Monthly Archives: November 2011

CSTD Workshop – Tom Gram

(Tom Gram is a Sr. Consultant with Global Knowledge Canada)

Tom’s session was designed to shed some new light on the concept of “practice makes perfect” and bringing along the concept of the “expert” and what role that individual can play in supporting increased proficiency. The root research into expertise was conducted by Anders Ericsson (The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance).
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Developing expertise – what Aviation can teach us

The nice thing about working where I do is that I know I’ll never need to sell the value of “training” to the organization, so the timing was nice when one of my colleagues passed this article from Aviation Week on to me.  It speaks to a lot of the concepts that Tom Gram was referring to in his workshop at the CSTD conference as well as some other ideas from leading lights like Harold Jarche, Jay Cross, & Jane Bozarth, et al.

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CSTD Day 2 Keynote – Steven Berlin Johnson

I didn’t take a lot of notes for this talk because it was a little more of a history lesson on the nature of innovation and how it has evolved over the last few centuries. Content was drawn largely from his book “Where Good Ideas Come From: The natural history of Innovation”.

One of the early threads of his discussion was the evolution of one entity into another wholly unexpected one because of a user-driven innovation (e.g. Lloyd’s of London evolving from coffee house popular with 18th century ship captains to Insurance conglomerate).
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CSTD Day 1 Workshop – Harold Jarche

(Harold Jarche is Chairman of the Internet Time Alliance)

The focus of Harold’s session is on Social Learning and what this concept means to the world of Learning & Development. I’ve already had the opportunity to attend one of his PKM workshops, and I’m already a bit of a practitioner, but he’s always worth seeing. Having said that, Harold’s approach is somewhat eclectic and draws from a variety of disciplines and sources. If you don’t pay attention to what’s going on it might be easy to lose the thread of the discussion. That’s not a criticism, per se, just an observation.
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CSTD Day 1 Workshop – Gary Woodill

I tweeted a lot from this session so I’ll have to do some digging to sort out some of the finer details after the fact, but I’ll add these thoughts in long form here. For context purposes, Gary Woodill is a veteran of the industry, and an author, speaker, researcher, and blogger.

Gary opened his talk by touching on some key points with respect to our access to information and how we deal with the sheer volume. I see this topic as being closely tied to what Harold Jarche talked about in his PKM workshop so I was keen to hear what Gary had to say.
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CSTD Day 3 Keynote – Etienne Wenger-Trayner

Etienne Wenger-Trainer literally wrote the book on Communities of Practice. He describes himself as a marriage counselor for CoP.

These communities exist across sectors even though we may not be aware of them. Knowledge is social and it represents a fundamental human property. In an ideal world, knowledge is the property of a community because knowledge is rarely created in a vacuum.
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CSTD Day 1 Workshop – The Trading Post

Final workshop event or Day 1 was the “Trading Post”: essentially a very large group Active Learning event. Run by Harold Stolovitch from Montreal.

The theme was a somewhat hokey Canadian pioneer stereotype, but the premise was an exchange of ideas or a “one stop shop” for short interventions. 23 tables were available with a range of topics and subjects. Particiants could chose from a total of 3 areas that might meet their interests, needs, or curiosity.

Based on the title, and my initial session, I like the concept of the trading post where you can exchange ideas or “buy” new ones.
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Social Media Prism

For those who missed Gary Woodill’s session at CSTD, here is the Conversation Prism, a frequently-updated compilation of Social Technology tools.

Thanks to @wallacedanielle for sharing the link during the keynote.

Formal learning is endangered?

During the CSTD conference, a few tweets led to a quick exchange on the demise, or not, of formal learning. Ger Driesen asked via tweet if formal was, in fact, dead?

So as promised, Ger, I wanted to add my thoughts and some clarification on what I think the current state of things are.

Jay Cross and Charles Jennings (and the rest of the Internet Time Alliance) speak of the 70-20-10 percentage ratio when it comes to learning in the workplace

However, when it comes to budgeting, comparatively little resources are made available – if at all – to support the informal and social learning efforts that constitute the bulk of these activities. Most of the available budget goes to formal learning efforts, and little thought is given to continuation activities or application of the learning, etc.

So, Ger, I know formal learning isn’t dead, even though we have all of this wonderful activities and resources like Social Media, Wikis, ePortfolios, etc. I do believe, however, that formal learning needs to have a bit of a re-think in the workplace. It needs to become more integrated into a continuous learning process so we can stop looking at these sorts of things as stand-alone “events”. By doing so we can (ideally) make select use of formal interventions only when needed for net-new material and harness the collective strengths of the organization’s knowledge base and SMEs to support ongoing and informal learning.

I look forward to continuing the dialogue with you.

CSTD Opening Keynote

This entry is the first of several that i am adding from my participation at the 2011 CSTD Conference & Trade Show in Toronto. While I have been actively tweeting from the conference, I want to provide some curated and reflective summaries based on the offline notes.

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