Posts

Jane Hart’s Top 100 Tool List

For the last 8 years, Jane Hart has conducted a poll to determine the top 100 tools e-learning professionals deem as most useful for them. We reported on the list last year, with both Doris and I generating our lists of tools we use to seek information, make sense of it, and share it out with others like you!

The poll closes on September 18, so you can still contribute. Hart will be announcing the 2015 list on September 22. The results from the 2014 list was a compilation of 1038 people from 61 countries. It will be interesting to see what the make-up is for this year.

I took the poll, and then compared what I chose this year and last year as my top 10 tools. I found that this comparison allowed me to reflect on my learning, see if I had expanded my personal learning network (PLP) and who I now include in my “tribe”, and identify any changes Doris and I have made in working together or in helping others learn, collaborate, cooperate, and work online. Read more

Learning in new ways: this means me!

Doris and I have just begun taking an interactive, completely asynchronous online “workshop” with one of our main influencers, Jane Hart. The title of the “workshop” is Modernising Training Content (she is British, hence the spelling differences). Here is the description:

Much of today’s e-learning is unappealing, and differs greatly from the resources enjoyed daily on the Web. This workshop looks at how to modernise training content to bring it more in line with that found on the Web, as well as how to make it available in more flexible ways.

Jane will be our learning guide. She says this about the structure of the workshop:

Jane Hart, our Learning Guide

Please note this is not a traditional online course. As it is hosted on our social platform, think of it more as a place for socialising and learning from one another – rather than an online classroom! Each week a set of reading and practical activities will be released, and you are invited to work through them as best suits you and fits in with your working life, and then share your thinking and your work with the group. Although nothing is compulsory, you will find that the more you “learn out loud” with the other participants, the more you will get out of the workshop

Doris and I have written a lot about online learning, working and learning out loud, and creating learning networks and bubbles. Although we have participated in MOOCs and other online professional development opportunities, Jane is explicitly giving us permission to learn and work in the course as we can. She does emphasize, as you see in the quote above, that the more you invest in the workshop, the more you will get out of it. Read more

Business Blogs for Learning, Reflecting, Networking

Last week Doris outlined four free online learning choices: blogs, MOOCs, projects and networks. All can be important components of your online entrepreneurial or organizational learning portfolio depending on your learning plan, goals, and needs.  Blogs can be an important part of doing business by engaging with others.

Everyone is familiar with blogs that chronicle the personal opinions, mundane activities, or other daily life doings of the “all about me” blogger. In this networked age, however, these types of blogs are being supplanted by ones that promote collaborative thinking and discussion. Ernesto Priego, in his blog in the Higher Education Network puts it this way: “I would argue that blogging and social media empower the individual to have a voice and that this voice only becomes meaningful when it addresses, listens to and engages with others.” Read more

Online Training

Is Online Training a Waste of Time and Money?

I was interested to read an article from CNBC discussing how corporations are embracing online courses as a way to significantly trim personnel training and certification costs.  The author, Ellen Lee, cites a report from Bersin, a unit of Deloitte Consulting, indicating that corporations spend approximately $130 billion each year for those costs.

Lee mentions businesses such as AT&T, Yahoo! and Bank of America that are using Massive Online Open Classes (MOOCs) and other online formats to train their workers. The professional development efforts and costs for small businesses are just as significant to their employees and their bottom lines.

I believe these companies are going in the right direction, and I believe we have entered a time that will forever change professional development.

However, we must approach this opportunity with care and deliberation. Knowing how to do online training is more than just having the equipment, creating a video and making the time. Just as all in-person professional development is not created equal, all online learning is not created equal. Read more

Directory

Rheingold U

From its website

Rheingold U. is a totally online learning community, offering courses that usually run for five weeks, with five live sessions and ongoing asynchronous discussions through forums, blogs, wikis, mindmaps, and social bookmarks. In my thirty years of experience online and my eight years teaching students face to face and online at University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University, I’ve learned that magic can happen when a skilled facilitator works collaboratively with a group of motivated students. Live sessions include streaming audio and video from me and from students, shared text chat and whiteboard, and my ability to push slides and lead tours of websites. Future classes will cover advanced use of personal knowledge tools, social media for educators, participatory media/collective action, social media issues, introduction to cooperation studies, network and social network literacy, social media literacies, attention skills in an always-on world.

Summary

Howard Rheingold teaches “Introduction to Mind Amplifiers,” “Toward  New Literacy of Cooperation,” and “Think-Know Tools” among other courses offered on a rotating basis.  Rheingold tells prospective students that the courses will demand them to devote significant time to reading, conversation, live session participation, and collaboration on group projects. All courses are based on peeragogy–a learning model–that places as much value on peer-to-peer interaction as on teacher-learner interaction.  Rheingold is also a prolific and respected author known for groundbreaking books such as The Virtual Community (1993); Smart Mobs (2003), and Net Smart (2012).

 

Powerful Learning Practice

From its website

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, PLP co-founder, coined the phrase connected learning communities to describe the PLP experience.

The connected learning community model is based on empirical research and years of experience. It represents a three-pronged approach to professional development. Connected learning communities weave together

1. Learning communities that happen face-to-face at school.

2. Purposeful learning networks where we harvest and share resources.

3. Global, online communities of practice and inquiry where we dig deep.

Traditional professional development models (like in-services and one-day conferences) fail to focus on the realities of daily classroom life and the skills needed to serve today’s iGeneration learner. Our Connected Learner Experience is grounded in job-embedded activities where professional learning becomes a regular part of the educator’s work day. We help you integrate technology, content, and the best pedagogy in ways that excite student interest and advance school improvement goals. We advocate for professional learning that builds collective responsibility for student success and shifts the culture within the school to one of learning first, teaching second.

Summary

Even though Powerful Learning Practice is oriented to educators, at least one of its courses–Connected Coaching–has application in myriad online settings where adult learners congregate.  Two of the three Women’s Learning Studio founders have taken this course and savored its focus on using the Appreciative Inquiry framework for coaching other adults to reach their practice improvement and career goals.  Co-learners define their learning pledges in week 2 of what has been an 11-week experience.  Co-learners participate in weekly 90-minute synchronous sessions with the course facilitators and each other in the Blackboard Collaborate environment.  The course is highly experiential with multiple asynchronous discussions each week, collaborative projects, and quick trust and perspective building exercises delivered through a variety of usually free social media tools that we all gain experience using.