Monday, December 22, 2008
On the other hand, Malcolm Gladwell raises the point of summer vacation as a culprit for America’s education woes. Gladwell explains that summer vacation provides students with a lengthy gap in which students are often left to forget most of what they learned. When students return to school, the teacher often spends weeks reiterating what was taught during the previous year. What I found interesting about this was the gap in learning retention between the upper and lower class after students returned to school after summer. A study showed upper class children performed significantly better than lower class children when retested at the end of summer. Gladwell goes on to explain that upper class children are generally offered many more opportunities to reinforce learning during the summer than lower class children, indirectly making a case for year-round schools.
Whether either suggestion offered by the authors above is merely correlated or it’s causal, I thought the authors did a great job at peaking my interest enough to think long and hard about the education my children are getting. For that, I give a tip of the hat to the Heath brothers and Malcolm Gladwell.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Like Adobe Connect, ConnectNow is a Flash-based platform that allows people to meet and collaborate online in real-time. Actually, minus a few features, I found ConnectNow to be a better product than Adobe Connect. Oh, and did I mention it's free? But, don't let my opinion sway your vote. Try the product for yourself by creating a free Adobe account and visiting Acrobat.com.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Obviously this is a different paradigm than the norm. Generally speaking, most models dictate what will be taught and who will teach it, then participants are granted access (or mandated) to attend. The advantage I see to using the SuperCool School method in the workplace is in situations where the department usually responsible for providing training cannot efficiently offer a training solution. For example, a relatively small group of people are interested in learning how blogging can be used on the job. If there isn’t a strong business need for a course such as this, most training departments would be unwilling to extend the effort required to offer the class. But if someone else is willing to teach, and an interest group is willing to attend, why stop them?
So, now that you’ve gotten a little context for what I’m talking about, I’ll get to the pitch. What I’ve been trying to do over the last couple weeks is figure out a way to apply what I’ve learned from researching SuperCool School to my own workplace. So at work this last week, I, and a couple other people, came up with the idea to use a hybrid approach as a means of organizing the many lunch-time brown-bag sessions. The approach we’re going to try is very much like a newspaper’s classified ads section. It offers a single place for people offering goods and a place for people seeking goods.
What we’re hoping to do is to get other people using our internal social media software to request and respond to learning opportunities in our organization. I’m not sure how realistic this is, but I’m hoping for the best. Hopefully, I'll follow this post with positive results as we move forward. Till then.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Why should you be concerned with the avatar you use? Because, your avatar is your brand and your brand's purpose, as Tom Mochal describes it, "is to establish an identity that conjures up a positive image (2007)." In Steve's case, his brand worked exactly as intended. If your using social media tools for professional purposes, establishing a positive image is what you should be aiming for.
With that in mind, here are a couple guidelines I have found useful for using Avatars across multiple online social media tools (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Yammer, and Utterli).
1) Try to stick with using the same avatar for each tool. Again, you're trying to build a consistent message. Using the same avatar will help you accomplish this, not to mention make it easier for people following you online to find you.
2) If face recognition is important, like in the story mentioned above, consider using a photo of yourself as an avatar rather than a graphic image.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I can’t help but think of how many conferences we send staff to that could benefit other colleagues. This app could provide a unique opportunity for people unable to attend the conference to follow topics and gain context specific insights from other staff fortunate enough to attend in person.
Here’s a brief example of a recording I created earlier.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
An upcoming seminar topic from the e-learning guild attracted me to look into the possibilit
When you scan an item, the scanner reads the data found in the bar code and correlates it to product informatio
QR Codes, also known as 2-d barcodes are a relatively new addition that allows more data to be stored within it, for example web addresses, phone numbers, and text messages. You’re probably saying to yourself, “so what Erik? Who cares?” Here’s the deal. Many new mobile devices, like the iPhone, have built in applicatio
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Anyway, my battery is getting really low, so this is it for now. Till next time.
Friday, September 19, 2008
This is my first blog I've created outside of the workplace. I realize this is usually the other way around. Most people create blogs outside of the work, then later incorporate them in the workplace. Fortunately for me, the company I work for is, at least I like to think, progressive; and I'm not talking about the automobile insurance company.
Anyway, now that I've created this blog, I intend to collect and post my thoughts on my profession: workplace learning.