I’ve been using the institutional partnership Coventry University has with Linkedin/Lynda.com and have been taking a few short, video-heavy courses to further my understanding in a few area. In light of this I took the opportunity to attend a ‘making the most of Lynda.com‘ course too, presided over by a LinkedIn representative and someone from the DMLL (Disruptive Media Learning Lab) here at Coventry.
I had three goals I wanted for this one hour session: firstly to see if I ‘understood’ of Lynda.com or could get better at using it, for my own personal learning. Secondly I wanted to see what I could do with it in relation to my management responsibilities, and lastly I wanted to explore what LinkedIn (and Microsoft by relationship to company/organisational ownership).
Notes from the 1-hour course:
- Access Lynda.com for free using your Coventry [institutional] access (select ‘use organisational sign in’ on the login page and enter username/password. This will be remembered the next time you visit.
- Lynda.com will be rebranded as LinkedIn Learning (already accessible, but content behind a paywall on LinkedIn Learning) within 12 months. All data (login, courses, playlists, etc.) will move across.
- Access to Lynda.com (and subsequent to LinkedIn Learning) is free when a staff or student of Coventry university.
- Very keen to highlight benefits of using Lynda.com with students (and staff) as flexible learning, just-in-time learning, micro/macro learning, self-directed and mobile learning.
- Develop new skills within the workplace according to immediate or anticipated skills, use courses or individual videos accordingly.
- Certificates available on course completion, not credit or qualification bearing.
- Courses categorised into
- Business, and
- Currently staff use outweighs student use.
- “What’s in it for me?”
- Blended learning or supplementing existing learning opportunities
- Best practice (depending on the course creator/SME)
- ‘What’s in it for the student?’
- Supporting campus-based CU learning
- Study skills / professional skills
- Time- and self-management
- Career management
- Interview skills
- ‘What’s in it for managers?’
- Recommended course based on algorithms and other institutional users
- Watch & reflect
- Engage & retain
- (Productivity related CPD?)
- Skills and competencies learning (measurable?)
The purpose of the course was mainly to highlight the possibility of using Lynda.com materials as part of an academic’s teaching and learning strategy. Each academic would need to evaluate each video and/or course before being certain it is of the right ‘message’ and tone to fit into their learning, but the presentation quality is extremely high. Individual course authors and presenters are invited to write and deliver the course, these are the ‘leaders’ in their field, but anyone can can apply and suggest course idea for LinkedIn consideration. Videos are created at one of two LinkedIn studios.
The LinkedIn representative was keen to try and get Lynda.com used as part of the student learning, but I think this has more potential as an on-going and informal opportunity to team members to keep skills up to date and learn new skills, just by nature of offering a free course (Lynda.com) as part of a purchased course. By installing an on-going objective in ClearReview (Coventry appraisal system) each team member could keep track of their own personal development, and act as a reflection on their own development. This can be shared, should the individual want to, with other team members who are doing the same or similar courses, the opportunity for team collaboration is here should individuals want it.
The search function on the website is extremely good, with the platform ‘learning’ about your preferences based on activity in courses and matching new courses with your history, and that of the wider Coventry University audience. Courses are split into functional areas of ‘speciality’ (as above), you can ‘save’ courses to playlists and share certificates on your LinkedIn account (or download as PDF).
Lynda.com courses are typically 50-70 minutes in length, 100% video based, and may have a pre- and post-quiz. I don’t know what happens if you fail either one, but the courses I’ve done you get a certificate for your effort. The quizzes are not typically very difficult or time consuming.
Demonstration courses that may be of use:
- Time management fundamentals: https://www.lynda.com/Business-Skills-tutorials/Time-Management-Fundamentals/397387-2.html
- Leading without formal authority: https://www.lynda.com/Leadership-Management-tutorials/Leading-without-Formal-Authority/585229-2.html
- Developing your leadership philosophy: https://www.lynda.com/Business-Skills-tutorials/Developing-Your-Leadership-Philosophy/160362-2.html
- Managing stress for positive change: https://www.lynda.com/Leadership-Management-tutorials/Managing-Stress-Positive-Change/659269-2.html
- Agile instructional design: https://www.lynda.com/Instructional-Design-tutorials/Agile-Instructional-Design/492713-2.html
These are quite special, I wasn’t aware of this achievement until I started thinking about something else: conversations.
When I started blogging and tweeting, and connecting on LinkedIn, I was all about the network and conversations. I was building an interest and understanding of my role (learning technologist), my work place, and the kind of ‘things’ I needed to understand. Now, ten years down the road, 901 blog posts and 50,000 tweets later, I realise that my use of these systems and the networks I’ve built there, are changing.
Back in March 2017 (“Dear Twitter. It’s not me, it’s you”) I wrote about my disappointment at changes to Twitter; not necessarily about the platform but how it is being used by the user base and my network. What started out, for me and many more like me, it was all about the conversation; the links and collaborative nature of being connected to likeminded individuals on a global scale, the ability to search and question and learn from others in different organisational and societal cultures, to connect and engage with senior or specialists ‘experts’ in the field of EdTech. The conversations and engagement I used to get in the early days of Twitter and LinkedIn have, I’ll admit, help me grow personally and professionally into the senior role I have. I would not have produced, managed, edited and published four books, nor would I have gained the peer-reviewed CMALT qualification, the invitation to be a trustee for the Learn Appeal charity, or the various accolades I’ve collected over the years.
What I get in my timeline feeds now is very different. There are fewer conversations in and around the work or collaboration. What conversations there are seem to be more broadcast approach rather than sharing. Being connected through Twitter or Facebook or other networks has obviously had an affect on us, we are all more informed (?) about world politics, the environment, culture, etc. and this is what most of my timeline is about now. That’s fine, I often add to the noise too, but my primary purpose for Twitter, etc. is work. I want to learn and help others learn about online/distance learning opportunities, be they MOOCs, SPOCs, online degrees, short courses, micro-learning, etc.
I also acknowledge that I have been part of the above problem too, which is why I’m annoyed. Annoyed at myself for setting sucked in and annoyed that I’m getting annoyed at the changes. Change is OK, I don’t have to like it or like what it’s changing to, but I should be able to step back and reassess what it is I want from my networks. That is what i am now doing … reassessing my use of online social tools, Twitter, LinkedIn, this blog, etc. I’ve already dropped a few (and not really noticed), will I drop those too … ?
Conversations are powerful learning opportunities. So why am I annoyed that social networks have changed the conversation?
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There, semi-rant over. Thanks for reading.
Thanks for Sheila MacNeill for inspiring me to blog again. I’ll try and do it more often now; it’s good for the reflective soul searching and a good way to focus and unpick my very full and random thought process. I’ve missed it.
In class, we briefly touched on some learning theories and research related to constructivism and the effective use of technology, games and gamification within the overall learning environment. I’ve been reading a lot of articles recently that relate to constructivism, and some of our attendees were interested in receiving a list of those resources. Below are a few reading suggestions.
I’ll create more recommended reading lists, so follow me if this sort of thing is useful to you. The next blog posts will probably be devoted to virtual and augmented reality resources. (If you haven’t checked out the crazy cool VR features in Adobe Captivate 2019, please take a look!) I will also post my own summaries of select articles over the next few weeks.
Please add your own suggested reading articles in the comments section!
Here are three introductory level readings that are great as starters:
- Chapter 1: “Learning: From Speculation to Science,” from How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School, by Bransford, Brown, and Cocking.
A great explanation of what constructivism is, what helps us learn, and what learning truly is.
- Chapter 1: “Introduction: The New Science of Learning,” from The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences (2nd ed.), by Sawyer.
An in-depth look at the learning process from beginning to end, including how to use educational technology (and how not to use it), and the importance of social learning and collaboration.
- Chapter 1: “Introduction to Emerging Technologies for the Classroom: A Learning Sciences Perspective,” from Emerging Technologies for the Classroom, by Mouza & Lavigne.
An overview of the types of educational technology available for use in the learning environment, as well as a historical perspective of how that technology has evolved.
I just finished working my way through the below articles, many of which are referenced by the above chapters, and cross-referenced amongst each other:
- Shaffer, D. W., Squire, K., Halverson, R., & Gee, J. P. (2005). Video games and the future of learning. Phi Delta Kappan, 87, 104–111. Google Scholar
- Shuler, C. (2009). Pockets of potential: Using mobile technologies to promote children’s learning. New York, NY: The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. Google Scholar
- Thomas, M., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, KY: CreateSpace. Google Scholar
- Van Eck, R. (2006). Digital game-based learning: It’s not just the digital natives who are restless. EDUCAUSE Review, 41(2), 16–30. Google Scholar
- Vavoula, G., Sharples, M., Lonsdale, P., Rudman, P., & Meek, J. (2007). Learning bridges: Mobile technologies in education. Educational Technology, 47(3), 33–37. Google Scholar
More articles and article summaries coming soon. Please follow my posts if you’d like to see more!
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