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Social Learning for a Social Workplace

September 6, 2011 12:30 by Ann Pace

(From customerthink.com) -- There is little doubt that the emergence of Web 2.0 and social networking tools have radically changed the way organizations do business… so much so that terms such as "social business", "social enterprise", and "social workplace"—terms that had hardly existed a decade ago—are now widely accepted as commonplace phrases. Furthermore, it is apparent that these popular "buzz words" all have something in common: the word "social".

Unlike the days of old when working was simply a matter of getting your daily tasks done by yourself (or perhaps with the help of a friendly colleague or two), the new social workplace requires a level of interaction where daily conversations and activities are highly collaborative in nature and peer-to-peer oriented, and where knowledge is shared extensively without traditional time or geographic constraints. It is this new level of interaction, fostered by social tools, that have led many businesses to adopt new innovative approaches to business execution and strategies that impact the bottom line. And it is exactly this model of the social workplace, where tools and individuals mingle to create an integrated collaborative experience, that provides the immediate input and feedback that businesses need to compete locally and globally.

Unfortunately, with this new model of the social workplace, conversations happen in 140 characters, documents are collaboratively created, and content is archived and calculated—but very little experience and knowledge is actually shared. As a result, many executives have to deal with a series of looming questions:

  • How can you continue to move fast, yet take the time to invest in growing your business?
  • How can there be employee development when no one can stop long enough to teach or learn?
  • And how can you identify the internal skills, intelligence, wisdom and expertise that your employees have and distribute it in a way that flows right into your business stream?

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Mobile Learning: Learning in the Palm of Your Hand is now available

June 3, 2011 10:26 by Erin McGill

It is no secret that mobile computing is here, but what does that mean for learning professionals and the learning function? How will it affect instructional design? What influence, if any, will device manufacturers, platform providers, and software developers have on mobile learning’s future? ASTD and i4cp partnered to investigate the topic and the resulting report, Mobile Learning: Learning in the Palm of Your Hand, addresses these questions.

Mobile Learning: Learning in the Palm of Your Hand finds that while the future of mobile learning is speculative, it is clear that organizations have no alternative but to at least begin addressing the implications of the incorporation of mobile technology into their learning strategies – it is simply a matter of time and technology.

For the Study, 85% of respondents indicated their company provides mobile devices to at least some of the workforce, but less than 30 % did so with tablets. Tablets still lack the ubiquitous mobility of a phone. As with laptops, a user must make the conscious decision to carry a tablet with them.  Mobile phone usage is less deliberate. This gets to the heart of just-in-time learning – a person often needs information when they least expect it. Mobile devices provide the medium for learning ubiquity: anytime, anyplace.

Some of the other concepts examined in the study include:

•native applications vs. the mobile web
•mobile learning vs. the classroom
•mobile learning vs. performance support
•mobile learning vs. virtual learning.

Mobile Learning: Learning in the Palm of Your Hand is now available for download at the ASTD Bookstore.


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The Pros and Cons of Video in the Workplace

April 22, 2011 12:17 by jllorens

(From ITBusinessEdge.com) There’s no doubt that video is the fastest rising class of traffic on the Internet. What is in doubt is the business value of all that traffic. Video traffic consumes a huge amount of bandwidth that can significantly affect the performance of corporate applications all across the network.

A new survey of over 200 people working at different companies, conducted by the market research firm Harris Interactive on behalf of Blue Coat Networks, a provider of WAN optimization tools, finds that a significant percentage of the video viewed at work has nothing to do with business. As the average person becomes more exposed to video on the Internet, the percentage of non-business related video on the corporate network is only going to increase, thereby creating a significant issue for both the internal IT department and the folks in human resources.

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LinkedIn Adds Social-Driven News, Skills, 'Maps' Pages

March 11, 2011 15:51 by jllorens

(From PCMag) Business social networking site LinkedIn launched a number of new products for its users on Thursday, including a customized news aggregation site.

In total, LinkedIn launched the LinkedIn Today news site, LinkedIn Skills, LinkedIn Maps, and updated its LinkedIn iOS app with the new news focus. The company also said that its LinkedIn Signal product would be opened up to all users.

According to Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn's chief executive, the site's historical mission has been about connecting users and new jobs, as they move down their career path. Now, he said, the site's purpose is to "connect talent and opportunity on a massive scale". LinkedIn counts 90 million members, all of which can be connected at either a primary, secondary, or tertiary level of interaction.

Weiner said that LinkedIn has three objectives: to be the professional profile of record, to ensure that users are connected to essential sources of professional insights, and to work wherever members work - reference to the company's mobile apps.

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More stuff happening at #TK11

February 4, 2011 14:10 by Tora Estep

So I started trying to capture some of what was coming out of ASTD TechKnowledge 2011 Conference and Exposition on Twitter yesterday, but so much is happening that I ran out of time. Here's some more information to report from there (for more collections of backchannel info, check out Misadventures in Learning):

  • Well, ASTD got a couple of digs about the use of paper-based evaluations for TK. I guess we'll need to think about that for upcoming conferences!
  • Michael Allen had a session about instructional design that generated a lot of comments (what's really cool is that he is going to do a book for us called Leaving ADDIE Behind that will be coming out later this year! Because I will be working on that book, expect to hear about it here!). Some representative comments:
    • The "rules" get in the way of learning. Who's to say how long it takes or what path students should take to learning?
    • People want to "do" things, not read about doing things.
    • We need to create experiences, not instruction.
    • ESD instead of ISD.
    • A lot of people were asking, "Is ISD dying as an instructional design tool?" Seems like Allen may be saying it is.
    • What's the last thing learners should be doing, and in what context? Then ask, what challenges will learners face?
  • Several comments came out of Marc Rosenberg's session on managing organizational knowledge in the age of Web 2.0:
    • KM is getting knowledge from people who have it to people who need it.
    • Most of what you know is NOT on the internet. It's in your head. Social applied to the internet makes it easier to get it out.
    • Most companies can't surface the creativity and knowledge their people have.
    • When you produce and consume information on the internet, you care about the quality and can easily weed out the crap stuff.
    • Training can extinguish people's ability; learning to learn.  
    • Stop waiting for this to be perfected. It will never be perfected.
    • Moving beyond elearning to eknowledge. Think big, start small.
  • Anders Gronstedt's session about using games, social media, and virtual worlds in the workplace got several comments:
    • Points, badges, levels, time-pressure, challenges, and rewards to engage.
    • Use gamification to get unstuck from the academic paradigm.
    • Skillset may be different but cost is transferable when designing in virtual worlds or using video.
    • Moving role play from classroom to virtual environment giving much better results.
    • Being inside the data lets you see patterns you wouldn't otherwise see.
    • No one ever logged in to Webex just to hang out. They do in virtual worlds.

Actually, just a general reading of the Twitter feed illustrates different ways that it can be used. A lot of people obviously signed up for Twitter for the first time and started asking questions about how to use it. @stevier and @TerrenceWing, obviously long time users of Twitter, explained that you have to use Twitter to really understand its value and arrranged a Tweetup at a nearby bar. @TerrenceWing and @ASTD pointed to The ASTD TechKnowledge Daily, an online newspaper reporting what's going on every day at TK11. Some folks missed meet to eat, so they made other arrangements. And a lot of people who weren't able to make it to the conference commented that they were glad to be able to get in some of the action through Twitter. So there are a few things you can get from Twitter: basically live reports of the action, opportunities to meet virtually and in reality with people, and tons of information from multiple sources.  

And that's going to be it for what's going on at TK (at least as viewed through Twitter) for today, but I will get back with some more summaries and comments on Monday! Have a great weekend, and safe travels to all conference attendees! Oh, and I almost forgot, for those of you who want more or weren't able to make to the conference, all is not lost! You can still sign up for the Virtual Conference!  


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Categories: Celebrity Bloggers | TechKnowledge

New Mexico: Classes to boost Web, social networking skills

January 21, 2011 15:22 by jllorens

(From lcsun-news.com) LAS CRUCES - Artists and small businesses can learn and develop Internet and social networking skills at free classes beginning soon in Las Cruces and sites throughout southern New Mexico.

A grant-funded program called Fast Forward New Mexico (FFNM) is bringing 64 hours of free Internet training classes to artists and other small businesses in the Las Cruces area beginning in February and March at the Branigan Library. The classes will be offered in Spanish and in English, said Carla Rachkowski, statewide marketing coordinator for the program, which offers free Internet training in 17 of New Mexico's public libraries.

The classes cover everything from basic computer skills to "using Internet tools to decrease business costs and increase sales through e-commerce, e-marketing, and social media," Rachkowski said.
Jonathan Helf of High Mountain Furniture near Gallup, said the classes helped him with everything from locating and using Internet resources to developing targeted marketing plans.

"I discovered that my target market is growing families with too many kids and too little space, and doting grandparents who want to buy beds for their grandkids," said Helf, who makes bunk beds.

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Kids Learning Computer Skills Before Life Skills, Study Finds

January 21, 2011 13:30 by jllorens

(From PCMag.com) Will exposure to technology help our children be more productive members of an increasingly tech-savvy society or rob them of the chance to have a normal childhood? A recent study from AVG examined this issue and found that many kids age 2 to 5 have developed more tech skills than life skills.

"True, many of us had television, Atari, and the ultimate destroyer of innocence, cable. But none of these distractions so drastically and quickly reshaped the childhood experience as the computer and what ultimately formed its heart and soul, the Internet," AVG's J.R. Smith wrote in a blog post.

Smith was most concerned, however, about Internet safety issues. It's great that kids can operate advanced tech devices, he argued, but are parents taking the necessary precautions to keep them safe on the Web?

AVG polled 2,200 mothers with Internet access and kids between the ages of 2 and 5 in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. The group found that while most small children can't yet swim, tie their shoelaces, or make breakfast on their own, they do know how to turn on a computer, point and click with a mouse, and play a computer game.

About 58 percent of the kids know how to play a computer game, while 20 percent can swim and 52 percent can ride a bike. Kids in the UK and France - about 70 percent - are most likely to be able to play video games, AVG found.

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Survey: Social Media Learning on Rise

January 14, 2011 15:19 by jllorens

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--While 81% of respondents believe that social media offer valuable learning opportunities for their workforce, lower productivity, security and quality of source were cited as significant concerns, reported The CARA Group, in its recently released study “How Informal Learning Is Transforming the Workplace: A Pulse Survey on Social Media’s Impact on Informal Workplace Learning.”

The survey defined ‘informal learning’ as learning that takes place independently from structured instructor-led classes or course-specific work.

Developed by The CARA Group, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in custom learning and performance solutions for Fortune 500 organizations, the survey posed a range of questions on how informal learning is impacting formal corporate training programs and how organizations are adapting and keeping pace with the current learning landscape.

The themes covered in the survey ranged from what sorts of formats work best for informal learning to social media skepticism, security concerns and adoption hurdles.

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Why Every Student Should Learn the Skills of a Journalist

January 11, 2011 14:15 by jllorens

(From mindshift.kqed.org) How do we make schools more relevant to students? Teach them the skills they need in the real world, with tools they use every day.

That’s exactly what Esther Wojcicki, a teacher of English and journalism at Palo Alto High School, is attempting to do with the recent launch of the website 21STCenturyLit. I interviewed Esther about the site, and how she hopes it will serve as a useful tool for both students and educators.

- How do you describe the mission for 21STcenturylit?

The mission of 21STcenturylit.org is three fold: it is to teach students how to be intelligent consumers of digital media, to teach students how to be skillful creators of digital media, and to teach students how to search intelligently.  We are living in an age when digital media and new digital tools are revolutionizing the world. Schools need to help student learn these skills, not block and censor the Internet.

- Why is this important right now?

We need to make school more relevant to the world we live in to combat the huge dropout problem we face. We also need to train kids to have the skills needed in the digital world. They need to know how to communicate using multiple media; they need to know how to read and write for the web; they need to know how to use social media for things other than checking on their friends.  Schools should be teaching this; businesses want to hire kids with these skills.

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India: Web 2.0 and its adoption at workplace

December 13, 2010 21:10 by jllorens

(From IndianExpress.com) The consumerisation of IT is affecting all aspects of the way we work. As Web 2.0 technologies continue to gain popularity amongst employees, IT departments are struggling to understand and manage the challenges. There was at time when “wireless” was taboo, and for fear of the unknown, strict workplace policies banned the use of wireless technologies. “Thou shalt not” became the mantra of most IT departments, and has remained the mantra when dealing with applications like Facebook and Twitter.

Unfortunately for employers, people still found ways to partake in these activities – unmanaged and unsecured. If companies had initially recognised the potential of these outlets and found ways to embrace them in the first place, they could have saved themselves a lot of trouble in the long run.

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