Archive for the 'Learning' Category

Enterprise 2.0 – Day 2.0

Keith August 14th, 2008

A good day today.  Met some good people, and all of the presentations were good. 

Great live Second Life demo from Decka Mah (aka Lindy McKeown) to end the day.  She also introduced us to PicLens – a cool Google plug-in for image viewing.  Second Life is definitely a usable environment for learning, but the interface probably has a way to go yet to be really seamless.  One thing to remember – it really works best as a synchronous learning environment – you have to be there at the right time.  One neat application – a virtual city for immersive language learning.

You’ve heard of blended learning?  Well, with Second Life, you can have “mixed reality”.

Some of us got a Twitter commentary going.  See the tweets here – and a couple of rogue ones here.

Chieftech mentioned this site as a good source for info on RSS for the enterprise – he has also blogged about the day.

Lots of other good stuff, but I really need to make sure I am all ready to present my workshop tomorrow.  A few parting thoughts that caught my attention, (somewhat paraphrased) from various presenters today:

  • “So there are photos of me drunk on Facebook.  So what if a prospective employer sees them? If they don’t like it, then I don’t want to work there, anyway!” Continue Reading »

Diversity, creativity and innovation

Keith July 31st, 2008

“Every really good creative person in advertising whom I have ever known has always had two noticeable characteristics. First there was no subject under the sun in which he [sic] could not easily get interested – from, say, Egyptian burial customs to modern art. Every facet of life had fascination for him. Second, he was an extensive browser in all fields of information.”
 - James Webb Young in A Technique for Producing Ideas (1965)

There have been a number of discussions on and off about what makes a good knowledge manager.  In various discussions, I have always been interested to note the amazing range of backgrounds people come from – and usually a somewhat chequered career path – to get to this point.  Personally, I have come via an IT degree, Project Management, Telecoms Consultancy, with a dash of adult learning and communications thrown in.

As “knowledge management” is such a broad church, there are a range of disciplines such as librarianship, information management, content management and IT that you would expect to see, but why are there so many zoologists now working in KM?  I must admit that I haven’t met too many in the field from an advertising background (as per the quote above – highlighted in actKM a while ago), but these fields may well share a preference for diversity – and creativity. 

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Podcasting – and learning

Keith June 20th, 2008

Just back from working with Dan and the team on the Kokoda Pathways blog.  Finally got PodPress under control last night – it’s all taking shape!  Just waiting for iTunes to set up our feed, and James and Jess will be full-time on interviewing, editing and uploading next week.  Good fun!


Last week I had the opportunity to meet Jay Cross – thanks to an invitation from Shawn.  Jay and I share some views on the role of learning in today’s organisation.  My main view is that making distinctions between learning, communications and content/knowledge/information management is an entirely archaic device intended to protect some people’s individual empires.  (Read more on my view here.)

Jay wrote back, directing me to one of his blog posts.  The salient point here is:

KM & training both suffer from corporate Alzheimer’s: the inability to read the handwriting on the wall. The future is bottom-up, open, networked, and more complex than we’ll ever understand. Deal with it… Isn’t it time for a requiem to these “solutions” to yesterday’s problems? Old-style KM and training don’t work in today’s egalitarian, networked world. 

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Help solve world hunger – and learn!

Keith November 30th, 2007

Now here is a really interesting concept!  Have a look at FreeRice:


From the site:

FreeRice has two goals:

  1. Provide English vocabulary to everyone for free.
  2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.

This is made possible by the sponsors who advertise on this site.

WARNING: This game may make you smarter. It may improve your speaking, writing, thinking, grades, job performance…

Sound too good to be true?  Well, it does appear to be totally legitimate.  The Urban Legends Reference Pages (Snopes) supports it.  You can also read about it on the United Nations World Food Programme site – the agency that is distributing the donated rice.

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Innovation and competitive advantage

Keith November 18th, 2007

A couple of quotes from the Ark Group Promoting a Culture of Knowledge in the Public Sector conference:

“In the global race for innovation, it’s not as much about leveraging what’s inside your factories’ machines as what’s in your employees’ heads.”
 - John Seeley Brown

“The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.”
 - Arie de Geus

Learning can be fun

Keith August 9th, 2007

Arthur Shelley and Patrick Lambe are arranging to facilitate some ”fun exercises to encourage Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing” for the actKM Conference in October, and have asked for some input.

Here’s one that I have used in a different context, but is potentially useful.

As with a lot of these, the “learning” aspect can be pitched in a number of different ways, and depends on how you introduce, facilitate and debrief the exercise.

Not sure of the name of this one.  It is based on the standard game of five-card poker.  You just need some standard packs of playing cards (no jokers).  I used four packs for a group of around 80 people – you can vary to suit.  You need to have at least one card per person – having more increases the randomness.  You also need a cardboard box to collect cards in (or more than one for a larger group).  It is also worth putting up an order of winning poker hands on a large notice or on a projector.  The game then runs as follows:

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Who are you?

Keith August 7th, 2007

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person.  Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”

 - Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900)

Although it has been around for a while, I am just starting to hear a bit about the use of Second Life as a training environment.  I certainly support anything that associates learning with fun, and this sounds like fairly serious fun!

It seems that Second Life provide a lot of support for education.  From a quick Google around, it seems that applications can include learning games, simulation-based learning, system training and suchlike.  One application that looks interesting is a Teamwork Tester.

Disclaimer – I have not yet entered the world of Second Life, and I will be the first to say that I will only be qualified to comment on it once I (make the time to) get inside and have a look.  I obviously need to do some more work on this, so this post will not dig very deep!

However, I would be interested to find out more about how well Second Life works in an organisational training environment.

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The digital tribe

Keith July 27th, 2007

Some more thoughts from KM Australia

  • One of the speakers (I didn’t note which one!) gave a brief case study of the new employee using instant messaging to contact her friends outside the company for help with IT and other issues, because she knew that she would get an easier and quicker response than using internal support services.  Cheryle Walker from NAB talked about the learning team that uses a wiki set up outside the firewall, as they couldn’t get what they needed internally.  After having worked in a pure IT role for about five years some time ago, I am coming to have some sympathy for the Dilbert view of the “Preventer of Information Systems”.
  • The personalisation of value creation is happening.  Apparently over 13,000 people in Deloitte are now using Facebook.  Is this yet another example of people working outside organisations to get things done?  I would be interested to know more about what they are actually doing with it, and what the benefits are…
  • David Snowden took great delight in stirring us all up with his opening keynote.  As mind expanding as ever!  It was interesting watching how other speakers coped with some of David’s thoughts.  Another variation on “I only know what I know when I need to know it”:  the problem with building a knowledge-sharing culture is that critical knowledge can only be shared at the time that it is needed.  To me, this highlights more than ever the need to facilitate connections between people.

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The Learning Experience

Keith July 13th, 2007

“I hear and I forget;
I see and I remember;
I do and I understand.”

15 seconds of fame

Keith June 7th, 2007

So, in case you ever wondered, I did actually appear on “1 vs 100”.  I spent a total of four days in the studio in January and February, and actually had a total of three turns in the “mob”.  The closest I came to winning a significant amount of money was during the game where Jennifer Collingwood was out the front.  This final part of this game went to air on 23 April.  You may well have seen me on screen a few times in this episode (if you were watching TV in Australia) – I was in podium 85, near the front, a little to the left.

(Speaking about the context of humour – the host, Eddie McGuire, is also the President of the Collingwood Australian Rules Football Club – a connection that he made a point of several times…)

Jennifer got down to 1 vs 7, with a prize pool of $149,000.  (This was the closest any competitor in the Australian version of the game had got to the million dollars so far.)  Up to this point, she was quite aggressive in her approach, and seemed determined to win the million dollar prize.  When ten or less remain in the mob, the contestants are allowed a three-second “sneak peek” of the question.  This one was:

Leaving out the water, what does a standard beer recipe use most of?

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