Category Archives: thoughts

Jumping in on #wolweek

I’m happy to be a small part of this global effort to increase awareness of Working Out Loud (w.k.a. #WOL) and Showing Your Work.

“Working Out Loud starts with making your work visible in such a way that it might help others. When you do that – when you work in a more open, connected way – you can build a purposeful network that makes you more effective and provides access to more opportunities.”

-John Stepper

I hope to pull together some videos and other resources to share a bit about my ongoing work and share some of the challenges and successes along the way. If you’re a practitioner who wants to learn more about the concepts and possibly join in the fun, check out this blog from Simon Terry. There are some valuable explanations and links to help explain more about Working Out Loud.

Let’s all make some noise about our work!

My Guest Blog for Learning Rebels on ATD ICE and the Backchannel

From Shannon Tipton, the Learning Rebel

Not Attending ATD ICE? The Backchannel Saves the Day

I’ll be there! Oh, shucks – you won’t be? I’m truly sorry to have missed you. (Cue sad face)

A close network friend of mine won’t be there either. (Cue another sad face)

But won’t he? He will be there in spirit. In the Backchannel. That’s the beauty of technology these days, we can be anywhere and pretty much have a front row seat. I asked Mark to give me his insights as to how he will be participating from afar and his advice on making use of the backchannel.

via Guest Blogger, Mark Sheppard: Not Attending ATD ICE? The Backchannel Saves the Day – Learning Rebels.

Will at Work Learning: Net Promoter Score — Maybe Fine for Marketing, Stupid for Training

From Will Thalheimer…

More and more training departments are considering the use of the Net Promoter Score as a question–or the central question–on their smile sheets.

This is one of the stupidest ideas yet for smile sheets, but I understand the impetus–traditional smile sheets provide poor information. In this blog post I am going to try and put a finely-honed dagger through the heart of this idea.

via Will at Work Learning: Net Promoter Score — Maybe Fine for Marketing, Stupid for Training.

My take: something done poorly is best not done at all…and that sums up most of my feeling on the use of smiley sheets as the sole measure of “training success”. I recall my days as a MCSE / MCT for a major corporate training provider here in Canada. Microsoft Curriculum demanded a feedback form after every class. We were even supposed to send them to MS Canada, but apparently even they didn’t bother looking at them in detail.  However, woe betide any MCT who didn’t score highly.  As for me? I was less concerned about the numerical scores.  I used to tell my students, “a 5 or 6 out of 7 with some comments about what you feel needs improvement is of much more value to me than a 7 out of 7 with no comments at all.”

As time has gone on, I have fallen further away from Kirkpatrick’s model (Dan Pontefract’s comments on it notwithstanding) and I prefer to use other methods for evaluation. Will is very interested in “mythbusting” in the L&D space and this post is another example of some of the practices that persist in L&D – to our collective detriment.

REBLOG | No I won’t speak at your event … for “exposure”

This came to my attention via Jane Hart through my Twitter feed.

I admit, I’m conflicted.

One one hand I get what he is saying, in that if you’re charging people to attend and event, it doesn’t necessarily align with asking speakers to donate their time when participants are paying for the privilege.

On the other hand, not all of us are so fortunate that we can demand speaking fees if asked to participate. In some cases, us “common folk” may welcome the exposure associated with such requests and – if they make sense – we may well jump at the chance.

What are your thoughts?

No I won’t speak at your event or write for you for “exposure” | Media tips.

I’ve been depressed. You? | Internet Time Blog

I’ve been depressed.

Telling you this will blow my chances of running for president, but what the hell: I have been clinically depressed for the last two years. It’s a form of going crazy. I lost interest in my work, stopped blogging and taking photos. I became a near-hermit.

I want to share my experiences with you so that if the black dog visits you or one of your friends, you’ll recognize it for what it is and take appropriate action.

via I’ve been depressed. You? | Internet Time Blog.

My take: As a depression sufferer, I urge you to speak out. If you need an ear, you call me…message me…Twitter, FB, LinkedIn, Skype, whatever.. I promise that I’ll listen. 

Depression took a crippling toll on my life until I finally acknowledged it and sought treatment. Since then, I have slowly regained control of my life.

It’s an empowering thing when one of the most respected people in your network comes forth with something like this.  Jay Cross just took another step up the ladder of esteem in my book.

Myths and Facts about Brain Training

Credit to Juan Domingo Farnos for sharing this link via Scoop.It.

While I get the general concepts of brain plasticity, the research jury is basically “out” on the long term benefits of brain training. At best, the results are inconclusive if viewed objectively. Much of the research is considered biased (e.g. Conducted by the vendors offering such products/services) and may not stand up to scientific scrutiny.

This infographic will share a little insight into the claims compared with the facts.

The Truth About Brain Training Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

A borrowed rant, but one I can relate to

A good friend and former co-worker recently posted an open rant on FB after receiving a take-home package following the first day of school. While the spin is Canadian, I think lots of us can relate, particularly those with school-age kids.

<open rant> My school board has been taken over by lawyers! First day of school package includes: new policy on locked schools, warning that kids can strangle themselves in playground, numerous release forms for everything you can imagine (same info 8 times). My favourite form informs me that “participation [in recess] involves risk of injury, minor or serious, including permanent disability.” Here is my favourite part: “For specific examples of injuries related to the activity, contact the school.” Really?
Dear School Board Administrators: stop watching CNN and Fox. Please focus on providing an engaging educational environment. Stop teaching my kids that the world is hostile. We live in Canada!
Thank you.
</end rant>

So, where exactly do we start with this?

When did the start of school trigger a flurry of this kind of liability paperwork? Where have we, as a societly, allowed the public education system to degenerate into this politicized, litiginous, bureaucratic juggernaut? I dunno about you, but I’m starting to look for the remaining three horsemen.

Quick Update

Pardon me while I blow the dust off the blog.

My day job has been full and rich of late, leaving precious time to carefully craft suitable offerings here. However, here are a few highlights:

  • I completed a major ID undertaking that occupied the entire month of June. This entailed the design of the Training Plan for a new course encompassing the common foundational training for all RCAF aircraft technicians. The next phase of the project is to lead the development of the entire 3 month course and all the learning assets.
  • I am currently engaged in a new Stanford MOOC on Design Thinking. So far it’s fascinating and very inspiring. I even managed to entice my PLN colleague Bianca Woods to join in the fun.
  • I am also training for my first ever half-marathon. I’m training 5 days out of 7. While that time is great for clearing my head, I haven’t found a way to blog while running. I am now accepting suggestions for this challenge.

Coming up next, my own take on Lifehacker’s “How I Work”.

Dear CSTD…why you should stop talking about Learning Styles

While this response is directed to the good folks at CSTD, I leave it as a public artifact for those interested in the whole Learning Styles thing.

There was a time when I admit that I subscribed to the concept of Learning Styles. I also understand why there’s an instinctive sense-making and buy-in when people look at it. Whether you subscribe to Kolb (1984) or to the VAK theory, we generally accept that people tend to learn in different ways.

Yes.

But… Read the rest of this entry