#LSCon day 1, Leapfrogging serious lean agile innovation performance ecosystems for 90%

Leapfrogging serious lean agile innovation performance ecosystems for 90%

You may wonder what the title of this post is about, well it is my recap of LSCon day 1. I took one word from the title of all the sessions I attended and this is the result. It makes up an interesting sentence and it is in that way a good recap of the first day, an interesting day. It looks like that change is reaching the inhabitants of the world of learning.

I kicked the day and the conference of with a morning buzz session. These sessions are not presentations but an opportunity to talk/discuss/share experiences on a certain topic. We talked about agile development under the guidance of Don Bolen. We had a very good attendance (about 25 people) and had a nice conversation. My best recap is:

  1. All the attendees do see the problems and limitations of the current working methodology (ADDIE or other waterfall models)
  2. They have heard of agile (thanks to Michael Allen)
  3. They know they have to change
  4. And they took their first sniff at agile.

After this we had the formal opening (1500 attendees, 30% up from last year) by David Kelly and the Keynote from Soren Kaplan about Leapfrogging to learning breakthroughs and innovation. The essence of his story is that good breakthrough business ideas always have a form of surprise in them. He had an example of a café in Paris that is regarded the number one place (from 30,000 competitors) to be. He found to his surprise that is was a café, that the owner bought all her beans directly from the farmers. That she had made a whole business of selling these beans and that she had an academy where she was training people from all over the world to learn her concept. Not something you would expect in a café. This sparked the idea of surprise that he investigated more. Other examples are a clothing shop that sells cloth by the pound, a cinema that sells monthly subscriptions et cetera. His conclusion ‘Surprise is essential for all breakthroughs. And you will find that surprise outside your normal comfort zone. He gave a number of nice tips:

  1. Fall in love with problems not solutions
  2. People love innovation but they hate surprises
  3. Rethink your role (what is your added value)
  4. Learn to live with uncertainty
  5. Look outside your own culture
  6. Get your customers inside your processes
  7. What is your business really about?

For more check his presentation, you can download it from his website. Interesting reading and he is an entertaining presenter.

Keynote form Soren Kaplan

for 90%
Next was a presentation from Marty Rosenheck. He jumped the 70:20:10 bandwagon. Core message the formal learning (10) is served by the LMS what do you do with the 90%? He is really big on apprenticeships and has a nice vision of that (learning in the real world without the bog claim on experienced people so you can make it scalable).

He has created a solution (Trek) based on TinCan that supports this kind of learning.

I attended the serious elearning manifesto session. As expected it was a recap of the launch from last week. I really do support this initiative and I do thing that we should do a better job. At the ame time you hear more and more critical sounds: that the initiative brings nothing new to the table. They made it very clear that their goal is the raise the general level of eLearning in order to make it more effective, it is not about innovation, but about applying the stuff we already know (or should know).

This year there is a second conference next to Learning solutions: Ecosystems 2014. It is more on a strategic level. You have to have a special upgrade in order to attend the sessions, build the guild was kind enough to allow me to party crash a session. The session I attended was about ecosystems and  was presented by Lance Dublin. For him the term ecosystem was also new, so he took us on a journey to discover it with him. I got from it that an ecosystem is a living and ever changing thing that enables and facilitates learning. It should contain four elements: Process, people, Technology and content. So it is not an architecture (that is part of the ecosystem) but the whole thing. The reason we have to thing about this is the increasing speed of things, our old ways (LMS learning with courses) do not work anymore. We need something that delivers Performance at the speed of need. He gave s an impressive list of opportunities/changes, developments that should be part of an ecosystem: Mobile, Moocs, Cloud, social learning, serious games, Big data, personalization and much more. He also defined the goal of an ecosystem: Performance. He promised to share his presentation, but is is not available now. I will share it with you when I can.

This was a really nice session although it didn’t bring me what I expected from it. It was presented by Megane Torrance. I did expect her to make the connection between agile and lean. I do know about agile, I wrote a whole bunch of post on it. I know a bit about lean and was curious about the connection. Instead she took us through the eight wastes of lean (Transport, Over-processing, Time & Intelligence, Motion, Waiting, Overproduction, Inventory, Defects) and she challenged us to come up with waste on these topics and solutions for them. Based on the info she gathered she will create an article for the learning solutions magazine. So we sort of crowd sourced an article in an hour. Really inventive and informing.

So this leads up to the conclusion of day 1. As I wrote in the beginning of this post. I have the feeling that change is reaching eLearning. But I see only the first signs of it. People are aware that they need to change and that raises more interest in topics like TinCan, Agile, innovation. But most of them are just investigating, it will take a while before they can act on it.

#mLearncon session report: GE capital case

Interesting case, another one of having to train a lot (250.000) people who are not working in your organisation and where you have no control over. They went for small learning nuggets on an ‘ ordinary’ website optimized for tablets. Most striking for me, they dropped the mandatory registration and log in. Almost all of their content is freely accessible for everyone.

GE Capital

MLearncon preview: looking for trends

mlearnconNext week is mLearncon, I’m looking forward to it. I went through the description of all the sessions. I was looking for interesting sessions to attend, but also for some trends.

One thing is clear. There are more case studies than last year and the case studies are mostly about real implementations, not pilots. This is a signal of the progress mLearning is making. But the numbers are not overwhelming. This is also what I read and heard elsewhere. There is a group of early adopters implementing serious mLearning projects, but a lot of companies still have many doubts, especially on security. The majority still has to follow.

One expected trend is missing TinCan (or the Xperience API). It was big last year, version one is out and I was expecting a lot from that. I could find just one presentation on TinCan.

There are a lot of sessions on tools and techniques. It looks like the tools and the methods are ready to help you create mLearning. I will check that out for you.

It is as the Mlearncon website says: “Mobile learning isn’t a question of “if,” but “when.” You need to integrate mLearning into your learning and performance mix, or risk getting left behind by the competition.”

The ‘ when’ looks like the big question.  I will attend as many sessions next week as I can to see if I can spot more trends and find more info. And I will try to blog on them. More to follow….

#LSCON Day 1: people, new scorm, leadership, Lingos and more people

How do you capture a 19 hour day in a post? That is the challenge of today’s blog. I had installed myself yesterday evening in the pool area of the hotel. Laptop, wireless (sponsored by easygenerator!) and a glass of whiskey. I was just starting to write this post, when two guys (Drew and Marc) joined me. We ended up talking until quit late. That’s one of things I really like about guild conferences. There are so many interesting people working on and thinking about the same stuff as I do. I spoke today to dozens of them. Really inspiring.

Project Tin Can: new scorm standard!
In fact I have to start on the day before the conference. I had a meeting with Aaron Silvers (from ADL) and Tim Martin (from Rustici software) about Project Tin Can. They had exiting news, the work they did on project TinCan will actually become our new Scorm standard and it will in a few months time. It will actually focus on learning experiences. Allowing collaboration on courses, include social media; giving us a language to talk to learning management systems, in short it will lift the limitations that Scorm gives us. This is great news, we have a ton of ideas for ‘next generation learning’ that we couldn’t implement because of scorm limitations. Now we will get a next generation standard. Read all about it at scorm.com!

Keynote by John Maeda about leadership
I liked this keynote, but I was not blown away by it. He didn’t really make the connection with learning. On the leadership topic he had interesting remarks. One was that as a leader you have to get dirty hands (literally). You should have passion, get to the core and be about the why.

I liked his thoughts on how you start out with directional knowledge that makes your identity, then you will get conceptual knowledge (the how) and when you apply this you will get experimental knowledge. But these experiences will change your insights, your concepts and your identity. This means that nothing is written in stone, there is room for doubt and failure. he calls this ‘Fail productively’. These are things that aren’t very often connected to leadership. I believe he is right. Innovation comes from a mix of passion and doubt. If you are not willing to discuss the things you know, there will never be any change. John writes a blog called creative leadership.

People, people people
There are 1300 participant at this conference and I think I spoke to a fair share of them. I did two presentations and was at the booth for a large part of the day. I have to say that the traffic at the expo was a bit less than expected. Last year the expo was next to the ballroom where the general sessions were. This year they moved the general sessions to another building (just across the pool). This makes it less obvious to wander into the expo after a general session.

Kasper presenting at LSCON on learning maps

Me presenting

I went to a LINGOs dinner in the evening and I really enjoyed it. Again more interesting people (Lingos staff, members from ngo’s, participants in the global give back competition and sponsors). It really is a special organization. Doesn’t  LINGOs ring a bell with you? Please check their website and start participating. Help them to help ngo’s to make this world a better place!

Learning solutions conference day minus one #LSCON12

Tomorrow is the start of the Learning Solution conference, but for me it started today. The Ipad/Iphone app is now available and that is a great way to start the conference. You can easily browse through all the session, see the presentations and add them to your schedule with one click. I love it.

There are a lot of session that I want to attend, I hope that it will be possible, because I have to be at the booth as well. There is another innovation at the LSCON; Map Deck. All presentations are online and Map Deck enables you to pick out slides and put them in your own collection: Either online or in PowerPoint. I took a short glance at it and if it works that is really an added value. At first hand it looks a bit complicated because it is not integrated into the guild website and app. See this link for instructions.

This evening I will join a session for vendors on project TinCan. Project TinCan was a research by Rustici software (sponsored by ADL) into the next generation Scorm. It now looks like this project will be the next Scorm standard. As far as I understood they will enable all kind of social inter-activities. I will find out more this evening and will let you know tomorrow (I plan to write a post each conference day)

And I will meet with my colleagues Steve Harz (from the US) and Sasha Chernenko (from the Ukraine). We don’t meet a lot face to face and I’m really looking forward to sit down with them instead of all the virtual meetings we have all the time. Dan Richards and Ron Wincek from our US partner Interactive Advantage will join us for dinner. All in all a good pre-start of the conference.

I hope to meet a lot of you tomorrow, here is where you can find me: in our booth #409 most of the time. I present from 2.30 to 3.30 on learning maps (International center) and from 4 to 4.45 on The next generation of e-Learning (Grand Ballroom, emerging technology stage). I will join the Lingos dinner in the evening.

New Learning metaphors: presentation on learning maps at #LSCON12

Next week is the Learning Solution conference organized by the E-learning guild in Orlando. I will present concurrent session 311, Wednesday at 14.30 in the International Center Room. I will present my ideas about new learning metaphors and will show some examples of possible solutions. A great opportunity to get feed back on this ideas and I hope to get some new ideas from the audience too. The organization told me they are expecting 140 people to attend this session, which would be really great, I’m looking forward to it.

I will do two other presentations as well. On Wednesday at 4 and Thursday at 3 I will present on the ‘Learning Technology Showcase’ stage. We will show how easygenerator enables the ‘Next generation of e-Learning’. Easygenerator is also present with a booth (#409) at the Expo. I hope to meet a lot of you in Orlando. For those who will not attend the conference I include my presentation and I will report through this blog about the conference and my findings on Learning metaphors.

Previous posts on Learning metaphors:

DevLearn follow up: Not only curation but also moderation and didactics

One of the most interesting topics at DevLearn was ‘Curation’ and the question attached to it was: “Will e-Learning (developers) become obsolete?”. I took some time to reflect on this and my answer is: “Yes curation is an important development” and: “No, the e-Learning developer will not become obsolete. I believe that the role of e-Learning and e-Learning developers will become even more important in the near future.” In this post I will explain why.

There is now software available that gathers information (based on RSS feeds), republishes it and stores it.The great thing about it that if you find an expert on a certain field that does this, you can tap in to his selection of content. Tony Karrer with his elearninglearning site is someone who does this for e-Learning. And it really is a valuable source of information for me. He selects and filters information about e-Learning. But can this phenomenon replace (e-)Learning?

No, it can’t. Curation filters the information and it will help you to manage the information overload. But you will have still a huge amount of information. Leaving you with two problems. Too much information and no learning experience. Curation is not a new thing at all. Decades ago people where creating publications with clippings from newspapers and magazines and they made them available to others by copying them. The only difference with the modern form of curation is that we have more information and it is digital.

The conclusion must be (as always): There is not one simple solution to a complex problem. Curation is part of the solution. So the question is what else do we need?

In order to help me manage the information overload I need someone who processes that curated  information and gives meaning to it: A moderator. Somebody who discovers trends, makes cross connections, summarizes this and makes it available to me. I want more than tapping into a persons network, I want to tap into his knowledge and experience. I do believe that there is an important role here for learning departments en developers because it is not about the technology, it’s about the content and knowledge.

But we are not there yet. learning is more than the transfer of knowledge. Learning is about acquiring knowledge, skills and new behavior. Learning is about change. In order to make that happen you don’t need information, no matter how well curated or moderated it might be. You need lessons and a teacher, you need learning experiences. That is one of the reasons I believe e-Learning will never replace face-to-face teaching completely. And the same goes for curated and moderated content. I do believe that E-Learning courses will become a bigger part of the formal learning that is offered to the learners. For me the difference between information and learning content are didactics, e-Learning developers, instructional designers and teachers.

My conclusion is that e-Learning will become even more important than it is now and for e-Learning developers there is a whole new role as a moderator. I foresee that e-Learning courses in the future could become the carrier of curated and moderated content. Of course with a didactical approach.

Devlearn conference 2011: retrospective

I’m back home after a great DevLearn conference. Looking (and reading) back at the conference there are several things that stick out for me.

This was my second Guild conference (been to Learning Solutions in March) and one thing that really struck me at both conferences is the atmosphere. It’s a world of difference if you compare it to the Online Educa in Berlin or the Learning Solutions in London. Both guild conferences have the feeling of a gathering of peers. I really like that, London and Berlin don’t have that at all.

For easygenerator it was an important conference too. We set out in a very specific direction and this was the first time we could actually find out if it was any good. Well we got that confirmation and more. It will be interesting to see how many leads will convert into customers and hopefully fans in the end.

For me on a professional level the biggest take away is the curation of content. I knew the phenomenon being a user of the sites of Jay Cross and Tony Karrer but up till now I wasn’t really aware of the strategic impact. And it’s something that will affect e-Learning development. It is something we need to take into account in our road map. I do believe that it is not a threat for e-Learning authors but a great change to get a greater and even more meaningful role. I believe that you have to add moderation to curation in order to be effective. I you point me in the direction of a new book that’s helpful, if you tell me what the content and the relevance is, it has a greater value to me. I’m still processing this, but I will definitely come back on this.

It was a great opportunity to network and I did meet and speak with lots of interesting people.

I’m a huge fan of an agile approach (I wrote about that in previous posts) and this was the first e-Learning conference that I heard people talking about it and where presenting on it. That’s great, I really believe that such an agile approach has great advantages over ADDIE and other methods. I hope it catches on. I’m even considering adding support for the agile process to easygenerator. Another point I will come back on.

LINGOs 3.0
The initiative of LINGOs to make learning and education available to everyone in the developing world is really amazing. I really hope that this will succeed.  Another topic I will definitely get back on.

It was a great conference, very valuable from a business perspective and from the perspective as an e-Learning professional. The people, the organization and the facilities where great, the only negative thing I can come up with is the location. O boy, do I hate Vegas.

DevLearn Day 3: the final day of a great week

I started the day with a Morning Buzz session about management and leadership by Michelle Fanfarillo and Bill Harisson. They are from Intel and told us how they try to connect to the business. At Intel learning is a support organization (as always) resorting under HR so they have to work hard to connect to the business. Intel is huge, 96000 people, 200 plus countries, 15 main sites, 10.000 managers. What they did was to give each HR director of a business group a learning consultant. They also have country organizations with a HR director, they got a learning consultant too. They now are setting up a steering committee in order to have a central point of direction.

This is how they manage their managers. I asked them how they manage the increasing needs of individual learners and they told me that they haven’t figured that out yet. The conclusion was don’t work from learning goals but from organization/business goals. Insure access to the business leaders and use a steering committee.

Internet time alliance, Interactive review of DevLearn
The second session I attended was run by the Internet time alliance. All five of them where there. They did a review of the conference results. They gave their findings, showed interviews with conference attendees and asked the people that attended the session. I made a mind map of it:

But the most important insight was the curation of content.

After this I had a final meeting with my colleagues Chris and Steven, they both had to leave.

I had some meetings in the afternoon. One with David Holcombe (president and CEO of the Elaerning guild) and Heidi Fisk (Executive director) about the possibility of an European Guild conference. Conclusion it will happen, the question is when.

But by far the most exiting meeting was with some people of LINGOs. They now support Ngo’s who work in developing countries. Eric Berg came up with a plan to up the stakes a bit, the new goal is to make knowledge and learning available to anyone in developing countries. I just checked how many people live in developing countries and found the following figure: 5,727,771,964 (give or take a few). This is a mind-blowing initiative. If they pull it of it would be worthy of a Nobel Prize. Imagine if all people have access to learning and they could really develop them selves. It would mean less poverty, less hunger, less war, fewer people dying, more people having to chance to a better life. They formed a steering committee that will work out the plan in further detail and Eric has asked me to be part of that committee. I’m very honored that I can be a part of this great plan and I hope that I can contribute to it. I will be writing more about this initiative in the future. Wow!

I have five hours left before I have to pack my bags and go home. I will try to get some sleep before that. For now preliminary conclusion of DevLearn is: it was a great week!

Devlearn conference day 2: curation

I started with a morning buzz session with Jay Cross. He told us how he deals with the information overload that is flooding all of us. The message is simple. You go from push to pull, with RSS feeds you pull information in instead for searching it on the web. The second step is that he uses software (Aggregage) to store, organize and publish the information he pulls in. This way he creates a place where people can go to see his selection of information for certain topics. This means that people are replacing search engines. Instead of looking things up with google you plugin to the knowledge of somebody who is an acknowledged specialist in his field. Jay does this on workingsmarterdaily.com. Another example is the Elearninglearning the site of Tony Karrer. This blog and the easygenerator blog are ‘republished’ or aggregated through that site.

And that covers the keynote of the day too. Steven Rosenbaum presented ‘the future of learning is context’ and his story was an exact copy of Jay’s. Steven calls this ‘curation’ and told us that by publishing (like this blog or a twitter feed) we are all curating information. Funny coincidence to have those two session back to back with exactly the same message.

After the keynote the expo demanded our attention, I wasn’t able to go to other sessions. That is the flip side of being an exhibitor, you are there for others and not for yourself. I wished I was able to clone myself and do both.

The expo has been very good for us we have a ton of leads en the coming weeks will be packed with following up, giving webinars and assisting people who signed up for the 30 day trial. It’s great, it is why we are here.

I also presented on the ‘Emerging technology stage’ together with Marten du Prez of aNewSpring. I showed how you can create individual learning paths within an e-Learning course, he explained how they make it possible to create individual learning paths between courses.  I told how frustrated I got when I was creating e-learning courses. You work from learning objectives and design a course based on that. Then you go into your authoring tool that doesn’t have any support for learning objectives and you loose it all. In stead you end up with a powerpoint like course that reports based on page progress. It turns out , frustration is shared by almost every developer. I compared page progress with giving a car key to somebody and telling them that they have to stick it in the contact of the car for 10 hours and then they will get their drivers license. You don’t do that, why should we approach e-learning like that. By the response I received it seems that we have found a working solution for this problem and that we are adding real value for both the developer and the learner. Michael Allen, the CEO of Allen interactions came over to me in a bar and told me that he loved our approach of learning objectives. That’s another sign that we are on track.

The rest of the day was filled with meetings and working at the booth. I had lunch with Eric Berg, he is the Executive director of Lingos. They are a great organization that supports ngo’s with e-Learning facilities and knowledge, they really make a difference with their work and I’m a fan. Easygenerator is a sponsor of LINGOs, offering easygenerator for free to all associated ngo’s. On a personal title I’m an ambassador for them, trying to gain more support in Europe. I will represent LINGOs at the online Educa. It’s always an inspiration the meet Eric and I’m happy that I can make a contribution to his organization.

We had a quit evening dinner with our team and evaluated the expo and made plans for how to follow all those leads in the best possible way. For us DevLearn is a huge success and we will be back next year at the expo.Yesterday was the last day of the expo so I will have some time to attend sessions today. That and some meetings will fill the last day of the conference.


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