Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Mess is the Message

Gave a keynote at the National Trainers Conference around new tools on the web for training (Beyond Blended Learning). The web is giving us e-learning tools and content formats that we never dreamt of just a few years ago. Here’s a few off the top of my head:

Blogs – senior exec blogs, expert blogs, trainer blogs, learner blogs – takes minutes and reinforces learning.

Vlogs – track your team training exercise with a video log – will crystallise and reinforce learning.

Wikis – twiki’s a good start for a company knowedge-base or for a project or team.

Blikis – combine a blog and wiki for projects that need both knowledge gathering and dynamic reporting.

Podcasts – audio learning gets round literacy and dyslexia – everyone can listen, many don’t like to read – MP3 palyers are cheaper than lunch.

Videocasts – don’t worry too much about quality – interviews, talks, discussions - make them short and get them distributed.

Syndication – syndicate gets the right stuff to the right people at the right time – efficient distribution.

Messenger – step above email and, with a webcam, gives you most of the functionality of a virtual classroom.

Webcams – want to see the instructor/learner – cheap and works a treat.

MMOGs – get a life in Second Life and do some avatar-based learning – there’s lots of classes online – weird and wonderful.

Digital photography - so easy to take photographs and get them into training materials, get every new employee to take a picture of themselves and various locations and people as part of their induction.

Google Sketch – build 3D images – easy as pie.

Google Earth – will blow your mind – try it then use it to find international locations of your company – or mash-up some training applications.

Amazon – give everyone a budget and a booklist – follow up with book club meetings.

Wikipedia – fantastic knowledge base with discussions, links and lots of other wiki sources such as Wikiquotes, Wikispecies, Wiktionary and so on. Use it, link to it, do print outs.

Youtube – search for education and training video clips – growing like topsy.

Basecamp – free community project management software that can be used for team-based project management training.

Moodle – free open source LMS, very popular and now adopted by some serious organisations.

This is real learning, knowledge management, creation and distribution and it’s mostly free!


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