webinars work.

Let’s talk about a few ideas.

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Education – Kahn Academy & Computer Science

September 5, 2012

If you have children in school or want to learn a new topic yourself, you owe it to yourself to check out Kahn Academy.

Essentially, this web site started as a series of videos that assisted the owner’s niece and nephew in Algebra. Over time it grew in topics and in popularity. With a bump from Google and Microsoft, Kahn Academy is on its way to changing how education occurs. The goal is to flip the model – homework in class and lecture at home (via YouTube).

We have used this site at home with our two children. Every time our kids needed a little remedial information or a reminder about how something worked, they successfully got what they needed from this site’s library of content.

At our annual user conference for our customers, when we asked them what they wanted in the way of advancements in our Training group, guess what they asked for…Kahn Academy for our software.

Now, Kahn Academy is dabbling in a new kind of education – computer science. Check out the article that follows.

As educators struggle to motivate more students to take up technology-related majors, breakout online education startup, Khan Academy, has a novel approach. ”Computer Science is an intensely creative field,” says Shantanu Sinha, President of Khan Academy, which gave TechCrunch an exclusive look at their brand new education portal that teaches Computer Science fundamentals through interactive drawing. “We really wanted to focus on creating something that could inspire young children, and get them excited and motivated to explore CS further.” The portal’s interactive design is a major evolutionary step for a website that has since been almost entirely based on YouTube lectures (with over 178 million views). I rarely get excited about online education, which often just recycles our antiquated education system into a digital format, but the new Khan Academy Computer Science project is beyond impressive.

Read the rest of the article here:
http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/14/khan-academy-launches-the-future-of-computer-science-education/