Archive for the ‘Professional Specialist’ 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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Career Development – Future Workforce Skills

October 22, 2012

The Institute for the Future is an independent nonprofit research group. Their mission is to work with organizations of all kinds to help them make better, more informed decisions about the future. They take a global approach to strategic planning, linking macro trends to local issues in such areas as:

  • Work and daily life
  • Technology and society
  • Health and health care
  • Global business trends
  • Changing consumer society

Interestingly, a 2011 survey of more than 2,500 college students and employers reported that 65% of employers believe that the workforce skills keeping their company competitive today will be the same skills keeping them competitive 10 years from now. Only about 40% of our corporations are adapting their talent management strategies to develop a properly skilled staff. Workers with these identified skills will play a large role in bridging the gap in skill sets.

According to the Institute of the Future, there are ten skills defined as the key skills workers will need over the next decade. These are the skills that will help you thrive, even though radical technology changes, society changes, and the changing nature of work.

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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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Book Review – Great By Choice

September 17, 2012

I was listening to an audio book that really caught my attention. It is a book about some basic strategies and thought processes that go into being a leader that makes a difference. The book is called Great by Choice. It was written by Jim Collins and Morton Hansen.

The book is basically a study they performed on a series of companies during the time periods of the late 70’s to right around 2001. One set of companies (which they call 10X’ers) were compared to a comparable company during that time. 10X’ers are companies that surpassed the market by 10 times. Only 7 companies out of over 20,000 companies passed the test. So, the 10X’er company would be Microsoft and the comparable would be Apple (which was a 10X’er, fell without Steve Jobs, and became a 10X’er again when he came back). Another was Intel, compared to AMD. Yet one last example was Southwest Air compared to PS Air (which isn’t even around anymore).

The question laid out was “in a time of uncertainty, turmoil, and chaos, how come some companies thrive and yet others in the same market with a lot of the same capabilities fail?”.

They found some interesting patterns.

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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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