Category Archives: Twitter

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

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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

Rapid ID and Rapid Dev? Yes! But…

Thanks (yet again) to Twitter, I came across a post by Karen from Langevin Learning Services (@karencar_ID) who shared an offering from the folks at Bottom Line Performance in Indianapolis (@BLPIndy). The substance of this post was whether or not Rapid Design and Rapid Development were possible. BLP’s inspiration was another entry from the widely read Rapid e-Learning Blog.

My immediate reaction was, “Yes, but, there are some caveats.”

Read the rest of this entry

Hell hath no fury like Intellectual Property unattributed

I’ve been witness to an interesting couple of hours on Twitter.

A L&D consultancy network (who shall remain @Gilfuseducation) has an extensive “industry news” section. There’s just one problem with it: much of the content has been scraped from other sources. Here’s one example from Alan Levine’s cogdogblog. Read the rest of this entry

Visual Note-Taking

While I haven’t digested this article in its entirety, I’m seeing more and more of these kinds of approaches to note-taking and information mapping. I’ll add some comments later, but this was simply too fantastic a post NOT to reblog. Thanks, Jackie!

User Generated Education

As should be the case, there is ongoing discussion among educators about the skills that should be taught to their learners.  One such skill is note-taking.  Note-taking is typically classified as a study skill and taught as it has been through the history of institutionalized education – the outline.

When I started researching brain-compatible learning (see neuroscientist John Medina’s Vision Trumps All Other Senses),  I was exposed to the mind-map as a tool for organization, comprehension, and note-taking.  Mind-maps have several benefits:

http://www.visual-mapping.com/2011/05/study-shows-key-benefits-of-mind.html

. . .  and according to Giulia Forsythe:

As Temple Grandin says, “the world needs all kinds of minds.” and some of those minds “think in pictures”. Doodling is a form of external thought that allows you to visualize the connections you are making while thinking. In the conscious mind, doodling can assist concentration and focus but even in the unconscious mind, while doodling and day…

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See the wood for the SMEs

A great pair of entries from Ryan Tracey (@ryantracey) on the nature of the SME. This discussion leads us into the territory of “Unconscious Competence” as pioneered by Gordon Training International. Thanks to Ryan for sharing these gems.

E-Learning Provocateur

In my previous blog post, Everyone is an SME, I argued that all the employees in your organisation have knowledge and skills to share, because everyone is an SME in something.

Sometimes this “something” is obvious because it’s a part of their job. For example, Sam the superannuation administrator is obviously an SME in unit switching, because he processes dozens of unit switches every day.

But sometimes the something isn’t so obvious, because we’re either too blind to see it, or – Heaven forbid – our colleagues have lives outside of the workplace.

Martha the tea lady

Consider Martha, the tea lady. Obviously she’s an SME in the dispensation of hot beverages. That’s her job.

But dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that she’s also an SME in customer service and relationship management. That’s her job, too.

Oh, and she speaks fluent Polish and Russian.

Gavin the IT grad

May I also introduce you to…

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Pinterest: It took a while, but I get it. Finally.

Pinterest LogoIn many respects (for those who subscribe to such things), I am a typical Taurus, and stubborn as hell. I admit that there are times when I will resist trying new things until I know I can see the benefits for me. Once I “get it”, however, I’m unstoppable.

That paragraph accurately sums up my experience with Twitter. While initially skeptical, I have now – as most of you know – embraced the tool enthusiastically because I see the value from a personal and professional point of view. A secondary benefit is, of course, the entertainment value.

And then came Pinterest…

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.

To blog, or not to blog, that isn’t the question

Today had one of those unexpected, but wholly valuable exchanges. In a retweet from Jennifer Dalby (@injenuity) about blogging by Clive Elsmore (@clivesir) and subsequent comments from Dave Truss (@datruss) we wound up in a lengthy exchange about blogging, who the audience is, and how to write “just for you”

Suffice it to say it was a small kick in the hind parts and I resolve to be more diligent about keeping the dust bunnies away from this place. I’ll be making some time over this long weekend to write more about this particular exchange, so this post serves as a little reminder and a thank you to Clive, Jennifer, and Dave for adding a little inspiration and remotivation to my afternoon.