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Posts Tagged ‘mythoughts’

Social Media - Changing the way we work

September 3rd, 2010 Martin Raske No comments

The discussion is not brand-new, but the discussion seems to accelerate in the corporate world: How do we deal with the fact that more and more people start using Social Media in- and outside the work context? What does this change mean for us as professionals, what does it mean for a company?

In my opinion especially training professionals are challenged: They have to somehow leverage the gap between the generations - however you want to define them (I don't by age but by mind-set). Here the 'digital-savvy' there the 'digital dinosaur', both in the same training session, prepared to learn relevant content or behaviour for their job. Even though training professionals always knew that people learn differently, I think the change that happens at the moment is an important one. It is probably not enough just to integrate Youtube Videos into a traditional training setting to be up to date.

These and other topics were touched upon at the following workshop:

Can everybody learn how to learn?

July 25th, 2009 Martin Raske No comments

That's a question I was asked in an interview recently. My answer was: Yes. We have all learned how to walk, how to talk, how to eat etc. without a sophisticated instructional design. For me that's proof enough that we are able to learn on our own. Later in our lives we often un-learn these skills, as more and more instructors enter into our lives. But I am convinced that we can re-learn it easily.

Categories: All The Rest Tags: ,

Voluntary versus Mandatory Training

July 16th, 2009 Martin Raske No comments

There are different ways of motivation why someone would learn something. The easiest way to learn is certainly if you have intrinsic motivation. If you are interested in a topic or if you realize that without an effort to learn some new skills you won't be able to do your job or whatever, then most certainly you will be very much engaged to find all kind of material and information that you need and you will start learning.

However, intrinsic motivation is not always a given. Some things you just have to learn. In most jobs there are things that you just need to know, whether you find it interesting or not. Depending on the industry you are in there might even be regulatory requirements that ask for a specific training. This kind of content is more often than not distributed to the audience as a mandatory course. Thanks to all the systems we have in place, tracking is made easy and reports can be generated at any given time. Of course you will learn many things from these mandatory trainings as well. You might even come across topics that you would never have found if they were not mandatory.

The question is: Can there be an answer, which learning has the better quality? Which learning is more sustainable?

Maybe from an economical perspective one could argue that intrinsic learning is less cost intensive: Once the motivation is given, you don't need to chase people to learn. Whereas in mandatory trainings you have to invest a lot of time and money to convince or even force people to take the course.

From a personal perspective I would always tend to avoid mandatory training wherever it is possible and rather convince people to learn whatever is needed because it helps them do their job better or even because it helps the company to be compliant with the given legal requirements. I don't know of any ROI claculations in this respect, but my assumption would be that investing in motivation is less expensive in the long run than investing in repression.

Some Thoughts on Rating Learning Content

July 6th, 2009 Martin Raske No comments

David Wilkins writes in his very intersting post on ASTD:

Learners have always discussed and commented on the courses and classes they are taking.  And learners are usually quick to tell other learners what they think of a given class.  If learners are attending an instructor-led event, they may try to network with other learners before, during, and after the event.  Learners also expect updates about changes to a course or training class.  Today, most of these interactions happen through ad hoc, unstructured, unsearchable exchanges between individual learners.

His suggestion for a 'Wrapped Model' means to use new technologies like social networking, rating, tagging, commenting, sharing etc. as a wrapper around traditional formal training. His ideas is that this way the interactions of learners become searchable and re-usable.

David's idea of using web 2.0 technology with traditional learning is fascinating. Especially the idea of rating learning content. We know the phenomenon from many places, one of the best known is probably a famous online bookshop: If you like a book, you can give it a few stars and write a comment on it. Everybody can read your comments and the rating adds up to some kind of a social ranking of this specific book. And of course: The better the rating, the higher the chance of the book to become a bestseller.

What happens if we transfer this idea into the world of learning?

Humans are gregarious animals. We tend to follow the flock. If more than two people are doing the same, it must be right. We trust the wisdom of the crowd - sometimes even if it leads us into desaster. This is probably one of the reasons, why public rating works so well: If I see that a few people have rated a conent as being good, chances are that I will be looking at this content as well. For learning this means: If a group of people has rated a course or a web based training as being helpful, engaging, interesting or even just fun, many others will take the same course as well. For an organization that deals with learning content this approach might help to increase the demand.

Public rating brings transparency into the world of training. These days most of the time training happens behind closed doors - making some of this transparent will definitely change some of the dynamics in this field.

However, like always there are two sides of the same coin: or are public pillories that pretend to rate the quality of teachers and professors but most of the time it is used as an outlet for frustrated students who have not yet learned that learning does not happen by consuming learning content only but by contributing to it, by working on it, by adding time and effort. If I talk about rating learning content, I don't think about these kind of tools.

Rating of learning content will surely add to more transparency for both learners and facilitators if it is done with a standardized qualitative survey. In a first step it will be useful to closely manage these ratings - in terms of deleting spam (like we have to do in our blogs), maybe getting back to users and ask for clarification etc. If we do this, I am convinced that this feature will add to the learning experience.

Time Spent - seize the day

June 13th, 2009 Martin Raske No comments

What is your typical day like? How do you do all you do with elearning learning, elearning technology, techempower, work literacy and all the consulting and still remain profitable while having a LIFE? Ok, so that is more than one question, but hopefully you get the drift. What are your thoughts here?

I think I understand where this question of the month is coming from: Technology needs time. If you try to stay up with the developments in the web 2.0, if you try to implement some of this new ideas to your work environment, if you try to also have some kind of a family life, then it is only a matter of time until this question pops up: How do you do all this in 24 hours?

My typical day is rather traditional:

I get up at 6 am and if I am lucky I'm in the office half past seven - most of the time it's eight. I work until eleven thirty and then go and have lunch with my team - a typical Swiss thing to do: You go out to have lunch. If you need to have lunch at your desk, you are considered to have an issue with organizing your day well enough and you could easily be sent to a personal effectiveness seminare. - At noon or shortly after we are back in the office and I keep working until 6.30 pm. I want to make sure to be back home no later 7.30 pm, so I can have supper with my family. From 8.30 pm on, when the kids are in bed, until midnight, when I go to bed myself, there is still plenty of time to do things - most of the time do my social networking, blogging, twittering etc. etc.

My office days are packed with meetings - face to face, video conferences, telephone conferences, one on one's, phone calls, virtual classrooms. You could argue that a lot of these activities are some kind of social networking - with a given business objective and within the company. However, there are days when I only sit at my desk for 1 or 2 hours. During this time there's no chance for me to blog or network socially. My main working tool still is email. I get between 50 and 100 relevant emails a day. Relevant meaning I have to read them and have to answer most of them - if I find my 10 seconds it needs to send a tweet I'm lucky.

Another reason why most of my web 2.0 activities happen outside the office hours was mentionned by Jenise Cook: IT Security. There are very tight firewalls in our company that would not allow access to many web 2.0 tools. Many websites are blocked off. I always have a private netbook with wireless internet connection sitting at my desk, so I can at least follow some of my favourite websites, blogs and tweets, but it's not at all integrated in my daily routine.

My philosophy is: 24 hours are a given. It's not worth complaining about it beeing too little or too much. It is up to me, what I make with this time:

Carpe diem.

I am followed - and now?

June 12th, 2009 Martin Raske No comments

Today one of my colleagues from work told me that he had discussions about my tweets and my blog with other people from the office. Some seem to wonder, why I don't care that people from the firm read what I write. Well, I not only don't care, I even think it's perfect: If there are people who think it is worthwhile to follow me, it means that they care about what I have to say. And if that's the case, I have some influence with my writing. That's more than I could have hoped for. Thank you.

Categories: My thoughts Tags: , ,

The first big move of my blog

June 11th, 2009 Martin Raske No comments

I have listened to all the enthusiastic comments in my blogosphere about Wordpress and there I am: I have moved my blog to my onw website and to wordpress.

The famous 5 minutes installation though, that is promised by wordpress, did not happen. It took me ages and finally it was who helped me convince the mySQL database to talk to the blog and the other way around. But now it is done, the blog is set up and I can start writing again. It's a totally different feeling of course, having my onw blog at my own website. Maybe I can even say that I have moved from a digital naive to a digital grown-up now? Let's see what the future brings.

Categories: My thoughts Tags: ,