Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Recreational Reading - George Carlin

In one of his last interviews, George Carlin provides his perspective on comedy, the creative process, the brain and aging for Psychology Today.


The Second Danger

Mulling over yesterday's post, and thinking about what Mark had to say about the danger of "quick wins," I realized that many of the complications in change management have very little to do with actually managing the change and a lot to do with unrealistic timelines.

Change is a process. Processes take time. Often, more time than one would like.

Change management assumes we can speed up that process so that everyone changes "faster."

And thats where the complications come into play.

Hugh Macleod talks about how big dreams happen. How if you really knew the amount of time, constant effort and patience it all takes, you probably wouldn't get started. How success always seems to come from a different direction from where you are looking.

The thing is, none of it happened on purpose. It just kinda sorta happened, one random event at a time. - Hugh Macleod

If you've been someplace long enough to watch a cultural shift - how did it really happen? Though an organized change management march or one random event at a time, one person at a time?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Where Are We Going (and Why Am I Carrying this Handbasket)?

My first gut reaction reading Mark's post about the danger of "quick wins" - That's not quite right.

I need those quick wins (particularly among the really important people holding the purse-strings) to help collect resources and convince others of the value of whatever thing it is that I am doing.

The issue then becomes - is what I'm doing actually

a) Valuable to the end-user. For example - if I get people addicted to online poker, is it really valuable?

b) Valuable to the organization. Lots of folks may start blogging, but if the blogging is focused on why the management sucks, have we done the organization any favors?

Dr. Karrer addresses these top two more eloquently that I ever will.

c) Going to help take the whole (individuals and organizations) someplace ultimately better.

C is where the creative process comes in. Let me attempt to explain.

At the start of any creative project - whether its something as small as a document or as large as a cultural shift, most folks have a rough idea of what the end product should look like. They may not have communicated it particularly effectively, but it's there.

I would argue that the "quick win" is an invaluable tool for change. And one that I rely on intensively as I attempt to change the way the staff is educated in my organization.

Those "quick wins" help this process by:

- Encouraging others to try the new thing. If something is working and a peer is excited about it (particularly one who's opinion they trust), others are more likely to try it. Word of mouth is a ridiculously powerful way to implement change.

- Providing information about the strengths and weaknesses of the technology/plan. As more people play with the new thing, we gather more information about it. Furthermore, people become more engaged in the process of change, because they are actively involved. They have more say over how the change will occur. This empowerment results in more buy in, particularly as their feedback is incorporated into the plan.

- Modifying and, in many cases, improving the end product. Particularly in the case of culture change - where there always seem to be variables missed in the initial planning stages.

The most successful implementations I've witnessed have had elements of
- Quick wins among the influencers
- Strong word of mouth as a result
- A willingness to modify the plan as a result of feedback.

It's not the quick wins that is the danger.

It is the inability to articulate what one is trying to accomplish as a result of the change and the lack of analysis of the consequences of that change (both intended and unintended)that are the real dangers.

Check out the Visuals!!!!

Yes, I like shiny things. But I LOVE the discovery aspect to the Van Cleef and Arpels site and just how elegant the design of the experience is.

Now I need to figure out some way to incorporate some of the features of this site into my own work.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Questions of Identity

It seems like every time I post a "I'm so ashamed of myself for being such a blog slacker" post, I get a comment that's food for more posts.

Thanks Janet. (I think).

Are you posting under your real name, pen name, anonymously? Just wondering because I'm dipping my two in some other things too in my spare time (another reason I probably don't want to return to school).

FYI - I'm posting the perfume blog/database under a pen name - Sakecat (also my handle on Basenotes, if you want to know). The food thing will probably also be under that pen name as well, though I haven't quite decided yet. That will be a matter of discussion between me and the food site administrators.

Why did I do that?

It was an attempt to separate (somewhat) my professional self and my hobby self.

You folks (active members of my professional circle) know how to find me using my real name. So would potential employers and other professional contacts. Of course, my in-person friends also find me here are are dismayed at how I can blather on about educational stuff. So most of them don't read this.

Members of the hobby community I play in know me as Sakecat. Using pen names / handles is an expected part of participation in the community. As a result, they have an easier time finding me by my handle than by my real name, even though many of them know my real name and a few have even ventured over to this blog. There are a shocking number of educators lurking there.

And there is always that blurry line between the professional and the personal.

I'm not entirely sure that one can be truly anonymous on the Web. With enough effort (and it may not take all that much), you can figure out who is who. Besides, I have always been of the mind that if you are doing something you are ashamed of in a public forum (like the Internet), serves you right if your cover is blown and you suffer consequences (like lack of employment) for your actions.

Thankfully, I'm a pretty dull person.

I know you all are creative types - so this is a good opportunity to get to know each other a little better.

Are there other creative online outlets you participate in (besides the Edublogosphere)? Are you using your real name or a pen name and why?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Spreading Creative Energies

One of the problems / blessings of blogging, at least in my world, is that they breed.

A lot.

Beyond this blog and my little perfume database (A proof of concept! Really! I don't spend 20 minutes a day updating the thing!!!!), I have been tapped to do some writing for a Food, Wine and Beer site that some friends of mine are setting up.

So a significant portion of my free time recently has been spent burning food and writing about it in an attempt to come up with a library of articles. For when I don't feel like cooking.

Like all of my creative projects, things seem to go in spurts.

I'll let you know when the new site is up and running.

Friday, June 13, 2008

On Busted Toe

One of the souveniers of my trip to Radford is a busted middle toe. The result of playing soccer in the New River with a large rock. Common consensus is that it is broken.

- Ugly bruisey purple color - check.
- Swelling - check.
- Discomfort wearing shoes - check.
- Unhappy walking more than 500 yards at a time - check.

It's not painful, more uncomfortable. Just enough sensation to let you know that you don't want to mess with it or else it will become painful and you will be soooooo sorry.

Not much you can do about the busted middle toe. Just strap it to the surrounding toes with gauze and first aid tape (or duct tape, depending on which is handier), wear flip flops and stay off it. This too will pass.

From a distance, I got to see the project analog of the busted middle toe.

One of my co-workers is sadly involved in what is quickly devolving to a highly dysfunctional project. I received the following phone call on Wednesday:

Wendy, there is an issue with the color of the interface.

The color....

Yeah. The entire system doesn't work. The vendor isn't listening to what we need to have functional before we sign off on anything and this guy is worried about the color of the new interface.


Oh yeah, and he wants to make sure the right logos are on it too.

I think his concerns are more about control than the color or the logos. He has no control over how (or whether) the system works, but he has at least some control over what it all looks like. Therefore, that's what he will focus on. Don't blame him at all for that.

The gentleman who is concerned about the color of the interface (versus having the system actually WORK) is like my middle toe. The middle toe is a generally ignored part of the body. Without it, you can still balance and walk and do lots of things. But my middle toe wants to remind me that it is an important part of the system. And I'm not about to chop it off because of a temporary disagreement.

The toe is uncomfortable now - but if I don't make it comfortable and treat it gently, it could become very painful later on. The gentleman is very senior and has been with the organization a long time, so it's not like my co-worker can chop him off from the project. Especially since he is the final arbiter of all decisions on the project. All my co-worker can do is try to make him comfortable. Maybe flip flops and some tape will help.....

Thursday, June 12, 2008


A more mature collaboration.

During the wedding, I was introduced to a game invented by 10 guys during the groom's bachelor party weekend.

Grisbee (also spelled Grisby, Grisbie, Grisbey).

Basic equipment: 2 golf balls per player, 1 chair per player, beer and 1 frisbee.

The rules (as they currently stand)
- A frisbee is thrown concave-side up. Where it lands serves as the target.

- Each player throws one golf ball at a time. The goal - to get it in the frisbee. When everyone has thrown the first ball, you throw the 2nd ball.

- In the frisbee = 5 points. Touching the frisbee = 2 points. Nearest to the frisbee = 1 point.

- Furthest from the frisbee picks up all the balls and hands the appropriate balls to the appropriate parties.

- (As of this weekend) Loser throws the frisbee, winner takes first shot. Before, the winner threw the frisbee. The logic behind the rule change - the winner shouldn't have to work that hard and the loser is already standing, thereby having more leverage for throwing the frisbee at a distance unlike the still seated winner.

- Overall winner is claimed at 15 points (though it may be 13. I'm not sure and most of the folks playing have lost count by about 5).

This is, essentially, a modified bocce game.

Unlike Motel Box Putting (or whatever its called), this game has had enough play to begin formal rule codification. Many of the rules are already agreed upon. A formal name (with some debate over spelling) has been determined. One of the more business-minded players has already claimed the Grisbee domain name for a future website. I expect to be seeing t-shirts and official Grisbee beer mugs soon.

And all of this happened over 2 weekends with discussion and word-of-mouth advertising (the SO and his friends didn't shut up about it in between the bachelor party and the wedding).

10 people, a common purpose, a little time and suddenly a new game is born (at least until we discover that someone else has invented and patented it by another name).

How long does it take for your team meetings to make decisions?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Motel Box Putting

Thursday night, I traveled to Radford, VA to attend a "camping wedding." The first night was spent with friends at a Super 8 off I-81, Exit 118C.

This Super 8 is an old-school Motor court in faux log-cabin centered by a long-closed honkey-tonk. The SO and I stayed with some friends there since we were going to play the Pete Dye River Course at Virginia Tech the next morning and wanted a last shower before heading out into the woods.

The 5 of us (me, the SO, M, A, and Q - names changed to protect the guilty) at some point decided that putting practice was in order. An empty golf-ball sleeve was set up about 50 feet from Q's door, a putter and 5 balls magically appeared and the game began.

Initial rule - put the ball in the box.

As we played, the rules changed.
- 5 points for getting the ball in the box, 1 point for closest to the box, -1 for furthest away.

- The person furthest away from the box has to retrieve the balls.

- The person who got the ball in or closest to the box putts first. The person who is furthest away putts last. If anyone remembers who was next closest, they go second, but really anyone putts when they are ready outside of the closest and furthest person.

As the game progressed....

- The person retrieving the ball (the loser) resets the box to wherever he or she deems fit.

- The box initially should be approximately aimed in such a way that there is a fighting chance of getting the ball in the box. If someone hits the box and spins it around, that's OK too.

- The person who gets the ball across the tile gets a loud cheer. Thankfully, there were only 10 occupied rooms. Our 3, 4 long-timers and 3 guests who were partying even harder than we were.

- A second box appeared and if you get the ball in any box - 5 points, closest to either box - 1 point. Furthest away - -1. Leaners are 2 points.

- A suggestion to start lapping the course around the motor court was considered, but not acted upon. Just as well. It was getting pretty late by this point.

The game wrapped up around 11ish (about the time the NBA Finals ended). A formal name was never decided and points were on the honor system. But this demonstrated, to me, that 5 people (chronologically adults) can work together towards an objective. In this case - putting practice. Imaging being able to put that towards something useful.

Oh - and the exercised help my putting tremendously. The 2 decent golfers, however, had a tough day on the greens. I think the grooves in the carpet threw them off....

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Innovations in eLearning - Final Thoughts

I had to race out of the conference Thursday afternoon since I was headed out of town that evening. The delay (and lack of electricity at my location) gave me a chance to reflect a bit on the week.

A few things that popped out at me:

A move away from "courseware" and towards "information bits" or very short chunks of information that can be accessed when needed. The line between librarians and instructional designers continues to fade.

My early gut instinct that the more senses you engage during training, the more likely a student will learn seems to be playing out as the call for greater sophistication in our materials increase. The rumble function in our game controllers, increased interactivity beyond the Next button.

Design for "One more turn" (Thanks Sid Meier!).

We have a tendency to want to give all of the information up front rather than let the student discover it. We think it takes less time for the student. It actually takes less time for the designer. Because we've always done it this way and it requires less thought on our part. Ultimately, letting the student discover the information as they move forward takes LESS time for the student and they are more likely to retain that information. Now the trick is convincing clients to let us design that way.

Collaboration collaboration collaboration collaboration collaboration
And I saw good examples of how to put that into practice in the design. Again - it will take a lot of thought and a leap of faith to do it. Education is no longer an individual sport.

Wendy's big "Ah Ha!" moment courtesy of Stephen Downes - Web 2.0 does to servers what social networking does to people. Web 2.0 tools assist collaborative processes.

Can build 3 level interaction - demo, guided practice, test with further feedback (courtesy of Dr. Kapp!). Keep it simple. Waste less student time. Access prior knowledge.

I am still amazed at the amount of stuff I have stored in dusty boxes in my mental attic. Foucault.....hmmmm....where's that box....and I think there's a piece that connects to Marx here somewhere..... Mark O - I hope it wasn't too obvious that I was mentally sifting while we were talking. Haven't thought about that stuff in ages. Thanks for exercising my brain.


I'm finding the technology curve alive and well. This conference, I was starting to see less "sage on the stage" and more conversation / practice built into the sessions. And these sessions were only 50 minutes long! The most successful interactive sessions focused on keeping the objectives simple and modeling their techniques. Seeing that there were at least a couple of sessions designed around the question "How do I get the audience participating in a way that communicates my objective?" tells me that momentum is growing towards a new education world order.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

From keynote to next session

I had a chance to chat briefly with Anders Gronstadt after the Sid Meier keynote and asked him what his more interesting projects were.

He's been doing a lot with podcasting and creating podcasting tutorials (something that excited my colleague who has joined me for the conference).

But he also said that some of the most interesting stuff in Second Life is the New Employee orientation. Social (meet your new co-workers) plus exploration. Stuff second life does very well.

V-Learning, The skills needed for success

V-Learning: The Skills Needed for Success in Today's Real World
Presenter: Ellen Wagner, Adobe

Physical World + Virtual World = Real World

This is where we are at with our technologies.
Virtual worlds are just as real as our physical worlds.

Put pressure on us as educators in a different way than ever before.

We are going to have to get better in our own practice.
- It's affecting us NOW.

All of the variables in Game (see Sid Meier talk) is the same thing we say we wanted to do in instructional design.

Expectations about learning redefined by social media, gaming.
- As professionals, we need to bridge the gap between what we are doing NOW and what is happening elsewhere and the expectation for what learning is supposed to be doing.

Learning technologies have changed.
- Look at the games - that is the 3D web that is developing.

Web 4.0 - Omniscience.
- Computing and access to information that is anywhere you are.
- Beyond embedded.
- Not thinking about how you pull information together as need it.

Yet we still find ourselves having conversations about the value of baseline eLearning.

When you are out there as a learning person and see emergent technologies
- You see a lot of excitement about the technology, but no discussion of what they do.

Sometimes when the delivery is not up to the promise, takes awhile to crawl out of the abyss of failure.
- Forget the good stuff that worked.

Learning people are going to have to get smart and loud.
- People do love technology
- But only as good as can apply it in practice.

What people do with the technology in our practice is what makes it magic.
- We are the magicians
- Can only do the tricks if you take the time to learn them

- Do more faster
- No more boundaries
- Find/develop usable courseware
- Enable contribution of self-generated content
- Manage assets and experiences
- Deploy engaging experiences, anywhere.

Gotta demonstrate value with the idea.

When technologies converge
computer tech + image tech + wireless/access tech + video + gaming + immersive virtual tech = just in time just for me 24x7 interactive streaming immersive motivational scalable cost-effective.....

We can get excited about possibilities, but we also need to create a path to get there.
- Innovation that is sustainable the key.

What does it mean for learning
- Metaverse roadmap

Big Questions to ask
- How do we prepare learners for jobs and tech that doesn't exist yet?
- How do we help them prepare a workforce to solve problems we don't even know about yet?
- How do we prepare ourselves to edit/modify/delete much of what we have learned about our own professional practice?
- How do we truly capture and extend learning experience so that it is meaningful in the context of our digital lives.
- How do we move beyond the fascination with the latest and greatest at the expense of sustainable innovation?
- How do we drive value and demonstrate for the solutions we suggest

With all the work in 3D worlds right now - the ability to make 3D models is so powerful. Haptic computing now more real (see Nintendo Wii and Wii Fit). What are the ramifications for learning?

Instructional design that we know is not as relevant now.
- What else must we do to modify and adapt to the changing environment
- It is now almost impossible to create criterion reference exams while creating meaning in collaborative spaces.

What we are doing now is analogous to a quest.

Online Nation - show growth, get investment

Online - don't like it, but shows value. They don't like it because it is electronic page turning (yes, Powerpoint online. YUCKY!!!!)

80% of the courses delivered online need to look more like civilization than what we are doing now.

America's Army
- A recruiting tool
- Can play with different conditions.

There is a certain play fascination for all of us whether we like it or not.

Emergence of Virtual Worlds (2008 Gartner)
- 2012, more than 70% f organizations will use private virtual worlds to support internal collaboration and social interaction
- 2012, 30% of HR dept. will approve social network analysis to measure and reward collaborative behavior
- 2020 - surgery to enhance human senses and performance a billion dollar business. (Lasix just the start)

Computers and user interfaces becoming more sophisticated touch (haptic) feedback systems.
- Practice putting braces on people
- Giving shots
- 3D modeling already common. Haptic the next step. Wii is an early consumer application

Second Life. It is the first time that we can play in 3d personal space.
- Good experimentation environment
- Waiting for when people realize that they can't get the stuff they built out.

Learning management system - when you put content in there, stays forever then you have to redo it when you change LMSs
(Why I develop in Captivate)

Use of Intraverses
- Use of avatars impacting culture
- Open source / standards allows us to create in experimental ways (small-scale) without being locked in
- Not being locked into a vendor platform very important. Don't want your formats to disappear (see Authorware)

Idea of being Agile organization becoming real for most
- Ability to communicate with each other important
- Ability to foster connection drives value
- Raise question - what constitutes a high quality expectation of performance. How do you place value on a collaborative activity?

Virtual Worlds corner of the 3d web
- Mashups
- Data visualization
- Business and Thread Simulation
- Commerce
- Haptics (touch) and more

MIT and Virtual World research

- Refers to the techniques used by travelers to find relatively unmarked and often mislabeled roouts

What is more annoying than the feeling of having wasted time and energy in a futile attempt to reach a destination?

What's more exasperating than searching for information on displays giving everything but that which is needed?

We are wayfinding of our own and for our students.
- Prepare for the quest - what small things can you do. Try it first!
- Chart your course. Where are you going? (Hypotheses)
- Keep an eye on where you are going. And keep an eye on condition changes. Ok to self-correct.
- Leave the extra baggage behind. Is what you are dragging around (ideas, old ways of working) useful?

Be excellent to each other.

Help, I Cant' Stop Learning!

Help, I Can't Stop Learning!
Presenter: Sid Meier

So they managed to find the appropriate cable so they can display an XBox 360 on the projector.

And as they finish setup - the high schoolers brought in to enjoy this part of the conference get a picture with Mr. Meier and the president of DAU. Very cool that they get an opportunity to be exposed to other potential uses for gaming.


As he talked to people asking why they enjoy games

People don't want to be educated. Want to learn.
- Won't advertise that they learn
- They keep coming back because they feel they are improving.
- The improvement path is motivating

Developing more skills is a powerful part of the appeal.

Gotta present in a way that is fun and entertaining and encouraging and empowering.

Empowerment is key - player feels that he/she is in charge and is making key decisions.
- If it's theirs to win or lose - more important.

Civilization Revolution (coming out in 1 month) - Xbox360.

(showed the preliminary introduction. AMAZING graphics and audio detail.)

Creating a sense of anticipation, what yet to come very powerful.

"One more turn" phenomenon. People want to see what's going to happen next.
- Separate paths.
- Players mind always looking towards "what's going to happen next."
- The introduction is the layout for what is going to happen next. Something to look forward to.
- What is the big picture? Where are we going?

Always trying to create sense of anticipation.

Never let the player thing they are being educated.
- All of the great leaders have some reality to it.

Keep the level of the presentation as high as possible.
- Make visuals interesting and colorful.

Each civilization has particular values. All positive. All based on history.
- Always encouraging the player.

Gives tips while loading!

Give some further information (background info, options, objectives) in the introduction.
- All of this happens before you really do anything.
- Again - anticipation

There is a tutorial available - how to play the game, control. Available early and an option.
- People don't want to be in a separate learning area.
- Will indicate what is important.

Also elevate you into role (in this case - king).
- You can be people and go to places that you wouldn't go to or be in real life.

Choices within the tutorial. Learn about food? Learn about production? I like the way things are working.

Icons - powerful way to burn a concept into the players brain.
- I.E. apple = food. See apple = enough food.

First time we see the concept - the tutorial tell us what to do, then leave us alone.
- Still get a chance to see what's coming
- Get to see the branching. What technology leads to what.

Also has an area where you can get more information. (Civilopedia)
- Available in multiple media (text, video, etc)

We are not educating you. You are planning strategy for conquering the world (oh yeah, and you are learning about stuff like technology and history).
- Include internet links for more information.
- Layers, digging deeper, more in players control to determine what people learn.

As you play - concepts more familiar.

People who play find they learn amazing things in spite of themselves.
- Information now makes sense to them.

By using concepts players already understand - players feel at home.
- If player succeeds using their own knowledge - makes them feel more confident.
- The stuff learned at school can be useful more immediately.

Multiple paths to the end.
- Also plant idea - hey, want to try another path next time.

Replayability and trying different paths and trying other options turns it into a much longer and more enriching experience.

(I want this game!)

Key that the interface feels natural. Rule of any interactive technology.
- If you have to think about what to press, you lose the player.

Most players push every button to see what it does
- There are still conventions
- Gotta make it simple and clear - x for not allowed. Arrows for where to go.

The game starts small and self contain. Reveal as play.
- Want to make it easy to start playing.
- Introducing a few concepts to start.
- Don't present a ton of ideas at once in beginning, you will lose them.

The clearer we can present the information as they need it - the better.
- Give the info you need.
- Chances for success. (math of probability)
- Then show what reward is.

Always something fun to do (combat, of course, is the most fun for a lot of people).

Civilized assumed good.

Important to have fun while making the games.
- Shows in the making of the product.

Player begins to see the repetition of the user interface. Becomes more comfortable.

Instant feedback - tone, words, facial expressions.

Payoff - to see what it's like to be this character (lead a civilization).
- more can remind and encourage, the more powerful the experience.

All wrapped around staying in the fantasy of the game or pop out of the game.

the more you can get the mind churning about the possibilities, the better.

There are multiple paths and objectives. The path and objective is the end-user's choice.
- Cultural, Economic, Technological ways to win the game
- There are also AI civilizations also racing with you to accomplish the same thing (a dominant civilization).

The competitive element sharpens the decisions that you make.

Fun for player, but also learning to enhance the game experience.

Dealing with multiple languages: Localize the text, but use "Firaxlish" for the audio.

Key decisions - what do you leave out? What is essential?
- Player has to be having fun. Not about showing off my knowledge, but player using the information they have.
- Research after the game is finished. Focused on common knowledge, research only to make sure what have is right.

If it ever got out that this is "educational" - sales cut in 1/2

Also "requirements" if use an "educational" game.
- A "syllabus."
- There has to be a specific end
- Has to meet safety specs

Really its about the end-user having their own experience.

About the stealth learning. Be great to do more directed learning, but the overlap is tricky.

Online play in Civilization Revolution competitive - each has own civilization.
- Can team up - cooperatively with own civilization. Or work alone.
- Can change from cooperative to rivalry.

Multi player online cooperative play becoming more powerful and featured more frequently (see WoW).

To design a bad game:
- Pick an obscure topic that no one cares about
- Make it text based
(see bargain bin of GameStop)

"Find the Fun"
- What are the interesting decisions does the player get to make? Highlight those.
- One right answer not interesting as a game.
- Let them make wrong choices and go off the path.

We are teaching more process, decision-making than the right answer.

Cheat codes - he hates them.
- We've failed as a designer if the player wants cheat codes.

Civ IV available for Mac.

The first step - the idea of community in the downloadable content.
- Not just playing the game but talking to others also interested in the game
- The online interactive community is becoming a more important part of the gaming experience.
+ Research
+ Problem-solving
- Learning from peers and others going through the same experience very powerful. Moreso than being fed.

Example of Learning on the Fly

I have been watching the GMU Events staff during this conference. I'm impressed.


There were some issues with showing people and items on camera and having us able to see them. Day 2 adaptation - followspot on the presenter with the speaker stand to the side.

Lunch took forever to get yesterday. Day 2 adaptation - 2 lines outside of the dining area, drinks right inside. Lines moved much much faster.

One of the senior event folks wanted to turn on the followspot (these items require some warmup time). He gracefully asked the gentleman standing in the way to sit down, explaining that he will be blinded BEFORE he turned it on.

Right now - I am watching the events team problem-solve. Apparently, the keynote needs a highly non-standard cable and did not bring it. They are talking together as a group to figure out how to deal with this problem - which may result in a very short afternoon keynote.

Will keep you posted.

All of the Posts for this Conference

I have added a link to all of the posts from this conference to my blog on the left.

If you don't want to bother - go here:

Please let me know if these notes help.

Lunchtime Thoughts

Saw the salmon again. Ate the salmon again. Hope I don't regret the decision.

I am hoping someone posts the slides from this morning's keynote. The pictures / graphics are infinitely more useful than my disorganized notes on the topic. And you would get a more complete feel of the topic.

(I type fast - but not THAT fast. Only got up to B on Typing of the Dead).

The Strategic Learning Plan session was informative more for what is not working than for what is working. They were able to get the plan together, but they are currently having challenges putting it into practice.

I know it is tough to get up in front of people and say with a straight face that what you are doing isn't quite working the way you had hoped. And some members of the audience did not appreciate the approach (the members who are, of course, looking for tidy how-tos). But I think it was a brave act. And more informative than if it all went swimmingly. I snagged a paper copy - just to see what DIA is up to (and to say that I now have an intelligence document in my possession. I'm dangerous now!)

Anders Gronstedt had to deal with some doubters in regards to Second Life ease of use. It was nice to see that the technology has matured and that the sound features not only work but contribute to the immersive experience. It may be time for a return visit.

These conferences are here not only to give us ideas but also ammunition.

After the conference, I'm racing home to finish packing for a weekend-long camping trip/wedding (not mine). The unplug time will be useful as I plan to take over the world figure out ways to implement some of these new ideas.

Evidence that I was there

Guess which one I am.....

Karl and Mark also have other pictures of the event on their blogs.

BTW - here is the link to Stephen's presentation with the chat in the background.

Learning Gets a Second Life

Learning Gets a Second Life
Presenter: Anders Gronstedt, Gronstedt Group

Digital natives spend more time playing video games (12.5 h/week) than watching TV (9.8 h/wk)

They grow up playing very intricate games with VOiP - international contacts.

They create, consume, mash-up and share material with each other. For THOUSANDS.

This is not technology - its a way of creative expression and communication.
- They are not necessarily smarter about it.

They want to be engaged, in control and part of the story line.
No patience with the old way.
Not afraid to walk out, turn off.

Only two sources of credibility
1) Peers
2) Parents - US, "helicopter parents" Sweden - "curling parents"

We are looking at more cutbacks on travel and travel for training.
- Plus the environmental costs of instructor-led training.
- We have to find ways to do stuff online.


We put up with it - but IT NEVER WORKED!

eLearning (as many are designed) - the coma without the inconvenience.

Learning no longer top-down, expert knows all. (Web 1.0).
- Emerging approach where we all learn from everyone. (Web 2.0)
- See in wikis, blogs and podcasts

Podcasting on the go - there is still some downtime (commuting, walking dog). Choice to fill downtime with instruction.
- Can have fun with it. Theatre of the mind (think about the old radio shows).
- You can use sound-effects. (Remember the old BBC Sound Effects records?)

Take dry topic and put in engaging format! Will be prerequisite.

Work with storytelling, video.
- Remember - no patience with watching an entire TV show (like ME!!!!)
- 2-3 minute bursts
- Don't have to start with "Learning Objectives" Think in terms of marketing.
- "Training people are soooo literal"
- Have the story drive home the objectives as part of setup.

Get coaches, see how it all plays out.
- Branched out
- Quick videos steering flow.

Can make podcasts and blogs

Don't think about "pushing training"

Web 3D
- Our training still an artifact of paper and pen society. Even with 2.0.
- Think in terms of virtual environments.

IBM - 25 islands and 30,000 people
Others also doing this as well (Cisco for example)

Weekly meetings in Second Life.
- Sound now available in second life!!!!

Can express self through avatar. Self-expression a real strength.
- More potent than video conferencing.
- Who really wants to be on video? Says nothing about you!
- Webinars - staring at powerpoint slide with disembodied voices.
- Teleconference - how much time do you stare at a phone.

When you walk away - the voice gets weaker.
Can also hear from left and right. With headset - super cool.
Now much more immersive! (I may need to visit again).

Audience - some doing research. Most still trying to figure it out.
- Have seen emergency responder training in 2nd life.

Second Life and Training
- 1200 educational island
- Lots of professors holding office hours

Some studies that emergency response training in virtual as effective as real world simulations.
- Costs a fraction as a real scenario

Killer Ap #1 - Meetings
Intel Software Network - "Meet the expert" meetings with 3rd party developers.
EMC: Career fair

Killer ap #2 - Experiences
UC Davis: Virtual Hallucination Center, impact of various mental illnesses
DU: Neutron Generator

Constraint - 50 people.

Killer Ap #3 - Games and simulations (scavenger hunts very popular)
U of Ohio - Nutrition Game
Microsoft - Defy all challenges
Ohio EPA - The Appalachian Tycoon
Intel - The journey

Remember, everything you see is user-created stuff.
- There are developers helping instructors do this.
- Second life has own scripting language
- Most of this is one-time development. A consultant would be good.

Think about whether you want replicas.
- If just holding classes - be imaginative!

It does take an hour or two to set up the avatar and get comfortable with navigation.
- "Take your age - that's how many minutes it will take"
- Once you've done that - hooked.

You need that computer literacy skill. 80% of all internet users will be in a virtual world by 2011!

WebPages don't interact so well in the environment right now (still).

Remember, one thing to create the environment. The other to develop the learning activities!
- There is still not a good handbook.
- Still nascent.

Level 1 - guest speakers. Take classroom skills and import.
- But have the addition of chat conversations.

Level 2 - start creating games. Now more game design skills rather than straight instructional design skills.

Level 3 - add multiplayer element to the game design skill.

Killer ap #4 - Role play and collaboration
- Cease fire island

Killer Ap - #5 Mixed reality meetings

Killer Ap #6 - Recruitment and new hire orientation
- Get them to socialize with other people

There is only one barrier to Web 3D learning.
- The bureaucratic class
- People who are vested in the past and determined to hold onto the status quo.
- Their concerns are valid, but also need to understand that you will drive new blood into the arms of competitor.

Skunk-work approach
- Pilot and aggregate up
- Immediate feedback, iron out kinks early
- Create groundswell of support and an army of evangelists

(Guerrilla implementation!!!!)

Strategic Learning Plans from A to Z

Strategic Learning Plans from A to Z
Presenter: J. Keith Dunbar, Defense Intelligence Agency

(To my bosses - I got a copy of their actual plan)

17 organizations in the intelligence community.

Defense Intelligence Agency - combat support.
- eLearning Symposium important - 65% of workforce outside the Beltway
- Military intelligence for fighters, decision-makers

No organization that wants to be great and to help our companies become great - happens because of a plan.

One important aspect.
Gotta build the plane while you fly.

Wanted to transfer from K-12 mentality to lifelong learning.

Before always on training
- "I want a course"
- ISD/Addie
- Factory metrics
- Student surveys

Wanted to move to learning
- "Blended"
- Adult

Final goal - Performance
- Specific job and performance requirements
- Change Management

1) Baseline the organization
2) Workshops and offsites to determine goals and objectives
3) Develop integrated team implementation plans
4) Execute
5) Measure and follow-up

SWOT Analysis as part of baseline

Need someone with awesome cat herding skills as you baseline your organization.
- Lots of competing ideas.

Customer interviews (internal and external) and stakeholder analyisis

Out of the baseline - goals
- Product - learning at the point of need
- Customer - stress on customer - centric
- Business Practices - want to be the internal model for effective business practices
- Learning Workforce - Be internal model for integrated, skilled and improving workforce
- Innovation - Continuously explore and implement new techniques

20 objectives from the 5 goals

At some point - stop talking and start doing.
- Went out with small team and came up with implementation plans.
- Not as integrated as would want
- Essentially goal, time and who responsible.

Lessons learned
- Finding champions AND non-believers. If you convert the non-believers, have a better chance of successful implementation

- IT TAKES TIME. Gotta plan for that. Took them 6/06 and finished printed copy early 2007.

- Competing strategies to align. What plans do the other stakeholders have? Gotta be cognizant of where the organization as whole wants to go.

- Limited integration of initiatives. One person from each organization went off site and came up with ideas of what they were going to do.
+Issues - the one person has to be cognizant of what is happening with the organization and better make sure they speak for the group.
+Bring people in before make full decision, better chance for negotiation
+Too many champions in the room first time. Next time, more non-believers and lower levels (since they are the ones that live it).

- Plan plan plan plan plan plan plan........
+ Didn't feel they had planned as well as they should have

- Alignment of implementation plan activities to individual's expectation.
+ In their case - it didn't happen.
+ Individual needs to see that what needs to happen is important to overall success.
+ Remember: Buy in from everyone at any level. No buy-in, won't do it.
+ Gotta be prepared to make mistakes. And its OK to fail. A learning experience.
+ The plan has to be adaptable.
+ In government - would see based on supervisor comments / reviews for pay for performance. Still tough to measure.
+Said communication of the new Strategy went poorly. Would definitely improve this. Would have helped alignment.

- Way to track progress.
+ Developed performance expectations mirrored the goals of the implementation to see how well individual performance matched the goal.
+ Quarterly reviews from each of 6 offices. Good, bad, what working, what not.

- Find meaningful metrics. Only track what you want to change.
+ They stopped doing quarterly reviews because there seemed to be so many barriers to achieving goals that they needed to spend more time breaking down barriers rather than worrying about the success of the change.

Balance between what have to do today vs. what will get you in the future.

DAU Strategic Learning Plan

Change Management a critical skill - esp communication and development of meaningful metrics.
Facilitation important for the beginning and getting people talking.

Need a Big Hairy Authentic Goal - something big and out there (maybe 20-30 years out). Not so much in Gov't - they looked at 5 years.

Security - online training
- 3 networks - Top secret network, secret network, unclassified.
- LMS only on Top secret and secret

Keynote Day 2

Welcome - Brigadier Gen Sanford Holman (Skip)

The Mashup of Virtual Worlds and Learning - Henry Kelly, President, Federation of American Scientists


Brigadier General Sanford Holman

He really loved this conference (good to hear).

Joint Knowledge Online Capability (JKO)
- Ability to deliver joint training across the branches during real world operations.
- 5 regional, 4 functional.
- Mission-ready, joint-capable forces
- Support interagency and multi-national forces
- Coordinate overall military training efforts.

Reserve and Active + International components
- Time, cultural, language constraints

Host 2 of 3 capabilities
- Part of training transformation initiative
- Train as operate.
- JKO portal for courseware

Most important to them - user appreciates value.

With JKO - help people prepare in advance for their operations.

1st year - 58,000 unique users in 1st year. Over 69,000 course completions (as of last week).
- Launched with a bunch of courses.

3 networks for access
- Military unclassified
- Military classified
- Internet - used off-site, Iraq

Tailored LMS and CMS and customized to particular network depending on network security. So Classified network has different information than Internet.

Also links to DoD information systems so DoD can position people appropriately.

Found old way inefficient (had to go to a central location at particular times).
- Finding new way results in more prepared personel at time of need (e.g. disaster response).

Operational aspects
- Training vital to regional commanders and combatants
- Depending on the theatre, have certain mandatory training pre-deployment
- When you travel overseas - serve as a information source.
- Enhancing training for reservists - prepare them for assignments. Reduced time for training.
- Can also make the information more specific to the operation. Going from general training to more contextual. Helping a lot in terms of practical application.

Big difference residential to online. Get only 8 for residential, 20 online.

Also developed introduction to the site - helped Reservists new to the Task Force.
- Training before arrival at exercise.

Can est. collaborative relationships with other agencies (such as State - esp. Foreign Service institute).

JKO - 21st C. Best Practices award.

Distance learning becoming impt. joint training venue. Going to advance across DoD.
- Good training impt for National Security efforts.

Moving towards more games and leveraging Web 2.0.

The big goal - one less funeral.


Dr. Henry Kelly - The Mashup of Virtual Worlds and Learning

What we do is transformative - changes the way we teach and ultimately change the structure of the institutions.

The Challenge
- Increase in what must be learned - for everyone
- Increase in the number and diversity of people needing to learn
- Highly constrained resources


Higher order skills now more important
- Complex communication
- Expert thinking

Why Can IT Change the Rules?
- Personal - huge market for highly personalized services. But business generally NOT structured to accomodate this. Education has to change esp. Business becoming more centralized.

- Active
- It Makes
- Permits novel collaboration
- Implements continuous process improvement
- Create surrogate markets

3D Revolution
- Way knowledge and expertise measured
- Way learning systems created
- Where learning delivered

Revolution #1 - Way knowledge and expertise measured
- Authentic challenges.
- Problem-centered learning
- Continuous assessment of expertise
+ Varied and contrasting examples
+ Demonstration
+ Opportunities for practice
- Context sensitive answers - you want help there and then
- Reflection
- Feedback
- Assessment
- Skills refreshment

The methods proposed too expensive to implement (esp. in current structure.)

Game features attractive
- Authentic motivating challenges motivates time on task
- Personalization - Challenge has to mean something to the person.
- Continuous assessment (right to fail)
- Contextual bridging closes gap between learning and use.
- Scaffolding provides cues, hints to keep learner progressing

Good games keep you in flow. Challenge slightly out of grasp.

- Measures of expertise that can form the basis of competitive approaches
- Measures authentic to learners/employers/instructors
- Continous, multi-dimentional assessment.

Drive to performance-based testing. (DoD as example)

Average person mastered skill in 1/2 the time when they know they are going to use it immediately.
- The ones who mastered best in use did lowest in standardized testing.

Game example 1 - Immune Attach Objectives
Game example 2 - Discover Babylon

Revolution #2 - A revolution in the way learning systems are created.

There are tools in other fields which have solved our problems for smaller markets.

Education is a big enterprise behaving like a cottage industry.

Example - World of Warcraft, Second Life
- Commercial solutions aimed at social networking.
- Proof of concept and tools potent
- Problem - about 100 different standards for these virtual worlds.
- # of people in the worlds extraordinary. Even more important - # of people taking time BUILDING in these worlds. eg. 2nd life - over 100 terabytes of date created by the "residents" (5x the Library of Congress)

If can do this for an artificial world, why can't we do this in the real world adapted to learning>

- Open to all contribution model
- Annotations
- Intelligent and autonomous agents.
- Interactive spoken dialog
- Reusable data and metadata
- Common architecture for multiple worlds

Use Cases
- Creating and publishing objects - authentic environments.
- Creating activities and experiences - and want this to persist!
- Sharing and using the designed experiences - with peer-reviewed quality control. But all levels can use and manipulate and experience.
- Satisfying end users - do they feel empowered?

Function of middleware (I hope that the slides are available...)
- Tie together tools that exist in open source and make them work for us.
- Function 1 - Production team that builds the objects
- Function 2 - User community (Instructor/Team Leader and the rest of the team)

Lower the barrier for participation!
- How can we find ways to link SMEs with the folks with the Technical skills?

Functional requirements for creating and continuously improving worlds
- Project management tools
- ID team leaders, contributors, reviewers
- Scheduling and notification
- Version control
- Design tools
- Storing and rating tools
- ID Students and instructors and guides
(Again - I wish I had the slides)

All of this either open source tools or people process considerations.
Revolution #3 - A revolution in the places where learning delivered.

Content + Services = Presentation

Want to eventually build a system that floats above the "platform wars".

Key - Database Management.
- Object management w/ behaviors, metadata, IP management
- Identity management (of users)
- Records management (profiles, ratings, feedback, data for research and continuous improvement)

Toughest thing to capture - AI scripts.

Steal (Borrow) - don't invent.

API Interfaces
- Tools for voice and chat exist as standardized pluging.
- PandoraBot (open source)
- CAD tools
- Physica engines
- Pre-existing simulations
- Event scripting the hardest part - game level design and assignments. Sadly all in proprietary formats.

FAS Virtual World project

Have sign-ins to get people to join and participate.
- Make it simple to add things (pictures, links, etc)
- They can modify the item to make it more accurate

Goal - a new kind of academic publication. Upgrade the visual representation + update the literature.

Technical Challenges
- High latency - much still server based, therefore slower. But if put on client side, can't share the changes.
- 3rd party plugins both server and client
- Code behind the data structures and Cache
- Modular architecture

The tech challenges will be largely dealt with commercially

Our challenge - build something open and leverage commercial work.
- We don't have a collaborative community that can adapt yet.

Institutional challenges
- open source? Intellectual property
- Privacy management
- Management of cash assetts
- Management of abusive behavior
- Access
- Security

Solutions should be generic

How do you pay for it?
- How do people make money?
- Who owns what?
- How much do you need?

How do you manage change in the educational institution?

Thinks that there are a number of people happy to do stuff voluntarily because of love and thrill of publication.

No institutions in place to manage this process.
- This is truly transformational technology
- How acquire information
- Role change - instructors, students, SMEs

People who figure out how to manage change will win.

New world - can still have cottage industry but now connected.

How do we build that network?
- Agree on open tools for collaboration (build communities of practice)
- Build new publication model in key fields.
- Identify performance-based metrics
- Find institutions willing to participate in structural way in new learning management strategies
- Support research and development enterprise to ensure continuous improvement.

Federation of American Scientists trying to get feds to participate.

Preconference Day 2 thoughts

Just nursing my Hypographia

- Happy to see that Mark O and Brigadier General Skip Hanson found each other. That's the cool thing about going to conferences - you see something at a previous conference that may help someone you are talking to at another conference. If both people are in the same place (or in this instance, working for the same umbrella organization) you can then help connect them. It's a neat process.

- Apparently, I left yesterday's conference just in time. I only ran into 3 dark traffic lights and had to do a minor detour to my old stomping grounds in Alexandria to get home. It gave me an excuse to pick up some Popeye's Fried Chicken (a craving that I thankfully don't have too often). Good thing since there was no power when I got home. My commute was not nearly as exciting as my SO's - who didn't get home until 9pm because the Metro was all bungied up.

- My power came back on at 7:45. Just in time for hockey. Managed to make it through 2 periods before falling asleep to Pierre and Mike's inane commentary. The more I watch NBC's coverage of hockey, the more saddened I am. I'd rather get Hockey Night in Canada. Next year - I'm just gonna stream that feed and forget NBC.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Wrap-Up - Day 1

The skies are clearing, my blood/caffeine levels are out of whack and my brain hurts.

A few thoughts before I close the laptop today (I'm giving up on the final keynote to see whether my apartment is still standing)

- The last session was a fantastic example of demonstrating points in practice. Participation, interactivity, modeling best practices. All of the things we say we want to do but never see in a presentation at a conference. And these ladies did it in less than 50 minutes! Kudos to the women from Vangent!

- Stephen Downes finally put together for me the relationship between Social Networks and Web 2.0 technologies. I know most of you are saying "No Duh" but I'm slow. Had a sense of the relationship, but never could define it.

(BTW - the LOL Cats was all ME!)

- The discussion about Mobile learning really needed to happen in a workshop with more time. Because, at it seemed clear during the session, the definition of what "learning" is is changing.

- Also Kudos to Karl Kapp and Mark Oehlert for doing a last minute session that I missed because I was hiding in the basement hallway.

An idle thought on a current meme

Triggered by a discussion with Mark Oehlert during the "tornado break" in the conference...

So what you all are telling me is that something I've been doing all along out of necessity, rather than choice has a trendy new name?

My excitement knows no bounds......

I'll let others smarter than I am engage further in the discussion (a little bird tells me that this is going to get good) - I will keep cobbling together my little DIY projects in my tiny corner of the blogosphere.

An interesting interlude

There is a tornado warning and the GMU staffers have received warnings for shelter. So I am hanging out by the cinema in a hallway (tall ceilings in storms make me nervous).

So a few notes on the conference:
- It's very cool to finally meet and talk to the folks that I've talked to in blogs over the years.

Lost power briefly - thank heaven for good laptop batteries.

- I liked the last session demonstration of good virtual meeting technique. They demonstrated it in practice and had us participate. What I wish yesterday's workshop did. Could have been really cool.

Talked to one of the GMU-TV folks about his job. Sometimes I wish I did more in TV.

- Karl Kapp is an incredibly dynamic speaker. Very happy to see his session and his research. If he is presenting, make it a point to go see it!

Seems like the danger has passed. Will try to catch another session.

Behind the Scenes of a Virtual Team

Behind the Scenes of a Virtual Team
Presenters: Tracey Lyan, Sharii Miller, Salley Brett - Vangent Inc

Presenters are using Microsoft LiveMeeting.
Resources at

One here, one remote.
- The organization moved from central offices to more telework

Success variables
- Patience

Best Practices
- Be intentional about communication
- Establish a relationship with tea members
- Use tools to share at work

(The group attempted to have us observe the best practices in action as they worked. Gave us a worksheet, best practices checklist).

Have them give prior notification for times can't attend.

Have brightly colored calendar big group, smaller groups, VIPs. All know what all is happening.
- Will have different types of media for different needs
+ Teleconference
+ Live meeting for collaboration
+ Phone
+ email
+ IM - to touch base, quick answers.

Using all of the media available.

Information needs dictates the meeting.

Audience liked the predictable days and times.

They missed initially the relationships they develop in the office. But finding developing the relationships remotely.
- Spent time getting to know each other Add the personal to your interactions.
+ Simple questions - What cartoon character do you interact with and why?
+ use avatars for identity
+ 1 truth, 2 lies

- Take time to have fun together (example from the conference - hockey talk, with Karl Kapp and Stephen Downes. Sadly separately. Maybe we ought to start an edubloggers hockey community - for those who will sit through 3 overtimes on a school night! Oh yeah - and you know all 3 of us will be watching tonight.)

Virtual brainstorming - what icebreakers do you use.
- (They did a real nice job of facilitating collaboration remotely. The type of thing I wanted to see with the Workshop).

- Then - how do you do the icebreaker virtually?
+ add pictures and/or music
+ Movie star most resemble and add that picture.

Remember - any icebreaker use in person can also do virtually.

(Used a lot of interactivity in this system - 2 things this group asked when they developed this: 1 - how do we demonstrate what we are talking about? 2 - how do we incorporate interctivity. They did a great job of this!!!!!)

Virtual team - organization is important and communicating the organization and why.

Use online tools to share work. Gotta manage your resources
- Project websites (Easy to find what looking for, status updates, deliverables)
- Sharepoint servers - best practices, process info, research, virtual calendar and documentation. Contact list.
(Wish they showed the sharepoint site)

Tools to share work
- Organize the card and find the card so find it

Make sure tool accessible by all of the right people and that the people can find the information they need and retrieve.
- Sharepoint organized by functional areas.
- Within functional areas, related libraries
- Also key categories of data within each item.
- Gotta communicate that the information is out there. (They did scavenger hunt for new site and prizes)
- Maintenance - identify folks to perform regular maintenance of shared documentation and come up with long term plan to keep docs up to date.

Ideas on the wiki and communicating with each other during the presentation.

Typical tasks to do in team
- Documenting notes from meeting.
+ Some using Adobe Connect notes
+ Many transcribed and to everyone else.
+ One using mind map
+ They use blog (like I am for my co-workers with this conference!)
+ Eventually moving to where they edit the blog posts. Still working on process.
+ Using comments on the meetings
- Getting to know meeting participants
- Working globally
- Keeping people engaged
+ Rewarding activity

(at this point, we are watching the sky darken outside. Big nasty line of storms coming and the poor lady in Ashburn, VA calling in is hiding in her basement).

Light, Agile and Flexible

Light, Agile and Flexible: Collaborating the Web 2.0 Way
Presenter: Stephen Downes

A live chat item. (very cool - wish I could do video on this).
- the tool is technically 508 complianct but have to supply input on software end.
- only 10 seconds.

Slides available on his site
(so I don't have to type it all.

Collaboration - a wide number of things. Working together, sharing aps and results, work independent and communicate together.

A process of teamwork of some sort.

Main idea of collaboration - sharing of decisions, plans, responsibility, goals.

ID in process of collaboration - major themes
- team creation - connecting or bringing together folks with complementary skills for goal.
- idea generation - creating/producing, brainstorming
- decision-making - process of deciding (polling,etc)
- work/production/creating - track and timeline, can be iterative, common environment.
- recap / reflection

(Yay! I got the LOLcat to work!)

Former collaboration - phones etc.

Now - Web 2.0 - different tools. Transforming them.

Core technologies
- Social networking - the identification of a list of contacts (friends, buddies, etc). The contacts create the connections that allow you to communicate.
+ Instant Messaging - IM, Skype. Organized by list of contact.
+ The combination of lists is your network
+ Little black book is the same mathematics as Facebook, IM, etc.

- Tagging - short for non-structured organization of data / distributed organization of data.
+ Technorati - blog aggregator
+ The word that matches the resource (which means my tag is not so good)
+ Then you can have a whole bunch of resources that match that resource. Search to find that collection.
+ Tagging is the substitution of individual tastes for group taxonomies / predefined taxonomy
+ (really intelligent response to someone who didn't understand tagging and feared that it would ruin social skills) - Tagging provides one context for discussion of common themes.
+ When individuals tag according to their own terms with a range of cultural assumptions and norms, can allow you to read and interpret what the culture as a whole finds descriptive of a resource. Use the community-based knowledge rather than the central knowledge of a librarian. NOT a replacement.

- AJAX - asychronous javascript and xml.
+ A web page. Input data into the webpage - instead of reloading everything all over again, goes to a server and back to the page with the data.
+ The webpage itself stays static except for the precise interaction.
+ Working with continuously saved and updated document. Can see other changes instantaneously.
+ Restricted by browser security
+ Interesting things happen when websites work together. (eg Semantic Web)

Web 2.0 way of doing it lightweight and flexible.
- Use REST (representational state transfer) - use of url to stand for information.
- Rest - point to point. Contact another server directly.
- DOing away with the centralized repository
- Coordination on the spot rather than in the server.

Creates a mess of interactions - mashups through this technology.
- Mash up the information from different servers/sites

Web 2.0 is doing to different servers what Social Networking doing to people. Breaking up the tidy organization and centralization to ad hoc, as needed.

Web 2.0 - JSON - Javascript Object Notation
- Will replace XML
- Representation of data in Javascript Object Notation. Put data in script, ready to go.
- Solves the cross-domain scripting problem. Think about the learning object problem - how do you make the learning object work on the learning management system if the learning object is hosted elsewhere.
- Tag hack - create html page, in header - script tag and import the javascript file with the JSON data set.

Asked if he would post how to do the tag hack - but it does have security issues because accesses sensitive areas of your software.

Collaborative processes being assisted by Web 2.0 technologies
- Team creation performed by Yahoo Groups or even Moodle (Australia Educators).
- Content Mgmt systems allow team creation and collaboration (Drupal).

If you are designing or looking at this technology
- Technologies that work well in a distributed 2.0 environment
+ Support diversity - different sources
+ Support autonomy - do not attempt to coordinate. Decisions to individuals
+ Support openness - do not create exclusive groups. Members in and out.
+ Support interactivity - objects not cumulative, created by interaction with each other (emergence knowledge) that can be seen by others.

Games, Gadgets and Gizmos for Knowledge Transfer

Games, Gadgets and Gizmos for Knowledge Transfer
Presenter: Karl Kapp, Bloomsburg University

(Of course, I screwed up the title. Sorry Karl!)

1946-2007 - unprecedented scientific and engineering growth.

Defining tech moment for the boomer generation - Man on the moon
-Killer ap - color TV Esp. Disney's Wonderful world of color
- 64-77 mil americans. Last year - 1st boomer receive Social security.

By 2010 - more jobs than people.

Our old knowledge transfer message not scalable.

Also, people retiring younger. Currently - avg. age - 59 from original organization.

Boomers individualistic, driven, loyal, idealistic, skeptical, hierarchical, formal learners (very general, as he admits)

Gamers - 8-10 1 hr a day, 13 hr a week. (Male). 43% gamers female. 26% women over 18. Majority casual gamers - women over 40. majority of PC gamers.

Hottest seller - Princess Fashion Boutique
- Highlights a stereotype
- Yet his boys playing madden spend a lot of time "dressing the player."

eMail - 400,000 of new information per year worldwide.

Gamers need background noise to attend to certain info. Others argue can't
- If they think can multitask - will BEHAVE like they can multitask.

Snail Mail - now seen as eMail - something you send to "old people."
- Remember - VA Tech - want text system, when they can get it, rather than eMail - less synchronous.

84% of all teenagers have desktop, cell phone, pda. 44% have 2.
- 15% of 2-5 year olds have a cell phone (dang!)

How technologically savvy will they be when they grow up?

More than 50% of teenagers spend over $100 on next technology purchase.

Kids now carrying around 32MB - PSP ROM vs Apollo - 36,846 words.

1994 - Internet person of the year. Playstation. In 4 years - people who have never known a world without the internet joining the workforce.

- Problem solvers - (gotta solve the problem to get to level 2)
- Confident
- Resilient - fail forward fast. Try it, see if it works, move forward.
- Social - can socially network wherever they are through the applications online. (remember, mySpace, Console games (now have online access through console games), World of Warcraft. Also form self-directed teams (at least for brief periods)
- Think can multitask
- Very informal learners

Gamer 1.0 - Pong.
- Where is my opponent going to go next
- How will ball bounce?
- Questions not generalizable outside of pong

Gamer 2.0 - Space invaders
- What are the patterns (aliens in middle or end)
- Start of pattern recognition
- PacMan - some can play with eyes closed

Gamer 3.0 - Myst
- Exploring environments - where to first?
- What are the most valuable activities?
- What do I need to do to achieve goal?

Gamer 4.0 - Second Life
- What activities give me most return?
- Can I trust this person?
- What can we create together?
- More strategic thinking - still need to teach how to apply to different areas.

3 mil kids in Nicktropolis. Playing social game.

Where 41-62 has advantage - inactivity.
- Kids really participating in online activities.

We need to be able to incorporate the tools into what we are doing?

How do we transfer knowledge?
- Casual Games - Word search, hangman, etc.
+ Don't need to build something complicated.
+ can grow them up to match environment. Use different characters.

- Leverage Gadgets
+ If you need SOPs - why not visual? Why not mobile device?
+ Leverage what may be using at point of need.
+ If using mobile - chunk carefully and short. Design carefully.
+ Can also text small pieces of info.
+ Gadget - think performance support. Very small pieces.
+ can also set up so will call you - notifications and alerts can be considered part of performance support.

Remember - right tool for right type of teaching.

- Simulations
+ Save zone to practice. A virtual apprenticeship.
+ Ideal way to do training - mentorship. Problem - doesn't scale.
+ Try to codify through video and virtual simulation.
+ Problem after develop branching simulation - either know or none. Maybe have a real person behind them.

+ Novice to expert - can build 3 level interaction. Novice can have demo first. Then guided practice, then test. The expert can go straight to the test to see what they know. Can add further info. Can embed the expertise into the simulation.

+ Can also embed video. Remember video does not equal interactive.
+ Video best when people have knowledge already.
+ If only thing moving person's lips - don't need video.

If software more intutive - we would need less training.
(Obtuse software keeps me employed)

Need to transfer the knowledge into the systems that we use.
- Can the application teach the learner at the moment of need?
- How close can we get to Workflow learning.

Provide feedback
- Try to give more instantaneous feedback. Happens right away. Just like in games.
- Think about how adding feedback for learners.
- Feedback allows learners to make small adjustments

Remember - we are trying to change or influence behavior.

- Casual games
- Leverage gadgets
- Build community
- Reconfigure training program
- Simulations / Virtual apprenticeships
- Consider 3D worlds
- Information is the interface (eg
- Provide feedback
- Reverse mentoring (Novice/expert pairing - both learn from each other)
- Be a strategy guide - have them try strategies!

Gamers like objectives - work towards the objective. Don't like directions on HOW to achieve the objectives. Especially if the directions are wrong or missing important information.


Bridging creativity with design
- Karl - look at good examples in entertainment. Use those elements.
- Start with a problem. Have them work backwards and investigate. Then lead to the knowledge you want them to have. See it in practice.
- What makes professional video, radio interesting?

Don't just take what you do in classroom and put in another media.

Communities - User-generated information and policed (Wikis)
- Orgs are worried about legal implications of information
- But Wikis capture and audit trail information.
- People generally going to put out information and if using own name, claim responsibility.
- many orgs using tiered communities of practice. One level wiki, one level phone then wiki, one level vet information with experts before wiki and formal process.

Codifying the information allows it to live longer.

Remember - only a handful make the most contributions. Rest just follow.

Learning for the New Mobile Society

June 4, 10:10 - Learning for the New Mobile Society
Mark Oehlert - Defense Acquisition University
Dr. David Metcalf - University of Central Fl
Judy Brown - MASIE

mLearnopedia - all about Mobile Learning

Comment from keynote when asked about how DAU is transitioning to mobile
- Chunking is even more important. Have to have much smaller chunks in mobile


Mark - Mobile = learner. What is the experience for the person not at their desk. How do we make that experience productive?

(missed Dr. Metcalf's comments since I was in the wrong room)

Judy - Academic ADL. Retired.

We are a mobile society.

iPhone a game changer. One of the few tools that give good web.


Some examples of good ROI and user feedback - Chief Learning Officer, April 2008, Merrill Lynch

Performance Support on mobile devices? Not much feedback. (I saw the best example of this with the mobile Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) that some use).

Plans in the room - types of content: time management, executive learning, Basic knowledge, online masters in nursing - procedurals, language and culture, coaching and networking.


Judy - trying to come up with a sandbox of what working (categories) and examples.
- Performance support
- Access to knowledge (reference)
- Notifications and alerts
- Procedures, checklists and forms
- Quizzes, tests and certifications, games and simulations
- Mentoring and coaching
- Collaboration

Medical is huge in mobile.


Dr. Metcalf

Fascinated by different approaches to content. Job aids and eCoaching.
- More time interacting through mobile introductions.
- Primary way to engage more frequently and deeper since time for reflection

Doesn't have to be about delivery of content so much as connection of people (e-mail and IM). Also don't have to think 1-1.
- Community and community building

If can enable interests through profiles and location proximity - can have richer interactions (case in point - the conversation I had with Karl Kapp before the Keynote which ranged from hockey to sports to kids to cats to zombies).


Mark - stay aware that technology is not culturally agnostic. Technology changes culture.

- Anytime we are talking about deploying mobile devices and engaging content away from desk - think about how does this support the requiremen from both the end user and the organization.

- Be prepared to tell them what they are going to STOP doing. Don't make it an add-on. Has to replace something or significantly increase productivity. Otherwise, adoption harder.


Judy - Mobile (can be) by choice. Also not all or nothing.

Seeing more people using mobile devices in different ways.
Bellweathers in Europe in Asia.

6 of top 10 books published on mobile in Japan as small chunks. Reading small snippets (makes sense to me since this is the type of stuff I've been reading - esp. since blogging. Trying to remember the last time I finished a book with a beginning,middle,end).

Dr. Metcalf - Still have to look at security.

Also - how do you know if you have a trusted source? Doesn't change much from laptop to mobile. Still has mental spam filter up.

LinkedIn and other strangers / acquaintances - still issue no matter what technology, who do you trust?


Judy - look at Sun Mobile Learning for an example of a successful mobile learning initiative.


Dr. Metcalf - most interesting does not tie to one mobile modality and/or device.
- Best research from Europe using Africa as testbed.
- Mobile sending audio podcast over standard phone channel.
- Most countries - only pay for outgoing, not both outgoing and incoming (like here)

Nokia - mobileweb. Wiki with audio and text (by choice of user).
- Can get info from audio form and text form.
- Can use depending on context.


Mark - most interesting mobile application. Kurzweil mobile reader - pass tool over page or sign - read, translate and speak.

Also loves USB - has everything need - firefox, open office. Has OWN system.
- Push Moodle onto USB drive with all courses. Courses communicate to LMS and loads results later.

Security concerns on USB drive - IronKey. Hardened USB drive with Beyond AES encryption.
- Pop covers off and epoxied the case so destroy everything if try to pop the case.
- You are not going to defeat epoxy!

Currently using a 4GB.

USB is an ap launcher - not just dumb data transport.
- Can have your aps on there and still have room.

Different ways to implement. Machine is host. Mojopac - virtual machine. Will boot from USB, will not allow you to interact with data on host computer.


Dr. Metcalf - Uses data and application but need an interface in his example.
- When reach destination. Looking for when you do stuff. Need the user interface.


Mark - uses iPhone for seeing stuff.
- Important to have strategy will determine how design solution.


Dr. Metcalf - gphone android competition. Android Scan.
- Winner - point and shoot at UPC barcode on product. Gives you all of the information on that item. (similar to the technology Brent showed at the last conference - QR codes).

Poll - when moment of need is best for mobile learning
- Internal to group - dial a number then text a number or phrase
- Dominantly - when wanting to learn more
- Tool - Poll Everywhere


Dr. Metcalf - the poll is one example of interaction through mobile learning.
- Can also link to GoogleMaps.


Mark - My USB is not Mobile for me. Like a pen is mobile.
- Is that really mobile learning?


Dr. Metcalf - also a pen that translates to Flash.


Mark - remember, phone and pen and mobile help to close the loop. If someone runs into something or learns something, can communicate that. Esp. with blog, images, etc.

- How fast can you detect new information and put it back into the environment? (The sensor to shooter loop)

Dr. Metcalf - Rank your site to see how mobile it is.

Think about becoming mobile producer as well as mobile producer.

JOTT - auto-transcribe the information you dictate. Voice to text


Judy - WiFi has made all the difference.
Flash available on many phones.


Dr. Metcalf - it makes a huge difference with graphics in Japanese culture. The technology itself has to change. That has to be accounted for - different interactive style.

Keynote Day 1

Welcome and Opening Remarks - Alan Merten, President George Mason University

It’s not just about training anymore (Keynote) - Frank Anderson, Jr. President, Defense Acquisition University


Dr. Merten

Mason - Teaching, research and service.
Seemed a bit passive
So..."Learning business", research and partnership. Community-drivers and community-driven

More research across organizational boundaries.

Very subtle word changes but big meaning changes.

Background as computer scientist.
We are using technology to change the way people to learn NOT to automate existing learning paradigm.

Moved away from "distance learning" to "technology enhanced learning."

Currently in the middle of 650 mil in construction projects. (I live across the street from the Arlington Campus).

My comments: Since I grew up in the area, I've been amazed at how much this place has grown both by size and, more importantly, by reputation.


Frank Anderson

How do we expand the ability of America to learn and grow?
- One of the most impt. nat. security issues we have.
- What we do very important for the security of the US.

If people are your greatest asset....
- What is your workforce strategy?
- How are you managing people?
- What is your knowledge strategy?

What are we doing to grow the intellectual capital of the organization. Not just about training....

DAU results a result of partnerships - internal and external.
- Growth engine a result of unabashedly stealing from others.
- See best practice. Use it.
- Avoid "Not invented here" thinking
- Hard to rapidly to adopt best practices if have not invented here thinking.

Dismount the dead horse!!!!

Use the history to analyze what the growth engine was then and to attempt to identify a growth engine for the future.

Went from Classroom training - realized not enough reach - to a more multi-media system
- Don't be wedded to how you have always done things!

We convinced ourselves that we are more than a training org. We are managing intellectual capital.
- Have to get into what managing intellectual capital means
- Think about capture and distribution
- Think about individuals and groups
- How do you organize to do that?
- Do you have the right folks in the right places?
- They did a major reorg. Painful. Made a huge difference.

Decided to keep a brick and mortar infrastructure but also add 24/7 access.
- Vacant positions frozen. Ask strategic questions first.
- What do we want that person to bring to the table? Does it require a new job, job positioned elsewhere?

Knowledge distribution - drove business decisions.

They are a global institution - deliver training around the world. Therefore CAN'T be just brick and mortar.

Gotta find a way to connect with everyone. Their solution - web presence.
- BIG numbers of delivered training.

Learning at the point of need!!!!
- Hub of how organize resources.
- Take time to figure out what is your LEARNING ARCHITECTURE

Learning architechture
- Knowledge resources
- Ask a professor
- Virtual library
- Consulting
- Oh yeah, and world class training courses - web and classroom

Rearranged campus structure so near major buying areas in DoD.

Wow factor - taking learning architecture to solve real-time business issues.
- If can do THIS, $$$$$

Wiiifm - What is in it for me!
- Why would the $$$ person give us the money. Want them to feel good about giving $$$
- Keeping this in mind - change how you do business

Develop product for CLIENT, not TRAINER

Learning at the point of need.
- Position learning orgs so deliver resources when people in workplace want and need.
- Why web presence and delivered resources critical.

For web course - increased throughput and also broke up and put into communities of practice.
- Access when need it - not at special times.
- Workflow learning.
- Retention at highest when deliver resources when student is focused and able to immediately apply.

Broke up to useable modules - can get more people!!!!
+ Not everyone needs everything at once.

Communities of practice - knowledge sharing

Key principles of success
- minimize bells and whistles and maximize quick assets and simplicity of operation (for the end-users)
- Keep site simple. More complex the site - less user utility
- Needed info no more than 3-5 mouse clicks away
- Graphics more friendly than text

What is important to the client!!!!

Contact time dropped this year as page views grow. Benefit of technology and organization. Reduces frustration of customer! Get in, find, get out.

If going to grow the intellectual expertise of your people - teach people how to learn.
- Want folks who can feel confident they know everything they need to do the job.
- Learning now a competency requirement
- Know what need to know in SECONDS
- All about how you organize the intellectual capital (for us - this is why the LMS org is so critical)

20th c - courses. 21st c - learning assets
- Course a learning asset
- Community of practice - learning asset
- Modules - learning asset

To grow web, trade off resident training.

eLearning NOT to cut costs. Do it to increase reach, overcome time.
- Cost benefits, but WRONG REASON
- Can cut costs by eliminating training
- Focus on growth and expansion.

Now - 73% students touched by elearning product. Much on Own Initiation

Continuous Learning Center
- Self-initiated by employees
- Major growth
- What are people getting on own without mandate!

Knowledge is power but knowledge shared is power squared.
- How do you connect expert with expert
- How do you connect people

How do you use your learning enterprise to make your workforce smart?

DAU Role
- DAU now strategic tool or corporate leadership
- Reach and influence ALL of DoD
- Help to connect the community
- Promote and convey sr. mgmt messages in REAL TIME

It's about improving the effectiveness of your employees!

Corporate trainers must think strategically. Don't just focus on funding or the next course.
- How do you connect to the business mission?
- Critical for both organization and YOU

- New Technology + Old Organization = Costly Old Organization
- If you buy a technology, what would you do with it?

(please see all of my stuff on EHRs for an example of how this model works)

In DAU's case - back to the learning architecture. How do you use technology to enable the learning?

In the future
- Investigating the power of "social networking" - get the experts together.
+ Broaden the information because we connect!

- Simulations / Gaming - let people play through it up front before the problem happens.

- Cohort / Team Training - ability for people to interact. Teamwork, leadership skills, conflict resolution. Growing team behavior.
+ Connect team with THEIR issues!
+ This is where you get to WOW. Helping a project team be more effective at that time so they can work together better.

- Web 2.0 - iLink, profiles of people and content and using profiles to suggest new connections. Plus more direct relationship between front office and stakeholders.

- iTunes - DAU Campus that never sleeps. 1st non-academic corporate university listed. Your partners are critical to build this. HUGE reach. Plus - can stumble upon the training as they are already looking at other stuff. Looking at retention once they find it.

- Webcasts

- iQuizzes - weekly quizes / polls. Links to correct info.

- 3 screens - higher retention with 3 screen than single slide. Can process visuals faster than auditory and to keep up with this briefing, have to actively engage. Don't know where the presenter is. Gotta keep up. This is a classroom technology.

Focus on understanding the technology and WHY deploying that technology.

Very deliberate about people who team with. Make sure the partner can do what you need them to do.

Can't move to the future if trapped by the past.

Remember - the learning paradigm has to move across time/space/distance/location

Remember: technology is not just for eLearning
Want to make sure can connect with next generation in ways that they already connect. Now looking to shape their learning resources to match student expectation.

For EVERYTHING that gives us an edge - deploying. For sake of engagement and support of learner, not just because it is cool.