Three steps to improving your tech literacy — from by Justin Marquis


For anyone who lacks confidence using today’s advanced information and communication technology, overcoming the fear of failure and the unknowns of the digital world can be a daunting task. I regularly teach introductory technology classes to adults returning to college to get a degree or enhance their career options with a new credential, and this fear of technology is the biggest obstacle that these individuals face in learning to use computers in ways that will make them more productive and more attractive candidates for employment.

Fortunately there are no obstacles to learning about technology that can’t be overcome with a positive attitude and some perseverance. Here are three steps that you can take to improve your tech literacy and become more confident using computers.

From DSC:
I recently wrote a piece for — a site focused on LifeLong Learning:



Some linked up resources along these lines:

  • RSS feeds
    (understand RSS feeds; obtain a feed aggregator such as Google Reader; subscribe to the relevant blogs and websites in one’s discipline; create your own blog, using WordPress for example; post your own relevant items on it, while not forgetting to point people towards your own RSS feed!)
  • Twitter
    (get an account; identify knowledgeable people; follow them on twitter; post your own items on twitter)
  • See if there are some Yammer-based communities of practice in your enterprise or in your desired discipline (there are other social networking/learning applications as well)
  • LinkedIn
    Join groups that line up with your industry, your profession and your professional aspirations, engage in discussions on best practice and use your groups and connections as a network of colleagues.
  • Facebook
    “Like” institutions or organizations that are relevant to your area of interest and reach out to individuals within your field.
  • Community bookmarking tools such as Delicious or diigo
  • Ways to discover content on the web such as StumbleUpon or Digg

The potential of cloud-based education marketplaces — from (LifeLong Learning) by Daniel Christian; PDF-based version here


Such organizations are being impacted by a variety of emerging technologies and trends – two of which I want to highlight here are:

  • Online-based marketplaces – as hosted on “the cloud”
  • The convergence of the television, telephone, and the computer

One of the powerful things that the Internet provides is online-based marketplaces. Such exchanges connect buyers with sellers and vice versa. You see this occurring with offerings like Craig’s List, e-Bay,, and others.


9 ways to encourage the adult e-Learners — from The Rapid E-Learning Blog by Tom Kuhlmann


Learning 2011 Breakout Session Formats:

  • Thought Leader
  • Learning Story
  • “Learning @” Session
  • Targeted Session
  • Panel
  • Discussion
  • Workshops
  • FLIP Sessions
  • Supplier Showcase
  • Ten Ways Session
  • Author Sessions
  • Learning Café
  • Step-by-Step How-To Session

Spotlight Award: iPad as “Game Changer”

The Learning CONSORTIUM is proud to announce that the iPad will receive a special “Game Changer” Learning Spotlight Award at Elliott Masie’s Learning 2011, November 6-9, in Orlando, FL.


Social media and its impact on how we learn in the workplace — from C4PLT by Jane Hart


From DSC:
One reflection that jumped out at me from Jane’s excellent presentation…and that I believe is a universal truth:

If an organization doesn’t respond to changing conditions, needs, desires, preferences, best interests, and/or the requirements of its customers, that organization will diminish in usefulness and will most likely (albeit eventually) go out of business.

I know I’m not introducing a new thought here and the above statement seems very self-evident, but do we heed this advice in corporate L&D? Corporate IT? IT within higher education? In higher education as an industry?


Faculty “buy-in”– to what? — from by Trent Batson


We can continue incrementally to find our generalized theory as a national and international enterprise if we are willing to wait decades and waste enormous energy and time on failed experiments. Or, we can make efforts to bring together the learning theorists and researchers with those who understand the capabilities of the technology.

At conferences of learning theorists and researchers, we hear about useful new ideas, research results, hopeful new ways of framing what we have gleaned from a century of careful thought and work about how humans learn. But, we don’t find that these learning theorists understand the dynamics of the new technologies sufficiently to recommend a path toward implementation of the theories.

At conferences of technologists, we hear of successful work in innumerable contexts across the country. But the technologists are not aware of learning theory in most cases, or they do know about learning theory but are not active in a learning theory research field. The innumerable technology implementation contexts, then, remain just anecdotal as they are not tied to a developing new theoretical construct.

The challenge is to build a cultural theory that guides academia to re-imagine itself in every tiny bit of being. Who is taking up this challenge? Where is our theory? Where are our theorists?

I hope our community will move away from the simplistic notion that somehow information technology can be “bolted on and not built in” to quote a colleague from last November’s ePortfolios Australia Conference in Melbourne.

Academic transformation is under way. Don’t put the technology first; put understanding of the technology implications first–the unifying learning theory. Second, start the changes on campus that will provide the road system for academics to use in our new landscape.


From DSC:
Having just completed a course re: learning theories, I greatly appreciated Trent’s article here. In that class, I was constantly looking for the applications of the learning theories. While learning to give up on the idea of a silver bullet, I was still in search of answers to questions like:

  • What does all this mean?
  • What’s the bottom line for such and such a learning theory?
  • How does this learning theory impact someone’s teaching and learning strategies (pedagogy and/or andragogy)?

Graphically speaking, I came up with these thoughts:
(Depending upon how you are viewing them, you may need to right click on these graphics and save them down to your desktop; them up them up in a new window/application)






And my thanks to Capella University for the underlying graphics/information here:





What's the best way to deal with ever-changing streams of content? When information has shrinking half-lives?

From DSC:
After looking at some items concerning Connectivism*, I’ve been reflecting upon the following questions:

  • What’s the best way for us to dip our feet into the constantly moving streams of content?
    (No matter the topic or discipline, the streams continue to flow.)
  • What’s the optimal setup for K-12 based “courses”?
  • What’s the optimal setup for “courses” within higher education?
  • How should L&D departments deal with this phenomenon?
  • How do publishers and textbook authors want to address this situation?

Thinking of Gonzalez (2004; as cited in Siemens (2005)) description of the challenges of rapidly diminishing knowledge life:

“One of the most persuasive factors is the shrinking half-life of knowledge. The “half-life of knowledge” is the time span from when knowledge is gained to when it becomes obsolete. Half of what is known today was not known 10 years ago. The amount of knowledge in the world has doubled in the past 10 years and is doubling every 18 months according to the American Society of Training and Documentation (ASTD). To combat the shrinking half-life of knowledge, organizations have been forced to develop new methods of deploying instruction.”

Stephen Downes addresses this and points to a possible solution to this phenomenon in his presentation from 3/15/11 entitled “Educational Projection: Supporting Distributed Learning Online.”



I need to put more thought into this, but wanted to throw this question out there…more later…



* From DSC: Some of the items I looked at regarding Connectivism — some directly related, others indirectly-related — were:

Siemens, G.  (2005).  Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age.  Retrieved from

Downes, S.  (2005).  An introduction to connective knowledge.  Retrieved from http://www.  downes.  ca/post/33034.  Downes noted that this was published in Hug, Theo (ed.  ) (2007): Media, knowledge & education – exploring new spaces, relations and dynamics in digital media ecologies.  Proceedings of the International Conference held on June 25-26, 2007.  November 27, 2007.

Kop, R.  & Hill, A.  (2008).  Connectivism: Learning theory of the future or vestige of the past? International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, v9 n3 p1-13 Oct 2008.

Tracey, R.  (2009). Instructivism, constructivism or connectivism? Training & Development in Australia, December, 2009. p08-09, 2p.  Retrieved from EBSCOhost. ISSN 0310-4664.

Kerr, B.  (2007).  A challenge to connectivism.  Retrieved at http://learningevolves.  wikispaces.  com/kerr.

Sims, R.  (2008).  Rethinking (e)learning: A manifesto for connected generations.  Distance Education Vol.  29, No.  2, August 2008, 153–164.  ISSN 0158-7919 print/ISSN 1475-0198 online.  DOI: 10.  1080/01587910802154954

Lisa Dawley.   (2009).  Social network knowledge construction: emerging virtual world pedagogy.  On the Horizon, 17(2), 109-121.   Retrieved from ProQuest Education Journals.  (Document ID: 1880656431).

Hargadon, S.  (2011).  Ugh.  Classic politics now extends to social networking in education.  Retrieved from http://www.  stevehargadon.  com/2011/03/ugh-classic-politics-now-extends-to.  html.

Cross, J.  (2001).  Crowd-inspired innovation.  Retrieved from

Rogers-Estable, M..  (2009).  Web 2.0 and distance education: Tools and techniques.  Distance Learning, 6(4), 55-60.  Retrieved from ProQuest Education Journals.  (Document ID: 2017059921).

Marrotte-Newman, S..  (2009).  Why virtual schools exist and understanding their culture.  Distance Learning, 6(4), 31-35.  Retrieved from ProQuest Education Journals.  (Document ID: 2017059881).

Hilton, J., Graham, C., Rich, P., & Wiley, D. (2010). Using online technologies to extend a classroom to learners at a distance.  Distance Education, 31(1), 77-92.  Retrieved from ProQuest Education Journals.  (Document ID: 2074810921).

Attwell, G. (2010). Personal learning environments and Vygotsky. Retrieved from

A model of workplace learning — from The Internet Time Alliance


The Connected Life at Home — from Cisco

The connected life at home -- from Cisco



From DSC:

How will these types of technologies affect what we can do with K-12 education/higher education/workplace training and development? I’d say they will open up a world of new applications and opportunities for those who are ready to innovate; and these types of technologies will move the “Forthcoming Walmart of Education” along.

Above item from:

Tagged with:  

Educause: The Changing Landscape of Higher Education— by David Staley and Dennis Trinkle
The authors identify ten fissures in the landscape that are creating areas of potentially tectonic change.

Elliott Masie launches LearningTalks – Free Video Talks on Learning

We are pleased to announce the launch of LearningTalks – a series of short, free, video interviews on learning.  This project of The MASIE Center is modeled after the valuable TED Talks, and begins with the release of over 40 segments from Learning 2010. There are interviews with Apolo Ohno, Marshall Goldsmith, Learning Leaders from JCPenny, Yum! Brands, CNN and Peace Corps and many more.

These 3 to 9 minute learning segments are now live at:
LearningTalks –


Learning Talks from Elliot Masie

The world changed, colleges missed it — from by Tom Vander Ark

A bunch of colleges are going out of business, only they don’t know it. They pretend that trimming costs and jacking tuition is a solution.  They haven’t come to terms with a world where anyone can learn anything almost anywhere for free or cheap. Art Levine, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, sees three major change forces: new competition, a convergence of knowledge producers, and changing demographics.

To Art’s list of three big change forces, add shrinking government support, the press for more accountability, and emerging technology…the next few decades will be marked by a lumpy move to competency-based learninginstant information and the ability to learn anything anywhere.

The shift to personal digital learning is on.  Some colleges get that.  Others will seek bailouts until they go out of business.  Working adults are getting smart on their own terms.


From DSC:
Time will tell if Tom’s assertions are too harsh here, but personally, I think he’s right.

I have it that:

  • There is a bubble in higher ed
  • There also exists a perfect storm that’s been forming for years within higher ed and the waves are cresting
    .The perfect storm in higher ed -- by Daniel S. Christian

  • Institutions of higher education need to check themselves before they become the next Blockbuster
    .Do not underestimate the disruptive impact of technology -- June 2009

  • We must not discount the disruptive powers of technology nor the trends taking place today (for a list of some of these trends, see the work of Gary Marx, as well as Yankelovish’s (2005) Ferment and Change: Higher Education in 2015)
  • Innovation is not an option for those who want to survive and thrive in the future.

Specifically, I have it that we should be experimenting with:

  • Significantly lowering the price of getting an education (by 50%+)
  • Providing greater access (worldwide)
  • Offering content in as many different ways as we can afford to produce
  • Seeking to provide interactive, multimedia-based content that is created by teams of specialists — for anytime, anywhere, on any-device type of learning (24x7x365)at any pace!
  • “Breaking down the walls” of the physical classroom
  • Pooling resources and creating consortiums
  • Reflecting on what it will mean if online-based exchanges are setup to help folks develop competencies
  • Working to change our cultures to be more willing to innovate and change
  • Thinking about how to become more nimble as organizations
  • Turning more control over to individual learner and having them create the content
  • Creating and implementing more cross-disciplinary assignments



30 under 30 — per Learning TRENDS by Elliott Masie – August 24, 2010.
#632 – Updates on Learning, Business & Technology.
55,106 Readers – – The MASIE Center

We have completed the assembly of the 30 Under 30 Learning Leadership Team for Learning 2010.  We are proud to announce these high energy learning leaders (all under the age of 30) that will be leading sessions and helping to articulate a view of the future of learning.  They include colleagues from Google, Verizon Wireless, Disney, Volkswagen, Farmers Insurance, General Mills, FM Global, IBM, Westinghouse and many more.  Check out their aspirations about learning.

Ohio calls on Blackboard to create statewide online learning clearinghouse — from The Journal by Dian Schaffhauser

Ohio’s Board of Regents will be working with Blackboard in developing a program to host distance learning courses in the state. Chancellor Eric Fingerhut chose Blackboard’s consulting team to build a new, statewide digital learning clearinghouse that will provide a common platform for online courses. The goal of the program is to use the courses to graduate more students, keep more of them at Ohio colleges and universities and in the state’s workforce, and attract more out of state graduates to pursue additional education and careers in Ohio.

Participating schools can both add and tap into the courses offered in the program. High school students could earn college credit through dual enrollment and Advanced Placement courses or use remediation offerings. College students could attend a wider range of courses and other options for earning credits and completing degrees more quickly. The resources are also expected to help adult learners who want to pursue training to advance or change their careers and prepare for certifications.

© 2024 | Daniel Christian