Entrepreneurship And eLearning: Top 5 eLearning Options For Newbie Entrepreneurs

Top 5 Options For Entrepreneurship And eLearning 

Entrepreneurship is experiencing constant evolution, which is making it tougher; however, on the other hand, it is also making it quite an exciting career path. Impressive job description, limitless boundaries, and improving innovations in technology have made all types of businesses fast growing. Though unpredictable circumstances in professions might seem to be unfavorable, they can get you unexpected rewards as well. This is the most important reason why we encourage entrepreneurs to keep themselves fully up to date with all types of changes taking in their industry.

Similar to every important element of entrepreneurship, education should also be taken as an effective tool that leads you towards success. Most of the newbies don’t have time to get further education and even if they do, they don’t have extra money to spend on it. However, they can go for eLearning options which should be less time consuming and cost effective as well. The good news is that there is a good number of eLearning programs available on which you can invest your money as a young entrepreneur; but you should always choose the best possible option as per the advice of experts. Here are the 5 top options for entrepreneurship and eLearning:

  1. Building Startups Easily And Quickly.
    Many experts suggest that the young people should go for the How to Build a Startup online course which is available on Udacity. Through this program you can learn how you can effectively learn the basic principles of startup building and customer discovery process. There are lots of important aspects of this program and you should try to finish it to the end. Some of the lessons that you will be learning in this course are:

    • Corporation history.
    • Product development.
    • Customer development.
    • Business models.
    • Revenue streams.
    • Major resources.
    • Common mistakes.
    • Market types.
    • Market prices.
    • Web and physical distribution.
    • Human Resources.
    • Others.
  2. Online Sales Courses For Entrepreneurs.
    You might want to work with sponsorships, raise VC, advertise, or direct sales, but you must keep in mind that if you don’t have the ability to read your potential customers’ mindset and don’t understand how to take the advantage of different situations, you may not be able to turn your leads into actual sales. You can easily find hundreds of courses explaining the entire sales process, but you must choose the one that encourages you to take practical steps; most of such programs will be limited to the theory of persuasion and sales.
    One of the most popular programs is called Entrepreneurial Sales. It is an especially designed course which outlines tactical and practical factors of selling of technical products to a huge number of potential customers. In this course, you can learn how to:

    • Organize a sales force.
    • Create a compensation system.
    • Assign specific territories.
    • Dealing with disputes and conflicts.
    • Dealing with customers.
    • Building good relationships.
    • Others.
  3. Online Statistics Classes At Stanford.
    If you have taken statistics classes in college, you might have had just the introduction of the actual topic that does not give you clear things about it. Remember, if you feel comfortable with the numbers and get clear directions from them, it becomes much easier for you to take effective decisions to benefit your business. Having online classes covering detailed statistics is always a perfect choice for entrepreneurs. Stanford University offers statistics courses, certificates and degrees by the help of 1clickdissertation.
    Some of the popular statistic courses are:

    • Introduction to statistical learning.
    • Algorithmic trading and quantitative strategies.
    • Data-driven financial and risk econometrics.
    • Data mining and analysis.
    • Financial models and statistical methods in risk management.
    • Theory of investment portfolios and derivative securities.
    • Modern applied statistics: Data mining.
    • Others.
  4. General Assembly – Master New Skills.
    If you have started an office, you can encourage your entire team to take General Assembly eLearning classes. Everyone in your team, from designers to the developers and strategists to the writers and even accountants, can also take the advantage of these classes which can provide you enough learning material about public speaking, content creation, digital marketing, startups, web designs, data analysis, etc. Some of the upcoming classes and events are:

    • Intro to UX design.
    • Data analysis circuit.
    • Programming for non programmers.
    • Intro to product management.
    • HTML, CSS, and web design circuit.
    • HTML and CSS crash course.
    • From dotcom to dotgov: The Lisa Gelobter story.
  5. Free Conference Videos And Courses.
    If you have just entered into the field of entrepreneurship, you might love to take conferences that often charge hundreds of dollars, but if you have started with a limited budget, this will definitely put an extra burden over your expenses. However, if you want to save some dollars, there is a way to do so. Most of the conference organizers regularly post informative videos on their websites after conferences and if you can’t afford to attend, you can still watch those videos. Check Udemy and Skillshare which are considered to be two brilliant eLearning options for entrepreneurs.

You should also know that there are many other free programs available for newbie entrepreneurs who are interested in entrepreneurship and eLearning. You just need to look for them on different platforms; this requires some research, but eventually you will be able to find some great free online resources to help you keep yourself up to date with the latest entrepreneurship trends.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

OEB 2015

OEB 2015 "Accelerating the Shift"

Attended by 2,300+ participants from 100 countries, OEB has gained a reputation over the past two decades for its unique, cross-sector focus and truly global reach, fostering exchange between the corporate, education and public service sectors.

Each year, OEB pushes boundaries, challenges preconceptions and catalyses new ideas – through innovations in the exhibition, interventions from participants and new forms of dialogue. At OEB, always expect the unexpected.

OEB 2015 Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers at OEB 2015 include

Miles Berry is principal lecturer in Computing Education at the University of Roehampton. Prior to joining Roehampton, he spent 18 years in four schools, much of the time as an ICT coordinator and most recently as a head teacher. His research interests include the pedagogies of computer science education and informal learning. He is a former chair of Naace, the UK ICT subject association, and continues to serve on its board of management and is a member the management board of Computing At School and the UK Forum for Computing Education. He is a fellow of the BCS, RSA and HEA.

Over the years he has contributed to a number of computing related projects including: CAS's computer science curriculum, the national curriculum computing programmes of study, the CAS / Naace guide to the computing curriculum for primary teachers, training of CAS Master Teachers, the BETT and ERA Award winning Rising Stars Switched on Computing, Barefoot Computing, Code Club Pro's training materials, QuickStart Computing and resources for the BBC and Microsoft.

He gives regular keynotes and CPD workshops on computing and education technology in the UK and abroad and has worked on a number of international consultancy projects involving curriculum development and CPD.

Cornelia Daheim is the founder and director of Future Impacts Consulting, a foresight research and consulting company. Ms Daheim has experience in foresight projects in Europe, the US and Asia, and has spoken on foresight and future trends around the world. In 2003, she founded the German Node of the Millennium Project, which is the world’s largest continuous foresight NGO working towards future global change, and has since served as its head.

Furthermore, she is a member of the scientific committee of the EU Commissions’ board for the “Futures-Oriented Technology Analysis Conference”, a member of the board of the academic journal “World Futures Review”, member of the jury of the “Janssen Zukunftspreis” and serves on the Association of Professional Futurists’ (APF) Professionalization Expert Task Force. Additionally, she is Vice President at the Foresight Europe Network, which aims to advance foresight in Europe. In the last decades, she has led projects on the future of work for public and private sector clients, e,.g. the study „Future of Jobs and Skills“ for the UK Commission of Employment and Skills - called „the most comprehensive study of its kind“ by Tobey Peyton Jones, head of Siemens HR.

Cory Doctorow (craphound.com) is a science fiction novelist, blogger and technology activist. He is the co-editor of the popular weblog Boing Boing (boingboing.net), and a contributor to The Guardian, Publishers Weekly, Wired, and many other newspapers, magazines and websites. He is a special consultant to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (eff.org), a non-profit civil liberties group that defends freedom in technology law, policy, standards and treaties. He holds an honorary doctorate in computer science from the Open University (UK), where he is a Visiting Professor; in 2007, he served as the Fulbright Chair at the Annenberg Center for Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California.

His two latest books are IN REAL LIFE, a young adult graphic novel created with Jen Wang (2014); and INFORMATION DOESN’T WANT TO BE FREE, a business book about creativity in the Internet age (2014).

He co-founded the open source peer-to-peer software company OpenCola, and serves on the boards and advisory boards of the Participatory Culture Foundation, the Clarion Foundation, the Metabrainz Foundation and The Glenn Gould Foundation.

Ian Goldin is Professor of Globalisation and Development and Director of the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford.

Ian Goldin was Vice President of the World Bank (2003-2006) and prior to that the Bank's Director of Development Policy (2001-2003). From 1996 to 2001 he was Chief Executive and Managing Director of the Development Bank of Southern Africa and served as an advisor to President Nelson Mandela. Previously, Goldin was Principal Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London, and Program Director at the OECD Development Centre in Paris, where he directed the Programs on Trade, Environment and Sustainable Development.

He has a BA (Hons) and a BSc from the University of Cape Town, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and an MA and Doctorate from the University of Oxford.

Goldin has received wide recognition for his contributions to development and research, including having been knighted by the French Government and nominated Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum. He has published over 50 articles and 19 books, his two most recent books are The Butterfly Defect: How globalization creates systemic risks, and what to do about it (Princeton University Press, 2014) and an edited volume Is the planet full?  (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Hilary Leevers joined the Wellcome Trust in September 2011 as Head of Education and Learning. She has a long-standing interest in education and learning, reflected in her research, policy experience and involvement in local schools.

After studying natural sciences at the University of Cambridge, Hilary stayed on as a research assistant investigating children's reasoning and learning strategies. She continued these studies for a DPhil in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford before taking a postdoctoral and then assistant professor position at the Centre for Molecular and Behavioural Neuroscience at Rutgers University. After returning to the UK, she joined the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) as Assistant Director and worked on a breadth of science policy issues.

The Wellcome Trust has a long-standing interest in science education and identified four goals to achieve its mission of making inspiring, high-quality science education available to all young people. These are: to take a leading role in stimulating debate and influencing action on key issues; to build on current investments and embed continuing professional development at the heart of teaching careers in science; to become a trusted provider of contemporary resources in science education; and to conduct research on specific priority areas to generate a robust evidence base to inform education policy.

Anka Mulder studied History at the University of Groningen, where she later lectured in International Relations. She worked in Brussels, Vienna and The Hague and became Director of Education at TU Delft in 2004.

In 2008 she was a member, from 2011 to 2013 president of the board of the international OpenCourseWare Consortium. The Consortium is the largest international organisation in the field of free online provision of education in the form of complete courses. From 2011 to 2013 she combined the post of director with that of Secretary General of the university.

Since April 2013, she has been Vice-President at TU Delft responsible for Education and Operations.  Furthermore she is a member of the edX University Advisory Board, a global network of universities including Harvard, MIT and Berkeley, that produce Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and promote innovation in education worldwide. She is member of the Supervisory Board of the Hotel School The Hague and of the Comité d’orientation stratégique of the University of Sorbonne.

David Price, OBE, is a learning futurist and co-founder of We Do Things Differently, a culture change company.  He is a Senior Associate at the Innovation Unit, in London. His recent book, 'OPEN: How We'll Work, Live and Learn In The Future' has been an Amazon best-seller since its publication.

For the past 10 years, David has led numerous international education projects, helping schools gear themselves up to meet the challenges of the 21st century. In 2009 he was awarded the O.B.E. By Her Majesty the Queen.

He writes, talks and advises on some of the biggest challenges facing business, education and society: solving the problems of employee, student and civic disengagement; maximising our potential to be creative, innovative and fulfilled citizens, and understanding the global shift towards open organisations, and systems of learning.

Sir Ken Robinson has written that 'from every perspective OPEN will open your mind to some of the real implications of digital technologies for how we live and learn in the 21st century'.

 

OEB 2015 conference (formerly known an ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN) will be held at the Hotel InterContinental Berlin on December 2-4, 2015.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

What Happens In (DevLearn) Vegas Gets Blogged About

What Happens In DevLearn Gets Blogged About 

Late in September and early in October I made my way to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas NV along with 2800 other learning, eLearning, and Training and Development enthusiasts for the eLearning Guild’s DevLearn 2015. The buzz is this was the biggest DevLearn ever – I would not be surprised if that were true.

The event started, on Day 0 if you will, with the pre-conference workshops. Apart from a bunch of vendor and tool specific workshops there were two that caught my eye for their potential informational content:

  • Getting Started with Mobile Learning: Determining the Strategic Fit by Brenda Enders, Enders Consulting
  • Agile Project Management for eLearning by Megan Torrance of Torrance Learning

The mobile learning workshop looked interesting, but a careful look at the agenda gave me the sense that this was targeted at those getting started with mLearning – a stage we have comfortably crossed at eNyota. I, thus, chose to focus on the Agile Project Management workshop and I’m glad I did. We have already adopted Agile in many of our software development projects, but given the volume of eLearning and mLearning projects we handle I had a lot of questions on how an Agile approach would fit in there. I got a wealth of information – so much so that I feel a separate article on the topic is warranted.

The theme of the conference this year was “Innovation in the making” – a rather neat way to showcase the various innovative approaches organizations were taking to eLearning and also to make the point that this coming together of so many curious minds could lead to some innovative thinking too.

The keynotes were picked to represent the theme. My favorite talk (act?) was the Opening Keynote from David Pogue. Pogue is the Host, NOVA ScienceNow and Founder & Columnist, Yahoo! Tech. He spoke about “Learning Disrupted: The Unrecognizable New World of Tech and Culture”.

In a word the keynote was “Memorable”. I think it set the perfect tone for DevLearn. The key emphasis was how the lives and actions of people of all ages, and culture were being impacted by technology and extending that impact into learning.

He revealed honestly unimaginable apps and technology that are already being used today around the world:

  • Hapifork, a smart fork which gives you a reminder to eat slowly by tracking the movement of your hand to your mouth.
  • Wearable devices for health data tracking from a slew of vendors including Apple, Google, and Microsoft, and contact lenses with chips inside them to gather data about your blood sugar.
  • Research Kit, an open source framework from Apple whereby health and medical data from so many wearable devices can be combined to give trends across the population. A privacy nightmare, but an awesome example of how big data can help change the face of personal and community-level healthcare. In an amazing example, the impact of stress on asthma was shown by looking at data from patients in New York/New Jersey!

The direct linkages to learning were few, but the overall message was loud and clear – mobile, IoT, Big Data, and other technologies are changing rapidly and are invading every sphere of our life. The world of eLearning cannot be immune to this disruption – to be successful we will have to embrace this change.

David’s sense of humor had the audience in splits for most of the keynote that ended with him singing at the piano! It was quite a keynote and one I will not forget in a hurry. This keynote will be a tough one to top for the eLearning Guild.

I also liked the other keynote on “Curiosity, Discovery & Learning” by one-half of the MythBusters team, Adam Savage. Adam is quite the showman, but perhaps we were all drained by the first keynote to get quite so completely hooked!

I attended a few other sessions of which the most interesting were:

  • Using mobile and xAPI to make on the job learning workable.
  • The DevLearn Hyperdrive Showcase, where the top 3 results from previous days demos were showcased.
  • Showcase of how video could be used easily to train distributed workers.
  • Performance Support case studies.

There was quite a lot of talk about xAPI – support seems to be growing and it’s worth following closely. Another theme I heard time and again was that the mobile device is going to be a gateway to link all the various groups of learning related technologies.

While we have been satisfied with running our eLearning courses on tablets for a while now, clearly this is not going to be sufficient. The mobile devices and true mobility has the potential to make our learning so much more effective and to unshackle its delivery, consumption, and traceability. There’s another article right there – the mobile learning lessons from DevLearn!

Then there is the Cloud – a clear lesson from DevLearn is that the days of the large Learning Management Systems secured behind the corporate firewalls are slowly but surely coming to an end. Learning is jumping the firewall and getting delivered anytime and anywhere leveraging the public and private cloud. This may also herald the eventual EOL of many of the ways of learning we have held dear for so long.

On a more personal level, I was happy to see the rate at which new products and systems are getting launched. eNyota has its own skin in this game with our Learning Management System coming out early in 2016. Clearly there is competition out there but there is a play for those willing to adapt fast to this new mobile-first world. As I leave the bright and flashy lights of Vegas behind I think the future is bright too.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

10 Online Research Tools Every Online Learner Should Know About

10 Awesome Online Research Tools 

Online learning has opened up the opportunity for many people to educate themselves, learn new skills, and earn college degrees even if they are not able to attend classes in a traditional sense of the word. Some just don’t have the time/money to move or commute to another city, or they work full time and have families, which means eLearning is their only option. As great as online learning is, it has several drawbacks. Obviously, it requires you to be online most of the time, which is fine, if you are doing research, writing, taking online tests, or attending your virtual classes.

But being online also makes you more prone to procrastination and distractions. There is also the issue of keeping all those gigabytes of research data organized and having hardware that’s powerful enough to enable real-time communication. These are just some of the issues eLearners face. Fortunately, there is something you can do to make your eLearning experience a lot more efficient and stimulating, especially the research part. We have prepared a list of 10 online research tools every online learner should master.

  1. Todoist.
    Research is a time-intensive activity, which means you will need a tool to organize both your professional and personal life. We advise you to give Todoist a shot. Todoist enables you to manage all of your projects and access them from any platform you own, including your desktop computer, laptop, or portable devices. You can share your tasks and collaborate with other people. Another clever feature is “karma” points, which are given to users if they are successful in assigning tasks to projects.
  2. EndNote.
    EndNote is a multi-functional research tool which helps you search for information in online databases and full texts based on abstracts, as well as manage and auto-complete all of your references. Like Todoist, EndNote also enables you to share your research data with your collaborators. If you prefer to work alone, you can do that too by saving, managing and tagging your research results for better access. Other features include bibliography maker that is capable of creating citations in over 6,000 styles, as well as automatic journal suggestion.
  3. EduGeeksClub.
    Every once in a while, you are going to come across an insurmountable obstacle while doing your research. Instead of giving up, you can turn to EduGeeksClub for professional research help. Get in touch with professional writers and researchers and learn all the ins and outs of thorough research. Also, you can commission a paper from them which you can then use as a resource for your essay, paper, or dissertation. They also provide editing and proofreading services.
  4. Zotero.
    Another essential tool all online learners should make use of is Zotero. Zotero integrates itself seamlessly into your browser and uses its clever ability to automatically recognize content for you. After that, all it takes for you to save it to your personal, fully searchable library, which is another feature in Zotero, in a single click. It supports audio and video files, PDF documents, as well as most image formats.
  5. RefWorks.
    RefWorks is a browser-based tool which has the ability to help learners find the right research data, organize it, store it, and easily share it with their colleagues and collaborators. All of that research information and written work needs to be supported by proper citations, and RefWorks generates those for you automatically, as well as bibliographies in every style. If you are not sure how to make use of its full potential, there are plenty of tutorials on how to do it, right there on the website.
  6. DataElixir.
    One of the best ways to keep up to date with all the latest news, developments and data in science is to find a website which curates all of those on a weekly basis. We recommend Data Elixir. Whether you’re an eLearner, a scientist, or a researcher, you benefit a lot for its weekly collection of all the best data resources and news, and you don’t even have to put in any effort whatsoever. You just have to subscribe to their free weekly newsletter and that’s it.
  7. Paperpile.
    Paperfile is a reference management software which, similar to Zotero, works as an extension for Google Chrome browser, making it accessible for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux users. We recommend that you use it to find and import data from platforms like Google Scholar, PubMed, or arXiv. You can easily export all the PDF documents and data to Google Drive, which means you’ll have the opportunity for collaborative editing of your papers. The collaboration doesn’t end there, because you can send data back and forth between Paperpile and Zotero, for example, as well as Mendeley.
  8. DeepDyve.
    High-quality research papers and scholarly journals can often set you back a pretty penny, so it’s important for you to know exactly what you’re getting for the money you’ve paid. The only trouble is, you are often allowed to look at an abstract for free, and decide if you want to buy the full-text paper, and then realize it’s of no use to you. DeepDyve enables you to access the full-text articles for a limited period of time, enough for you to figure out if the paper is exactly what you are looking for.
  9. ContentMine.
    ContentMine is an online resource which aims to bring over 100,000,000 scientific facts close to the people, by converting the collective knowledge of the world that is present in scientific literature into content which can be read on your computes. All of its tools, features, and services are free and open access. They often cite Wikipedia and similar open projects as a source of their inspiration.
  10. Plagiarism Checker.
    In order to rid your work of duplicate content, run it through Plagiarism Checker, which will scan and determine if there is any duplicate content present. If there is, you either need to provide better citations, or rewrite your work so that it’s more unique.

These 10 awesome online research tools will change the way you do research for good, and for the better, and your eLearning process will be made much more streamlined and efficient. In the end, that’s the thing that matters the most.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

CL20 SICK Woche Zusammenfassung Tag 4: Rolle der Schulungsabteilung?

Über ein internes BarCamp ist die SICK AG auf den Geschmack gekommen. Jetzt wird überlegt, ob und wie man den “guten Geist” mitnehmen und in den Aufbau von Communities übersetzen kann. Die damit verbundenen Fragen bildeten die Agenda der sechsten Woche unseres Corporate Learning 2.0 MOOCs:

“- Wie können wir Communities langfristig weiterentwickeln?
- Welche Rahmenbedingungen muss die Schulungsabteilung schaffen?
- Wie misst man den Erfolg von Communities?”

Dazu gibt es eine rege Diskussion im Kursforum, die Karlheinz Pape hier (für den vorletzten Tag) zusammenfasst und abschließend noch mit einem Fazit kommentiert: “Eine beeindruckende Fülle von Perspektiven und Anregungen! Klar anschließen möchte ich mich Martina Brand, die forderte, von Schulungsabteilung gar nicht mehr zu sprechen. Der Begriff scheint mir heute schon nicht mehr zu passen, und in einer neuen künftigen Rolle zur Unterstützung von selbstgesteuertem Lernen schon gar nicht.”
Karlheinz Pape, Corporate Learning Alliance Blog, 30. Oktober 2015

Themenspecial “Lehren und Lernen mit Videos”

Im aktuellen Newsletter weist das Redaktionsteam von e-teaching.org auf den Start des nächsten Themenspecials hin. Auf dem Portal finden sich bereits Erfahrungsberichte und Produktsteckbriefe, dazu wurden bestehende Seiten und Angebote zum Thema aktualisiert, weitere werden in den nächsten Wochen hinzukommen. Es gibt zudem wieder eine Reihe von Online-Events, die am Montag beginnt.

“Vor einigen Monaten hat die e-teaching.org-Community über das Thema des neuen Specials abgestimmt und sich mit großer Mehrheit für „Lehren und Lernen mit Videos“ entschieden. Tatsächlich gab es noch auf keinen Call so viele Rückmeldungen. Die angekündigten Beiträge befassen sich mit didaktischen und technischen Herausforderungen des Videoeinsatzes in der Lehre, mit der Veränderung von Lehrszenarien sowie organisatorischen Aspekten, die bei der Umsetzung zu beachten sind. Dabei wird vor allem deutlich: Der Einsatz von Videos ist keineswegs gleichbedeutend mit dem häufigen Vorurteil des bloß „passiven“ Rezipierens oder des „Lernens aus der Konserve“. Diese Gefahren bestehen zwar durchaus, aber viele Lehrende sind sich dessen sehr bewusst und entwickeln Konzepte, die Studierende einbeziehen, z.B. durch die Integration aktivierender Aufgaben, den Einsatz in Flipped Classroom-Szenarien oder die Erstellung von Videos durch Lernende.”
e-teaching.org, 30. Oktober 2015

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Fundamentals Of Learning Technologies: Part 1

Learning Technologies Fundamentals: Part 1 

Think of how much of your life has been spent learning? Daily learning comes from a variety of sources including coworkers, family, and friends. In schools, learning is much more structured consisting of books, whiteboards (blackboards), teachers, and class schedules. To ensure that learning material is retained by students, the teacher uses a combination of individual exercises, group exercises, and quizzes. Creating this learning material was time consuming and tedious. However, the benefit has always been scalability. Once learning material is created, it can be used over and over again. Not just for one school - lots of schools throughout the country.

Enter digital software and computer hardware technology. Books no longer need to be typeset, learning material can be instantly updated in the cloud, and 35mm slides are replaced with PowerPoints. The restriction of mandated scheduled learning has been displaced by curriculum that can be delivered anytime, anywhere. How we learn in the workplace is undergoing a massive transformation.

And it all starts in the electronic classroom.

The Elements Of Classroom Learning

There are typically three stages involved with the life cycle of live classroom training from conception to class presentation.

Elements Of Classroom Learning: Process Diagram

Instructional Design Production Delivery
Function Create the learning material. Create the learning material for the course. Schedule and hold training with students in a classroom setting.
Role Instructional Designer. Production manager. Instructor.
Participants Subject Matter Experts and compliance reviewers. Production staff, suppliers, and vendors. Students, venue staff, registration managers.
Output Slides and associated documents, code, or other artifacts are created. Produce final courseware material and prepare for printing. Scheduled class of the course in a classroom setting. Each student receives course material (like handouts of the slides, exercise task descriptions, and so on). Slides are projected onto a screen.
Sample tools and technology Microsoft Office apps (PowerPoint and Word) to produce initial storyboards and courseware material. [1] Adobe, Microsoft, and Autodesk tools can be used to finalize professional graphics and layout. Everything to be printed can be exported to PDF format using Adobe Acrobat. PowerPoint, Inateck wireless presenter (WP1002), Casio Green Slim Line Projector (XJ series) equipment. Online student registration logistics are provided by vendors like cvent and RegOnline.
Schedule Takes some period of time. Usually takes less time than Instructional Design stage. Set class times, highly structured.

My company, Leading Software Maniacs, creates and presents innovative live workshops for software developers and managers. Workshops are usually presented as a set of slides that are accompanied with printed handouts for students during a class. Highlights of live training include:

  • Classes take place at a set time and location.
  • Interaction is encouraged between instructor and students. Table arrangement usually accommodates 4-6 attendees per table (round tables work best). Food and beverage service should be provided.
  • Marketing and promotion for live workshops needs the help of local professional organizations hosting the event (PMI® comes to mind). Armed with a trusty laptop and a lightweight projector, there are literally hundreds of agile consultants presenting agile workshops hosted by PMI local chapters throughout the world.
  • Inexpensive software tools and hardware devices gives new meaning to DIY. Now, most anyone can create world-class learning material.
  • There’s considerable effort in handling the logistics: Venue selection, registration, and attendee fee collection. Working with vendors, partners, and attendees takes considerable personal interaction. Even with online software tools.

There can be different folks responsible for each of the three phases, however for most of us, the creator of the course is usually the person producing and presenting the material.

Learning Technologies: Enter eLearning 

As many businesses have benefited from massive automation, learning is going through similar transformations. Educational technology, or eLearning, is possible due to personal computers and the internet. Software apps provide integrated solutions that enhance how to connect learning with computing devices. This software-driven approach allows self-direction, mobility, and even collaboration and evaluation.

Originally known as computer-based instruction (CBI), eLearning offers key dramatic benefits.

Live classroom eLearning
Creation of presentation material Use PowerPoint to create slideshow. Use PowerPoint to create slideshow. Use screen recording software/devices to produce a video for viewing.
Storyboard outline and presentation flow Optional. Mandatory. [1]
Marketing and promotion Local for the event. Social media.
Class setting Classroom or conference room. Work desk, coffee shop, or home.
Class schedule Must be scheduled. Can be scheduled online or self-directed.
Expenses Travel, venue, and registration. Registration only.
Handouts Printed. View in browser, downloadable.
Student/Teacher collaboration Yes. Limited, perhaps through chat room or forums.
Computing device Rarely required. Desktop, laptop, and mobile (tablet).

There must be great opportunity to supply technology for eLearning. According to Capterra, there are at least 500 Learning Management Systems providers in the market. [2]

Learning technologies can provide a mechanism to evaluate how well students are learning in addition to offering more guidance if they fall behind. Even the use of games has become an accepted way to motivate and aid in the retention of information learned. I've posted a quick survey on how you like to learn. The survey is anonymous and will take no longer than a couple of minutes to complete. An analysis of survey results will be included in part 2 of “Fundamentals of Learning Systems”.

References: 

  1. Whitaker, Ken. “Storyboarding Is A Total Waste Of Time.” eLearning Industry. October 25, 2015.
  2. Capterra. “Top LMS Software.” Capterra.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

6 Pitfalls Of Digital Learning And How To Avoid Them 

Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Digital Learning

Digital learning is an exceptional teaching tool. It has enabled students to become more engaged in their learning both in and out of the classroom. Schools and universities have embraced digital learning as a significant part of their instructional delivery strategies. For students in K-12 institutions, one would be hard-pressed to find any classroom without a bank of computers, filled with learning software in all curricular areas. At both the secondary and university levels, students have options of in-class instruction, online courses, and blended instructional delivery that combines in-class and digital learning activities. However, in their zeal, educators have made some mistakes – mistakes which can be avoided with a careful and reasoned approach.

  1. Taking time to think things through very carefully.
    Educators love anything that will make their teaching tasks more efficient. When digital learning began to appear, it was only natural to become excited about a new tool that would allow students to become more engaged, to practice skills individually, and that would provide immediate and automatic feedback on mastery. And the individual nature of assessment allowed teachers to diagnose lack of mastery and to provide additional remediation for those students in need. All of this was a huge improvement over traditional methods. In response to this enthusiasm on the part of educators, textbook and educational software companies began to develop entire curricular offerings in virtually every subject and to attempt to sell these as complete packages to schools and school districts. They took the bait. Schools have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars purchasing huge software packages and online courses for classroom use. What they failed to realize was that these all-encompassing packages did not honor all learning styles, and were not a “fit” for certain parts of their student populations. What they also failed to realize was that, without proper teacher training and support, these packages would lie dormant in classroom computers, without teacher “buy-in.” Have a look on this publication about digital learning costs that perfectly describes all estimated expenditures in 2012 year. Schools are now learning from mistakes that they have made. Like any adoption of learning materials, there needs to be a process in place for teachers to be introduced to the software/courses and to have time to make judgments as to their efficacy.
  2. Ensuring student access.
    In the classroom, all students have access to the digital environment and to the interactive learning experiences that software and web-based activities offer. Most of these same students are able to plug-in to these environments at home as well, with portals that have been provided by their schools. Unfortunately, there remains a large student population without access to these out-of-class and/or online experiences because there are either no devices in the home or because they reside in areas so rural that access is not available. Educators must still accommodate these disparities by ensuring that these students have other learning materials which will allow them to practice skills and reinforce concepts. And providing these students with more time for research within the school day, or allowing them to print off materials to take home is essential.
  3. Preserving the student-teacher relationship.
    Computer-assisted instruction and practice certainly relieves the teacher of some of the traditional classroom duties, and it becomes very easy to become an inactive supervisor rather than an individual who remains personally involved as students engage in learning activities remember that students are very different. Teachers must remember that the relationship they have with their students is an important one, and encouraging and supportive interaction must continue to occur. There are times when nothing can replace the personal attention of a teacher.
  4. Mindfulness of disparity of student technical skills.
    Students who have enjoyed technology from a very young age are quite tech-savvy; however, those without technology in their homes will not be. It is a critical task for the teacher to ensure that every student has the skills to use devices, the Internet and the software for maximum benefit. Teachers must not assume that there is a level playing field here. There is a good list of basic computer skills for students that can be used as a checklist or guideline.
  5. Privacy and security.
    Fortunately, most schools have installed “parental controls” that prevent students from accessing inappropriate sites; however, these are not fail-safe, and students may fall prey to “click-wrap” agreements that include charges or require the submission of personal information. Vigilant monitoring on the part of classroom teachers of minor students is absolutely essential – no instructor should be sitting at a desk engaged in another activity while students are at computer stations.
  6. Failure to assess and evaluate the efficacy of programs/courses.
    In this age of accountability for educational delivery and student progress, it is surprising that regular and systematic assessments of digital learning are not more prevalent. While a number of studies exist that demonstrate good learner outcomes through digital learning, these studies also point to the importance of interaction with peers and with teachers, particularly when students are engaged in fully online learning environments. Studies by individual schools and school districts, in terms of learner outcomes based upon their own curricular goals, are lacking, however, and no educational delivery system can be adequately evaluated without such studies.

Preparing Students For A Fully Digital Learning Environment 

Access to online coursework on the part of teens and adults has exploded in recent years, as both traditional and non-traditional students take advantage of the flexibility such coursework allows. These courses can be more rigorous, however, and instructors must prepare students for the challenges that lie ahead:

  • While interaction with fellow students and instructors is almost always available, it is not as intimate as the interaction in a physical classroom environment. Instructors must ensure that there are ample and worthwhile opportunities for student-to-student and for student-to-instructor interaction.
  • Students who are not skilled and rapid readers will find themselves bogged down in front of their device screens and may need to find ways to enhance their reading/comprehension abilities though these speed reading tips might come in handy to them.
  • Instructors should discourage students without high levels of organization and motivation from engaging in wholly digital coursework.

Failure to find the appropriate blend between digital learning outside of the classroom and tools for student to collaborate/converse with one another and with their instructors.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Wiki und die schnelle Lehre

Deutschland droht, die OER-Entwicklung, also den Einsatz freier Lern- und Lehrmaterialien, zu verschlafen. Das ist die Kernaussage dieses Artikels, der die OER-Geschichte und einige aktuelle Projekte zusammenfasst. Auch über die Gründe der Zurückhaltung hierzulande darf spekuliert werden. Mein Tipp: Wenn man die Plagiatssoftware routinemäßig nicht nur über Abschlussarbeiten, sondern auch über die Skripte der Lehrenden laufen ließe, hätte man die Erklärung.
Annick Eimer, duz Magazin, 11/15 vom 23. Oktober 2015