Monday, June 28, 2010

Soul Searching

On Friday, I attended one of those thought-provoking meetings with mentors - current and potential.

You know Wendy, you really should go back to school.

I know the perfect program for you!
This would be perfect! I can see the glint in your eye.

These types of conversations have gotten more frequent of late.

Every time I have these conversations, I think of the lunch in the small Chinatown noodle shop with Clark Quinn - who asked why I didn't go back and get the doctorate.

I gave him a pretty lengthy list of excuses at the time.

My career trajectory is fine.

I'm perfectly happy where I am at and where things seem to be headed.

I'm not interested in becoming a professor.

I don't know if I want to put the time/effort/money into this.

I can't see what the benefit / return on investment is to me.

I've got the best committee on the internet - there is no WAY I could put together the same brain trust at one institution.

I probably make more money without the doctorate.

...I'm certain there were others....


I don't know why Friday's breakfast got me thinking about going back to school more seriously than I have since I finished my 2nd Masters in 2003.

Maybe it was the sheer number of voices - my director, a highly regarded mentor, a soon-to-be-minted Ed.D.

Maybe it's the directionless rut that I'm feeling at work. Busy - but not entirely sure I am accomplishing anything.

Maybe it's the realization that the skills I am being forced to develop this year (project management, people management, leadership) takes me closer to a leadership position rather than a senior technical position. And that I am feeling singularly ill-equipped to handle the change.

Maybe I am finally coming to grips with the fear of repeat failure that has dogged me since I failed my qualifying exams at Kentucky 15 years ago.

Maybe it's recognizing that I've become intellectually lazy.


I have some more research to do.
This is the program I am considering.


I got my Masters in Instructional Technology by sheer accident.

I was bored at work. Found a program that matched what I was doing at the time. I worked at Towson - so classes were free. I was able to make my school work match my job tasks. Next thing I knew - I was one semester away from graduating.

The Wonk (a golf buddy and one of my best friends) put this in perspective.

Shoot Wendy, if nothing else, take advantage of the free classes!


I'm looking at the best way to tackle this. Especially since I am not entirely familiar with the field (or maybe I am, and am just confused by the jargon and range of research).

Take a couple of classes to see if my BS monitor goes up.
Take the Miller Analogy Test - just to have something current.
One semester at a time, with no "goal" in mind.
One semester at a time to see how this stacks up with my current workload.

I'm taking any and all advice / encouragement / warnings.

Monday, June 21, 2010

ISO - Requirements Training

Over the past couple of months, I have been attempting to collect requirements for our LMS project. Should be simple, right?

The stakeholders put together a document listing what they needed the system to do.

It was a pretty straightforward list.
- Managers should be able to report on their teams
- HR should be able to report by job type.

That sort of thing.

Apparently, not what the technicians were looking for.

So the primary stakeholders and I went back to the drawing board in an attempt to clarify our needs.

I got so mad at one point - I created a PowerPoint presentation with happy smiley faces. (Oh yeah - THAT was productive).

Meanwhile - I went to the practitioners that I thought would know about requirements collection.

We're not trained to do that.

WTF!?! Not even to facilitate?!?!? (I am hoping that I said something a little more tactful than this. I probably didn't)

No - it's actually not part of our discipline

So who actually collects the requirements?

Well, it just kinda happens. We think it's the business analysts. But it varies. We don't get involved until after the requirements are collected.

Isn't there a preferred format? Some standard document you all use?

No - but we have a pilot document. Try this out.

So I stick the requirements the stakeholders and I collected (again) into the pilot document. Three drafts later, I submit the new requirements document to all parties.

Stakeholders: This doesn't make any sense

Technicians: This doesn't make any sense

Me (to the group at large...)All I want is ONE set of requirements that everyone understands so that we are all on the same page. I don't care if I have to show up to meetings in feathers performing interpretive dance.

ANYTHING so that we are all on the same page.

At this point, my manager slipped me a note telling me to not act so frustrated.

Thankfully - one of the senior business analysts for our enterprise system took me under wing; before I showed up to work looking like a Vegas showgirl for our next requirements meeting.

After chatting with her, I realized my difficulty collecting and communicating requirements was a result of never having collected requirements for this type of project.

I know how to collect requirements and do a needs assessment for a training project. I know the questions to ask. I know how to guide the client. I am ultimately the one doing the work, so I know what I am looking for. I know when I need to go back for clarification.

This time, I am collecting requirements for implementing a feature of a pre-existing system.
- I am only doing a very small part of the work, not all of it.

- The system has already been purchased, so we are working within a much tighter set of restrictions than is optimal. Especially since we have no control of the code.

- And this has been out of my realm of expertise. I've always been the stakeholder, not the business analyst (at least, not formally). As a result, I am not entirely certain of the questions to ask.

After much back and forth (and probably fearing the spectre of a crazed trainer dancing and shrieking on the conference room table), everyone went back to the initial document. The one without the bells, whistles and complicated formatting. Just a list. "Here's what we need it to do."

The final is with the steering committee now.

I am stitching up my costume and brushing up on my Fosse.... just in case.....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Watching yourself teach on video is always educational.

Jon PCF, one of the coaches at my gym, recently filmed himself teaching olympic lifting.

I say 'right' a lot. So every time I say 'right', I have to do a burpee.

We counted 27 - not including the 3 that he did earlier in the class.

Personally, I would be happy if 'right' was my only verbal tic. I've found over the years that I replace one verbal tic with another (or 2 or 3).

Thankfully, half of my training these days is through online tutorials. Hooray for audio editing software!

I am in the process of creating a temporary video series for a project. This is an emergency stop-gap until I get the tidy interactive tutorials completed. Usually, I would do documentation and be done with it. This group wanted video.

Below is a demonstration of why I normally do not try to narrate while filming. (30 seconds should be enough to get the point across)

I be an edukayshen perfeshunul.
Do not try this at home.
And kudos to those who can film and talk at the same time.

#IeL2010 Through the Eyes of a Newcomer

Michael is brand new to eLearning. He’s a web developer by background and took the job as a way to apply his web skills. I was curious to get his take on the conference, since he doesn’t have the baggage many of us do when attending these things. His writeup is below:

As a newbie to the eLearning field and someone who comes from a web design/web development background, I enjoyed the 6th annual symposium overall. On Day 1, I attended the all day Game Design Workshop where I thoroughly enjoyed Brenda Brathwait as the speaker. Although I'm sure my team's game submission for the game jam came in last place, it did give me a glimpse into the difficulty of creating a good game design.

Day 2 & 3 were filled with key note and session speakers, some who referenced names of authors and researchers which I would scribble in my notes because I'd never hear of them before. Others focused on distilling down complex topics or key insights on current trends in eLearning which were provided in an engaging presentation with real world examples(I found these the most valuable sessions).

On a personal level and as a avid gamer in the early 90s, I really enjoyed John Romero's key note.

Like a new kid at a new school, I sat and observed a bit more than those who have been in the field for years. I look forward to next year's 7th annual symposium and hope to engage more people, especially those speakers whose presentations resonated with me.

A few further observations since I cornered him in the office and asked a whole bunch of questions

- The sessions generally assumed a certain level of Instructional Design knowledge and background. He tried to steer clear of sessions that seemed “advanced”.

- His favorite session: Brent Schlenker’s Content is Queen / Context is King.
+ He loved his presentation and approach. Michael also admitted he is a sucker for multimedia in presentations, especially Brent’s use of music.
+ Lots of philosophical food for thought – since he has always heard Content is king.
+ Michael also found Brent’s message very simple, elegant and effective.

- Michael also got a lot out of Mark Oehlert’s Social Media Bootcamp. These sessions connected to his prior experience as a web developer in ways that the other sessions didn’t. Especially the discussion of Kongregate and user interfaces.
+ The next week, we dug around Kongregate and found Toss the Turtle. If your favorite part of Circus Atari was when the little stick figures fell off the seesaw, this game is for you.

- In comparison to Mark and Brent’s sessions, a few of the sessions he attended seemed unfocussed. Interestingly, to Michael, the more unfocused sessions correlated with the amount of text on the slides. Hmmmm…..

- During John Romano’s keynote, someone asked “How does your talk link to education?” John mentioned a Learning Project and asked back “Why aren’t there more cool educational games?” Michael wondered the same thing. With the last 3 game developer keynotes, I am hearing “the education space is really exciting right now”. I am personally curious to see how this plays out over the next few years.

Michael tells me he got a lot out of the conference. From his obvious excitement talking about it, I know he’s not blowing smoke when he says that. Thanks to my eLearning network for making him feel so welcome. Now let’s not scare him off ;)

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Playing Facebook Games

We won the Build a Facebook Game challenge. Yet the only one I ever played was Scrabulous (back in the day).

Why the bias?

Because I hated all of the notifications and invites and gifts of virtual things.

The Hide button, in my mind, is one of the best Facebook features ever.

Since Sid and I won the Build a Facebook game challenge, however, I figured I needed to play at least some of the newer games to see what is going on in the environment these days. And I wanted to do it in a way where I wasn't cluttering up my friends' news feeds.

I chose three:

Fish Wrangler - I like fishing. I was attracted by the animation on the Fan page. Seemed like a good fit.
- Gameplay: Click the Fish Now button. Get a fish (or not). You can change your fishing pole and chum and add skills. As you get more skilled, the gap between when you can cast gets larger.

- Thoughts: I can easily see this as a multitasking distractor to run in the background. As I type, I click on the Fish Wrangler tab to see if I can cast my pole yet. Bonus that I don't have to pay constant attention to it. And it is really mindless....

- Monetization Strategy - Purchase unstealable Red Love Chum. Catch a fish 95% of the time. Essentially helps you level up faster. Meets the "Let them pay to play faster" rule.

Social City - This is one of the games mentioned during the conference. Build a city.
- Gameplay: Add houses, factories etc and build a city. You can send gifts to friends as well and go visit their city.

- Thoughts: An urban Farmville. Harvest people and money. Something you can play once a day and leave alone or go in more regularly. Like Fish Wrangler - a lot of waiting. Requires a little strategy - house placement, recreation, factory utilization.

- Monetization Strategy: Purchasing City Bucks allows you to purchase more land, purchase specific city buck items or convert those bucks to gold. Build faster. Again - "Let them pay to play faster."

My Tribe - LBY3 pointed me to this game. He worked for Blizzard in a past life, so I trust his judgement when he recommends games. This is essentially a simple island Sim game.

- Gameplay: Make your island people do stuff. Pick up shells (spending a LOT of time doing that) and finish quests / tasks.

- Thoughts: Has the "I can play this while watching baseball" quality to it. Spent lots of time completing quests, picking up shells and waiting for stuff to fall from the sky. If you leave it alone - the sims take care of themselves. What makes this addictive is the 2 minute event timer. Every 2 minutes, you can pick up stardust, moondust, crates of goodies. All of these items become important later.

- Monetization Strategy: None that I can see.

So which one do I enjoy most? Doesn't really matter - all serve their purposes. My Tribe will be the most distracting. Fish Wrangler can run in the background.

Now to hope I don't get too distracted when I go back to work on Monday :)

Friday, June 04, 2010

#IEL2010 My Personal Takeaways

24/7/365/when needed
Context gives content meaning
Resources include people

Mobile learning isn't really ABOUT the mobile phone. (please see 24/7/365/when needed/in the WAY needed)


I had a chance to talk with Brent Schlenker during lunch yesterday. 2 takeaways from that conversation

- This conference may not have been as much about "cutting edge" so much as it has been about "crystallization". I think we are finally beginning to recognize WHAT the shift is.

- Despite all of the talk about how in-person conferences aren't entirely necessary, being face-to-face with someone allows you to focus in a way that tweeting / skypeing / IMing etc doesn't. Brent noticed that we have been almost trained (by practice) to multitask when we are on a computer. Even when we really should be more focused.


Innovations in eLearning, for me, is a 3 day-long summer camp with my tribe.

And though I talk to them through facebook / twitter / email - there is something special about being able to share physical space, break bread, and hold focused conversations.

It's been a year since I've seen them and, as always, I walk away much richer for the experience.

See you next year.

#IeL2010 Game Jam Conclusion

My amazingly blurry blackberry picture of the Game Jam Judges' Choice winner...Writers Block.
Created by (drumroll) - Sid and I!

No...the competition wasn't rigged.


BTW - For those of you not at the conference, I am keeping Sid anonymous. She is an integral player in the upcoming LMS implementation. I don't want to blow her cover ;)


Before Aaron's session yesterday, Sid cornered me.

You know Wendy - you made it sound like I bossed you around. I hope you don't feel that way.

Didn't mean to give that impression in my writing. I wanted to give credit where credit was due.

Sid really did the heavy lifting.

Upon further reflection on the experience, it made me realize exactly why the two of us work so well together in our day jobs.

We both respect the way each other thinks and processes information.

I'm a more linear / text person. She's more hyperlink / visual.
To successfully implement a new system - it helps to have both.


To give an idea of our "project" process for this challenge.

1) Identify what makes a successful facebook game.

Sid has played a few of these. My homework assignment from this conference is to play one. We also looked over our notes from Brenda Brathwaite's session.

2) Brainstorm the main core

We kinda started this process before lunch. During lunch - we talked about other things and let stuff simmer. After lunch - Sid and I got back together. Thankfully - our a-ha moment came almost instantaneously.

3) Brainstorm the design

This is where I let Sid go nuts. I would have never thought of the "wander around and capture things with a magic book" idea.

4) Stop and map it out.

This is where I came in - only because I was starting to see lots of ideas and wasn't entirely certain how they all came together.

Mapping out how we think things are supposed to work (the workflow) also helps us see gaps and issues with our ideas.

At some point - usually when things start to get confusing - it's good to map out what you have. It's also good not to stay wedded to any idea created during the brainstorming sessions.

This could also be called the "planning" stage.

5) Act.

We had to create 3 panels for display by 4pm.

Around 2pm - we had to make a semi-conscious decision to start putting together our 3 panels.

The brainstorming part is fun. Planning can even be fun. Act is the real work.

Sid and I seemed to start our panels long before the other teams. A good thing, because that gave Sid time to create 1 panel and fix 1 of my panels (because my artistic ability consists of 3rd grade scrawl and stick figures).

What we wound up with - the game idea that won John Romero's and Brenda Brathwaite's approval

Title: Writers Block

Core: Collect inspiration for your novels by wandering around an expansive and ever-changing environment

- Walk around the environment and collect inspiration using your magic book.
- You can house your inspiration in your writer's area
- Create bestsellers using your inspiration
- As you climb the bestseller list - you gain money to purchase better transportation, allowing you to explore more areas and gain more unique inspiration (bikes, cars, planes, teleporters)
- Trade inspiration with your friends and help them climb the bestseller list too so you can explore new areas together
- Special environments and events daily to allow you to gather limited edition inspiration (and keep you coming back for more - World of Warcraft - style)

We are pretty proud of our work.

What excited me the most was overhearing folks staring at our panels and saying "That's really cool!" I didn't even have to pay them off ;)

Sid has the panels - with John Romero's signature. I hope to get better pictures soon.


Oh yeah - I am so jealous of the Opus Scriptor team for having access to a printer.
They got People's Choice for their idea of using friends and their profiles to write a novel and allowing these friends to edit your work Mad Lib style. Well earned.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

#IEL2010 The Architecture of Actualization

Presenter: Aaron Silver, ADL

His notes!


We are stuck on metaphors older than millenials

The problem is the Internet - 30 years (active)
- Structure based on files and folders

As we become more into the digital / online environment - our interactions carry over offline.
- Affect how we interact with each other in the real world
- How we think about learning / social issues is changing

Our metaphors aren't cuddly
We are becoming less cuddly as a result

We should connect with each other online the way we WANT to connect with each other offline
- We don't think in file systems and folders or see each other as a folder
- We are in places, we participate in shared experiences

The challenges we face as augmented people in an as-yet crudely augmented world are great.

We are augmented with persistent access to information
- Cell phones near ubiquitous
- But our virtual information sources are good, not great

Google - good, but not great
- ERIC - quality of information curated / vetted
- At Google - mixed with everything

Automated, at-hand knowledge isn't always and/or exactly what we need.

Google is convenient, but not necessarily good for us (like McDonalds)

We have opportunities to do better because / in spite of technology

He uses his network to help others with people's biggest learning tech challenges
- The network took YEARS to build (as did mine)

- Enable reuse of learning objects
- Solving the problem of interoperability
- In 90s - problem of custom-portals to track learners. If 1 part of gov't had great course, another needed to use it - couldn't move it from one system to another.
+ Essentially had to rebuild the course.
- Took proprietary and open standards. Figure out how to work together. Create framework. Became a de-facto standard
- Drove adoption - US Government. Then adopted by others.

SCORM is a product of the 90s.
- Google was an upstart
- No facebook, My Space
- No smartphones
- GPS not ubuquitous
- No iphone, ipad, etc
- The world today is different.

What will be useful for the NEXT 10-20 years?
- Game theory
- Computational linguistics
- General semantics
- Modeling and Simulation
- Narrative Environments
- Knowledge Space
- Organizational change

These are things that will help with the bigger thing that is converging
- How do they all fit together?

Game Theory
- Unified Field Theory - your success/experience is dependent on other people's successes/experiences
- Before - viewed as scarcity
- Last several years - shift to abundance-thinking.
- How you interact with others or NPCs (non-player characters)

Computational Linguistics
- Teach computers to communicate with people.
- Friendly software should listen and speak
- Mathematical side (the implementation and programming) and psychological side (cognitive process that constitutes human language)
- If it understands what I am saying, and get what I MEAN - then it can give me the information I want in the way I understand it.

General Semantics - "The map is not the field"
- Building an awareness of abstractions
- A map of something is an abstraction of the actual field.
- We become more focused on the language we are using over the actual thing we are describing
- The more we interact with each other and the more we focus on the method, words etc , the less we focus on the actual issue.

Modeling and Simulation
- Models are simplified representations of actual systems intended to promote understanding
- How things work
- Can be tricky - the model itself has to be understood first.
- Too many details - model becomes overwhelming and precludes understanding.
- Too few - may miss something important
- Simulations - how we test our assertions about the interactions

Narrative Environments
- Tell stories that engage all senses of an audience
- Use experience to build better narratives
- Use them to better improve their storytelling
+ The feedback from those working with the narrative helps the creators improve the environment for better engagement and understanding

Knowledge Space
- The possible states of what a learner knows
- Sub-discipline of mathematical psychology
- Asking SMEs how they solve a particular problem that they are expert in.
+ Ask many
+ Map out answers
+ Can later use the information to build an intelligent service to help OTHERS figure out how to solve a problem
+ Will both deliver AND ask questions to evaluate where the person is in that particular knowledge space

Organizational Change
- Harness change to create, innovate and grow.
- Balance organizational strategy and social responsibility
- Cross-section between Business and Education
- Change is constant. Gotta learn how to roll.
- The challenge for change agents - if you are really going to do change, as you changing the environment, the sand under the environment is changing with you.
+ Gotta learn how to rapidly re-focus and re-assess

Cultural Anthropology
- Useful tools for inquiry and evaluation around knowledge, beliefs, are, morals, law, custom, habits
- Try to understand people within their own social context
- Way cultural anthropologists ask questions is a way to drive reflection
+ Great for raising awareness of your cultural context
- We form Heuristics
+ Things we do by rote - algorithms
+ Heuristics - how we figure out those algorithms
- We can't separate ourselves from the cultural context
- When we learn something new, we apply old things to help understand it.

Our tools for understanding the offline and online world have been different
- Files / folders - online
- places / context / experience - offline
- But we are now starting to change our understanding of the offline world with the same metaphors as the ONLINE world.
- We probably need to reverse that so that our online metaphors match our OFFLINE metaphors.

People are not organizational structures.

"Architecture of Actualization"
- The list of fields is a nudge.
- The journey doesn't have a destination yet

Architecture - discipline. Structures and environments with consideration for aesthetic effect

Actualization - full realization of one's potential

"He...possesses the ability to ...judge people correctly"

Self-actualized people
- embrace reality and facts
- spontaneous
- solve problems
- accept and evaluate others, lacking prejudice

Doing stuff? Or getting stuff done?
- We all work with people who do stuff.
- But a few people get things done.
- the people who get things done are actualized / actualizing

Plentiful research on self-actualization.
(I won't link to it)

No one will talk about group actualization
- Hasn't found sources yet.

For all the talk about social networking and learning - why are we talking about THAT?
- Why are we not talking about developing people? We are at the supplying info level. Supplying info does not equal development
- Army - "Be all you can be". Very singular. Me. No talk about "Be all you ALL can be"

Social learning - learning evidenced from vicarious activity shared through near-peer relationships

There are dynamic groupings. Not sure we are becoming and individual collective.
- Still connecting dots
(Jay Allen: some buzz about distributed cognition - sum of the individual collectiveness. All must act in a concerted manner. The group level of cognition that makes things happen in that environment. Not one person can do it.)
- Still trying to identify the changes.
(Jay: OUr knowledge melding...)
- Not trying to build the hive mind

(Audience: cognitive synergy - if throw into facebook, becomes a reality which becomes a fact. Literature is out there)

As classroom teacher - goal was to earn a paycheck
- Mentor teacher - too ambitious to be in the classroom
- Hard to hear, took advice.
- Degree in Educational Technology - changed perspective.
+ Who's REALLY writing the text?
+ What are the questions behind the question?
- Listening to things to try, experiences, failures to have

The realization that the metaphors are WRONG - things started to make sense

People who are at rest stay at rest until acted on by others.

GPS for learning (an idea)
- Push vs. Pull
- You could research every direction with a map.
- But we use the tool to figure out where we are, where want to go. Computer figures out how to get there.
- Why can't we learn that way

Metadata - breaks like peanut brittle, not as tasty and a lot harder
- Find stuff on Google / LMS etc
+ Popularity
+ Get list - you decide
- Just because everyone is linking to it doesn't mean that it is right for you (or even correct!)
- Metadata works in the time you are capturing
- Hard to capture
- When do capture - if look at later, your takeaway / perspective has changed
- Hard to modify

Paradata - how something is experienced by you
- ex. Like button, Digg
- ex. Twitter geolocation - where you were when you read it
- What was your feeling etc.
- When you have all of these different pieces of paradata - you have context

Context = aggregation of paradata
- We can mine contextual information

- link between you and what you are looking for
- You look for something. Decide what is right and choose it. The link between the 2 is metaparadata

Facebook / Google "Privacy"
- They don't necessarily want to know everything about you.
- They want to aggregate who you are, what you look for, what you decide is correct / what you want
- More they can figure out metaparadata about you - better they can rank and result the search / information
- What you think you are looking for may not be what you ultimately decide is correct

Next 10-20 years is full of this stuff.

"Context" is broad term.

GPS for learning
- Without direction, we learn without purpose
- If you are not going to APPLY what you learn - what is the purpose?
- People and tools will help nudge us

Live tweeting is feedback that makes one pervasively aware of their performance
- Presenter could adjust the perfomance to give you more or less
- To do that - must trust what you are reading
- It needs to be in a context he can work with (no trolls not even here)

Trusted Brokers - in order to have this pervasive awareness / feedback, may need to be fed through trusted brokers.
- Connect the connectors
- The trusted broker can connect the anonymous to the other
- Brokering the information exchange
- Like peer evaluations / 360 feedback. It all goes to 1 person. That person is brokering the information

Near-peers - folks who know a little more or a little less in a given Knowledge Space.
- If everyone the same - you have an echo changes
- More advanced - get advice, you learn.
- Experts don't want to exchange with those just learning.
- Less advanced - you give advice, they learn, you may learn too.

To do this - everyone has to own their own data
- Not by google, gov't, facebook
- The interfaces for systems that will work like this are protocols. Not platforms or applications

To do this - needs to be distributed by everyone
- Could be VW, mobile, things we haven't even designed yet.

#IEL2010 Thursday Afternoon Keynote

Bridging the Digital Divide
Presenter: Steve Haber, President Sony's Digital Reading Business Division

Digital reading has a lot in common with consumer electronics
- Lot in common with the LP / CD / MP3 evolution
- Lot in common with film / digital imaging

In all cases - this paradigm shift did not slow down the content or experience.
- Caused an EXPLOSION.
- More enthusiasts (LP to CD - get rid of skips, higher quality)
- The new technology solved problems, made things easier to do things (in many cases)

Publishing hasn't had a paradigm shift in generations
- But there is an opportunity to have reading explode

Reading - a complex cognitive process of decoding symbols for the intention of deriving meaning
- Some read to connect / escape / learn
- Develop intellectually / emotionally.
- Self-improvement

Different cultures (generalities)
- Try to research the reading habits of different cultures
- US: readers that read because we need to
+ Yes, some avid readers.
+ Less nostalgic about past authors.
- UK: reading important means of communication
+ Identify with their literary tradition
- Netherlands: For imagination and escape
- Germany: Poets, thinkers, vital to cultural life
- France: Reading expression of intellect
+ Very serious
+ Goal to acquire knowledge

Reading of how we connect to one another, ideas, across time and space.

What dictionaries you want?
- Why would you want a dictionary? We want translations!

2 years ago - 10 minutes why eBooks important
- Technology available
- People used to downloads and wireless
- Heard from avid readers - "Never go digital - I like the smell of books."
+ Heard the same thing about LPs to CD.
+ But mass market about ease and experience.

Launched eReader 6 years ago. Now at tipping point.
- 5mil+. Will top 12mil (how are they defining eReader? include iPad?)

Large market growth across cultures

Reading / Writing
- Simplistic drawings the precursor
- Not until the Guttenburg Press - now more widely available.

With advent of digital readers
- Device shipped, books not
- Wireless
- No returns....Publishers print, anything unsold by retailers taken back to publishers
- Better inventory management - right book at right time on demand

(Idea we can consider: Right content at right time on demand)

Digital - can now hyperlink words to dictionary, more information that before you would have to go grab another book....

Digital Revolution - critical component of exchange of ideas, broader and wider than ever

No one perfect education eReader device

Instant access to content.
Note-taking ability
Form / Technology so that it is easy to read for HOURS at a time.
+ Trying to match the experience of paper

Each organization / environment has own needs
- Easier to distribute white papers etc

(as I listen to Mr. Haber....I get the feeling that the iPad is more of a game-changer, with its multimedia capabilities, than he thinks.

Also thought his focus on courses and the "push" interesting)

eReaders help education with the learning process (as it currently stands)

Link to webcast

eReaders - better access to literature and information.

Digital Divide
- Those with access to computers vs. those who do not
- Access for those with access to digital content
- Also issues with Proprietary Format and Proprietary Digital Rights + some governments part of that divide

Call to action
- Purchasing process for eBooks must be simple
- Ownership needs to be permanent (no taking stuff back)
- File standards should be universal
- Devices should support public libraries

Access to public libraries worst kept secret
- Book checkout - expires on the reader
- Make sure you have access to public libraries (digital)
- Can do "queue" if a book becomes available

Defining and RE-Defining Access
- Paper books + digital advantages
- Different price points
- You should forget you have an eReader / electronic device in your hand
- You should be able to choose between wired / wireless
- Access to content
+ What is the best format? Work towards openness.

Lack of access to content
- limits what educators can do
- Limits access to information
- eReader becomes a toll both vs. a learning platform

- Wireless access via eReader = instant access
- Control of content available on reader
- Wired devices - increased security, less distraction

#IEL2010 - Conversations and Observations

I have had a series of interesting conversations during this conference.

Jim Rich cornered me after Brent Schlenker's session. I sat down and wrote some notes. I trust he will add to them in the comment area ;)

mLearning Media Agility
- make the original item agile enough for different devices.

Idea from color-printing. 1 image, standard master. Multiple / different kinds of color inks.

Master file / then make pdf, mlearning, html, print. Documentation. Generally – how do you make your content more agile?

Think about the eBook process. Make your own book sites.
How do you get there?

Content is content.

Do you re-do it every time? Was problem in print until 15 years ago. Now easier to adjust with the new technologies.
- Depending on the media – may have different design elements (font sizes, layout etc)
- Smart agents to guide to right output.

Skill – how do you re-package? How do you design so that it works across all media?
- Search and reuse?

Think beyond the single use.


Did I mention that Sid and I won the GameJam Judges choice award?

Hope to post on the Game Jam contestants later......


The usual suspects (Aaron, Rovy, Brent, Clark, Stephen Martin....) are doing the conference with the iPad vs. a laptop. Feedback is positive from all corners.


We are still talking about user-centered. Have been for at least 5 years.
The notion of anytime/anywhere training and support is not entirely new.

Yet when we get back to our desks - we are still designing teacher-centered (to varying degrees).


Are we making this harder than we need it to be?

#IEL2010 mLearning: Content is Queen! God Save the Queen!

Presenter: Brent Schlenker

Context is King
Content is Queen
People are Aces
Dr. Alison Rossett's session - risk averse nature. Things we need to do is to engage. (thanks Craig!)

Brent's takeaway - things have changed so much. Technology has forced us to change so much. The traditional ISD models just don't take those changes into consideration.

Context v. Content keeps popping up over and over.

We focus a lot on content. But mobile devices change the direction of what we need to design for.
- We need to look at a broader ecosystem
- The media selection is different

There needs to be multiple MODELS of the content
Multiple solutions (not just 1 media)
Multiple contexts

Design in a format / method that supports ALL of it as best as we can.
How do we do that? Don't know.

We are chasing the technology.....

We need to take risks - design is the value add that we bring to it.
- NOT what we have been doing

Our solutions cannot be packages

Think channels - persistent over a period of time

Constant conversations

This is a very different model vs. event.

What is the conversation that needs to be taking place?
What tools do the folks need to have that conversation?


It's about the people, not the technology.

Our first responsibility
- Who the people are
- What context do they work in
- What content do they need to support the people and their context.

If you think technology first - you will lose every time


Mobile devices are extremely important
- smaller, faster, cheaper
- getting in more hands

In other countries - even more popular than
- Many places - folks may not have car, tv, etc but do have cell phone
- Very telling about future of where we are going

Traditionally: how do we take these courses and shove into mobile device....
- Screen too small etc.

We have to re-think design.
- The content must fit the context of use!!!!

The device really doesn't matter - because it will need to fit multiple (just in time, as needed, where needed)

Is new media what you think it is?

YouTube - video sharing to Talent Acquisition System
- The new lead singer for Journey found through YouTube
- The technology is a tool

Technology allows us to do things that used to take a really long time much less.
- From bands looking for players in the newspaper, talent agencies, etc with auditions and more auditions to...
- "Hey....look at this link! He sound amazing and already knows our tunes!"

Don't fight the good fight about getting Twitter.... (forget the brand)
- Look at new tools and functionality
- What is the USEFULNESS of these tools?
- How can we utilize this functionality behind the firewalls?
- How will this functionality solve X business problem?

YouTube - can get on all sorts of platform (PC, Desktop, iPad, iPhone ,etc)
- If I have connectivity - I can get YouTube
- Across all platforms

We can no longer assume location and context stability

In traditional models - people, how and where work.
- but today, they need the information OUTSIDE of where they work
- You can actually choose not to deal with it (again, at least ask the question)

Brent looks at people outside our industry
- Marketing - get latest tools and play with first.
- eLearning - we are a lagging indicator of technology.
+ we try to push the envelope - users aren't ready

Fred Wilson - Venture capitalist
- Golden Triangle - Social / Real Time / Mobile
- These are the movers in high-tech
- iPhone / Mobile, Facebook / Social, Real Time / Twitter

He sees the next play in the tools that combine all 3 sides of the golden triangle
- Looking for solutions that bridge Social/Real-time/Mobile
- Can lean more to 1 side than other
- "The cloud" may be part

Wherever you are at - you can access your information in real time.

Evernote - note-taking tool with mobile ap (I use it)
- iPhone, iPad, cloud space (I use web)
- Can share pictures, audio, etc

How do we design and create content as eLearning designers / developers so that it can be consumed any way.
- How does my other device know I've looked at that content?

Goal: Make the user's life easier

Content is not dead.

Not sure if context is MORE important because of mobile.
We just need to pay more attention to it now.

- how many people got it the first time
- What was your "a-ha" moment?
- The power for many was context + real-time. News....
- The people following feeds and hash tags.
- Power in the retweets.

Chase Jarvis - The best cameTra is the one that's with you
- Pictures with his iPhone camera
- You are capturing a moment / experience

Our version - what is the best learning tool?
- The one you've got with you

The iPhone is with you!

People have great learning tools in their pockets / purse / "murse" (man-purse)
Why don't we take advantage of it?!?

Overall - it is still not a natural thought to think about all of the different contexts when we create.

Why isn't there a way for us to easily create content across platforms?
- ...yes, we know about the technical issues.

Think about things a little differently. Not worry so much about "implement right now"

You will have to ask yourself this soon, if not now.

Conversion will be an issue soon.

Ask - is it still the right thing...whatever you "convert" to.

(Audience: video wasn't posted in siloed system / talent acquisition system. Posted in a system focused on a function. Labeling something and stashing in a certain place reduces its value. What is stopping us from putting things in multiple places)

We create content for one specific purpose. Why can't we open the content up for more uses?
- Does everything have to be packaged within a course?

(Audience: Maybe we should think more in terms of mashups and the ability to leverage)

Structured content - how perfect.
- Problem - it's harder to do than to whip out a Captivate or Articulate movie.
- We have lots of pressure to create!
- Not a lot of time to create an engine that will pull the materials as needed and organize with context.

ISD Models and Media Selection
- Our current models ask us to select media (laserdisc, video, etc).
- Pick 1.

Where we are going - we need to be designing for multiple channels of delivery
- continued discussions (blogs, chat, etc)

Worst implementation of Web 2.0 technologies - a one-off
- Management and leadership training course.
- Folks forced to blog. Turn on blog for course. End of every day - had to write a blog post. End of course - blog went away.
- Blogs are conversation devices around a TOPIC, not the course.
+ Need the persistence.

Context of how content is being created / shared is changing significantly.
- What is being learned real-time without us?

How do you integrate that in what you are doing?
- Do you need to stand anything up if everything is already out there?

Get to know someone in the IT department
- (How do so many people still NOT know an IT person!!!!)
- Can't have E without IT

Get to know the IT roadmap (Wendy's next homework assignment)

We think Training is a very powerful department - but we really don't have that much.
- What do you have right now in the organization
- Use what you have! What tools are already available. If not turned on - ask them to turn it on!
+ and if you are real nice - they may even turn it on for you!

There is a free module to make your Sharepoint module look like YouTube.
- Very little technical mojo needed

Be creative! Take a risk!
Don't keep trying to buy something new!

Google Aps as LMS.

Needs analysis list - lots of this you can do on Google.

Is security important? If so - what pieces need security.
- If security is an issue - this is where you need to really love your IT department.
- As ISD - all we need to know is that it is a requirement for x.

Outside LMS - still not ubiquitous.
- Still siloed.
- Sometimes, best solution for now.

Getting things added - figure out what it is that the IT department needs
- May not be a security issue or technical issue. Often a Support issue.
- "How are we going to support this"

"If the government can do it - anyone can do it!"
- Examples everywhere in all industries of internal social networking.
- The nut has been cracked. There are ways we can do this.

We need to start taking a look at what we need to do to make our stuff
- Effective pedagogically
- Accessable across contexts

Who knows what it is going to be next?

If you keep your media structured right
- can get complicated... (this is where I need to talk to Aaron....)

Search-able, edit-able, link-able, tag-able, feed-able
- Keep design and display elements (package) simple
- secure-able also added

If send them all of the raw files - can put in way that works best for them vs. packaging (Flash)
- XML can help
- It is harder than just whipping out captivate.
- Long-term, being able to share the raw bits easily will be very powerful.

Let OTHERS create the meaning of the content!!!

Challenge (Audience): balance controllable/traceable/trackable with flexibility
- Aaron: has to be business need as to WHY you are tracking. Tracking is worthless if you don't know why. What are you doing with that information? We need to push back.
- the conversation has to happen.

#IEL2010 Knowledge Management Interface

Presenters: Michael Lambert, DAU
Raimund Feldman, Fraunhofer Center

- Increased push for 24/7/365 learning, performance support and reach-back for better program outcomes and success
- Infrastructure and human capital resources must be added to support a DoD acquisition workforce expanding from 126K to 186K
- Culture change from COURSE management to LEARNING ASSET management
+ Both formal and knowledge sharing assets

Good News / Bad Nes
- DAU has world class assets
- But explosive expansion of formal and informal assets
- Inadequate faculty and staff hours to manage the assets
- Good news: LAMP created to focus on process and resource solutions

Trying to take policy of asset management progeam to more informal asset
- Better technology

“Best practices always recommended but
- Too many lists
- No basis for selecting specific practices
- Proof of effectiveness not often available
- How do you apply the practice?
Practice’s success factors not well understood or documented

BPCh Content “Flow”
- Clearinghouse for software acquisition best practices
- They help shape and vet
- Leads from various sources (seem to be encouraged)
- Put through vetting process
- Rejected leads failed test for quality go out
- Rest go to publicly available content

BPCh Content type
- Practice: Needs to be repeatable, actionable, documented.
+ May include commercial offering
+ Gotta include how to do it
+ Need to be able to create empirical data
+ Practice area: a general area (ie Risk manageemtn)
+ Lesson learned: after the fact report. Good advice without enough detail to be clearly repeatable

- Evidence: Context to the practice. Can be browsed
- Lead – Potential information for inclusion in BPCh. Could be feedback, story, lesson learned, experience etc
- Story – narratives or “war stories”, Lessons learned

BPCh leads with a different approach
- Stores EVIDENCE information about how each practice was used in different situations and the results
- Acknowledges that not all good practices best
- Content includes descriptions of past results in context

Context – sensitive search environment.
- Show me JUST the practices that programs like mine have used.

Situation: Find supporting material for specific task / situation
- Task: Write an essay
- Supporting material – PDFs, we-sites etc

Traditional search and retrieval
- Library style (facet classification). User browse (like the SkillPort catalog)
+ Users need to know the Facets and classification

- Full text search (“Google search”)
+ Users must use keywords that are in materials. Confident your users using the RIGHT keywords?
+ What about pictures / videos etc
+ Will it show you what is IN the document?

- Tagging (additional keywords / information)
+ allow to add keywords to find materials. Often manual. (pray the keywording is consistent)
+ User must still know”the “right” keyword
+ Some implementations (if not flexible) have a check the box in the back, then drop-down for the user. At least ensures keywords are relevant and known. Just a first step. But the keyword can be meaningless to the end user.

Improved Keyword Tagging
- The one thing you know for sure is your current situation
+ The task / situation is KEY
+ Use the user’s context information as a search index

- Situation-specific Browsing Views
+ Guide user to material by task/situation specific information
+ Facet information combined with tagging
+ Works with any structure that describes a user-specific situation (e.g. process description, handbooks, TOC, career fields etc)

(without seeing the system at this point…it sounds like Context-sensitive help in a computer program, like Office 2007)

A list of browsing context views on the left.
- There is a search box.
- Browse content views if know what looking for. (multi-level – much like a folder structure)
- Will bring up list of practices.

Organized – “What is the position you are in…(job)
- General processes across the organization

Could also do as “process chart”

Focus on the user’s information and point of view. Guide person through the knowledge.
- What is the specific situation of the user? This will help organize the flow.
- Tagging the information is secondary
- Offer structure / lists that the user knows.

Word of caution
- Browsing views should not be used alone – use as add on
- Use this in ADDITION to common approaches such as full text search and tagging
- As with all (manual) tagging approaches – cost intensive


Concerned with getting the government workforce
- Already some standardization and standard steps
- Took most common process descriptions and used as prototype

Start with standard process handbooks

Talk to people. Get typical scenarios

Already have DoD / DA taxonomy
- Certification career fields
- Broke out software acq. Mgmt
- CmmI acquisition module
- System Engineering Plan

Other browsing perspectives – incorporation for 2.0

Also – user-assisted tagging.
- How are you going to tag an asset (user).
- Getting help from community of practice

Subject Matter experts – ones doing the tagging
- May come back to help flesh out.

General idea: User-centric. How is your user thinking about the information.

Tools are just enablers.
- 5 minutes you spend tagging, save time for everyone else!

Use the user terminology – not SME terminology.
- Try to make easy to allow both users and SMEs to tag.
- Museum – also used popular search terms and added the tag as people found stuff.

They have clear systems, clear classifications and access to SMEs

Tough to build structure of this sort when organization does not have stable processes.
- Can at least use Job Description

Use the masses for tagging – scan user statistics. “Most popular / auto-detect”

(Audience: some work on personal profiles / portal)

Vetting process – currently building out network of SMEs
- SMEs can log into their subject matter clearinghouse
- Taken processes for governance –
+ what SME needs to do, Content mgr needs to do.
+ put in sharepoint (base of BPCh) – assign tasks
+ Take leads and let you know what you have to do.
- After 1 year – will be automatically asked to review existing assets

(this seems very similar to what we are trying to build with our web site back-end)

Medals / Levels
- Initially lead – being vetted
- Silver – more resources attached.
- Gold – with lots of evidence and resources + summary written taken account of all data. “Proven practice” Will be piloting this process this year.

This is a proven practice vetting system.

Army – has established personal vetting of fighters
- capture their experiences – verbal history / lessons learned clearinghouse.

Tracking the quality of a process
- In 2.0 – discussing follow-up surveys, likert scale etc
- Get more information about end-user value of the asset
- Pull into datamart – “are we actually providing value”

2 sides of quality – quality of document (accurate, easy to use), value

#IEL2010 Thursday Morning Keynote

Winner: Game Jam
Peoples Choice: Opus Scriptor
Judges Choice: Writers Block (Hey Sid! We WON!)
A Global Learning Enterprise
Presenter: Frank J Anderson Jr.

This is the keynote link. Worth listening to all of the keynotes.

Global Learning Enterprise - perspective of "Total Learning Assets"

This starts with an innovation mindset
Takes leadership top-cover to complete the long journey

In past 8 years - DAU most successful corporate learning institution in the world (recognition) (they really are good!!!! That's why I come to this conference!)

Leading a Learning Revolution
- Business Alignment
+ View yourself as part of the business process
+ NOT as a training organization.
+ We develop the most critical asset to the organization - people
- Learning: Mission focused
+ Understand the dynamic nature of the culture
- Organizational Structure
+ Right people on the bus
- Learning Processes
- Technology and Capacity
+ Technology is an enabler - to the strategy
+ Think long term and short term. Then tactics. All must align

In order to be successful / achieve savings - must be successful with acquisition programs (the main goal - US President)
- People goal: High quality, agile and ethical Defense Acquisition workforce
- Focus on availability at the LEARNER'S POINT OF NEED

At every corporate organization - a business outcome that all employees and resources need to align to be successful
- Must have business processes
- We must translate to help the employees and everyone align to that goal

Learning: Mission-focused
- Defense Acquisitions prepare the people who buy things for DoD

Learning Architecture
- Core body of knowledge - intellectual capital.
+ These become the courses
- KNowledge sharing / continuous learning
+ Shelf life of knowledge there - 2.5 years
+ Gotta keep the workforce current
- Communities of Knowledge
- On-site consulting - faculty in the field
- CL Module
- Formal courses

Enterprise Learning strategy
- Training courses
- Continuous learning
- Peer to peer knowledge.

Debate in corporate training - structured vs. informal
- Wrong discussion
- How do you integrate them?
- Right resource at right point in time.
- When a person needs to know - the resource is available

At the end of the day - we are trying to create a learning environment where everyone in organization knows everything.
- When people get to work and need to know - 3 clicks, can get a learning resource that will help them work successfully

It is not about technology. It is about how you organize learning assets
- Anytime, anywhere, as needed

Focusing on training courses....really need to think more about the long tail and the peer-to-peer.

The Long Tail of Training
- Continuous learning modules
- Communities of Practice
- Look at unique program because working on a niche item

Isn't gonna happen every day

The learning architecture has to deliver resources at point of need
- The LEARNER controls

Training courses are important
- Schedule space, get employees in classroom etc.
- It's an event.

Ex. Earned Value Management
- Was training course - traditional
- Turned into eLearning course - reached more people
- Broke course into modules - more than 75K people than the eLearning course
+ (Power of chunking!!!)

Training course - people don't remember. Only retain about 33% 48 hours after the course.
- In 30 minutes - only retain 58%. For good listeners.
- What you retain - tied to what you need immediately

Learning at point of need
- Some training - done with understanding that they won't retain the information
- The long learning tail provides resources at the person's point of need
- Retention winds up higher when they get something at point they need to know it.

Knowledge Sharing / Continuous Learning / Mission Assistance (consultants in)
- Integrates both formal and informal.
- This results in more reach for everything!!!!!

You adapt best practices and ideas. You don't adopt
- Organize based on the environment in org
- Products / people / leadership are different

-It's the mindset of the organization
- It is us - we tightly hold on to what we are comfortable with

We are all for change - we just want to change somebody else!
- Real change and innovation requires that WE change
- We need to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
- Challenges about culture, rules, old paradigms "How we've always done it"

We can all learn to be comfortable with change

Are you willing to ASSESS past practices in the context of the current environment

Key Takeaway NT + OO = COO
New Technology + Old Organization = Costly Old Organization

Don't build COO!
- Need a learning strategy for the enterprise first

Why are you adding the technology?

Biggest cause of failure - attempt to make enterprise solution fit old organization.

Be VERY clear about what you are trying to achieve - THEN deploy technology
- e is a TOOL that enable's value.

Create an environment for collaborating, innovating and critical thinking
- There is NO There. We must continue to innovate
- Some tools
+ Teaching and learning labs
+ immersion in relevant business games and simulations
+ intact team training
+ new virtual worlds
+ enhanced classroom technology
+ True 24/7 access to learning (time / space / distance)
-- Games and simulations
-- Ability to connect
+ end-to-end learning assets - the Long tail

Everything is going to change
Those changes drive the need to continue to innovate
There is no final destination

It is not just about E - but the technologies, deployed strategically, will change business!

We are the ones who have to set the standard.

If you EVER do anything of significance - it's because you did it as a team.

Person most frustrated is the start point for the solution


A big part of the growth of DAU a result of organizations being willing to open up and let them undertand.
- The orgs helped them deploy.

The idea of sharing is very important.

Training organizations are very good at sharing best practices.

VERY important for all of us who are in training organizations that we become very good at deliberately benchmarking other organizations

Stay open to sharing best practices

DAU has 4-7 Fortune 500 companies benchmarking them each year.
- They do the same
- That exchange is a huge part of the innovation engine.

Tennessee Valley eLearning Consortium - get together and share ideas
- Bringing in the local universities + corporate orgs in the Huntsville area

FAA - online community of practice shared across FAA, DOT and other orgs
- Includes eLearning standards and documentation
- Open up for others to use.


#IEL2010 Follow-Up Thoughts - Wednesday

This is an open letter to my colleagues:

I had a chance to talk to Maria Andersen (@busynessgirl).

She wondered:
- Are there any Wordpress Multi-User installations in our organization and how are they used?

- What are we using for streaming video? I know on the staff-level we are using a YouTube channel. She was looking for something secure. Had high praise for Jing Software.

I need to figure out what the Academic side is doing for streaming video.

I'll share my findings when I hear from my colleagues.

BTW - Thanks Maria for the conversation. And for tolerating my lousy sense of direction. I think we took the longest path to your hotel short of going into DC.


During Mark O's first Social Media Bootcamp session - we got an illustration of the fear that traditional, credentialed experts will feel when creating a social media culture.

“What if they don’t pay attention to me?”
Are they paying attention now? How do you know?

“Isn’t bringing a laptop to class like bringing a newspaper?”
Are you leveraging that power in your class?

Right now – I wish I had audio of that exchange. Mark essentially answered most of the


Among some of Mark's audience - there were regular comments about Twitter being a noisy stream of useless information. One of the techniques I use is being more discriminating about who I follow.

Most of the folks I follow give (for me) a good ratio of “here is stuff I need professionally” vs “here is some information about my life”

The professional stuff is useful. The personal information makes that resource more human and real.


At the opening reception, I had a chance to talk to Jay Allen (@jay_a_allen) and Aaron Silver about how we use our Twitter accounts.

Jay has a couple of accounts – a personal account (what I had for dinner) and a professional account.

Aaron (@mrch0mp3rs) and I (@wwickha1) are of the mind that we want one voice across platforms. Take us all – take it or leave it.

Both approaches are valid – but if you are combining your personal and professional, one word of advice…

Don’t drink and tweet.

The Monday holiday messed me up. Today is Thursday. Yesterday was Wednesday. I don't know how to label my posts ;)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

#IEL2010 Gaming to Go questions

Published too quickly...questions came slowly.

The struggle to implement with others
- People are still in event model.
- Want to do mobile things in the event.
- Some technology

Also - people just want the lesson (5 minutes), not the learning.
- Can be valid if the person knows what they need.

We need to tap into emotion - not just cognition

Pushback from the client about the alternative reality game solution
- Client was eager, but when he left - a bit too ambitious for successor.
- Potential issues
+ Don't want to have unsolicited emails, give away my cell phone etc

Innovation is going to require organizational change management
- Sell on benefits
- Incentive to perform
- Gotta manage the process until either accepted or shut down
- Gotta have clear value proposition

People's fear of experimentation is holding back business.

Is designing cooperation harder than designing competition?
- Cooperation harder to tune
- Require extra level of engagement
- May be type of game that works better for this (exploration and discovery)

#IeL2010 Gaming to Go

Presenter: Clark Quinn

It's not about learning!
- We don't learn for intellectual self-gratification.
- We learn to do stuff we can't do now.

Knowledge doesn't lead to much without application.
- Inert knowledge. Take the course, pass the test, can't activate the knowledge.
- Big on applying what we know.

How do we design games properly?
- Design for how people REALLY think.
- Design for how people REALLY learn.
+ Focus on achieving organizational outcomes.

It's really about the outcomes.

What is learning?
- How did we learn before school snuffs out love of learning.

Goals for learning
- Retention over time - when learn to when apply
- Transfer to ALL appropriate situations, and identify inappropriate ones.


Mickey Chi + Army - Found the event model is the WORST thing you can do for retention.

Events make sense if actively engaged in process. Then THINK about what doing.
- Not best way for developing ability to do.

Elements that lead to long-term retention and transfer.
We choose what we are interested in
We commit because it is what we have chosen
We create - apply knowledge, try things
Occasionally - we crash. That's OK. Failure is a necessity.

You can't learn without failing.
Failing first leads to better outcomes.

We copy - we don't do it alone
- Models, role models
We converse - we put the knowledge out there for response.
- negotiate understanding
We collaborate - work TOGETHER to create
- refine understanding and ability to apply.

What is gaming?
- play, recreation, experimentation, competition, discovery, rules
- Have to explore and discover
- Have a goal
- We have feedback
- Strategic, tactical or just silly

A game is a series of interesting decisions - Sid Meier

What is game learning?
- Use the repetitive nature of games to build skills
- Experimenting with wrong solutions / explore and fail
- Picking up objects / active experimentation
- Change natural behaviors and attitudes to succeed
- It is safe learning
- Learning in context / contextualized performance
- Non-linear / probabilistic

Simulation vs. Game
- Objectives
- Simulations are just a model of an environment.
+ Powerful - if self-directed and self-motivated
- Most of the time, we can't guarantee that learners are that self-capable.
- They cannot get to goal state without understanding the relationships (scenario).
+ Tune this into the game
- You can't decide it is a game - your PLAYERS will tell you.
+ Tuning is 9/10 of the work

Environment where the decisions are directly mapped to what needs to happen afterwards.

Games are not about tarted up quiz shows!!!!
- That's rote knowledge.
- Or need to know this...that...etc. But never used

We over-resort to knowledge.

The real value is in meaningful decisions and enough practice so they can make those decisions when they count.
- The decision is the center

Decisions travel in packs. Good decision, goes well. Bad decision - need consequence. (Don't make dumb bad decisions)

Good educational practices - same as engaging experience
- goals
- balanced challenge
- context
- relevant
- manipulation
- feedback
- attention-getting

Learning should be 'hard fun'

Games are not full learning.
- Don't try to make the game the whole thing.
- Reflection - outside until they figure out a better way to do it. Not everything has to be in game.

What is common between all of these mobile devices (PDAs etc)?
- Input
- Output
- Connect to world
- Increasingly, sense the world.
- By next year - smart phones overtake regular phones.

We are tool-using animals.
- Mobile is a different augmentation - to the brain.
- We are really good pattern matchers. We are really bad at repetitive tasks.
- If we augment with devices good at rote stuff - we become much more powerful problem solver.

Advanced chess - Deep blue won by ability to compute.
- Now a form of chess - person with computer.
- Best teams - with the player who understood how to use the computer as augmentation.

4cs of mobile
- Content
- Computation
- Capture (photos, video, etc)
- Communicate

Typical Mobile Learning
- Performance support.
- Augment the brain....
- cognitive augmentation

What is Mobile Learning?
- How do we augment the learning process?
- Reconceptualization.
+ Multiple representations = better chance to apply and models to help
- Recontextualization
+ Concept in multiple context.
- Reapplication
+ Apply knowledge to new problems

60 seconds civics podcasts
- Multiple contexts for Civics information

Mobile learning is about learning augmentation
- Can put course on cell phone. It works. But can use other media.
- Best at supporting performance and augmenting learning process.

Mobile learning games?
- Can be about spaced practice
+ Short drills and practice scenarios.
- Don't need full sentences to communicate ;)
- Can use different paths. See what happens.

Gaming is about cognitive engagement - not about twitch.
- Twitch is for automating the process

- Can the person do x

Beyond convenience
- Most mobile learning is convenience. "I have a moment"
- Podcasts are convenience

- Where are we now?
- Mobile affordances - remember, our cell phones now have sensors. We can see where you are.
- Can give specific advice based on where you are.
- Can give advice based on When - calendar, in meeting. Can create support based on the calendar event (meeting)
- Real opportunity - afterwards! Mentors, self-evaluation, etc. Not enough taking advantage of that.

In formal learning - we create artificial experiences.

Mobile devices, allow us to make reality a learning experience.

Can we do org specific learning?

Ideal: Contextualized augmentation.

Mobile games (ideal) - contextualized, challenging, meaningful and augmented application.

- Augmented reality game (on treo)
+ took camera and randomly generated aliens.
+ Click fire.

- Distributed games
+ Send text message to start. Hunt around and figure out what to text back.
+ San Francisco Art Hunt.
+ Leads you around the exhibit

Virtual worlds
- Principles of augmented and virtual reality the same.
- Why classroom in virtual world?
- Let's use storyline and take advantage!
- Use context. Give them meaningful decisions!

Alternate Reality Games
- example - The Game
- The game came into his life! Didn't go anywhere else or have a special event.
- Did a sales training game in email - some participants
+ have to be persistent to pursue.
+ You can use the same tools as your job!
- Marathon

Social goals - we know there is power in social learning
- Competition can be valuable
- Cooperation
- Collaboration

I Love Bees - Jane McGonigle

ARG (Alternate Reality Game) Design
- You don't quite clue in that it is a game. Real life is the medium.
- Collaborative storytelling

What do we do with this?
- How do we do this with a learning goal?
- Can do this for team-building.
- How do we wrap decisions in here?

Social Learning
- Reexpression
+ When we put ideas out there - taking a risk, but also committing
- Renegotiation
+ through expressing yourself (putting something down in any way) - forces your thinking to get a little tighter
- Reconstruction
+ Can rebuild based on what happens during renegotiation.

Learning ARG design (CQ - still open for negotiation)
- Decisions lead
- Story setting - real context
- Require negotiation
- Seduce misconceptions - lure them to the wrong place
- Leverage context
- Be unpredictable
- Killer backstory
- Unfold strategicaly
- ?

The dream - transformational learning
- What matters is the outlook you bring to it (Alan Kay)
- How can we get people to adopt the attitudes (not just skills) that will make them successful

Games are the next best thing to mentored real life practice
- mentoring does not necessarily scale
- Safe place to practice and replay

Consider mobile to help re-activate the knowledge on the go.
- Contextualized mobile if you can.

Consider mobile games

Consider social, augmented reality, learning beyond the event!

Develop people slowly over time.

#IeL2010 Social Media Bootcamp

Sitting in on Mark's afternoon social media bootcamp session. Reputation and credibility


One potential tool - TownHall
- Demonstrate value of potential news
- Same vote up/down as Digg, Slashdot, etc.

Huge growth in enterprise-grade 2.0 companies
- SocialText one example. Facebook type thing behind the firewall.
- Jive Software another example

These tools can be very valuable in universities to provide more contextualized environment.
- Find folks within the university who may not be in an obvious department with skills you may need
- Makes invisible resources visible

Yammer - can "like" a "tweet". Easier to create groups.
- Inside the firewall version of Twitter.
- Easy to determine reputation within an org.

These tools are NOT culturally neutral.
- Will attack expertise and traditional definitions of an expert.

You build your reputation by contributing to communities
- There are no shortcuts to building a reputation.

What to consider - how are people going to respond to being "called out"?
- Expect clashes over who the credible expert is

You will also have to consider legal issues - especially if all can edit.
- IBM - logo in box, this information is vetted. The "official" version
- latest discussion - in another box with another logo.

Stream vs. Finished product.
- Stream may reveal a more nuanced context to the finished product.

Most social networking based on publish / edit.
- Naked Conversations - wrote book on the web. Comments chapter by chapter.

In the future, resources cease to be scarce. What is your social currency? Whuffie

Tara Hunt - Social Spelunking

You can build and destroy reputation based on how you relate to the community.

You have to address the fear in current subject matter experts.

The community will tell you if you are valued.
- Example - Retweet rank
- There is both - quality of content PLUS quantity.
- Also - how much you engage vs. just broadcasting.
- Authenticity - people want an authentic voice. Honest, not playing, not posing.

Communities of Practice - less than 10% engage.
- When you scale as rapidly and far as Twitter - 10% is still a lot.
- Why is Twitter a successful community? Because it is easy, quick, mobile. Doesn't take much time. Can personalize.
- You can break up without anyone's feelings hurt.

You can build a reputation in Twitter.
- You can ping your network
- What do you read, blog, tweet.

Kongregate - games built and shared by users

Surrounding the games - so many social media features.
- can chat
- badges achievable on the public profile
- Game discussion. Very honest commentary on game design.
- Imagine if in the middle of the page - people are real-time rating your content. Publicly viewable. This is INCREDIBLY social.

GovLoop - social networking site for government folks. Built on Ning.
- Set up a community for yourself (if you pay some $$ these days)

Is there a trick to getting people to join?
- Gotta keep feeding the fire!
- 2 types - project-based community
+ You are gathering to solve a problem
+ Problem-solved, community done
- Ongoing knowledge communities by role
+ eg. an engineering group
+ the mission is bigger than any one project
- To keep adding content, allow users to add content.
+ If not adding, look at larger organizational culture.
+ Do they value contribution? Are they punished?
+ If see the value - will beat down the door and off hours to contribute
+ Is there a reward for participation?
- Do we need the organization to DEMONSTRATE the value.
+ Give time. Give space. Give encouragement.

(Facebook being driven by social gaming)
(LinkedIn - role base)

NetVibes - webtop / dashboard
- click and share (must try this)
- Can build public dashboard.

DoD Social Media Hub
- Chairman of Joint Chiefs have social media strategy.

(left to go get seat at Dr. Clark Quinn's presentation)

#IEL2010 Level Up

This presentation is a case study of a prototype for a potential eLearning supplement to a course.
Presenters: Donald House, Brian Malloy, Corey Buckley, Clemson University

The Problem
- Learning is fun
- James Paul Gee - Learning is biologically motivating
- People want to ask questions, but student don't want to come to class.
- Why?

Video Games
- Gamers will wait in line to purchase the latest game
- Spend $50-$100
- Games are HARD to play.

Why are games popular?
- Gamers learn new things
+ New techniques
-- The techniques can build on each other
-- Each level / experience
+ New worlds
- They learn at their own rate
- They do the learning
- They start at ground zero
- Actions have immediate consequence
- Immediate feedback / immediate rewards
- Can be played in groups

Players can
- Pick identity
- Go own way
- Be and do what want

How do I leverage video games to get people to learn?

Most approaches
- Use abstraction (example, Scratch)
- Icons, drag and drop
- Advantage - makes programming accessible
- Disadvantage - hide underlying model.
+ Can't see why things work / don't work
+ Hides details
+ Doesn't teach the "bag of tricks" a programmer needs.

Clemson approach - the details
- Young people want to know the details / behind the scenes.
- It scares us when they ask - we may not know

Lift the veil - combine a video game and an architecture simulator
- The simulator seems to be behind it. The game will be the interface
- Want to expose what happens under the hood when you hit run.

2 modes - classroom setting and independent study setting

The architecture simulator
- Safe sandbox
- Illustrated execution
- expose computational model

Simulator - 8 levels
Level 1
- 5 instructions: input, output, assignment, if, while
- 4 registers

Level 2 - add array
- Puzzles

Here is the paper this talk is based on....

Want to see if the game adds anything to the simulator
- 1st course - architecture simulator
- 2nd course - using the video game interface.
- Want to make sure the game and simulator work together. So its not a punishment to use the game version vs. the simulator.

(giving up on this one....)

#IeL2010 Tuesday Afternoon Keynote

Deathmatch to Dailies: The Evolution of the Social Game
Presenter: John Romero

Marine Doom - Mod of Doom II, 1st use of game in military training and education purposes.
- Real missions and scenarios

Senet - 5500 years old. First social game.
- No idea what the rules are.
- Probably similar to cribbage. Buried in tombs (Nefertari)
- She was the core demographic

Momies the new demographic - the 43 year old mom is the main hardcore gamer (Farmville)
- On platform with lots of people on it.
(interesting - no one admits to playing Farmville....)

- FPS 15mil
- MMOs 12mil (WoW)
- 80 mil in farmville.

Farmville - much easier to play

Online game play is at altime peak

Social games - more than video games
- baseball is a social game. People who love baseball are just watching it.
+ Don't tell them that watching baseball is NOT a game
- eBay is a game. You are trying to WIN something.
- casino (all of vegas really)
- board games.

Games have always been social.

The arrival of the PC marked the beginning of games being solitary things.
- 30 year aberration

Even at beginning - people making games realized that games are social.
- Some saw computers as an infinite possibility and infinite challenge
- Wheeler Dealers 1978(Dan Bunton) - Apple II. 4 player multi player. Shipped hardware with the game.

1989 - only 20 multiplayer games on the market Ozark SW had 6
- However engaging a game with a machine may be made - it is void because you need to be with other people.

Other efforts - MUD goes live on university networks.
- Technology wasn't ready.

First Person Shooter - why it is important
- Wolfenstein 3D - based on 1981 game Castle Wolfenstein.
+ Computers just now able to deliver fast experience. Before - didn't have speed to make violence give you real feedback.

- Doom (1993) - 6 people
+ looked better
+ still violent
+ incorporated multiplayer over a lan or modem.
+ funny, loud. fast. Great feedback.

Develop the game from the players perspective
- What do I think as I play it.
- Added deathmatch because had promised multi-player. Really excited by this!

Learned about the depth of strategy and skill a player could have.
- Scoring, weapons, levels. Can explode them over time.

Quake - bring TRUE 3D engine
- Rotate view. Look around you. Doom - just looked straight
- Mouse as thing that allows you to turn AND look up and down. Keys to move forward.
- Internet play with Quake. Go to internet and connect with server.
+ Before - LAN parties. Bring your computers to a friend's house and connect them up.
- After quake - still bringing computers over to house.
- Quake went up to 16 people. Doom only 4.

Developers are ready, technology ready, players aren't totally ready....yet

Rise of the MMO
- 1997 Ultima Online.
+ So open-ended - players could exploit every little thing
+ Developers try to plug the holes as fast as possible
+ 100K players at peak. Paying $15 per month
- 1999 Everquest
+ Took Ultima Online's blueprint and refined
+ 3D (not just tile-based). Zones.
+ Has 400 zones.
+ 430K subscribers at peak. $15/mo
- 2004 World of Warcraft
+ Took best of 2 predecessors and combined them.
+ 12 million subscribers. $15/mo. Over $2 billion per year.
+ Lead Programmer - used to work on Quake.

Mass Casual
- Developers, technology and PLAYERS now ready
- Games pervasive in everything
- Facebook - platform that becomes everyone's homepage.
+ Check messages, look at wall, play games
- Parking Wars - one of 1st (2008)
- Social City (more complex - 2010)
- Over 400mil on facebook.

PC - biggest gaming platform that has existed.

Social gaming on facebook is different from MMOs.
- MMO - people have to be in the world at the same time
- Facebook game - asynchronous
- MMO - cannot choose who there. Facebook - can choose the environment.

Trying to figure out how to create gameplay around this asynchronous socialization.

The technology so easy to write for facebook.

We still don't know what the rules are yet or the impact.
- We can see the explosion, but don't know what happening.

Ironically - true socialization is still missing.
- You are playing with their avatar, not them

The crash?
- There was in 1983/84.
- Last month - Farmville lost 4 million players

Facebook is a crazy funnel. Also responds to numbers of people in.
- Changed the rules on how you can post things. Too many messages.
- Changing privacy. Changing what shows up on wall.
- Too much trash on the wall.

65 million returning players, 25M new players, 10M leaving

What is the future of games?
- Socialization
- Gameplay

Games will win if there is quality around gameplay and socialization.

Will asynchronous games phase out single-player or multi-player?
- The asynchronous games will stay there.
- Synchronous games require may more power and more complex programming
- We may see some synchronous games on facebook.
- Remember - facebook is about connecting with friends first.
- Probably won't change the security policy
- Things are changing really fast on facebook

Distribution models
- Back in the day - at least 3 chapters. 1st part for free. Allow to send to friends.
- Doom - when put out shareware version, suggested retail $9.99. Many want to just buy something at the store.
+ Told the distributors - can put on disk, put in store, charge $9.99. You keep the money. Get it out there.
+ Model never replicated.
+ Now that everyone downloads, probably won't happen again.
+ If people liked the game - THEN they got paid. Thankfully, lots of people liked it.

- MMO started as subscription model. People keep paying because you are connected to the character. Investment.
+ People forget about the membership
+ MMO companies make a ton of money on this.
+ MMOs now becoming micro-transaction. The things you are earning - you can now buy them. This pricing model is starting to win.
+ Microtransactions the future of gaming. Pay for little stuff if you want to.

- Casual games (cards, checkers, etc online) have become persistent casual.
+ All of the data and statistics being saved. Can keep track.
+ Achievement systems built on top of it.

- Days of games forgetting you are gone.

Is there a way we (educators) can capitalize on gaming.
- Any way you can make gaming part of education = engagement
- Use the game as a conduit (instead of staring at books)
- Interactivity. More fun.
- Allow to compete against each other for achievements.

Project: MMO made for kids. World that is artistically fantastic. Visual appeal. Lots of players and pet systems and taming.
- Incorporating stealth learning (math concepts)
- Math revealed through interaction design.
- Mathematicians, game designers and educators working together to create the experiences.
- Just nailed the design. How to make it intrinsic to the world - not just the numbers on the screen.
- Make the player WANT to solve the puzzle. The education is voluntary. Do enough - can look cooler.
- Players can help others!

Teaching needs to be more intrinsic. Problem - solving. Stealthy.

Take any part of what you are trying to teach - break it down into a game system.

All through game development history - room for a lone designer/programmer.
- iPhone and iPad or Droid.
- Before that GBA, DS.
- Even since advent of flash - you can make flash game. Tons of flash game portals where you can share.
+ Some even get big enough for other platforms.

Wolfenstein - 4 people
Commander King - 3 people
Doom - 6 people
Quake - 9 people

None of this is compared to Godfather - 250 people
His MMO - 75 people.

Trend with mobile games and socialization -
- People are trying to incorporate facebook and twitter into mobile game
- Auto-tweet score with link (cannonball)
- Bejeweled Blitz - on iPhone. Can post to Facebook page.
- MMOs trying to do this as well - if have iPhone, inspect characters, auctions, mail etc.

Other technologies games can move into
- Not a big fan of 3d stereoscopic movement and trend
- 3d TVs and monitors sold to test out market. Games trying to exploit this. Hates the goggle thing.
- New ways of input for more interesting experience.
+ Seats, crazy mouses, etc. You are lucky if the game supports the devices.
+ Mouse, Keyboard, Joystick supported. Other stuff doesn't work out nearly as well as the designers hope.
- Project Natal - you as a controller, wave your arms around. "People are just going to get tired."

Game developers divide world into Europe / N Am / Asia
- Middle East growing. Special needs
- Asia - insane amounts of players, with little money (China). S. Korea giant.
+ Games - you must develop FOR Asian market. "Localization and culturalization"
+ Blizzard found this out the hard way with WoW.
-- Panda (Chinese) holding samauai sword (Japanese). China banned the game
+ Asians play much faster than N. Americans.
+ Even WoW 2x as fast in the visual feedback.
- North America a smaller market than S. Korea
- European - small income. Germany biggest market over there. 40% of N. Am.

Simulation games not developed as much - not as much $$ in them.
- Paradigm etc.
- Came out on Nintendo 64 etc. MS Flight Simulator
- Not as much fun. Trying to simulate something realistic
- Moved away from simulation.
- Feedback wasn't exciting enough. Not moving fast enough.
- Player want vs. reality a larger gap than thought.
- Simulations - companies on contract. Probably won't see in big console.

Art and Indy game scene - trying to evoke emotions from players
- So many games - violent. Manage to numb because it is so common.
- How do you pull out DIFFERENT emotions? Cry, Love etc. Fear easiest to evoke.
- How do you deliver emotions differently?
- Looking for differentiation