Monthly Archives: August 2013

$h!t my SME says – an archive post from colleague Trina Rimmer

SME/ID Anger (image credit: Microsoft Corporation)

How often do we do this when dealing with SMEs? Or vice-versa?  (image credit: Microsoft Corporation)

Yep, I’m certain there’s a book in there somewhere…

My PLN colleague, Trina Rimmer, was sharing a few tongue-in-cheek thoughts about SMEs today (through Twitter).  Granted, as she points out, there’s likely communications faults on both sides but I think we tend to view the “ID/SME” relationship with a reasonable amount of good gallows humour particularly after the fact. Read the rest of this entry

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Calling out the vendors: Lessons learned

I’m pretty impressed with a recent series of events where respected L&D community member Judy Katz called out vendor MindFlash on their rather interesting “engagement measurement/assistance” tool, FocusAssist. The tool was discussed in this article from Learning Solutions Magazine.

You can read Judy’s post on the matter here, and a quick check of the #FocusAssist hashtag on Twitter will shed some additional light.

So, I learned a few things by watching this drama unfold, and by participating.

1. The L&D community appreciates the benefits of EdTech, but is also profoundly aware of the scary possibilities when the (potentially) wrong kind of tech is introduced to educational settings with (seemingly) little thought on impact and abuses.

2. We are quick to stand up for one another. It’s a nice thing to know that folks like @aaronesilvers, @moehlert, @reubentozman, and others will have your back when it’s needed (and sometimes even when you don’t know you need it).

3. There are some vendors who aren’t afraid to think outside the box and try solutions, even ones that may not be widely understood. It’s about prototyping and learning from the experience.

4. Judging from the positive and appreciative response from the vendor, it reinforces the notion that, as a community, we shouldn’t be afraid to call vendors out when we see something that doesn’t necessarily fit with our values and notions of what is right. There’s a two-fold value in doing so: i) we start thinking a little more critically about what we see, and ii) we learn a bit more about the vendor through their response (or lack of response).

5. Social technologies and an engaged L&D community can make things happen pretty quickly.  So, kudos to Judy for raising the issue, and equal kudos to Randhir Vieira from MindFlash, not only for joining the conversation, but also for being open about what they don’t know.  I think that speaks well of them.

It was interesting to watching this all unfold. It will be equally interesting to see if the conversation continues.

I Am Canadian, A Reply to Bell’s Open Letter

While not specific to learning, the stance of Rogers and Bell has an impact on the ability of Canadians to harness high-speed wireless networks for anywhere-anytime learning. We already pay exorbitant rates. Lets get some competition in here.

Angelus Novus

Dear Mr. Cope,

Amongst your many traits as CEO of Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE), tenacity, enthusiasm for your trade, and perseverance top the list. Conspicuous in its absence from your letter, however, is your sense of irony.

You begin the “unusual step of writing to all Canadians” (Strange, isn’t it, that “Canada’s Top Communication Company” should find it unusual to communicate with its customers?) with a history lesson, ostensibly in the interest of helping us “understand a critical situation” now facing the wireless industry: the potential entrance of an American company into the Canadian market.

You inform us that, since Parliament granted Bell its charter in 1880, Bell has spent 133 years “investing in delivering world-class communications services to Canadians.” An impressive track record!

You must, however, be aware that Bell’s permission to operate in Canada was initially obtained by agents acting in the interest of the (American) National Bell…

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