Category Archives: backchannel

Little ol’ me on a big, big stage Down Under

I am thrilled and humbled to share the news that I have accepted an invitation to speak at the 2015 EduTECH congress in Brisbane, AU, in June.

To say that I am floored and in a little bit of shock would be like describing Arthur C. Clarke as a guy who “wrote a little”.

This event is different from most L&D gatherings in that the speakers all use a TED-style format for their talks, and this is definitely terra incognita for me. So, I’m going to engage in a little ‘working out loud’ as I share some of my preparations and thoughts as I get ready for this “talk of a lifetime”.  That said, I am especially looking forward to meeting Ryan Tracey at this event, and hopefully Helen Blunden as well.

This kind of reward is not a singular one. I thank my friends, colleagues, my PLN, and my wife, for their support, encouragement, and inspiration. I will be standing on the shoulders of giants as I take that stage.

Talking Tools Evaluation and Lessons Learned on eLearnTV

I had a thoroughly enjoyable Skype video chat with Rick Zanotti and Dawn Mahoney on Jan 14 where we talked about selecting authoring tools, some lessons learned on short-notice deadlines, and a surprising geographical connection.

It’s nice to be able to add this to some of the #workoutloud and #showyourwork activities going on. Sharing what we do is important to the growth of our discipline.

Your feedback is, of course, always welcomed.

Conversations about L&D – a New Podcast(?)

Earlier this week I was fortunate to have a Skype conversation with PLN luminary, Brent Schlenker, about all things L&D. Joining me in the conversation was Montreal-based performance strategist, Ajay Pangarkar.

Brent is hoping to turn this into a genuine podcast series and I am hoping to be a collaborator.

Grab your headphones and have a listen!

http://elearndev.blogspot.ca/2014/11/new-podcast-bs-talks-about-elearning.html

Stanford MOOC Assignments and Disconnects

I had a chance exchange via Twitter with someone I have followed for a while, Joyce Seitzinger. She’s well-respected in Moodle circles, and is also an active participant in DNLE and regularly contributes through the Twitter #DNLE hashtag.

She was expressing some frustration with the nature of assignments and their (relative) lack of instructional/learning design.  I have to say, I agree with her.  Read the rest of this entry

Storify – My Test Drive

While I grabbed a Storify account some time back, I hadn’t really done much more than explore it at a fairly basic level. However, I finally took the plunge and decided to take a new approach to summarizing one of my favourite PLN discussions, #chat2lrn.

In concept, the Storify concept is simple: search for whatever you want, and turn it into a “story” of related events, news items, media clips, whatever.   Add in your own commentary, reassemble at will, and you can create your very own amalgamated/aggregated digital artifact.

This was a good learning experience for me because I wanted to find a way to catch up on the tweets and draw some of my own conclusions, particularly because I wasn’t able to stay for the whole chat. Read the rest of this entry

Tweeting as a personal backchannel

I tried something “new” this past week and I’m surprised I didn’t think of doing it sooner.

I sat in on one of the many workshops we run for our Instructor cadre. Because I have an interest in the coaching function I decided it might prove interesting.

Because I already had Twitter open, instead of using something like Evernote directly, i thought, ‘why not make use of Twitter?’ I could jot down a few notes and add a hashtag and keep going.

While not a quantum shift, it is a potentially disruptive innovation in note-taking. In the same way that conference note-taking has become a public-facing backchannel, my approach opened up a generic topic to outside query or sharing. I liked the fact that I was immediately forced into a concise summary mode with 140 characters and because I have the RSS feed for my Twitter account saving to my Google Reader, the tweets are auto-archived. If I had also added the @myEN tag, I could have also saved critical tweets to Evernote (something I do when I save critical Tweets in my regular feed)

The one challenge with using Twitter is, of course, the hashtags. Because they are unregulated, you have to take come care with selecting one for your own use. One risk you also run is the relatively new technique of hashtag spamming. Some popular tags (e.g. #lrnchat) are now flooded with spam, rendering them largely unusable.

The final consideration in this technique is the material being discussed. A personal backchannel is good but consider whether or not you’re potentially disclosing information that should remain behind company doors. If that’s the case, tools like Yammer may be more appropriate than Twitter.

As with any other backchannel, it’s only worthwhile if you actually do something with the information. In my case Ie put together an internal summary for my colleague who was facilitating.

I’d be interested to hear of anyone else has tried this approach and what they thought.

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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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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