The Complete Learning Technologist Certificate Program – Coming February 2019

I’ve wanted to put together a learning technologist certification for a long, long time. Well, guess who had the same idea – Training Magazine! And they’re making it happen at Training 2019! Learning geeks will unite in Orlando for our three-day learning technology program February 22-24, 2019. You can register here.

  • Day 1: Creation and Authoring Learning Tools, presented by Jeff Batt
  • Day 2: Multimedia Planning, Tools and Gadgets, presented by Nick Floro
  • Day 3: Delivery and Emerging Technologies, presented by yours truly

I’m going to cover a variety of technologies on day three, in addition to discussing how to select and implement educational technology. And I’ll give you some free goodies to take home with you. Take a look at the program descriptions below and consider joining us at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort!

The Complete Learning Technologist Certificate Program

Whether you are a designer, developer, manager, facilitator, administrator, or executive, you need to understand what learning technologies are capable of today—and what their promise is for tomorrow. Through demos, hands-on experience, checklists, and rubrics, this program goes beyond identifying the latest shiny training tech objects — and helps you become a well-rounded learning technologist who makes the optimal selection, design, and implementation decisions for your organization.

Day 1 Creation and Authoring Learning Tools; Jeff Batt, Head Trainer, Learning Dojo

Authoring tools change quickly and often, so how do you keep up? We’ll begin by examining the overall principles of development (i.e., elements, properties, behavior). Then, using those principles, we’ll begin our exploration of specific authoring tools. You’ll learn:

  • About the basics of course authoring, regardless of what authoring tool you may be using.
  • How development principles apply to current off-the-shelf tools like Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate and more.
  • How to make the appropriate selection for authoring tools.
  • How to learn any new authoring tool.

Day 2: Multimedia Planning, Tools and Gadgets; Nick Floro, Learning Architect, Sealworks Interactive Studios

Looking to bring your skills to the next level? On day two, you will learn how to get started building and designing interactive learning. Learn the finer points, practical skills that you can apply, and best practices for delivering engaging learning. You’ll learn about:

  • Architecting your next project with collaborative tools.
  • Sketching a storyboard from paper to PowerPoint.
  • Improving brainstorming and feedback loops.
  • Creating a prototype with Marvel app.
  • Using Explain Everything App to create animated explainers and promos and to provide feedback.
  • Thinking Outside the Box: 5 activities and concepts to add to your next project.
  • Building an interactive chatbot for learning.
  • Strategies for designing for learning and your audience.

Day 3: Delivery and Emerging Technologies; Katrina Marie Baker, Senior Learning Evangelist, Adobe

You’ve spent two days learning how to create engaging training resources. Day three focuses on how to deliver your content using the latest in learning technology and features content from Katrina’s books LMS Success and The LMS Selection Checklist. You will:

  • Define common types of learning technology platforms.
  • Demonstrate how technology can help you engage learners through the use of gamification, mobile learning, social learning, and blended learning elements.
  • Explain how to use reporting and analytics to understand the learner experience.
  • Describe the process to select a new technology platform, including the features and factors you should review with potential vendors.
  • Discuss the process of successfully implementing and maintaining a learning technology platform.
  • Cover best practices that include how to internally market your platform, curate your course catalog and content, and build an effective administrator team.

BONUS! You will walk away with supplemental materials and a free trial of Adobe Captivate Prime.

BYOD:  Please bring a WiFi-enabled laptop with Storyline and Captivate installed (trial versions okay).

The post The Complete Learning Technologist Certificate Program – Coming February 2019 appeared first on eLearning.

It’s not a race

Two tweets have stood out for me this week that I want to connect. One from Seth Godin (my tweet, his blog post – please read it). Seth is “a teacher, and I do projects”. The other tweets was from Alejandro Armellini, Dean of Learning & Teaching at the University of Northampton.

Here are the tweets. 

Why, I hear you ask, these two? Well, for me, they both link back to the same thing … the appropriate and considered approach to using and implementing new technologies or new systems for learning. That learning can be a classroom, a library, online, coffee shop, etc. It doesn’t matter.

Seth wrote about giving up when you get behind, about never reading as many books as someone else, about website traffic so just give up:

“Should you give up?
There are people who have read far more books than you have, and you will certainly never catch up.
Your website began with lousy traffic stats, in fact, they all do. Should you even bother?
The course you’re in–you’re a few lessons behind the leaders. Time to call it quits?”

Linking this to Ale’s tweet, about technology enhancing learning. About the default setting of always looking to the new, the shiny, the different, the ‘cutting-edge’ or ‘leading research’ in designing and delivering meaningful or quality learning. For me these two are linked … we should not always look ahead at new ideas, ideals, or technologies, just as we should not always look back at try and stay 2-steps behind everyone else. We, the learning technologists, the instructional designers, the learning and development managers, the content delivery teams, should look both forward and back – learn from our journey to date (successes and failures), learn about where we are, learn about where we could be going.

More importantly, we should also be learning about how to get there. How do we take an existing course, module or unit and make it better. Who defines what ‘better’ is? Who decides whether it’s to strip out an activity because it didn’t’ work (was it the activity or the students? Let it run again and see if a different cohort has a different experience) or to update an activity because it relies on ‘old(er)’ technology. How do we decide what to take out or leave in? Do we rely on our knowledge of what is pedagogically ‘sound’ and ignore what the students didn’t ‘like’? Is liking an activity or it being popular enough of a motive to keep it in the course if it’s not getting the results? 

Ultimately, we (faculty, learning technologists, instructional designers, etc.) have to make many of these decisions based on our experience of what works (or not), and of what is good pedagogical practice (or not). New technology solutions, be they hardware or software, should still be rigorously tested and trailed to make sure it fits the learning, the policies for 3rd party tools, data compliance (who mentioned GDPR?), etc. 

It’s not a race. We’re not trying to do something before someone else does, or we shouldn’t be, and we’re not trying to beat someone to the finish line … in fact we’e all got different ideas of what the finish line is anyway. The key is and always has been to find a good use of technology that fits the intended purpose or intended learning, that is appropriate for the audience and their technical competence, that is appropriate for the time for study and subject to be studied. 

Let’s not rush to force technology, of any strand, into the learning. It’s better to understand both purpose and implementation, work on the foundation to build a solid stable solution upon, get them both right and the technology will take a backseat for the actual learning.

Image source: Chrissy Hunt (CC BY-NC-ND-2.0)

Reading: TEL strategies from the perspective of disruptive innovation

This, from ALT Research in Learning Technology:

The publication of institutional strategies for learning, teaching and assessment in UK higher education is practically ubiquitous. Strategies for technology-enhanced learning are also widespread. This article examines 44 publically [sic] available UK university strategies for technology-enhanced learning, aiming to assess the extent to which institutional strategies engage with and accommodate innovation in technology-enhanced learning. … The article argues that sustaining innovation and efficiency innovation are more commonplace in the strategies than disruptive innovation, a position which is misaligned with the technology practices of students and lecturers.

After being called ‘disruptive’ before I was drawn to this paper as I don’t believe the disruption is in the traditional sense of someone sitting at the back of a classroom being a distraction or taking up too much time of others. No, this ‘disruption’ is more about the desire to think about the work, the technology, the learning, the students, etc. in a different way or from a different perspective. Once something is written in a policy or set of guidelines, it becomes the providence that is recommended and thus ‘normal’.

Being disruptive is, for me, just about understanding the policy or guidelines and thinking “Hmm, is this in our best interest? Is this still valid? Can we still innovate and improve our teaching, our students, our work?” This, from Flavin and Quintero‘s conclusion sums it up (emphasis my own) …

The examination of UK HEIs’ technology-enhanced learning strategies indicates a willingness to adapt on the part of universities but a disinclination to disrupt. Universities can describe themselves in their strategies as innovative yet, in practice, they are often ameliorative, more likely to pursue sustaining or efficiency than disruptive innovation.

Flavin, M. and Quintero, V. (2018). UK higher education institutions’ technology-enhanced learning strategies from the perspective of disruptive innovation. Research in Learning Technology, [online] 26(0). Available at: https://journal.alt.ac.uk/index.php/rlt/article/view/1987 [Accessed 2 May 2018].

Image source: Fio (CC BY NC-2.0)

Get to know a ‘digital champion’

Earlier this week I read and shared a post on the Inside Higher Ed website: Online Learning Shouldn’t Be ‘Less Than’ and tweeted this:

The post was about the perception, for some, that online teaching was easier and somehow lesser, therefore easier, option than classroom-based teaching. Online is different, yes. Online requires a different set of skills to make it as engaging for the students, yes. Online can be more rewarding for both teacher and student, yes, for some. Online should replace classroom teaching, no.

Later I saw the same post was also shared by someone in my LinkedIn network with the associated text:

Teachers – buy your digital champions a coffee and see how they can help you with online/blended delivery. I bet their eyes will widen with excitement! (I know mine would)

This isn’t wrong, so I’m not criticising anyone here, but I disagree in that we should not limit ourselves to those already known to us as ‘digital champions’. The sentiment is spot on, I would rather have a far wider reaching approach, taking all contacts in to account, especially looking beyond My reply was:

Better still, take some time and talk to someone you don’t know very well and find out something new about them. You may just find that they are also a ‘digital champion’ in an area you didn’t even know about. Your network will surprise you, in a good way!

Let’s face it, everyone is unknown until we find out about them. Think back to all those who are currently in your network, either in your office, department, institution, Twitter, etc. I bet you didn’t know anything about them or how important they would be to your own development until you talked to them? Yes, we have to remember to keep our networks carefully maintained and continue to grow them, you never know when you find your next EdTech leader to follow and work with! You never know when they will find you and think the same about you!

PS. I prefer tea, don’t drink coffee, and a cake is a deal-breaker for me. You know, just in case we meet and you want a chat! [smile]

Image source: Danielle Chang (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Importance of e-governance and leveraging technology

It is quite important that the administration leverages technology to increase citizen participation in order to spread their programs among masses. And this is not just the government authorities to take up the entire responsibility. It is the duty of the corporate organizations to lend their helping hand in whatever means they can to increase…

What I’ve learned from my kids: Motivation

A while ago I started writing about things I’ve started to learn from watching my kids grow and how they see things. I’ve started to realise how much I take for granted. Or rather I’ve started seeing things through their eyes and realised that, for them, the world can be simpler, yet harder, than I thought.

Gamification is something I’ve used in my work (badges, progress indicators, social interactions, etc.) and i’ve used as part of my (old) social media activities. Remember FourSquare? However, the best way I’ve used it myself is at home, with my two boys aged 7 and 8. Whilst I’m sure there are some excellent ways to gamify the home for rewards for tidying up, being kind and compassionate, coming off screen-time quietly, etc. this one way I’m going to describe here has worked wonders … exercise. And by exercise I mean walking.

We’re not exactly an active family, in that we don’t play sport, but we are active in that we walk rather than drive if we can, we get the bikes out and go for cycle around our village, and we go for (longish) walks. While the ‘let’s get the bikes out’ is normally a good thing, in their eyes, we nearly always get a grumpy retort when we say something like ‘let’s go for a walk’. Even if we promise to stop off and get a snack on the way back, it’s not a very popular event.

Then we tried geocaching. Everything changed. In a nutshell, for us, geocaching is a means to make a country walk interesting, give the boys something to aim for and a small amount of competition between them on who finds the cache first.

“Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a GPS receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world.” Wikipedia

We look for caches that are part of a series and follow the cache around using my phone and Geocache app. Each cache site can be used using the GPS and map within the app, and each cache has a clue to help identify exactly where it is when you reach the GZ (ground zero). Sometimes the cache is magnetic and small (I mean really small, so it can take a while to find) and sometimes it’s a box or container where you can leave ‘swaps’ for others to take. All caches are well hidden so they’re not interfered with or removed, and some are hidden so well we end up flagging them as DNF / ‘did not find’.

What has changed is that the kids don’t complain when we say we’re going out. Whereas a short walk of a mile or so would’ve been met with complaints and grumpy shoe-shuffling a few months ago, now we’re doing 4 and 5 mile walks and going from cache to cache, finding the GZ and then seeing which of us finds the cache first. Some are easier than others, some are a nightmare to find, especially if they’re hidden in the undergrowth and it’s the sort that stings.

Link this to another app I use called Map My Walk we can see how far we’ve walked … very important as these walks are also being used for the boys and their Beavers/Cubs hike badge! See, it’s all part of the larger plan. 

Gamifying our walks has worked, and the kids don’t even realise we’ve done it. We’re slowly covering the areas immediately around where we live, but we’ve also met family members further afield and done some cache’s with them. We also found a few when in Austria a couple of weeks back, and it was the kids who wanted to try. The motivation is now there, they love what we do as they want to beat their friends, who are also geocachers, or compete with family members on who can reach the next milestone number of cache’s found. 

Geocaching Map My walk

Image source: Trevor Manternach (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Speakerphone

The past four months have seen me working remotely and from home. Not only has it meant more time with the family but it’s meant the technology has been essential to my ability to work, and I’ve put it all to extremely good use. I think I ought to write an update to my EdTechRations … ?

One item I could not be without is a speakerphone for the daily Skype calls I have. I’ve got a Jabra Speak 410 speakerphone and it means I can be natural and comfortable on calls, even walk around the room as we talk. I don’t need a headset which doesn’t limit me to where I can be. It’s compact and light so easily transport where I need to be and it has excellent microphone with no feedback. I’m a convert!

Obviously it’s not practical in an open office where you probably don’t want everyone hearing your conversation, but you can plug in earphones if you want, so I still use a headset for that, but it is fantastic as a conference phone – place it in the middle of the group of you and it picks up your voices from a good distance away, from all angles. You have the ability to mute the microphone if you want to stop sharing your audio (always useful if you want to converse privately before being open), change the volume if it gets too loud or quite (all done through something called the ‘digital signal processing’ technology).

It’s USB based and works easily on my Windows laptop and Mac desktop, integrates seamlessly with both Skype and Skype for Business, as well as nicely for Facetime on the Mac. What’s not to like?

Image source: Jabra website

The ‘killer’ interview question?

In your last interview, were you asked a question you thought was either too tough, too personal, too ambiguous, etc.? Did you think you ‘nailed it’ or did you come away confused about the purpose of the question, your response, or whether the interviewer was messing with you?

From the article:

“…candidates often struggled with the question: “Tell me about your most significant technical accomplishment, the project that you’re most proud of.” Max Brown, ex-Tesla recruiter.

This doesn’t sound too bad, does it? I can think of a few examples here, but is it the kind of thing the interviewer is looking for. Brown says that “most people’s first instinct is to pick the project or achievement that sounds the most substantial on paper – but that’s not always the one that illustrates their actual technical ability” and that “it’s usually better to shine the spotlight on a smaller project where you can truly speak to all of the technical aspects. In many cases, the biggest, most impressive-sounding initiative you participated in was largely the result of a team effort.” Hmm, really. Well, here’s what I would say, and these were my first thoughts when reading the article last night …


How would you answer an interview question about your 'most significant technical accomplishment'?
Click To Tweet


My most ‘significant technical accomplishment’ would probably be one of my first positive experiences using computers. Back in the early- to mid-80’s my Dad bought me a ZX81, and then a ZX Spectrum. Before we bought a cassette player to record and load games I had to type each and every game I wanted to play. Copied from magazines or books, this could take a couple of hours, required squinting intensely at code which, as I’m sure you’re aware, would be rendered useless if you got just one comma or semi-colon in the wrong place. I learned the hard way to pay attention, keep the finer detail in mind when trying to rush to finish before bedtime, etc. I also learned to fix the broken published code. I learned what form the code should take, how to reference other bits of code. I learned how to trust myself and my ‘intuition’ when the code was wrong, so I could fix it before continuing.

From this I learned to write my own games, albeit very basic, but it was still all mine, from concept to (working) completion. I remember a worm race … six or eight worms race from one side of the screen to the other with random generator controlling how fast each went. Whichever got to the other side of the screen won, and I got the whole family to watch and choose a worm! Quality family time, eh? It’s from here that much of everything I do now stems … my interest in computers and computing, developments in AI and VR, gaming (although less and less now, but I’m getting back to it through my kids), the Internet, self motivation and confidence, advances in wearable computing, etc.

If in doubt, here’s another perspective for your next interivew .. “never stop learning”.

What would you choose as your ‘significant [technical] accomplishment’?

Image source: Barney Livingston (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 

The University of tomorrow is …?

I’ve just read this article and wanted to share a couple of thoughts I had while I was reading it: “It’s the end of the university as we know it”

The title is clearly clickbait, testing your resolve to read beyond the tweeted headline, knowing full well ‘the end of the university’ will get people interested (or enraged that this kind of talk is still going on … MOOCs anyone?). That the URL is not the same as the title implies they might change the title at a later stage … “/the-future-of-the-university-is-in-the-air-and-in-the-cloud/”?

Here are some soundbites from the article:

“Shocking as it might seem, there is one catch-all answer that could be the remedy to many of these concerns: Cut the campus loose. Axe the physical constraints. The library? Classrooms? Professors? Take it all away. The future of the university is up in the air.”

Another, when looking at the history of how and why universities are set up like they are:

“It is untenable for universities to continue existing as sanctums for a small group of elite students, taught by top scholars.Technology isn’t only refashioning the ways in which we live and work, but also changing what we need to learn for these new schemes of existence: It’s returning us to a need for specialized learning, for individualized education that is custom-tailored to one’s needs. A world in which most of our learning is more self-directed and practical is, in many ways, a return to an apprenticeship model that existed before industrialization.”

Predictions on the future of learning, at universities at any rate:

Online “cloud” teaching is cheaper; universities can offer such online-based (or majority-online) degrees at the lowest rate—making for a cheap(ish) degree, available to everyone with access to the internet, and taking place completely digitally. Meanwhile, other students will pay a premium to interact with professors and have more of a traditional campus experience. At the highest end, the richest or most elite students may get the full Oxford tutorial experience, brushing elbows with the best of scholars; they’ll just have to pay through the nose for it”

Read the article, let me know what you think – agree or disagree with the tenet of the article, that this is the end of the university?

Image source: Dave Herholz (CC BY-SA 2.0)

‘Wise Guy’ with @GuyKawasaki

I’ve spoken before about the way in which Learning Technologists need to think and act as go-betweens in the institution between the academics, the administrators, the IT helpdesk and IT systems integrators. Oh, and definitely between the institution AND the students. Never forget the students.

We need to be both leaders, managers, workers, liaison, testers, helpdesk, mentors, specialists, visionists (is that a word?), innovators, critical thinkers, creative, entrepreneurs, etc. This is why I believe we should pay attention to how people think, work, collaborate, communicate, etc. outside of our educational roles. Hence I’m recommending you listen to and engage with people like Guy Kawasaki, speaker, entrepreneur, and evangelist.


Learning technologists need to be leaders, managers, workers, mentors, specialists, innovators, creatives, etc. #altc
Click To Tweet


I have read quite a bit of Guy Kawasaki’s work that I believe more Learning Technologist can benefit from it. Whether you listen or watch or read about creativity, entrepreneurial activity, disruptive leaders, etc. or just enjoy hearing someone speak passionately about their work, there is something from Guy here for you.

Guy has recently started a new Facebook page in an effort to share his insight and experiences to “help you succeed”. Whilst aspect of this won’t interest or be relevant to Learning Technologist, to understand the wider concept of being creative (disruptive?) will help me/you see where and how we fit our roles and interests into the constraints of our institution and its culture.

Find out more about Wise Guy and Guy Kawasaki, as well as the weekly video episodes, on the ‘Wise Guy’ Facebook page.

“Wise Guy distills Guy Kawasaki’s decades of experience and thirteen books Into short lessons to help you succeed. Guy covers innovation, recruiting, fund raising, branding, and social media. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, small-business owner, intrapreneur, or not-for-profit leader, you’ll get a ton out of this video series.”

I would go further to say that you will learn about how other people view creativity and entrepreneurial activity or thinking, about how you can also use these approaches to foster your own skills (either as an entrepreneur or creative, or working with them) and how you can learn more about yourself. Go on, what have you got to lose?

Image source: Adam Tinworth (CC BY-ND 2.0)