Friday, June 17, 2016

Slick Translation Use Cases

Elizabeth Cox, from Belmont Middle School (and the wife of one of my co-workers), put together a very slick use case for helping international students with English.

The solution leverages tablets, voice recognition, and Bing Translator.

Microsoft in Education featured the solution recently.  Worth the 3 minutes to watch...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Knowledge Centered Support

Screenshot of WKU's IT Help Desk Client Portal.  This particular one is run off of TeamDynamix Service Management solution.
During a conference I attended recently, I encountered the concept of Knowledge-Centered Support.

Kaliegh Belda at Western Kentucky University gave a presentation on this topic that turned out to be the hit of the conference.

This concept is taken from IT Help Desks and Service and is one way to think of learning in bite-size, easily consumable chunks that are updated by the people on the front-lines of support - taking some of the pressure off the training team to update materials. The other benefit I see (and that Kaliegh touched on in her presentation) is that the act of writing the article helps her staff become more familiar with whatever tool they are supporting.

An even bigger benefit is the growth of an up-to-date, easily searchable knowledge library for both the IT staff and the university community. 

This is, essentially, one of the best implementations of micro-learning I have seen in action.
Brief notes on how this works (from my conference notes):

Read more ...

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

The Hardest Thing (Sometimes) is Deciding What To Do

As I write this, I'm paralyzed by choices.

What to do next.

I have some blog posts to write. Detailed, high-mental bandwidth blog posts.

I could write another to-do list, but fear if I do THAT I will be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of the things I think I should do.

I have a bunch of meetings I need to set up.

A new computer I need to set up.

New tools to learn - quickly.

Niggly personal stuff that needs to get done - like get my car inspected, make an appointment to get more fillings, talk to an accountant and other responsible adult activities (bleh).

For me...big things are easier to break down in small pieces and execute on.

It's all the random small stuff.

  • Write thank you letters.
  • Read up on the current state of xAPI and the JSON space
  • Mess with SharePoint SLK and see if I can't get that working for some old tutorials
  • Fix my Quickbooks
  • Write the conference organizers to get permission to share my recent presentation with the blog
  • Write people to get sponsorship for a conference
  • Get off my couch and get another cup of coffee
  • "Meditate" (ie - sit on the couch and think while trying to get myself to focus on SOMETHING that is not thinking)
  • "Exercise" (ie - get off the couch and pick up a dumbbell x number of times, then go get more coffee)

It's enough to send me screaming to Facebook to look at my family and friend's current political opinions, pictures of idealized lives, game requests and funny cat videos.

Next right things (since I'm here) - get off my couch, get another cup of coffee and write another blog post. 

Thank you for letting me break through my log jam with you.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Walking People Through the "Getting Your Ass Kicked" Part of the Program

The majority of my career has been spent in change management.
The front lines. I'm the one who gets the brunt of people's fear about the change.
The anger. The frustration. The sadness. The discomfort.

We spend so much time talking about how "great" the change is going to be.