E-Learning 2.0 for Personal and Group Learning

So, I am looking forward to finally meeting Tony Karrer at this session, especially as we have been trading Tweets and such for the previous couple of weeks.

Interesting that the slide show that is being projected before the session begins was at a slide with an NYU flag when I came into the room. I wonder what relationship Tony has with NYU? Having done a graduate degree there and now teaching at NYU Stern and NYU SCPS, I have a long and storied history with the university.

Nice use of a PowerPoint show, with interesting questions and factoids. Wish I brought my camera with me, but I went back to the hotel to rest and clean up email before this session, and could not carry everything on my back once again. The camera and business cards and conference book all had to go. They are now keeping the desk company.

Ahh, it begins.

Wonder where the stats and info came from on the slides Tony used. Hmmm. Can’t get away from evidence-based practice.

Tony just did a nice overview of what he will speak about. Nice review of what we will do, and then do it, and then hopefully he will review what we did.

PhD in computer sciences. CTO of eHarmony for four years. They are all about bringing people together for the purpose of marriage, as he mentioned. I wonder if they do the same for gay marriage as well? Getting off the point here . . .

Tony took an informal survey and asked how many people use RSS feeds, blogs, LinkedIn, etc. Seems more people blog than he thought. Perhaps they are just the ones who do not use Twitter?

The flow and pace of information is increasing, as he mentioned when he listed Friedman’s The World Is Flat.

Interesting thought about our school system, which is still focused on information and objective items we can just as easily look up online. Some of the skills we need are not as well taught.

Tony mentioned that, if he visits most of us and sees how we use various tools, and he would see how, after an hour, most of us were not using it appropriately. Odd choice of word – appropriately. I recall how somebody at one point made me aware of how the term “appropriate” tends to have a value judgement in it. In other word, it does not mean right or wrong, good or bad, or the like. Instead, it means that I think it is “appropriate” for me, or not.

He has 27 employees. Good for him; must be a challenge and benefit all in one!

Now, he is not claiming this is a right or wrong way to do stuff–instead, it is more personal, based on our needs (and our world). Another reference now to LinkedIn. I always thought that tool was somewhat weak, so glad Tony will be talking about it.

Interesting High Level Framework he gives. First, start with the Roles / Functions we do in all the capacities we do as knowledge workers (e.g. manager, small business owner, soccer coach, etc.). Choose a function or role, and then look at the needs and strategies  and challenges and future strategies. Scan them, then find, keep/organize, leverage and present, etc. Use this as a tool to determine if I am spending too much time with something that does not have much value, or not enough time on something where more time should be done.

Network learning is the ability to tap into other people to answer our questions. This reminds me of George Siemens and Connectivism. This is especially important when looking for perspectives about content or products, which is what Google generally offers. How do you get the perspectives from people.

The key aspects of networked learning is about:

build, maintain, and access your personal network

LinkedIn allows us to establish contacts and such. It is based on the 6 Degrees of Separation. It allows us to go out and find expertise. Tony is doing an advanced search based on a keyword (such as Lectora) and then based on people away from him. Tony then showed how he would reach out to somebody with an “Expertise request.” I have used LinkedIn, and never saw this feature in the software. I am not very proficient in the program, and do not know many people who are big fans of it. It seems like one more bucket of work. A colleague at Northern Voice, Kris Krug, I know speaks very highly of the system and told me he has used it for work.

Perhaps I should use LinkedIn more? I wonder how people find one another there? Nice Q&A on LinkedIn right now. Interesting discussion about LinkedIn vs. a community of practice.

Scanning–RSS Reader. All of the services Tony speaks about are online and are free. Tony uses Bloglines as an RSS reader. Wow, I have not seen Bloglines in a few years. I did not know they were still around. RSS readers has changed his entire way of gathering news and information. Great amounts of scanning, which only seems to be possible via RSS feeds.

Tony spends about an hour in the morning reading and writing blog posts. He also has some “Trying Out” folders where he tries out feeds for a short period. Good idea here. I do it more informally, where I remove feeds I no longer find valuable. Scan practices include define my purposes ahead of time, filter aggressively, and then organize.

The fundamental question Tony is now speaking about is: What’s Stopping You? Why are we now not using LinkedIn or RSS feeds. Another nice pause for questions and answers now.

Great question about ignoring LinkedIn requests, and how to handle them.

Somebody just asked a question that made Tony comment how he is speaking about a tool and not doing a good enough job linking them to our lives.

Tony is then speaking about the keynotes with Tony Bingham and Malcolm Gladwell, and how he liveblogged about them both. Tony mentioned how he uses blog posts, such as what he did, to take notes (and process / learn) during the process. Blogging is a good way of forcing us to process and then think through one’s own learning. It also acted as an extended memory (not to mention a good learning tool). Blogging can also be a relationship building tool and network extension opportunity.

Social Bookmarking ~ del.icio.us

He tags interesting articles and descriptions via del.icio.us. One of the differences is that tags are like folders, though several tags can be used for each post, rather than folders (where there is usually only one). Nice demo about tags for the websites. I hope people are following this, as I have struggled to maximize using del.icio.us.

One comment about Tony’s slides–it seems a number of people in the audience do not know about a number of these tools–it would have been useful if he would have had more screenshots of some of the items / logos he discussed (rss, LinkedIn, Bloglines, del.icio.us, etc. Yes, the text was on the slides, but the logos and such would have been useful for the visual learners (me) in the audience.

Interesting how Tony mentioned that he was surprised that he knew so few of the people in the audience, in that at least half the audience claimed that they use blogs. I wonder if they meant “author” blogs?

Web 2.0 often does not create content–it creates the structure for others to add and edit content.

I wish I had a camera for the (e)learner(ing) 1.0 and 2.0. He is claiming that learning is going more and more toward learners using blogs and wikis and social bookmarking within their learning processes. I wish he were not so pressed for time, as it would have been useful to discuss this. I am not sure what he means by this.

Wikis are the low-hanging fruit for organizations to use for learning needs. Interesting how he mentioned he has had a discussion back and forth with Stewart Mader, who I know from Northern Voice. Wiki use for sharing and editing documents. Google Docs does this as well.

Tony believes blogs are a great personal learning tool. He is now suggesting using blogs for internal orientation onboarding processes.

How about motivation? Why will these people suddenly be motivated to work on and contribute to these tools. 

Wow, he went through this all very fast, as he mentioned and as I feel.

Great suggestions, and what I find most interesting is how few learning professionals in this audience seem to use these tools. I am wondering if the issue is really the same one I feel. The tools are great, but how do I use them?


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4 thoughts on “E-Learning 2.0 for Personal and Group Learning

  1. “He is claiming that learning is going more and more toward learners using blogs and wikis and social bookmarking within their learning processes. I wish he were not so pressed for time, as it would have been useful to discuss this. I am not sure what he means by this.”

    This is pretty much THE big trend in education and educational technology today and the primary fodder for a host of edubloggers. You might start there… unless I am misunderstanding what you aren’t understanding 🙂

  2. Speaking about metadialog occurring! http://silenceandvoice.com/archives/2008/06/02/malcolm-gladwell-in-astd-general-session-keynote/#comment-732 .

    Wikis and blogs may be the primary fodder of educational technology, but they are still somewhat limited in corporate and other large organizations. Yes, there are large exceptions (such as IBM), and I think I have a sense why (completely non-formally evidence-based).

    Knowledge management is a challenge because I believe, people do not want to share all their tacit knowledge and (seemingly) make themselves unnecessary in their roles, as they no longer hoard their information and use it as a leverage (power) tool.

    Blogs and wikis in turn offer knowledge sharing (and thus knowledge management), and thus comes with all the power and leverage issues that lead to internal political challenges.

  3. Thanks for live blogging.

    Some random thoughts from your notes:

    1. eHarmony – the founders of eHa2rmony didn’t have any data on gay marriage and given their Christian roots I don’t think (but not sure) believed in it. Without the data, they would never have included it. A family member of mine that is gay and I have had a couple of interesting discussions around that topic. Okay, I’m way off topic.

    2. Not using it appropriately – ouch – man did I mis-speak on that. I meant to say that I could find opportunities to accomplish things in other ways. Although if I was talking about Google search – maybe I said inappropriately – but I still would have preferred to say better. Wow, I’m surprised I said that. Shoot.

    3. Curious if I will get you to use LinkedIn more … you actually seem (given Twitter use) to be someone who would use LinkedIn. Send me a link request and get into the eLearningGuild group. Opens up more people. Then when you have an expertise need likely you can find a few interesting conversations. Just a thought.

    4. Good suggestion on having more screen shots in the slides – interesting that I was limited to X number of pages (the number that I had). It’s a no win situation. If your handout is different than your presentation – people scream bloody murder. So, you learn not to put stuff like screen shots in there. But maybe next time I’ll do that. Good input.

    FYI – The slides are available – so no need for a camera.

    Chris captured the sentiment exactly.

    If I only had another 60 minutes we could have had a pretty interesting discussion about the implications. Tough to do in that audience.

    I probably sound defensive in these comments … but really it’s me thinking through what I did right / wrong and what I’ll change.

    Good news is that given the dysfunctional teams presentation – I feel like arguing is acceptable. 🙂

    If you have further thoughts, I’m all ears.

  4. Tony, this is one of the best comments I have had in some time!

    Wanted to respond sooner, but did not have Web access for a few days. Hope you subscribed to this comment (I do that and use co.mments for that reason), as am interested in your feedback.

    I speak and teach all the time, and get the most interesting feedback from my learners when I use a form of Brookfield’s Critical Incident Questionnaire (CIQ) and they tell me some of the things I come out with at times. These things happen, and while only a few of us blog about them (or so it seems), I sometimes wonder where else or how else our comments and thoughts get interpreted in ways in which we do not see.

    I have not used LinkedIn much because I have never figured it out. It seems like a giant Facebook, but more for work. I have not seen how it can be used for much more than an online professional resume. While I have had an account for some time, I do not do much with it. I will, however, update my profile (or at least part of it right now, enough to remind me of what is there) and send you a link request. Perhaps you can point me to more examples of how it can be used for more than just a fan site? Even better, perhaps I will be able to follow your example with how it is used?

    You bring up a good point about the handouts. I have become so fed-up with handouts and such while teaching, that I no longer hand out my slides. I always post them immediately after class so my students can get them if they want, but this way I encourage them to pay more attention rather than just stare at slides (that often are only high-level anyway). Amazing that I have seen that even slides with limited text still somehow preclude taking notes on them.

    Finally, you do not seem defensive at all. Just the contrary–people often do not want to reflect on the responses others have, and as such conversation of this sort is not common in many of my experiences. I think this is healthy, and is what I refer to by the catchy term, “dialog.” Amazing where it can lead!

    Better yet, who knows where it will lead?!

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