Posts Tagged ‘online educa’
From November 30th till December 2nd I will be attending the excellent Online Educa which bills itself as the “The largest global e-learning conference for the corporate, education and public service sectors”.
I’ll be co-organizing two different events and would really like to meet you at either (or both!) of them. One is an Edubloggers dinner (a good Dutch tradition, now in an Internationalised version), the other a workshop in which we will create scenarios for the future of corporate learning. More information below:
1. International Online Edubloggers Dinner
On Thursday December 1, 2011 Wilfred Rubens and I organize the International Online Educa edubloggers dinner.
Networking, informal talk, having fun while eating and drinking.
Everybody interested in blogging about technology-enhanced learning. It’s not necessary that you have your own blog. You even don’t have to be an Evangelist. A believer is sufficient
Thursday December 1, 2011 at 20.00 hrs.
In a restaurant near the place where the Online Educa is held. So at a walking distance from the Intercontinental. We will take into account that we’re in the middle of an economic crisis.
We are not sure yet. If the group is small, we will eat à la carte. If the group is bigger, it might be a buffet. Everybody pays his or hers own food and drinks. We’re Dutch, so we are going Dutch. If we have to order a buffet we might ask you to pay beforehand.
Please go here and comment on Wilfred’s blog post. Fill in your email address with your comment (it will not be visible on the blog). Do let us know if you have suggestions for restaurants on walking distance of the hotel. Furthermore, you should mention if you are vegetarian or have other special dietary needs (e.g. an allergy to something).
Due to logistics the deadline for registration is November 22, 2011.
We will inform you by old-fashioned e-mail when we have found a decent restaurant.
2. Preparing together for the future of corporate learning
When, costs and registration
This workshop will be held on November 30th from 10:00 till 13:00 and costs € 90,-. Registration is through the Online Educa website.
Description of the workshop
What will learning and development look like in the future and how can we prepare for success in these new worlds?
This workshop uses scenario planning and is a unique opportunity for those involved in defining strategies for learning and development within the workplace to consider potential futures in this field. Participants will examine the external factors shaping corporate learning and work together with industry experts and like-minded peers to create future scenarios that can be used to help them prepare more effectively for new worlds.
Scenario planning has been used extensively at Royal Dutch Shell to help change perceptions of the influence of external factors in shaping future working worlds. It is a strategic planning method used prior to defining strategies to help the organisation understand and respond more effectively to change. Willem Manders and Hans de Zwart from Shell, supported by facilitators from within the industry, guide participants through the process of:
- understanding the external factors that can potentially shape the future of L&D
- defining a number of L&D scenarios or worlds that could emerge as a result of external influences.
However, this is not just a workshop; the scenarios created in this session will be presented as part of the BUSINESS EDUCA conference track, enabling all BUSINESS EDUCA delegates to contribute to the development of these methods. Conference delegates will be encouraged to look for signals supporting different worlds as they take part in the wider conference and are invited to come together at the close of the conference to reflect on how these developed scenarios can be used in their respective workplaces to help shape future strategy.
In the “Closing Conversation” of BUSINESS EDUCA last year, delegates wanted to find a way to leverage the “brainpower” at the conference and create some new and tangible outcomes which will support them at work. In response to this need, this workshop is the start of a unique collaboration that all BUSINESS EDUCA delegates can be part of at ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN 2011.
This half-day workshop leverages the Scenario Planning methodology adopted by Shell to help participants consider the external factors influencing Learning & Development in business in order to establish scenarios. External factors include:
- technology playout – the impact of accelerated adoption
- the effects of changing legal requirements
- the influence of changing educational systems
- the “Big Crew Change” – know-how that leaves with older staff while new staff arrives with different expectations
These factors are not exclusive and delegates will identify other external influences that are shaping our future. Industry facilitators will also provide additional perspectives and help identify challenges. Delegates should come with an open mind but expect disagreement and debate in order to allow for a rich range of outcomes.
We will have three blocks of approximately an hour:
- Key trends and uncertainties that will shape the future of corporate learning (in four groups)
- Drafting first set of scenarios based on uncertainties (in four groups)
- Summarise the key insights and discuss how we can leverage this during the rest of the conference (one group)
This workshop is specifically designed for all those directly involved in defining strategies for learning and development in the workplace. Senior learning and development executives from private, public and not-for-profit businesses are invited to network and work together. Seating for the workshop is limited.
Experience in, and responsibility for, defining learning and development strategy for business.
Participants can take the developed scenarios back to their own organisations, to look for signals which will help them prepare for the most appropriate future for their Learning & Development department.
The workshop also aims to expand the scenarios further into the main conference dialogue, allowing the contribution of BUSINESS EDUCA conference delegates to benefit the wider conference audience.
Finally, the resulting conference outcomes will be highlighted as part of the closing conversation of BUSINESS EDUCA.
Language is still our prime tool for learning. I find language a fascinating subject and noticed a couple of things about language during the Online Educa.
First, Jay Cross. He was a panelist during the Battle of the Bloggers session. One topic they discussed was the financial crisis and how it could affect our profession. Jay said that if you are currently a Director of Training it would probably be smart to change your job title to something like Director of Sales Readiness (“we can’t let the director of sales readiness go…”). I think he is right. Language changes perception and a change in how you call something can significantly alter people’s behaviour. This is also the reason why I don’t like to use the Dutch word “allochtoon“: I think it has an unnecessary connotation of exclusiveness and us versus them.
Jay was very insightful about the other topics too, so I decided to go to the front desk an buy his book Informal Learning: Rediscovering the Natural Pathways That Inspire Innovation and Performance. I like how he consciously has put “performance” in the title of his book. That way he instantly disarms any suggestion that informal learning is just a pet topic for educational scientists. Instead, it directly addresses the issue that is central in the corporate world: “executives don’t want learning; they want execution. They want the job done. They want performance.”
The ability to adapt your language to the language of the client is one of the skills that any good consultant should have. Ton Zijlstra had an interesting take on this. We met at an Edublog dinner and one of the things we talked about was how he uses del.icio.us to find people who bookmark the same sites as he does, but who do this using different tags. If they use different tags for the same concepts it means they are in a different community or network. That is interesting, because they could be starting point for a whole set of new connections.
I am the Online Educa with Stoas for a commercial purpose: we have a stand with four European Moodle partners and are trying to talk to as many people as possible about Moodle
This means that I have not had the opportunity to really go to any of the sessions. I did manage to go to the keynotes of the first day though, so I would like to write down some of the things that I have noticed there.
Just like Wilfred Rubens I had really looked forward to hear Michael Wesch speak. I should have known that I would have been disappointed. This had nothing to do with Wesch, who is an insightful and entertaining speaker, but with the fact that I already know what he does. He focused on the lowest common denominator in the audience and that wasn’t me.
I guess you could say that he suffered from the exact problem that he is trying to solve in his educational practice: how do you stay significant when you stand in front of an audience in a design built for non-participation. The title of his talk “The Crisis of Significance and the Future of Education” is highly relevant. I thought it was unfortunate that he only focused on the first part of his title and did not talk about recent educational projects like his World Simulation Project.
One slight disappointment was followed by a very pleasant surprise. The Berlin based media scholar Norbert Bolz gave a slide-less talk titled “From Knowledge Management to Identity Management”. This talk was highly conceptual and sociological (if not philosophical).
He talked about five Internet related phenomena and what kind of effects these are having on society:
- Serious play or the “paradise of work”. Bolz thinks there will be less of a difference between work and private time. Successful people will be absorbed in their work. The software tools that we buy are also toys. We should learn how to play with these tools (just like with toys) to use them effectively. Younger people are naturally the avant garde of this development.
- Self design, also known as branding yourself. Personal brands are humans who have learned how to catch people’s attention. He described a progression from broadcasting to narrowcasting to echocasting and considers Youtube to be a prime example.
- Identity management has to do with social wealth. He thinks we are living in the age of reputation and recommendation.
- Attention management is about the interrelation between ignorance and trust. To know more is to also know less. All our options are disproportionate to our available time resources. Attention should be considered a naturally scarce resource. There is huge battle for this resource in trying to grab our attention.
- Linking value is the most surplus value add in this century. This is because of the logic of networks. Bolz referred to Granovetter’s “ground breaking essay” The Strength of Weak Ties. Old social networks have strong ties, whereas the current social network have weak ties (e.g. a Facebook users with 2600 “friends”) . Networks with weak ties are more information rich while the information flow between strong ties is very small (he gave the example of how lover’s communicate).
All of these are topics which invite more exploration. I am looking forward to doing that over the next couple of weeks and will start with Granovetter’s essay.
Tomorrow is another day. I am hoping to see another keynote session and go to the Battle of the Bloggers (with Jay Cross, Wilfred Rubens and Stephen Warburton; looking forward to the strong language!).
Warning, this is a bit of a rant…
I hate false advertising. That is why I was delighted to read that Apple had to pull an iPhone ad recently (see: What the banned iPhone ad should really look like).
I am currently at the Online Educa in Berlin where Fronter is the Platinum sponsor. I found their brochure in the conference bag and was appalled by what I read.
Fronter has decided to adopt the discourse of open source software without actually delivering an open source product. Recently, this has been a strategy for many companies who produce proprietary software and are losing market share to open source products. This is the first time that I have seen it done in such a blatant way though.
Some quotes from their brochure:
The essence of Fronter’s Open Philosophy is to give learning institutions the benefit of an open source and open standard learning platform – while at the same time issuing guarantees for security, reliability and scalability, all included in a predictable fixed cost of ownership package.
Fronter’s Open Platform philosophy combines the best of two worlds; innovation based on open source, with guarantees and fixed cost of ownership issued by a corporation.
Open source: The Fronter source code is available to all licensed customers.
Open guarantee: In contrast to traditional open source products, Fronter offers tight service level agreements, quality control and a zero-bug regime.
I am sure the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) would not appreciate these untruths. So let us do some debunking.
The term open source actually has a definition. The Open Source Definition starts with the following statement: “Open source doesn’t just mean access to the source code.” It then continues by listing the ten conditions that need to be met before a software license can call itself open source. Many of these conditions are not met by Fronter (e.g. free distribution, allowing distribution of the source code or allowing derived works).
These conditions exist for a reason. Together they facilitate the community based software development model which has proven itself to be so effective (read: The Cathedral and the Bazaar if you want to know more). Just giving your licensees access to the source code, does not leverage this “many eyeballs” potential.
I really dislike how they pretend that open source products cannot have proper service level agreements or quality control.SLA’s and QA is exactly what European Moodle partners like eLeDia, CV&A Consulting, MediaTouch 2000 srl and my employer Stoas (all present at this Educa) have been delivering in the last couple of years.
What is a “zero-bug regime” anyway? Does it mean that your customers cannot know any of the bugs in your software? Or is Fronter the only commercially available software product in the world that has no bugs? I much prefer the completely transparent way of dealing with bugs that Moodle has.
Fronter people, please come and meet me at the Moodle Solutions stand (E147 and E148). I would love to hear you tell me how wrong I am.
I have done exactly that. Please download the PDF brochure here.
There are a couple of Moodle activities I would like to highlight in advance:
- Four different official Moodle partners (CV&A Consulting from Spain, eLeDia – eLearning im Dialog from Germany, MediaTouch 2000 srl from Italy and Stoas Learning from the Netherlands) are be exhibiting in Gardenlounge 2, E147 and E148. They will have Moodle demonstrations all day.
- Pieter van der Hijden is hosting a pre-conference session on Wednesday the 3rd with the title: Moodle Introduction – Develop Your Own Online Course Today.
- There are two Moodle sessions on Friday titled: Make Mine a Moodle! (part 1 and part 2). The first part will focus on a couple of global implementations (including Shell‘s) and the second part will have more audience participation.
If you are reading this and are planning to go to Berlin, please leave your name in the comments. It would be great to meet up.
Finally a word about the layout of the brochure. This is called a Pocketmod. It is an easy way to create a small booklet with 8 pages. Please watch the video to see how you have to fold the brochure (alternative instructions):
I really like these small booklets and use them often when I travel for my flight, rental car and hotel details. A little while ago I wrote a small bash script that uses Imagemagick to create a pocketmod PDF from an eight page PDF file. You can view and download the script at this textsnip page.