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Trust me...this hurts!

Trust me...this hurts!

Having been slowed down, somewhat, this week after a painful cycling accident, I have found myself thinking about what learning opportunities and experiences this  delivered. Here’s my summation:

  1. That great equipment does not, by itself, make one great. MTB’ers refer to this often and have an appropriate saying: “All the gear and no idea”.
  2. Even a small (18″) step, on a relatively gentle step, allows man and bike to build up considerable potential energy which, when converted to kinetic energy by virtue of man hitting floor, is plain for all to see.
  3. That when one has an appetite to try something new – to see what can be achieved one must balance the charging call of the heart with the analytical assessment of the mind.
  4. That positive statements and humor can combat panic and fear.
  5. That several years of top notch medical school training, intelligence, a genuinely friendly persona and a bunch of X-rays may still not ne enough to enable a new doctor to effectively communicate the nature of an injury or the way it will be treated to a patient and his family. Experience is often the most valuable asset of all.
  6. That a normal, healthy and mobile adult male can be reduced to a useless organic mass through only a partial incapacitation.
  7. That one’s circle of family and friends is wider and more concerned than one would normally imagine.
  8. That it is possible to learn more about one’s injury, the parts of the body affected, the degree of damage, the possible courses of treatment and even the extent of the debate amongst medical professionals as to how aggressive such treatment should be ….in less than 1 minute thanks to the Internet and the choice selection of a few key words.
  9. That a motivated (and experienced) friend can assess your injury via a scanned X-ray that you placed on Facebook and proffer a clear and easy to understand explanation in 3 sentences….unlike the well-meaning professionals in the A&E ward.
  10. That NHS hospitals are run on a constant state of emergency, where the staff are focused on ‘fire fighting’ coping strategies just to stay still.
  11. That it can be incredibly frustrating not to be able to type at >10% of one’s normal speed, with one hand…the wrong one and that it is surprisingly difficult to perform normal everyday tasks with your “wrong hand”….like brushing your own teeth.
  12. That it is almost impossible to escape from a bath when you have one damaged shoulder….and that it is still embarrassing for a 39 year old man when his mum sees him undressed as a result.
  13. That there is no telling one’s pet cats that you cannot be as attentive as usual when you are somewhat battered & bruised.
  14. That a 5ml shot of morphine can induce a significantly improved disposition very quickly and that the natural rush of adrenaline post-accident runs out after about 10 minutes.
  15. That the TV remote control is your best friend when you are incapacitated…and that misplacing it can be the most annoying thing on the earth.
  16. That it is literally possible to not be able to get out of bed in the morning…when your skeletal system fails to operate properly.
  17. That you are not as an essential part of the company team as you imagined and that your colleagues are more than able to carry on if you let them and if they believe in themselves.
  18. That all the stresses and ‘disasters’ of working hours pale into insignificance when your health, well-being and family fortunes come under threat.

Not sure what qualification/curricula these ‘learnings’ slot into but I’d wager it is delivered in the University Of Life.


Wow typing a blog whilst listening, digesting and IM’ing in a webinar is hard….SABA webinar blog notes:

Future of Learning: What You Need to Know About Web 2.0

SABA spiel: In the last couple of years, people have moved on from talking about whether or not organisations could benefit from informal learning initiatives, to a discussion on how to best implement formal and informal learning models. How people learn is now as important as what people learn. Organisations that appreciate these new learning styles and provide their employees with Web 2.0 tools, such as wikis, blogs, video capturing and editing applications, virtual worlds etc have a greater advantage to creating a successful learning process. Individuals want to create their own content, provide information and share it with their colleagues.

A.G. Lambert from Saba, presents this webinar to advise you in the best-practice integration and use of Web 2.0 technologies into tomorrow’s Learning 2.0 solutions.

This webinar demonstrates:
– How to leverage a unified strategy for Learning 2.0
– An understanding of blending formal and informal learning with Web 2.0 technologies
– How to offer support for peer-to-peer learning and communities of practice
– How to capture the knowledge of internal experts or groups

‘AG’ started by asking the question: “How does eLearning and web 2.0 mashup? What is learning 2.0, how is it relvant and where do you start?” – which pretty much sums up the rest of the webinar.

[Note, SABA content (as ‘rescribed’ by me) in itallics]

CLO survey (“several hundred senior HR/CLO folks) – key challenge is “Building a leadership pipeline” – how do you predict future skills, find & predict leaders and foster collaboration in an adaptive workforce?

People learn significantly from their peers as opposed to actual or virtual instrutor. Individual direct their own learning. This learning is often unstructured. You find an expert who helps.

GEN Y / The ‘millenials’ are 10% of workforce right now but growing. They have grown up with technology and are looking for a “highly interactive session where they are constantly able to access the people and linformation that they need as opposed to being told to sign up for a course that starts in a month or so”.

Need for traditional learning is not going away but needs of younger workers needs additional methods/approach.

How does Web 2.0 mean to learning?

SABA definition of (and history of) Web 2.0….

1st Phase – Original publishing models (AOL etc)  were very structured. AOL editors had responsibility to ensure relevant information available to users.

2nd Phase – YAHOO etc, users became very much more active (define what yu want + contribute). Still hierarchical (first gen search).

Now – GOOGLE etc what are the interactions between the users? Examine this to determine the most relevant content. The users (crowd) is determining th eprocess, relevance – collective wisdom drives results. Not ‘management’ – is dynamic. Is not web site owner but web site users that determine relevance/ranking of content etc.

SABA conclusion – unlike Web 2.0 is NOT evolution (in learning) but rather an augmentation of current methods. I guess this links to the fact that audience is mix of Gen X and Gen Y and therefore SABA are acutley aware that they cannot completely change the way they sell solutions.

SABA take on ‘augmenation’ – how use wikis, blogs etc to drive collaboration and sharing of expertise?

Web 2.0 is everywhere – they referenced Time Magazine (“You being person of the year”) – key to Web 2.0, service centres on user. Made obvious references to YouTube, online bookmarking services, YAHOO Groups, NetFlix and web 2.0 usage of using the crowd to write reviews and drive value of services/products.

“You go the web to write as well as to read now.” – the “read/write web”

YouTube would be nothing if users didn’t publish. The end users are creating the network (and the content).

Collective Intelligence – how do you increase the relevancy and knowledge of the network based on the people that are using it? O’Reilly reference – the (web 2.0) service gets better the more people that use it.

SABA Analogy – picture a jar full of jelly beans. Do you get a single ‘expert’ who could estimate the number of jelly beans, or do you get 100 ‘normal’ people to guestimate and average the results. In most cases (according to ‘research’ – apparenlty) the crowd will very often be more accurate than the (single) expert.

US Dept of Labor stats – 70% of learning on the job is informal.

Current knowledge management systems (with formal taxonmmies) fail to capture knowledge in real world. To a large extent the results of these knowledge management initiatives have not delivered hoped-for results, are expensive and people don’t contribute. Obviously this is the complete opposite of what successfull web 2.0 services achieve.

Key message – moving from ‘delivering learning’ to ‘enabling learning’ – turns traditional principles on their head. Learning leaders become brokers or merchants – an interesting way of viewing the changing nature of learning.

My Q (not answered!) – how do organisations assess the impact? Organisations need ROI data or believable evidence in order to spend funds/make transition.

SABA – how do you give up control? People could be seen as a ‘renegade’ as opposed to ‘Comrades’. Organisations need to manage the contributions but encourage diversity and multiple points of view. Bringing in infrastructure (obviously where the SABA sales pitch kicks in) – SABA Centra.

How do you eliminate barriers to publishing?  How do you eliminate silos….but protect sensitive information.

All about how you think – how do you become as broker of learning as opposed to a publisher of learning?

Highlighted tagging of information as opposed to complex taxonmies.

Need a universal “governance-enabled’ approach – assume this is where you try and protect/control as all large orgs will still endeavour to achieve as the concept is alien to most.

Finding the right tools

Ref Bersin diagram – time sensitivity vs content sensitivity

Bersin Diagram from SABA webinar

Bersin Diagram from SABA webinar

Ref ‘Multiple aspects of learning 2.0 diagram – contribute, search/discover, rate & rank and connect & network – all the ‘connected community’

SABA diagram (multiple aspects of learning)

SABA diagram (multiple aspects of learning)

Using the context of the person in order to understand the value/relevancy of their contribution e.g. their rating on a competency area.


[1] wikis (prone to ‘vandalism’ but self-correcting – wouldn’t use for nuclear power plant safety plan!, discussions (well accepted, understood), blogs (encourage self-expression and sharing + easy to publish), eMeeting/editing, podcasting (great for rapid information broadcast) and a knowledge base.

Example…Showed example of Motorola using Wikis to support customers in using mobile phones – see image

[2] Search & discovery – a unified search is invaluable to capturing the value of learning 2.0. Search courses and all media/content – codified content + informal content all usable in a single ‘session’. Easy to subscribe – e.g. RSS readers, communities of practice, shared bookmarks etc.

SABA Image - Unified Search

SABA Image - Unified Search

Quote from BestBuy (see image)

SABA - Best Buy quote

SABA - Best Buy quote

[3] Evaluation & Ranking – being able to understand what is valuable (and what is not!). Users doing the work for you (SABA in this case) for free!

Showed user-created SABA USers Forum with ranking/evaluation

[4] Connecting & Networkingobviously SABA say Centra is a great tool. I cannot say either way but it looks fine.

IBM image (Second Life)

Poll – less than 50% of audience had ever created an avatar in a virtual world

Food for thought………

The importance of Search & Discovery, Compelling Experience and User Engagement?

How streamline learning content? How make it easy for community to participate? If you don’t you will have “structures that are empty”.

Have a “Plan B” – 2.0 methods not necessarily better…just different. Remember many people born prior to 1960.

Emphasise network creation. Look at adding value, connecting people to people. What pre-event interactions can you provide to get people connected and what can you do after an event to maintan it? CoP’s around subject area, job role etc.

Set expectations – sharing is lonely (at first). Often a 6 months difficult period where you feel that you are throwing our information intot he void with little response before community builds. Promote good channels of communication.

Learning technology – moving from managing and tracking to managing growing content

Create a Tipping POint – create critical mass yourself. Record subject experts, get enough valuable content ‘out there’ to get people to consume an dthen they will contribute.

Conclusion – L2.0 is about creating adaptive learners and adaptive organisations. Lifelong learners, Empower to drive own learning and contribute more = adaptive organisation.

Link to playback URL – TBC

A funny aside, after preaching about sharing, wisdom of crouds, group discussions etc, SABA decided not to have any Q&A session.

How ironic.


It seems that all of a sudden the established players in the eLearning world are waking up to learning 2.0. The question, though, is do they really understand it and are they truly serious….or are they simply jumping on the bandwagon after seeing the success of much more innovative and smaller companies around the world.

SABA have a free whitepaper available entitled “Learning 2.0: Using Web 2.0 to Create Effective Informal Learning.” You can get it for free by registering at the following URL (albeit you may have to pretend that you really want to buy a new LMS!:

Overview (from SABA web site):

“While the size of the workforce is declining in North America, Europe, and Japan, the span of generations within the workforce is increasing. For the first time we have five different generations working together. Each generation is made up of a group of people who were born at approximately the same time and considered as a group having shared interests and attitudes. Therefore, the people collaborating and competing with each other in the newly flat world are multi-dimensional and these various dimensions must be accounted for in order to maximize individual and organizational performance.”

Don’t miss these key takeaways!

  1. Create a blended informal and formal learning model to meet the needs of today’s multigenerational workforce
  2. Understand the use of Web 2.0 tools, such as wikis, blogs, video capturing and editing applications, and virtual worlds for informal learning purposes
  3. Use technology for just-in-time information, accelerated time to competency, extended global reach and increased resource productivity

I took part in a panel session at the Apply Serious Games 08 event in London last week. One of my co-panelists was Paul Miller of The School of Everything. I’d not previously heard of these guys but was dead impressed by the elegant simplicity of their business.

In essence ‘Everything’ act as a brokerage between people who want to learn (anything) and people who are able to teach (something). To quote from their web site:

“Our goal is to do for education what YouTube has done for television, or what eBay did for retail: to open up a huge and fertile space between the professional and the amateur. A space where people teach what they know and learn what they don’t.”

Read more at:

For a very simple explantion view the image below.

An Idiots Guide to Everything

An Idiot's Guide to Everything

Here is a post I can literally copy & paste from the source which, as it is early and my caffiene levels are still low, requires no effort on my part  🙂


After two and a half years, Global Kids is delighted to release the results of the independent evaluation by the Center for Children and Technology of both Playing 4 Keeps, our after school gaming program, and Ayiti, the game produced with Gamelab during the first year of the program. For the evaluation CCT observed the program and interviewed the students. To evaluate the game they looked at the results of nearly 16,000 game plays. 

Download the full report here:

In short, when we made Ayiti we wanted to learn if players would learn if the factors affecting access to education within an impoverished condition are both interdependent and exist within a dynamic system. CCT’s research found that “the central idea embedded in the game play, that no single factor accounts for success, appears to have been successfully communicated to the majority of players.”


In addition, they describe how youth report that through their participation in the after school program their experiences involved:     

* Engaging in activities that require useful life skills related to communication and collaboration;    
* Learning about social issues;
* Realizing what goes into designing and creating a good game; and
* Gaining general computers skills.

A gaming program that improves the lives of its participants and creates a game that has a measurable affect on the critical thinking of its players AND is an award-winning, engaging experience – nice!

Source: email listserv

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