Saturday, June 14, 2008


Flip Video Camera

Just attended the Mzinga Customer Conference and had many useful discussions around how community tools and formal learning can be integrated. But I wanted to share one of our experiences. Mzinga had the wisdom to expose us to a fairly new toy for creating fun and engagement. They placed Flip Video Cameras on the tables and encouraged us to video each other (similar to still photo cameras at a wedding reception.) The quality of the cameras are surprisingly good and are a low cost option for creating an engaging experience at any learning event. We also discussed how this can be used for guerrilla video blogging. Here is a sample:

Mzinga Conference Flip Video Test from Darryl Toney on Vimeo.

Friday, April 18, 2008


AG 2008 Day 4 - Things I've Learned in My Life So Far

On the final day of the eLearning Guild Annual Gathering 2008 the keynote topic was Things I've Learned in My Life So Far by Stefan Sagmeister. He is an award-winning, graphic designer who shared some of his observations and life lessons. He shared different graphic arts projects and how they challenge us to look at the things in new ways and use unconventional methods to motivate and inspire people. Some samples he shared are listed below:

I also attended a session called, Informal Learning in a Global Enterprise: The CA Story by Ron Ateshian from Computer Assoicates. He shared how they deployed a custom social networking application created by Q2Learning to support informal learning in the enterprise.

Traditional training had always been a push model.

Catalysts for Change

Learner Breakdown

Mission: Simplify Learning through technology
Vision: Embrace and integrate information and non-traditional learning

What we Did

CA Learning Collaboration

Best Practice Tips


Thursday, April 17, 2008


AG 2008 Day 3 - The Future of the Internet

The keynote, The Future of the Internet, was given by John Patrick author of Net Attitude. He spoke about where trend are going for how internet technolgies are useful to people.

The Internet is about PEOPLE. John listed several humorous examples of how companies use technology to benefit themselves which inconvenience the customer (e.g., dial an 800 number, type in your account number, then get connected to a person who asks for your account number again.)

He warned that companies should change their ATTITUDE about how they serve the client/learner. The website is there for the convenience of the learner. The security compliance officer should have to justify why you can't do something --not the other way around as it is now.

He illustrated an example where all of your health care information would be avilable to you and your doctor online. He suggested that security is not a technical issue and that records are unsecure in their current form of manila folders spread all over offices and we don't know who has access.

The Internet is about Lifelong Learning. It is not just about kids. It is about all of us wanting to learn and stay updated. Learning how to learn is increasingly important. Libraries are changing, not necessarily to add more books, but to add more space for gathering and collaborating.

The Internet is EVERYWHERE. John talked about wifi networks and wimax networks. He also spoke about how corporate lobbyists hold back advances in the US whille the rest of the world recognizes the importantance (e.g. high speed internet avilability in France, Korea, Japan, etc.)

The Internet is INTELLIGENT. Information is being delivered in the format of a service which makes it more relevant and meaningful. He discusses the semantice web (lots of tags) and web 3.0 where the data is smart and knows it's own context.

I also attended a session on Designing Business Process Experiential Simulations facilitated by Daniel Campbell from Vangent, Inc. He spoke about using Bloom's Taxonomy in the process of designing the learning experience (pictured above) and how the simulation serves to bring the learning into the Analysis and Application levels.
Later, I ducked out of a session which wasn't too helpful and caught the last part of a session called, Quick and Easy Ways to Get Started with Serious Games facilitated by Anne Derryberry. Anne hosts a blog called, I'm Serious.Net - Serious Thoughts About Serious Games. The section of her talk that I caught was that it is far too expensive to develop a gaming engine for use inside a an enterprise at this point in time. An alternative is to use an existing game architecture and match it to a learning objective. She showed video segments of several games from YouTube like this one for World of Warcraft. Anne mentioned the anecdote of a person listing "Guild Leader" as a skill on their resume and getting hired.
One interesting game that she mentioned was the Glass Bead Network. Each player has a set of beads. Each bead represents a concept. The beads can be placed beside each other if the player can explain the relationship between the two concepts. This game can be used by teams to foster creativity and innovation.
At the end of the day I attended an Espresso Learning Session (40 minutes chatting at a table), Integrating Serious Games and ILS into your Learning Strategy by Clark Quinn. Quin is the author of Engaging Learning: Designing e-Learning Simulation Games. In his book, he maps the similarities between successful learning and engaging games and lays out a guide for creating simulation games that educate and engage. He shared some of the insights from his book.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008


AG 2008 Day 2 - Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration

Man!! My second day of the conference was a lot more hectic than the first. Of course, that is simply because my first day was a single session. Today was all about deciding which sessions to attend and therefore, which ones to miss.

The day started with a key note from Keith Sawyer, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology & Education, Washington University and author of the book, Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration. He states that while there are many reports on how important innovation is to the future of America - what's missing is an understanding of how innovation works. He poses the question, How do you create a learning organization to support innovative knowledge? He frames teaching for innovation as learning for creativity.

Characteristics of Learning for Creativity

Innovation is not the work of a single idea or individual. The innovation process is a constant combination of many small ideas with many contributors. We have to create a learning environment that leads people to that way of working.

I also attended a presentation on LMS & Community: Like Hand and Glove facilitated by Dave Wilkins, Senior Product Manager at Mzinga. My good friend Dave, pictured above, discussed how new technologies and social networking empower the individual and the community and ways in which community and learning 2.0 technologies can help organizations better manage "informal" content and informal social networks. He discussed the differences between expert-generated content and user-generated content and how learning organizations must enable both of them to truly support the ways people learn. One of my favorite quotes from Dave's presentation is

What if instead of teaching someone to fish,
we could teach someone to teach someone to fish.

This was also the first day that teh Expo Hall was open with all of the learning technology vendors. Every time I go in there I feel like a kid in a candy store and can't decide what to investigate first. There are way too many vendors to list but here are some that stood out:

Monday, April 14, 2008


AG 2008 Day 1 - Web 2.0 Innovations for Learning

Today I attended a pre-conference session entitled, "Web 2.0 Innovations for Learning: Podcasting, Social Networking, Wikis, Virtual Worlds, Blogs, and More" presented by Anders Gronstedt of The Gronstedt Group, Inc. Anders shared several examples of web 2.0 tools used for learning and facilitated discussion from the attendees to share examples also. During the last part of the presentation, he led us through a tour of Second Life while in world, for those of us who had accounts. It was a very interesting and engaging presentation.

Many of the examples he shared with us were either standalone or proprietary so unfortunately I can't link you to them, but I will describe some of the information here and provide links when possible.

First he started with some interesting information about how learning and learners are changing. The new generation of workers only have two sources of credibility; Peers and Parents. No longer a captive of the classroom, they create consume, mash-up and share material with each other. These Digital Natives (people exposed to new collaborative technology since birth) want to be engaged, in control, part of the story line with no tolerance for traditional training.

The best that can be said about most eLearning is that it "gives you the sensation of a coma without the worry and inconvenience." But some companies are making a fundamental change...


SUN has 4,000 employee blogs open to the public at and is one of the only fortune 500 companies whose CEO blogs.

National Semiconductor spent $2.5 million on video iPods for all its 8,500 employees

Intel hosts a wiki, "Intelpedia" with 5,000 pages, 13.5 million page views in the first nine months.

Nike's SKU - Nike course curriculum is presented as a subway underground.

EMC's podcasts

Victoria's Secret - Podcasts featuring its models, available in stores in wireless docking station.

Jamb Juice plays podcasts in the store during opening and closing when no customers are there.

Car Dealerships use a sales simulation called "Hire The Winner" as part of the recruiting and interview process.

Volvo has a business acumen simulation in which you run a dealership for three years and make decisions on product marketing, employee hiring, training, etc. and watch your business grow, or fail.

Pearson offers an overview of their businesses at Pearsonville

There are also numerous learning experiments in Second Life. Some Anders toured with us include:

In summary, training organizations should release the illusion of control and accountability and adopt adna dapt new modes of facilitating a learning experience.


eLearning Guild Annual Gathering 2008

Okay...Okay. I know that it has been a long time since I have posted on this blog. I thought I would use my participation in the eLearning Guild Annual Gathering 2008 as an opportunity to create some new posts. Stay tuned as I share my experiences ...

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Social Networks & Social Bookmarking

This week in my studies of Web 2.0, I am investigating social networking and bookmarking sites. For social networking I setup an account on Yahoo 360 and invited a few friends to my page. It seemed to work so far but I am not seeing the value yet. For social bookmarking, I setup an account on Yahoo My Web. I can save pages there but couldn't quite get all of the functionality to work.

Pros: I am a little more familiar with the purpose of these tools.

Delta: I would have like to have more of an overview of the purpose and value proposition of these tools along with a demo of the actions.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Web 2.0 Data Privacy

A colleague of mine, Jane Johnson, posted an article commenting on data privacy in the corporate environment, New Course Well-Timed for Agilent. This brings to mind the data privacy aspects of web 2.0 tools. It seems that these tools are all designed with the intent of sharing information with other and collaborating easily. This causes concern when you think about the type of data that may be discussed in the corporate environment. Also, while it is an advantage to utilize applications hosted outside the firewall, it presents another concern for data security. The security features need to be enhanced to provide ease of sharing without resorting to internal hosting.

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