A message about learning from the C-suite — from chieflearningofficer.com by Patricia A. McLagan
Executives are increasingly saying they want to create “learning organizations” and support “lifelong learning.” So, what should executives be saying to their workforce about learning today? Consider this sample letter to employees from the C-suite.

Excerpts:

How are you keeping up your skills and knowledge in our increasingly complex and fast-changing world of work? As today’s pandemic turmoil reminds us, it is hard to predict how the future will evolve. But one thing we do know is that continuous learning will be a key survival meta-skill for all of us — learning that each of us consciously guides every day, moment to moment, alone, in teams, with any resource, anywhere and anytime.

Consider: More than 50 percent of today’s jobs will probably disappear or change radically within 10 years. There are many reasons for this.

Beyond technology, companies like ours need more agility, innovation and self-management from everyone. We used to manage more by job descriptions, and you were best described as a box on the organization chart — probably with little expectation that you could experiment, take risks, and act with discretion and autonomy. But today and into the future, your skills and creative thinking matter more. Your “job” responsibilities shift as you move into and out of teams and as we call on you to support new strategies, customer groups and priorities.

From DSC:
I really appreciated reading this solid article from Patricia McLagan. She captured so many solid points. That said, I was bummed to see the following item included in this article (emphasis DSC):

Of course, our company is committed to supporting your learning and development, to providing formal training and access to learning opportunities for everyone. But even in the best of times, we will only be able to formally support a small part of what you will need and want. This is why I am sending this note to you: to tell you that we care about your learning and development, that we will do our best to support it, but that 95 percent of your learning is in your hands.

Of course, our company is committed to supporting your learning and development, to providing formal training and access to learning opportunities for everyone. But even in the best of times, we will only be able to formally support a small part of what you will need and want. This is why I am sending this note to you: to tell you that we care about your learning and development, that we will do our best to support it, but that 95 percent of your learning is in your hands.

Our company is committed to supporting your learning development — yeh…right…all 5% of it. 
Whoopie. The other 95% of it belongs to you and me. (Which reminds me that words are so easy to say but much harder to truly back up.) And you and I will likely do it on your/our own time. That seems to be more of the reality…the expectation…especially when job cuts are occurring all over the place and the job plates continue to expand for those who survived the cuts.

My experience over my career has been that corporations used to promote and truly support their employees’ professional development. They sent more people to courses and significantly helped many people obtain their MBA’s as well as other relevant master’s degrees and/or certifications/ and/or just to support some professional interests.

For example, I’m forever indebted to one of my formers bosses, Irvin Charles Coleman III. I worked for Irv at Kraft Foods’ HQ’s and he once let me go to a seminar on Photoshop. Though I used Photoshop in my work, it wasn’t in my formal description. That seminar changed many things for me. It supported my growth and learning and it fed my passion for designing and creating content.

I’m sure this kind of thing still occurs, but from what I can tell, it doesn’t happen at nearly the level that it used to. That said, I don’t blame the corporate world for getting bummed out at their employees that they had invested in — only to see those same employees grab the degrees and credentials and leave for greener pastures. Through the years, it seemed like the corporate world backed off from providing such a level of training/professional development.

These days, it seems like the corporations and the businesses out there have the hiring expectation that you will hit the ground running from day one. Learning and development are up to you and me. Nevermind that the way learning is supposed to go is that you:

  • introduce the learning objectives to someone
  • give them the information/content
  • provide the relevant and aligned learning activities that help them truly engage with the content
  • provide aligned formative and summative assessments along the way to ascertain whether they learned the material/concepts or not.

So I’m amazed that corporations are putting recent grads through their own tests on things that many of these students have never actually studied. (Yeh, I can hear the push backs now…and while I agree with some of them, it’s not fair to the students. They just followed what the colleges and universities offered for$100,000-$400,000+).

I could go on, but I need to go do my taxes. Gotta run. I hope to pick this line of thought up later.

 

The future of learning is on the front line — from chieflearningofficer.com by JD Dillon
L&D can learn a lot from the front-line experience — regardless of industry or audience. 

Excerpts:

Chief learning officers must enable ecosystems that help people get ready for whatever comes next. The future of learning isn’t a technology or strategy. The future of learning is the future of work. Nowhere is this more true than on the front line. 

The collective effort made by global learning and development teams to enable the front-line workforce may very well represent the largest workplace learning initiative ever. L&D can learn a lot from the front-line experience — regardless of industry or audience.

Microlearning played a crucial role in helping front-line workers adopt new behaviors and reinforce new habits. Content was focused on just the knowledge and skills required to execute new tasks. Microlearning could also be delivered in three- to five-minute sessions, meaning employees kept learning and practicing every day despite their hectic schedules.

Instead, they expanded the definition of “digital learning” to include everything from video and text messages to microlearning and performance support.

As organizations find their next normals, L&D must seize the opportunity to assess the digital learning strategy. This should reach beyond the LMS to include the full workplace ecosystem.

Also see:

 

Reflections on 2021 L&D trends survey — from by Ken Blanchard
The drastic decline of face-to-face training in 2020 is still on the minds of L&D professionals in 2021. 

Excerpt:

To present a closer view of the impact COVID-19 had on L&D efforts in 2020, we recently published the results of our 2021 HR/L&D Trends Survey. More than 1,000 L&D professionals took part in this year’s survey, which looked at challenges such as the need to convert face-to-face training designs to digital or virtual formats and plans for moving forward in 2021.

From DSC:
An example quote from the report:

In looking at ways to improve their digital and virtual designs, respondents identified learner engagement, social interaction, and more learning touch points as the three top areas for improvement.

That’s not so different than what you would hear from folks working within other learning ecosystems.

 

2U, Guild Education Partner to Expand Online Education for Adult Workers — from edsurge.com by Tony Wan

Excerpt:

But the current crisis is anything but, and an increasingly remote workforce will only accelerate the need for new skills and habits to keep companies running.

2U, a publicly traded company, will make its degree programs, short courses and online coding “bootcamps” available to Guild Education’s network of employers. That’s over 500 programs, spanning more than 30 disciplines, that they will have access to. It’s largely up to the employer to choose which ones they want to subsidize for their workers, Freedman says.

“Businesses are eliminating some roles, yet are desperate to hire for others. But you cannot hire away to solve what is fundamentally a training problem.” In other words, it makes more sense to invest in training internal talent, rather than firing people and hiring replacements.

 

Specialties In Instructional Design and What They Do — from teamedforlearning.com
Specialties in instructional design can help both job seekers and hiring managers find the right fit for digital learning courses and programs.

Excerpt:

An instructional designer is anyone who designs and develops digital learning experiences. That may sound straightforward, but within that vague job title nest dozens of specialties. Even more confusingly, instructional designers may also be called learning designers or learning architects. Their work often overlaps with that of instructional technologists and content creators. Specialties in instructional design help both teammates and hiring managers to navigate this evolving position.

Untangling the complexities of the instructional design role can help both job seekers and hiring managers find the right fit. Identifying a specialty can help professionals carve out their own niche in the instructional design ecosystem. Greater clarity around what instructional designers actually do can help team leaders find the right instructional designer for their project.

 

Hiperwall Introduces Cost-Effective ‘Essentials’ Video Wall Hardware and Software Packages — from hiperwall.com with thanks to Michael Farino for this resource
Hiperwall Essentials video wall bundles eliminate barriers to entry for organizations wanting enhanced collaboration, clearer communication, and the ability to make informed real-time decisions

Excerpt:

February 24, 2021 – IRVINE, Calif., – Hiperwall Inc., an industry-leader in commercialized, IP-based visualization technology, today introduces ‘Hiperwall Essentials,’ two all-inclusive video wall hardware and software bundles that get users started with a full-featured, control-room grade video wall powered by Hiperwall for just $9,995.

Most major decisions made in the public and private sectors are driven by vast amounts of data. Due to the volume of data sources, data complexity, and different analytics tools, video walls have become the perfect canvas for decision-makers to put all of this data together clearly to arrive at an informed decision faster and more confidently.

At a price point that effectively removes barriers to implementation for small to medium businesses, small government agencies, and local law enforcement, Hiperwall Essentials serves as a great baseline for integrating video wall technology into any organization. As dependence on the video wall grows, Hiperwall’s modular platform makes scaling the video wall footprint and capabilities seamless and cost-effective.


Below are some example settings:

For those interested in video walls, this is worth checking out. These pictures are example settings.

 

For those interested in video walls, this is worth checking out. These pictures are example settings.

 

For those interested in video walls, this is worth checking out. These pictures are example settings.

 

For those interested in video walls, this is worth checking out. These pictures are example settings.

 

For those interested in video walls, this is worth checking out. These pictures are example settings.

 

Inclusivity Begins with Overcoming Bias — from scholarlyteacher.com by Spencer Benson

Excerpt:

On an individual level, we need to be mindful that small things that may seem inconsequential to us may have detrimental impacts on others. Numerous articles and resources are readily available detailing best practices for creating more inclusive environments for students. Small things that can help to foster a sense of belonging and inclusiveness include the following:

  • being intentional in selecting course content that reflects diverse people and voices,
  • ensuring that resources and materials reflect individuals from underrepresented groups,
  • sharing gender pronouns,
  • learning preferred names and asking students to correct mispronunciation,
  • having students do a short online biographic sketch,
  • using small group learning,
  • giving students agency in assessments and grading, and
  • using mid-term and end-of-term student surveys.
 

Look at the choice and control possibilities mentioned in the following except from Immersive Reader in Canvas: Improve Reading Comprehension for All Students

When building courses and creating course content in Canvas, Immersive Reader lets users:

  • Change font size, text spacing, and background color
  • Split up words into syllables
  • Highlight verbs, nouns, adjectives, and sub-clauses
  • Choose between two fonts optimised to help with reading
  • Read text aloud
  • Change the speed of reading
  • Highlight sets of one, three, or five lines for greater focus
  • Select a word to see a related picture and hear the word read aloud as many times as necessary

Also see:

All about the Immersive Reader — from education.microsoft.com

The Microsoft Immersive Reader is a free tool, built into Word, OneNote, Outlook, Office Lens, Microsoft Teams, Forms, Flipgrid, Minecraft Education Edition and the Edge browser, that implement proven techniques to improve reading and writing for people regardless of their age or ability.

 

Teacher, Are You There? Being “Present” in Online Learning — from er.educause.edu by Richard West

Excerpt:

Video technologies are part of that shift in helping online learners feel connected to teachers and peers. This connection comes from people developing the sense that they are “present” in the class, even if they are not physically in the same room. How is it possible to be present when you are physically separated?

 

 

Public Viewpoint: COVID-19 Work and Education Research — from cci.stradaeducation.org

Excerpt:

In the recovering economy, employers will play a central role as Americans look to reskill, upskill, and compete in the workforce. But what do people want and expect from employers’ hiring, advancement, and training practices? In this research we explore the public’s perceptions on skills-based hiring, preferences for employer-provided education and training benefits, and beliefs about who should fund education and training.

This week’s data are based on the Strada Student Viewpoint and Strada-Gallup Education Consumer surveys. The research is intended to provide insights to the education and training providers, policymakers, employers, and individual Americans who are navigating the COVID-19 crisis.

 

 

 

Excerpt from The Dialogic Learning Weekly #204 — by Tom Barrett • Issue #204

What, So What, Now What?
Three simple questions that pack a punch when explored together. Use this method when reflecting on a shared experience.

The precise split between what is observed and why it might be meaningful is powerful. It helps participants not get lost in the swamp of interpretation, too soon at least!

The outline of the steps below is from Liberating Structures.

  • If needed, describe the sequence of steps and show the Ladder of Inference (see below). If the group is 10–12 people or smaller, conduct the debrief with the whole group. Otherwise, break the group into small groups.
  • First stage: WHAT? Individuals work 1 min. alone on “What happened? What did you notice, what facts or observations stood out?” then 2–7 min. in small group. 3–8 min. total.
  • Salient facts from small groups are shared with the whole group and collected. 2–3 min.
  • Second stage: SO WHAT? People work 1 min alone on “Why is that important? What patterns or conclusions are emerging? What hypotheses can I/we make?” then 2–7 min. in small group. 3–8 min. total.
  • Salient patterns, hypotheses, and conclusions from small groups are shared with the whole group and collected. 2–5 min.
  • Third stage: NOW WHAT? Participants work 1 min. alone on “Now what? What actions make sense?” then 2–7 min. in small group. 3–8 min. total.
  • Actions are shared with the whole group, discussed, and collected. Additional insights are invited. 2–10 min.

 

 

4 Projects Using Blockchain to Help Learners Document and Share Educational Records — from campustechnology.com by Dian Schaffhauser

Excerpt:

Four blockchain projects have received funding with the ultimate goal of helping learners take control of their educational records. Each of the projects will receive $150,000 from a competition overseen by the American Council on Education (ACE). The Blockchain Innovation Challenge supports collaborations involving K-12, higher education, technology providers and public agencies, to facilitate more secure, streamlined sharing of learning records and create stronger links between education and work.

Also see:

BLOCKCHAIN INNOVATION CHALLENGE

Excerpt from About the Challenge (emphasis DSC):

The challenge sought technology-enabled solutions that reorient the education and employment ecosystem around the individuals that they aim to serve. It invited teams to articulate a vision and design pilots that address the following themes:

  • Empower all learners: How can learners exercise agency over their digital identities, including all records of learning, so they can share them in a secure, validated, and machine-readable way?
  • Unlock lifelong learning: How can learning be better documented, validated, and shared no matter where it occurs? How can control or ownership of learning records improve the way underserved learners connect and unlock disparate learning opportunities?
  • Improve economic mobility: How can blockchain help learners to find in-demand education in employment-relevant skills to advance economic mobility and to fulfill the promise of higher education?

 

 

Learning from the Living [Class] Room: Adobe — via Behance — is already doing several pieces of this vision.

From DSC:
Talk about streams of content! Whew!

Streams of content

I received an email from Adobe that was entitled, “This week on Adobe Live: Graphic Design.”  (I subscribe to their Adobe Creative Cloud.) Inside the email, I saw and clicked on the following:

Below are some of the screenshots I took of this incredible service! Wow!

 

Adobe -- via Behance -- offers some serious streams of content

 

Adobe -- via Behance -- offers some serious streams of content

 

Adobe -- via Behance -- offers some serious streams of content

 

Adobe -- via Behance -- offers some serious streams of content

 

Adobe -- via Behance -- offers some serious streams of content

Adobe -- via Behance -- offers some serious streams of content

Adobe -- via Behance -- offers some serious streams of content

 


From DSC:
So Abobe — via Behance — is already doing several pieces of the “Learning from the Living [Class] Room” vision. I knew of Behance…but I didn’t realize the magnitude of what they’ve been working on and what they’re currently delivering. Very sharp indeed!

Churches are doing this as well — one device has the presenter/preacher on it (such as a larger “TV”), while a second device is used to communicate with each other in real-time.


 

 

When the Animated Bunny in the TV Show Listens for Kids’ Answers — and Answers Back — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt:

Yet when this rabbit asks the audience, say, how to make a substance in a bottle less goopy, she’s actually listening for their answers. Or rather, an artificially intelligent tool is listening. And based on what it hears from a viewer, it tailors how the rabbit replies.

“Elinor can understand the child’s response and then make a contingent response to that,” says Mark Warschauer, professor of education at the University of California at Irvine and director of its Digital Learning Lab.

AI is coming to early childhood education. Researchers like Warschauer are studying whether and how conversational agent technology—the kind that powers smart speakers such as Alexa and Siri—can enhance the learning benefits young kids receive from hearing stories read aloud and from watching videos.

From DSC:
Looking at the above excerpt…what does this mean for elearning developers, learning engineers, learning experience designers, instructional designers, trainers, and more? It seems that, for such folks, learning how to use several new tools is showing up on the horizon.

 

From DSC:
THIS is incredible technology! Check out the Chroma-keying technology and the handwriting extraction feature of the Sony Analytics appliance.

#AR hits the active learning classroom! THIS in incredible technology/functionality! See through your instructor as they write on the board!

From Sony’s website (emphasis DSC):

No matter where the speaker is standing, the Handwriting Extraction feature ensures that any words and diagrams written on a board or screen remain in full view to the audience — via AR (augmented reality).

Even if the speaker is standing directly in front of the board, their ideas, thinking process, and even their animated presentation, are all accessible to the audience. It’s also easy for remote viewers and those playing back the presentation at a later date to become immersed in the content too, as the presenter is overlaid and the content is never compromised.

Also, the chroma keying tech can be useful/engaging as well.

Chroma keying hits the Active Learning Classroom as well

 

Grab your audience’s attention and increase their engagement with intelligent video analytics technology.

I saw this at IUPUI’s recent webinar/tour of their new facilities. Here’s further information on that webinar from last Friday, 1/29/21:

Designing Large Active Learning Classrooms webinar/tour on 1/29/21 from the Mosaic Program at Indiana University; also features rooms/staff at IUPUI.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian