The Art of Knowledge
Big Mike recommended that I check this out. It's a program called H2O. They are attempting to change the way people comment via rotisserie system.
- Rotisserie implements an innovative approach to online discussion that encourages measured, thoughtful discourse in a way that traditional threaded messaging systems cannot. In contrast to the completely asynchronous, broadcast-to-broadcast mode of existing threaded messaging systems, the Rotisserie adds structure to both the timing and the flow of the discussion. The timing of the discussion is broken into semi-synchronous rounds. Users are allowed to post responses at any time, but their responses are not published to other users until the deadline for the current round passes. This structure allows users to put significant thought into their responses rather than competing with other participants to post first. More important, this structure allows the system to control the flow of the discussion by distributing responses to specific users for further discussion at the end of each round, ensuring that every post is distributed to at least one other user for comment and that each user has exactly one post to which to respond.
Great idea! I only have a couple questions about it though. What current method of study or delivery or work does this take the place of? If it takes the place of none and is simply an extracurricular activity in hopes of enlightenment, it may struggle to get off the ground and thrive. By being incorporated in the stead of a prior medium, i.e. Homework or class discussion, the involvement may take off. The other question I have is the process by which they retain,organize, and make available, data. The threads and communication are vital. The idea of thought out rotisserie responses is a good one. The functionality by which they retain the information, make it searchable, make it interactive, make it autonomous, and most importantly make it pertinent is absolutely essential. I didn't see any of that in their "In The Works" section.
- For the next round of development, we plan implementation of an already-designed, more easily navigable user interface and the addition of a content-sharing system that will allow project leaders to share course content (lectures, readings, syllabi) as easily as the system currently allows them to share discussions. In addition, we are working to bring more of the tools that have been in prototype use at the Berkman Center, such as a real time polling tool and a multimedia archive, to public release.
Link posted by JVMM : 4:36 PM
I have been scouting around again today on the RSS feeds and have now noticed the surge of "blogging being used in education" posts. So I got all excited to hear some really good ideas.
- Today's comments about using weblogs for electronic portfolios are absolutely timely for me. This afternoon, I'm to meet with the director of our M.A.T. program for elementary teachers, and with an adjunct technology instructor to begin planning portfolios in which the MATers capture 'work samples,' including, we hope, streamed video clips. I see many aspects of the utility of including instructor commentary as documentation of process, so would love to share notes with you as we progress. When I wear my English teacher hat--less and less frequently, unfortunately--I like the idea of incorporating the digital audio commentary that I give students while they develop their work. But I'm not audioblogging at all yet...So much to do just to keep the bugs from totally infesting our version of Frontier. (We crash chronically.)
- Excellent summary of blogging trends in education and the challenges to make blogging a more personal option for students. Can we call it "Personal free range blogging" that is organic and authentic. Would we need a tool that provides both private and public blogging spaces. Just like a journal, we can keep writing private, private to a group of invited friends or mentors, and the public. I wonder if Manila or other apps can be modified to offer this from one weblog, and not two or more.
- It's that second part that almost requires the conversation take place publicly or privately. It's great when people decide to get actively engaged in the dialogue; I know I don't take the time to comment on other people's posts as much as I'd like. But the silent conversation with all of them is ongoing. And it's what continually pushes my own thinking and my own writing. What I want, obviously, is that it do that for my students as well. I want them to find writers that they can tap into for ideas and inspiration and talk back to them in whatever form that might take. Definitely a goal I'll be shooting for this upcoming quarter...
Link posted by JVMM : 4:23 PM
Have you been to Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society?
They have a project they have been working on for a while now called H20. I came across it last year. Check it out, I have a feeling it'll be of interest to you. I don't have time, right now, to get into the guts of it.
Link posted by michael : 11:13 PM
I came across this interesting RSS feed which has lead me on a research filled day trying to track down products using blogging to solve business initiatives. This was the original post. It speaks about the problems with a product called K-Blogger.
- K-collector provides a topic-based overview of different weblog posts. Fine, but Waypath does it better, indexing all blogs and not only small fracture that uses k-collector. So, why should I narrow it down?
To use k-collector before it gets smarter I have to add topics to my posts. I can't use them to navigate my own weblog, so the only motivation is to make navigation between all weblogs easier. Nice and altruistic, may work for me, but my experience is that it doesn't work for most people (e.g. people tend not to add keywords to documents in a corporate document repository even if it makes their own documents more accessible).
- By adding topics to your weblog posts they can be automatically threaded into a Table of Contents and used to build shared knowledge feeds.
- k-collector is an enterprise news aggregator that leverages the power of shared topics to present new ways of finding and combining the real knowledge in your organization.
Weblogs are most commonly published by individuals and organized chronologically. This presents a challenge when considering weblogging in the context of business groups which might expect information to be organized in more meaningful categories. The k-collector architecture, and applications based upon it, deliver an interface targeted at business users.
It seems like a nice way to get rid of the, what is becoming a very evident problem in most blogs, chronological structure of blogging tools. The original post which lead me to these two products makes a valid point of user-interaction. How can you get the user to identify the metadata for a blog? Search Engines have never really captured this in a easy to understand fashion apart from using quotation marks and plus symbols to assist in weeding out unwanted information or sites. The author above again points to waypath which uses nav4 an "easy to use" navigation system helping users group topics by category rather than date. These seem to be a step in a really good direction.
*p.s...there are also a ton of different spelling and grammatical errors on these sites. Again, I play the pot and the kettle devil's advocate, but when a company seems to do that it doesn't really give me a wonderful sense of legitimacy.
Link posted by JVMM : 4:52 PM
Finding a Cure for Institutional Alzheimer's (or How Do We Jog the Collective Memory of the Enterprise?)
Bret's last post got me thinking about institutional memory loss and the frustration it has caused me both as an employee who has left an organization and as one that was left behind.
Knowledge loss is most evident at times when employees are leaving or joining new organizations. Anyone who has ever tried to train a new employee, only to realize that the information they need to accurately train the employee walked out the door two weeks ago, can attest to the waste of resources this causes. How do we avoid these proverbial ghost ships passing in the night? I think any useful analysis of this problem must begin with an acknowledgement that addressing this issue at the time an employee has chosen to leave is already to late. The employee on her way in, will never have a "meeting of the minds" with a departing employee. We must examine how to ensure that, while the two will never meet in any meaningful manner, their ideas, vantage points and worldviews might have a significant interaction.
I have learned from my own experience and from working with young and talented co workers that most employees are dying to share their unique experiences and expertise with others while still on the job. Yet, despite this willingness to share, organizations have never understood how to elicit and capture this information in a manner that is viable. This happens, I believe for several reasons. The first reason is due to the manner in which organizations attempt to capture data. Many organizations idea of capturing data is to send out elaborate forms. These forms often capture what the organization deems to be important, but often does not mesh with the employees' idea of what is relevant. After slogging through a 5 page form, the employee comes face to face with the "additional information" comments box and leaves it blank. The disconnect between the goal of the form and the goal of the employee causes many employees to withhold information.
Secondly, questionnaires and their answers, usually disappear into the ether of Human Resources or the CEO's task force on workplace performance and never see the light of day, or at the very least, never get repackaged in a manner that gives employees an understanding of where their views have had an impact.
Lastly, questionnaires and other inflexible methods of eliciting feedback become extra work. Employees may love their jobs, but if the process for reflection and knowledge sharing imposes an additional burden without any tangible benefits, employees will resist.
Two things stand out immediately when thinking about the requirements for creating a process of knowledge sharing that fosters institutional memory. First, it must be part of the culture of an organization. Culture is a classic "weasel word" in many organizations that serves as a proxy for "company spirit" or "Friday afternoon trust building games." But if we are to aspire to a collective memory, we must seek to foster a group heart. This collective value system, wherein individuals agree that certain goals are important to succeed as a group, is essential if we are to develop a memory that can survive the loss of some of the individuals. In order to "jog our institutional memory," we must have a culture that values sharing data. It must be a core principle that is expected and respected. It should be tied to compensation and promotions in same manner as all other indicia of successful job performance.
Secondly, any software or other technology that is introduced into the organization for purposes of aiding institutional memory must fit seamlessly into the world of work. Of course this may require changes in the way employees complete their tasks, but it must be natural and provide benefits that outweigh any burdens of the system. The single most important feature of any system should be feedback. Nothing will encourage an employee to share knowledge like the awareness that others are reading, using and reacting to his or her ideas. Ask any blogger what gets them excited about posting and most of them will tell you that the knowledge that others are reading and responding to their ideas is a key factor. Unleashing this positive feedback loop in an organization can quickly become addictive and will encourage sharing.
Any technical solution must be easy to use - Flexibility is key. If you force employees to fit their information into predetermined silos of data, the system will fail. The system must be designed with the users, not the DBA in mind. A good system will have no more input fields than your average blog. A date stamped post with a topic and possibly a overarching category is the most data an employee can be bothered to fill out. The rest of the work must be done on the back end. It is here, on the back end, where a useful system will provide some of the most valuable data.
In the end, work is about relationships. This system must be able to track these relationships in such a manner that anyone tapping into the system can determine the network of people that are most likely to have the information that is sought. If the system can draw relationship maps based on links and comments by author, topic and frequency (think Technorati on crack), it could prove invaluable. Such a system could easily assist a new employee in getting up to speed. By spending a week reviewing the knowledge logs of a departed employee, a new member of the team could get up to speed on the topics of expertise of the departed employee, as well as any projects he or she was working on, and easily and intuitively identify the most relevant communities to associate with for additional information.
Just a thought.
Link posted by michael : 9:21 PM
Knowledge modeling for the preservation of institutional memory
This is another article off of Emerald. John W. Coffey and Robert R. Hoffman wrote this one. I'm also a big fan of this article because it sites R.C. Holmes twice.
- This article presents a description of an iterative approach to the elicitation and representation of organizational knowledge called PreSERVe, which stands for prepare, scope, elicit, render, and verify. The method involves an initial process of preparing for knowledge elicitation, followed by an iterative process of assessing the scope of the endeavor, knowledge elicitation and rendering, and, verification.
That sounds great, "How to extract knowledge." I really hope this talks about a really awesome system.
- What ensued were empirical evaluations of alternative knowledge elicitation (KE) methods and attempts to provide software support for the knowledge acquisition (KA) process. It was recognized that the acquisition of expert knowledge was a process having a number of steps, including knowledge elicitation, knowledge representation, implementation, and then validation or verification. Coinciding with these developments was a growing recognition that the technologies of KE and KA held promise for helping organizations cope with the loss of institutional knowledge. We now find ourselves in an era of rapidly shifting corporate and government workforces, and the preservation of institutional knowledge has become a widespread concern. Institutional memory loss is a significant problem that can impact an organization's ability to advance its mission successfully, its ability to avoid making the same mistakes it made in the past, and its ability to leverage the accomplishments of departing employees.
Ok so when people leave, yeah you lose all their knowledge and sometimes have to start back over at square one, or at the least go through a short delay. Did anyone else get really excited by the word "mission"? I also like when people say "missile" instead of "bullet". Anyway, I totally agree that trying to retain information that is inside humans is vital to any endeavor. It's vital from the apple picker in New Hampshire to the rocket scientist in Florida. The knowledge needs to be passed from one to the next, and sometimes without extensive training, or at least optimally, without extensive training or retooling.
- Various methods for attempting to retain Knowledge...
(1) Knowledge acquisition methods can consume large amounts of time of busy experts, and take them away from their main tasks. It is difficult to convince time-pressed employees to record information in an ongoing fashion, which mediates against the effectiveness of approaches that require ongoing collection of information.
(2) Exit interviews may yield useful information, but they are more likely to be brief and superficial or unworkable if the employee is exiting under less than desirable circumstances. When more exhaustive KE is attempted, as in the method of "oral histories" (Paris, 2001) large quantities of information can be acquired, but such information may not be in an easily used form (i.e. it may be extended text or video), making the needed information difficult and time-consuming to access.
(3) The search for information in large corporate archives is difficult for a host of reasons, many having to do with deficiencies in indexing. Attempts to automate this process have helped to spawn an entire field called data mining.
I have an idea. How about a system that people feel comfortable with and that they can interact with on an everything basis. Now obviously this won't be the only method for the retention of another's abilities but it's a start. I don't like how they envision a system for tracking people's skill sets as totally manual and time consuming. I think a system can be developed that would be intuitive to a person's interaction with their job and be able to mine skills and information wihtout being intrusive.
- The problem of preventing the loss of expert knowledge - knowledge preservation - is pervasive today and will only worsen as the post-war "baby boom" generation approaches retirement age. Knowledge elicitation and modeling can be combined to serve as one in a range of approaches to address this problem. This paper presents a description of the PreSERVe method (prepare, scope, elicit, render, and verify) of knowledge modeling. This method starts with an initial phase of preparing for a knowledge modeling effort, followed by an iterative process of examining scope, eliciting knowledge, rendering that knowledge in a computerized form, and verifying the knowledge with the expert.
- One unanticipated result of this effort was the discovery of how willing the experts were to discuss their work. These folks had worked in the area of launch vehicles for their entire careers and they were still excited about the opportunity to discuss what they knew and what they had learned. Their knowledge was available for the capture; it was only an issue of ensuring that someone would take the initiative to elicit it in a principled way.
This the diagram that they came up with after the process of trying to retain or extract or preserve information from a project.
When it first started off I really liked the tone of this article. It cut right to the point and made specific examples of processes that were well documented. But the more I read the more confused I got and the less I cared about it. So I went back and read it again and a little flag went up in the back of my head that basically said, "Nope...won't work". I think it could work if you have 25 days to really preserve information and be followed around by guys in white coats asking you questions all the time. That would work if the world had only one process. But unfortunately there are countless processes that can not be taken into consideration by a team of people over a month and then have very little conclusion when they are done. I think the idea is great, "How to extract knowledge from professionals?" That's a wonderful and noble goal. I don't think this way will work for anyone other than NASA though. Maybe vertical solutions are the way to go, I mean last night I read an entire article about how CRM is now going back to the Vertical solution with their products.
Link posted by JVMM : 3:20 PM
D'you Know What I Mean?
And here come the Brits with their revelation of wanting to jump on the elearing bandwagon. I don't know whether Canada started doing things up there first or not but they definitely have a better network of colleges doing then we do in the old USA. But now come the Brits lead by this company www.learndirect.co.uk. Nothing they really say on their website is overwhelming but they are starting from scratch so it will be nice to really see what they come up with. It seems as though they are starting with a little Gov't funding that is developing a hub of "education/technology professionals" to assist smaller and medium sized businesses with questions and even initial planning.
Link posted by JVMM : 2:13 PM
Knowledge workers: exploring the link among performance rating, pay and motivational aspects
An article I got off of Emerald. I think their offer for free stuff is over but I managed to procure about 40 articles. So I'm stripping them apart and here's what I got off of this one. It was written by Alan D. Smith and William T. Rupp.
- Employees that have a sense of belonging and purpose tend to be more motivated than employees who feel alienated. In fact, many companies, which have built solid relationships and credibility with their employees, find that they can depend on those same employees in hard times.
I think they'll find that they can depend on those employees in hard times that have the tools and resources to make themselves useful. Wanting to be useful and actually being useful are two totally different things. I love the Orioles organization and would probably work there for free, but just because I'm all enthusiastic about being there deosn't seem im being productive.
- Quinn et al. (1996a,b) noted that the professional intellect within an organization frequently becomes isolated inside the organization. It is a fact that the existence of a large organizational culture creates conflict with other groups, such as marketing or manufacturing conflicting with research and development departments. Thus, at the heart of an effective professional organization, managing and developing the professional intellect is critical for sustained competitive advantage.
Of course the different parts of a company are going to interact with each differently and there are going to be different cultural climates in different sectors. And he does make a good point that managing the professional intellect becomes imperative. If the organization has grounded functionality in a system that can elevate and move people along in the company, the people will look to use it for their own benefit. The system should allow employees in different sectors to view what the Marketing Department is doing or what the CEO is doing, that brings a sense of closeness and involvement with the entire corporate scheme.
- This leveraging of professional intelligence can be accomplished by capturing knowledge in systems and software, overcoming reluctance to share information, and organize about reinvestment in intellectual capital. Unfortunately, to accomplish these important characteristics, organizations may have to abandon their familiar hierarchical structures and reorganizing in patterns that best suit their professional intellect to create value within the organization. Hence, by creating intellectual webs and connectivity within the organization, networking and culture, and incentives for sharing are the keys to success with these outstanding organizations
- Simply put, people work harder because of the increased involvement and commitment that comes from having more control and say in their work; people work smarter because they are encouraged to build skills and competence; and people work more responsibly because more responsibility is placed in hands of employees farther down in the organization.
I didn't get a whole lot out of this article. But I thought it was ok. They said a lot of things that I have already read about or been made aware of via HBR or INC. There was simply to much business application to the new knowledge worker in here. The main problem was that the new knowledge isn't here yet. They are attempting to facilitate a plan for something that doesn't really exist. It's as though they are trying to sell real-estate on Mars. There are more article reviews to come as I took down pretty much anything that looked of interest.
Link posted by JVMM : 1:44 PM
Amazon Strikes Again
I know this is about 3 weeks old but I just found out abot it today. This is an editorial piece talking about Amazon's ability to search within a book. I wonder what technology they used to be able to XML all the books up. Or whether or not they even did XML.
I'll dig a little deeper. Apparently they don't use technology to enter the text. It's all users doing the data entry pro bono. That seems like the best way to go. I was hoping they developed some new osmosis tool that would somehow digest the book.
Link posted by JVMM : 2:21 PM
Children Plagiarizing Quote
- "Children need to be given exposure to the responsibilities of being content providers from an early age. They are traditionally just consumers of information, churning out content for an audience of two - themselves and their teacher. One they are given a real audience and purpose for their own work that extends beyond the classroom walls, then we will see the concept of responsible ownership of learning rise up in our classrooms. Far from being the root of all plagiaristic evils, the Internet could yet prove to be its cure. "
This quote is really good. I do think that once kids become content providers they will inherit the ability to become free thinkers that their parents once wanted to be. There is so much repression in your thought structure in school that directly correlates to the corporate world that children, especially middle and lower class children, often find it difficult not to just go out and their steal stuff on the web. I mean if some someone is going to tell me to build a square house, I know where a ton of them are and I can go copy right off of theirs. If some asked me to be as creative as possible, I think I may enjoy that and be less likely to cheat myself.
This Ford Blog is really good. I was connected there via Terry Elliot's blog. TE has some cool things to say as well. He was also host to something called edblogger. Where apparently all the smart people in Cali got together and sat down and talked about schools and education and how blogging can have an effect. Sounds kind of cool actually.
Link posted by JVMM : 2:00 PM
This quote about the difference in teaching and learning, or it should have said how teaching and learning are related, is from this website
- "The alternative view sees learning as part of an inevitably unfinished, but continuous process that goes on throughout life. Each event, circumstance, or interaction is not discrete. Rather, each is assimilated or appropriated in terms of what has gone before. The process is not, then, like the addition of a brick to a building-where the brick remains as distinct and self-contained as it was in the builder's hand. Instead, it is a little like the addition of color to color in a painting, where the color that is added becomes inseparably a part of the color that was there before and both are transformed in the process. Thus, what is learned can never be judged solely in terms of what is taught."
The rest of the article talks about knowledge theft.
Link posted by JVMM : 1:46 PM
Maryland Homeland Security Strategy: A Business Case
For all my Maryland people, here is another letter drafted by R.C. Holmes to Governor Ehrlich about how to address homeland security. Since MD's pipeline is so important to D.C. we found our state at the forefront of any new initiative coming down the Homeland expressway. Here are some excerpts:
- Knowledge processes and performance management are the new IT industry mantra. Productivity in almost every category of human endeavor can be dramatically escalated. Critical tactical and strategic deliverables, which are the sole province of knowledge processes, include: real time knowledge, people empowerment, team building and agile event management.
- Since 85% of Homeland infrastructure resides in the private sector, state strategic planning is pivotal. The bulk of Homeland funding will be disbursed through the states. Multiple factors threaten a boondoggle. Funding for existing programs may be bundled within Homeland Security.
Government needs to mobilize the vast private sector. Knowledge processes represent a quantum breakthrough into a new economic world order. Communicating a vision of how collaborative state-business-regional-federal-educational processes can lay the foundation for state and regional economic growth should commandeer private sector leadership.
- When faced with historic complexity, the use of the "KISS" (Keep It Simple Stupid) may be advisable. Customer Relations Management (CRM) represents a proven KISS methodology for Homeland Security deployment. CRM is the flagship of Knowledge Management (KM) architecture. It is being used by major organizations to facilitate customer and user collaboration amongst departments, communities, branches, subsidiaries, partners, distribution elements and the supply chain. CRM represents a mature, interactive gateway to process implementation. CRM makes the customer the focal collaborator. The customer is led to grasp the organizational big picture. The customer (user) is encouraged to interact within knowledge processes. Customer's can control the three W's of knowledge processes: What? Why? and Who?
- "Reality has changed forever" was an insightful, post 9/11 sound bite. War had mutated. The terrorists employed KM fundamentals: global communications, self-directed work teams (cells), knowledge processes versus bricks and mortar, etc. Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld declared, "War has become 90% intelligence." (CNN, 12/01) The fundamental architecture of civilization's oldest mainstay had been irrevocably altered. This aberration in history irrefutably presages our need for concurrent, revolutionary, economic and Homeland Security architectural design.
- Why hasn't the term "Knowledge Economy" gained mainstream acknowledgment? Ask ten people to define knowledge and you will get ten different answers. The definition of knowledge is found in its root to know. Knowledge is organic information resident in people. This definition may be extended to processes as actively engaged knowledge or "knowledge in transi". All other content is information. Information is defined by the root word to inform. It is latent or inorganic in nature. It is the interactive "people defined architecture" of knowledge that leads us to real time processes.
- A singular example of Knowledge Environment phenomena is grid computing. The British government is spending hundred of millions of dollars to build a giant, global, human matrix for collaborative research amongst nuclear and medical communities. Time-to-market, resource conservation, duplication avoidance, matrixed process cross-pollination, etc. are inherent in grid computing.
- The brief Information Age made IT skills the number one concern of CEO's at the end of the 20th century. (Wall S. Journal 7/99) The collaborative Homeland environment will demand workforce competency development. Competencies include: inter-personal, systems and technology skills and the ability to manage resources and information. Competencies also include academics, experience, field knowledge, and developing 'an enterprise big picture'.
An educational renaissance should be forthcoming from Homeland Security architectural enlightenment. Corollary economic development demands a new motif. Team -group education is not only mandatory, it has proven to be far superior to current educational dogma.
Link posted by JVMM : 1:26 PM
Dusk and Dawn has always been straight up and sort of opinionated about his Elearning theories. So I always look forward to going to his sight for some related angst when it comes to figuring things out. He echoes (writes an introduction to) my sediments found below in "Ask Yourself".
- The effectiveness of your learning product is inversely proportional to your ability to make a living
I.e. it is much easier to make money producing things that don't necessarily help the target audience learn/perform.
Related to this:
If you don't know what game you are playing, how can you win?
Everybody thinks they are right. However, this has to be judged in the context of what game is being played. Simulations, communities, etc. may be fantastic learning models but they may not help you win the profit game. Everyone is playing games...are you playing the same game as your customers?
That "your customers" should be related a little deeper to " the people who you are trying to help". But other than that I agree. I want to have coffee with this guy.
Link posted by JVMM : 12:42 AM
This is a blog post professing to make RSS easy to use. We'll see tomorrow as I will probably move this blog over to Movable Type or either purchase the RSS XML feeds from Blogger that can be enabled on my server. I had 51 unique IP's today. I had no idea. I have to beef some stuff up. Most of them came from Canada though. I guess they saw that I was linking to them. Cheers fellas!
Link posted by JVMM : 12:37 AM
Learning About Learning Objects
This is a
- For the purposes of this forum Learning Objects are defined as self-contained, digital resources that can be re-used to support learning.
Going back to the definition of Learning Objects we find that one of the key words is "reusability". In order for a learning object to be truly reusable it must have the ability to fit into the context of another learning objective or lesson. We apply the systematic qualities of the instructional design process in order to provide for successful sequencing of learning objects and consequently their reusability.
Oh wait, that's it. So no this wasn't really helpful. I think this is more geared towards the teachers at the community college where it is attempting to be implemented. The text is based pretty much on the Ruth Clark matrix formula. Basically it's a grid that has two axis running parallel to 5 categories. You have "apply" and "remember" on the top and then that's crossed at the bottom by Facts, Concepts, Processes, Procedures, Principles. Nice alliteration not much help. You can see that grid (though this has been relatively fruitless) here.
Link posted by JVMM : 12:32 AM
When are they going to make it so that people can manipulate the entire system? I read these entire things online about LOMS and SCORMS and find out slowly over the days that this stuff isn't fun and I grow weary of reading the same things written by the same people who are chasing a single acorn around a tree that could yield millions of acorns.
Nobody wants to interact with something they don't understand. Nobody wants to drive a car they can't operate or use all the functions of. Nobody wants to play a sport when they don't know the rules. Let's look within ourselves to design a system that people can interact with and provide their own path. Not saying that they will learn about Ping Pong all day, but give them a guide. Give them the mapping skills and system skills to be able to interact with the system.
This rule is applicable even to myself. I love this industry. I love it and see it going to the forefront of the future of not only technology but social interaction as well. For developers to make it so technical that nobody wants to play with it is wrong. It is wrong the same way elite colleges have rituals that other people don't understand. You are forced to look from the outside in, with your nose pressed up against the glass wanting to be included. If I could get a grasp on half the acronyms and name droppings flying around I'm sure I would be in that elite circle. I can guarantee my future success via diligence and networking. Unfortunately, the drive I have is not precipitous to everyone else. We need to make these systems viable in all walks of life to all people. Do not make elite systems. The more people that are able to play with them the more they will want to play with them, and eventually the more they will want to use them.
Look at blogging. It is easy. People love it and they learn from it. The can interact with it. Even people who aren't tech savvy can set up their own XML and RSS feed to link to other blogs and share information. Look in this direction not in the direction of building LMS systems or LOMs or God knows what else. Look to the people (I sound like Tim...I guess I'm eating my own words...but it's a long road to the light).
I have no doubt that the road to develop this is arduous and long. The money is vacant and the accolades are few. Don't let that blind you from why you got into the industry in the first place, to help people. Design the systems to help people not to impress the CTO in the boardroom. Listen to the masses of users out there screaming for ease of use and interaction.
Education is the future. We need to look to the next 10 years or 50 years to really understand where this technology will lead us. There are people out there doing good things, but I see them and the ones who follow them getting bogged down in technical relationships with the software or with the standard. Think to yourself if you merely have fun making this product or whether or not you have fun using it. It doesn't need to be Grand Theft Auto. The key is to make it simple to understand so people can manipulate it.
One more point, I have noticed lately the resurgence of the History channel and The Learning channel and book stores. Why would people go to a bookstore or flip on the TV to learn? One, they are starting to realize that learning is now part of their everyday life and that by not learning they are choosing failure, whether it be social conversation or their jobs. Learning has become evident to our own success. We now know that our jobs are not safe. We know that there are younger people willing to take less money in order to follow an ideal that we once believed in. They realize their own archaic nature and are attempting a fix. Think about the number of middle aged MCSEs there are out there. Think about the learning transition they used and what jobs they had prior. People go where the jobs are, and then people learn via instruments they feel comfortable with. Hence they learn via libraries, book stores and television. They can manipulate these mediums of information. They may not be able to thoroughly manipulate the Internet. Or they may feel as though the repository of information is unreliable or to use my own phrase "shady". Why would I pay $99.95 for an online course to be an MCSE when I can go to B&N. It's more comfortable that way. Make systems that allow people to feel comfortable. This means training them on the system and involving them in the system to the point where they feel as though it's their desktop and they are merely dragging and dropping.
Link posted by JVMM : 6:46 PM
Economic Development and Security of the United States Of America
Here is a proposal to the Homeland Security office by R.C. Holmes about how Enterprise Architecture (EA) will play a pivotal role in the future of Homeland Security and how businesses interacts with the Gov't. In case you were wondering, this ties directly into Elearning, as that seems to be the breeding ground for most of the ideas wanted to be taken to the EA level (SCORM, XML, Skills tracking, etc..).
- Homeland Security expenditures are estimated to be $130 billion dollars in fiscal 2003 and 2004.
OMB (office of Management and Budget) sees the Homeland Security Department as the hub of process integration.
Human capital strategies are to be linked to organizational missions, core values, vision, goals and objectives. New and more efficient eGov processes are to be created to share information. Adaptive workforce competencies should support dynamic change. The focus should be citizen-centric.
Homeland Security is the most complex initiative ever undertaken by the civilian federal government. (Wash Tech, 2/02) We would integrate a "People Defined Architecture" (app. 2) with federal proposals. Our emphasis is facile, "broad not deep" people communication with provision for continuing economic growth.
Future market segment size and growth will be limited only by imagination and marketing. The cultivation of knowledge processes will be the delimiter of success in all markets. Networked people create positive energy. Once people interworking is psychologically mapped with physical interconnection, involvement and productivity should displace existing cultural resistance. Homeland Security is a linchpin.
This directional framework has the potential to optimize Homeland Security effectiveness and catalyze human interworking in the 21st century Knowledge Environment. It is expected that the people-centric networks of the global Knowledge Economy will migrate as did IT in the brief Information Age.
Why is Homeland Security so pivotal in the new "Knowledge Economy"/ You may get a lot of views on this but I think it's funding tied in with the human capital issues being so close to their desk. Homeland security isn't just about reds, yellows, and greens. It's about tying in information. I can almost guarantee that their most immediate initiative is not physical threats, but more or less, tech threats, i.e. infrastructure threats. Power grids can be brought down by a virus, entire Gov't networks thrown away for a day by DoS attacks.
These are the things that HS has focused on. The problem is that the American Gov't is dependent on private contractors. Imagine if a certain sector or Lockheed and Grumman went down for a week or even a day. At a much more realistic point, imagine if their was a terrorist strike and the two could only communicate via phone or, what is fastly beocmming more like snail mail, email. These technological seems are weak. What is needed is an infrastructure based on coop data shared via a system that can track, monitor, and assess not only physical assets such as power grids and planes, but people as well. That's HS's role. Jump on board...or get left behind. They have the funding, the time, and the people to get this done.
I'm not waving a flag for the idea of terrorism being sold with a silver platter for us to eat everyday. I personally have no fear nor do I have any prejudice towards thsoe who are suspected to be terrorizing us. What I do know is that the ball has already been rolled down a real big hill that seems to go on for a long time. I suggest we learn, adapt, and make our thought out contributions to the HS initiative.
Get the entire proposal here.
Link posted by JVMM : 3:09 PM
You see a lot of guys out there who dangle the carrot out there for you to read their stuff and they want to charge you 99.95 for the real deal article that they have saved all the good nuggets for. Well this site, Emerald, which I have been to a ton of times on wild goose chases only to find myself a paypal payment away from reading some good stuff, has opened up their vault for one week only. Download them all. Yeah!
Link posted by JVMM : 4:29 PM
E-Learning Trends 2003
Elearning Circuits has released their year end survey results. A ton of pie charts and line graphs. It's pretty thrilling. Some of the stats are pretty funny but most of them revolve around budgets and numbers and how big the company is etc... It's sort of informative if you want to find out how much Innitec spent on their CBT program last year. They could have done better on this.
Link posted by JVMM : 4:22 PM
REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT: CRISIS IN HUMAN CAPITAL by R.C. Holmes
Another dating back to '01. In here he writes about the human capital crisis that was presented to the President when he took office.
- The Senate is on target when it assesses human capital direction. "Human capital is an asset whose value can be enhanced by investment. An organization's human capital approach must support: 1) mission, 2) a vision for the future, 3) core values, 4) goals, and 5) strategies. Hierarchical management must move to partnering. Siloed organizations should become integrated to use people's knowledge, skills and
The directional value of these efforts could be greatly enhanced by identifying from whence our human capital problem emanates. The environment visited by the report is rooted in a dying information age. This short lived era is being superseded by a stronger and diametrically different Knowledge Environment....our lack of definitions, vocabulary, measurements and reliable business models for the New Economy may result in a wrong direction for economic and policy decisions...which could result in a serious misallocation of society's resources.
Once again Human Capital becomes the topic of the address. The President has been keen to these observation and has started to matriculate funds from welfare to training. He has given homeland security and the DoD monies that can be allocated to solving these problems in our nation's most vital sectors. The problem is, that the rest of the country is running around trying to figure out what the problem is and how to fix it without direct funding and without the time to nurture anything of real substance. Elearning projects seem to be failing across the board with companies who don't have the resources to support such a large project that is still in semi-beta forms.
You can find the entire article here.
Link posted by JVMM : 4:01 PM
From the Files of R.C. Holmes
Written in May 2001 the article entitled "BROOKINGS TASK FORCE REPORT: UNSEEN WEALTH" talks about the Knowledge Economy and it's inability to supply machines with humans equipped with the ability to run them.
- We face an economic eclipse of sobering magnitude. Intangible assets now outweigh capital assets. BTF elucidates, "We lack a reliable business model, management capability, defined measurements, or even a clear vocabulary for a New Economy."
"Establishing corporate vision is problematic. Communities of interest and communities of practice are culture impaired. This initial infrastructure reflects the transition from an information environment (hierarchical infrastructure) to a Knowledge Environment (horizontal processes)."
"The "US Senate's Report to The President: Crisis in Human Capital" (Fall 2000) amplifies concern over workforce requirements. (senatecrisis) As BTF intimates, our leadership needs help in addressing our KE conundrum Bill Gates warns of, "a coming war for talent."
Accenture estimates that, "In this decade over 60% of our workforce will be comprised of knowledge workers." Knowledge workers require skill sets that are almost antipodal to those produced by today's 18th century, Horace Mann, educational system. Mann's model was based upon the 17th century Prussian Army. Over fifteen thousand, separate, parochial, school boards will need constructive guidance to meet impending human capital requirements. "
"Copyright turbulence heralds future KE dynamics. Napster's Supreme Court incursion is a prelude to ever stronger KE migration. Global legions of children have learned to download and copy all forms of text and media for free. They use these peer-to-peer systems to share knowledge with their friends. These knowledge trends are the opening utterances of universal human interaction and knowledge development. They presage KE redefinition of business, education and culture"
This doesn't really say anything that no one today doesn't already know. Weak pockets of human capital leads to a weak infrastructure which then leads to failed initiative. Without an educated population that can interact with and evolve with technology you have pockets of "have's" and "have nots". The main skill that may be coveted in the near future is the ability to retrieve information and quickly turn that into knowledge via flawless implementation to initiatives. What would be the main skill coveted now? Well, for most companies it's a piece of paper form an accredited college with a little seal on it. In the more modern companies it's a piece of paper from a tech chop shop with a seal and an acronym on it. In the near future it will be the procurement of skills via Gov't standards. Within the proletariat faction it will be the ability to retrieve, react, and implement under an assessment program that is always watching and always keeping tabs.
You can find the entire article here.
Link posted by JVMM : 3:44 PM
I've been seeing this piece of Jargon thrown around a lot lately. The jargon dictionary defines it as.
- wetware - [prob. from the novels of Rudy Rucker] 1. The human nervous system, as opposed to computer hardware or software. "Wetware has 7 plus or minus 2 temporary registers." 2. Human beings (programmers, operators, administrators) attached to a computer system, as opposed to the system's hardware or software
There's even a wetware blog.
I'm pretty sure the reason I have been seeing thrown around is that it has to do with the "thinking system" that everyone is aspiring to develop. I call it a "bioligical curricula". At least that's what it will be on my first small scale project.
Link posted by JVMM : 3:15 PM
"Blended Learning gains approval"
This article comes from the RSS feed Online Learning Update. It talks about the acceptance of blended learning. This sparked a quote that I jus saw from that diatribe below.
- Blended Learning does not work. How could it? If snake oil does not work, how could bottling it in a variety of different containers increase its effectiveness? Look at the messaging of any vendor using the term “Blended Learning”. It is a thinly veiled effort to sidestep any complaint over a specific form factor. Customer complains about one and the conversations shifts to another. Clever.
The article states:
- "Blended Learning employs an appropriate mix of delivery media such as classroom training, web-based training, virtual classrooms, books and mentoring to create flexible, cost-effective solutions that ensure individuals achieve the optimal learning experience and develop their skills to their maximum potential....The research also exposed significant regional variation with 85% of Scottish clients preferring training in the classroom with only 63% of London-based respondents preferring this method. "
This seems like the band-aid philospohy working again.
Link posted by JVMM : 4:45 PM
Learning Object Search?
Apparently this is a "big" step forward in the learning object community. Needless to say, I'm a little disappointed. I did three searches and then threw my keyboard across the room and paced for a while. I figured to try it out with the following objective. I'm a web developer and my boss wants us to be able to send mail via our website which runs ASP and IIS.
I searched for
Web Development (Got two portals...neither or which I found compellingly helpful)
ASP (my first link was to the "Online Asperger Syndrome information & Support ")
ASP Mail Object (an error...first off I would have to know that this is what to use.)
Send Internet Mail (error)
Use IIS to send mail (error)
Use ASP to send mail (error)
So this looks like a search engine. I'm not a technical wizard by any means but I know a search engine masquerading under a different title when I see one. This was not interactive or helpful in any way. I hope I was using it incorrectly. Maybe it's used for some federal processing procedures.
Link posted by JVMM : 4:38 PM
We're Selling Snake Oil
I got this from Gord over at ELearning Eclectic. It's a link to a diatribe about how the eLearning industry doesn't work and the vehicles that are being created attract more money than learners and do a better job of capitalizing on a fad rather than training people to perform at a higher level. He has some gripping stats. Here are some quotes and my young thoughts on them:
- "The data is mounting that very little of training makes it back to the workplace. The noise inherent in the knowledge transfer to learning transfer process obliterates up to 80-90% of any usefulness of the training on the job. Less than 30 percent of what people learn is actually transferred to the job in a way that enhances performance. (Robinson and Robinson) 85-90% of a person's job knowledge is learned on the job and only 10-15% is learned in formal training event. "
-->My Comments I still think that most people look at the idea of learning completely backwards. They try to pigeonhole objectives and work into classification and labels. The main issue of human capital weakness is market volatility and how it directly relates to the staff not being able to realign their core competencies with how the company needs to evolve. The stagnant and oppressing idea that most education professionals put on the workforce, and students, is that they are labeled to do their one certain task or objective. They are never taught to think that they could help marketing by knowing technology, that they could solve process issues. With overbearing infrastructures revolving around antiquated ideologies of "it's not my problem" or "I wasn't trained to do that" of course eLearning has a long road to climb. Stop thinking as though eLearning is simply a repository if information that is pertinent to one person's job. People understand search engines, they understand intranets by this point. They can find information. Try developing tools that can expand knowledge and weave a lifestyle instead of one that just fills in paint where there is a little rust.
I also think that these numbers are conglomerated. I think that there are companies out their attempting to do it correctly and are achieving results. Companies like Cisco and IBM have turned out ingenious initiatives based on loose fitting agendas that people are able to run with given the proper availability of resources and the rewards program to encourage them. I have my doubts about these stats because I think they take into consideration the companies that do not do it correctly. There are companies out there (big companies) still installing off the shelf software and handing out CBT's instead of really getting at the root problems.
"eLearning does not work. We have been in denial about this for about two years. The dropout, no-show rate is peaking at 70-80% and we continue to ignore this. Users hate it because it is a learning product that is fundamentally incompatible with the workplace. just-in-time really means do-it-in-your-own-time. Work always trumps any other activity. First-generation eLearning is snake oil. Snake oil vending machines (LMS and LCMS) work perfectly. The snake oil cures nothing, the snake oil vending machines work flawlessly."
-->My Comments Why do people not like school? Why do people look back now and realize that if they would have liked school they could be different? I assume people don't like school for a whole bunch of reasons. Personally I didn't like school because I could never see the direct benefit that school would have on my life. I could never ascertain what could be accomplished by my ability to learn. These people are being asked to interact with a system that is more than likely not fun, does not draw beneficial guidelines on how it will help, and most importantly does not show where they can go and what they can accomplish after they learn certain things. If you interacted with one of these LMS systems and found an answer, you would use it again. If you interacted with on of these systems and found it boring, time consuming and mimicking of what you had when you were in high school you would probably choose to fight it like the plague. I think there are systems that work (or that could work). I do agree that most people do sell snake oil. But when you don't have the answers and people have the need you throw whatever you have into a jar and say "look this will work". Make the systems better. Make the user understand why the system is there. Draw people definite added value scenarios to their job and life if they learn how to interact with their own potential to learn.
There are a lot more stats in there and most of them outline how the industry needs to point away from lecturing and instruction and focus on cost saving initiatives. I agree with this totally but find that it misses the bigger picture. The bigger picture is always how to make people stronger, not how to eliminate people from the equation. On one hand you have the idea of efficiency being propelled by technology and eventually eradicating human error. People are still needed to run these machines and work these systems. It's not as though the last recession came about because we had too little efficiency in the technology. The problem was the human capital inefficiency. Too many machines and not enough people to understand them, run them, and fix them. New gadgets producing better results is the path that human evolution has taken since our inception. Now that it has become exponential to the point of no return we find that our learning also has to take this same formula. Don't be blindsided by the idea that the machines or new systems will fix everything. Last time I checked my refrigerator still doesn't talk to me and my car doesn't drive itself. Keep people developing new systems, running the systems and fixing the systems in mind and you will find yourself breeding technology that helps rather than technology that takes advantage of a trend.
Link posted by JVMM : 4:04 PM
For about two weeks now I have been checking on the educational "portals" out there on a daily and mostly hourly basis. Unfortunately, most of the stories are just copied from website to the next and very few have comments. Most of them just pay accolades to someone else's work without really adding their own take on it. I may have to totally alter my researching approach.
Link posted by JVMM : 3:32 PM
Gaming and Education
A repository of information from Vanderbilt. It also has a nice little tie into (at the bottom of the page...no anchors) the video game a student used to play as a boy and how it helped him understand geometry. It should go a step further and explain how it would've been used to solve real world problems and not just how to pass high school geometry.
Link posted by JVMM : 5:07 PM
"The Friend of a Friend (FOAF) project is about creating a Web of machine-readable homepages describing people, the links between them and the things they create and do. " Basically they are taking XML and making it easier for spiders to make heads ro tales of basic info. INfo like name, purpose, subject, date...etc...
Feel free to make your own here. It also has directions for implementation. Why would you want to implement you ask, or even get into it? "This allows software to process these descriptions, perhaps as part of an automated search engine, to discover information about your and the communities of which you're a member. FOAF has the potential to drive many new interesting developments in online communities. " It just sounds like Friendster.
Link posted by JVMM : 9:14 PM
Co-operative Learning Object Exchange (CLOE)
This is a group of Canadian universities, where most of the work is being done, publicized work anyway. It's a group of 17 universities combining efforts to solve educational problems.
- The key innovation in CLOE is the creation of a virtual market economy for engaging multimedia to support online learning. Each institution will develop multimedia learning resources to address instructional challenges shared by the other partners.
When I go and look at the docs though, none of them revolve around learning objects or advanced multimedia. There are a lot of .doc's and .ppt's. Some of the topics discussed seem relevant but follow the guidleines you are trying to create.
Link posted by JVMM : 8:48 PM
Here is a link to some screen shots of Wallop and a small article summarizing it.
- All of these projects look at how to make use of metadata and organize information around clusters, Cheng says. "We've also been influenced by the Longhorn team's thinking around how programming databases influences end-user experiences," she says.
Apparently Wallop's file structure and organization is loosely built around Sapphire - [about sapphire]
- "The prototypes we have developed automatically determine importance of items—what you care about—and relationships between items—what is similar based on current objects, context, etc. We base our design concepts on the way people think and feel (human cognition, memory, personality and emotion.
We've modeled the user experience after way people think and feel, not after the way computer and networks are designed. This simple but fundamental change in perspective has caused us to rethink the fundamental way the system is experienced and designed, from the user experience, to the lowest levels of the system. It's been incredible how quickly people understand our design principles."
Link posted by JVMM : 3:36 PM
Ok, so now that Wallop is out and the term blog was heard on Conan last night. Everyone wants a piece of the blog initiative. It's not just the people using blogs anymore that are screaming for their inclusiveness when it comes to KM and learning. CTO's and VP's are now starting to perk up more and understand the overwhelming power of the blog.
- "Knowledge blogs help encourage brain dumps, exploration, and think-aloud behaviour. They create connected content, break down silos, allow comments, and can also be treasured as useful searchable archives. Besides, over time, blogs are self-rewarding. Often bloggers report that they discover their own interests and refine their perspectives. It leads to peer recognition," according to Fichter.
This article goes on to mention (and you can skip the first part as all they do is mostly cry and whine about "things being used wrong" blah blah blah) more of those helpful acronyms (mwhwhahahaha) such as communities of practice (CoPs). This was a good article if nothing more than to point me into the way of other initiatives being taken by IBM and certain organizations.
Link posted by JVMM : 2:20 PM
Go To MIT For Free
This is MIT's free online repository of info.
- Is a publication of MIT course materials
- Does not require any registration
- Is not a degree-granting or certificate-granting activity
- Does not provide access to MIT faculty
Even though it doesn't have anything real in depth, yet. I imagine other institutions will emulate this and build on it. Plus it lets you know what the smart kids are learning about. This is still great access to one of the world's most premier college's repositories of information.
Link posted by JVMM : 8:01 PM
All Bloggers Are Educators
It's like a big giant world of people who want to teach in some way. They all sit around and want to inform about what is good or what is bad. They want to tell us what to do or what not to do. They do this directly by actually pinpointing the topics of interest or by writing self-reflective pieces that allow people to make a judgment based on what is being written and how it affected that person.
There is something in these free form pieces of information that revolves around the bottom goodness that should be education and the technology that needs to bind it all together. It all revolves around the want to add to the big collection of information out there and allow your voice to be heard. At the very essence of a culture, especially a learning culture, is the ideology of equal and respected contribution. The blog paradigm levels that playing field immensely. It allows me to pick my educators.
Yes! That's what it does. It allows me to pick my own path. You don't read a blog because you feel obliged or forced. You read it for many reasons. The main reason is because you believe in it, and the second reason is because you were drawn to it out of personal interest. Those two things combined are more powerful than any guidance counselor or 10th grade social studies teacher. That's more powerful than SCORMS or online initiatives revolving around giant repositories. And the big reason you are interested in that information doesn't necessarily stem from your own greed to be entertained. It stems from the human want to easily understand something and make it applicable to their own life. The blog is a great vehicle for this. The blog inspires people to share information. It inspires the user to create a network of these information repositories (because a blog certainly is one) and retrieve their daily knowledge from them.
The key is to shift the focus of these blogs just a little. You don't want to take the personal trust that comes from blogs out of the picture and you don't want to keep in all the things that can make a blog a little too heavy. You want to be able to search them and find information pertinent to the objective you are trying to achieve. The shift needs to be on many levels but I think some of the levels are classification, legitimization, and organization.
Sorting out topics via XML and retrieving them by RSS could attain classification. Now of course this is already happening. I think there are many companies that are attempting this classification structure. The thing that they will lose that will turn most people off to the app they are making, and Tim has eluded to this many times, is their loss of the personal feeling you get when you read a blog. Nobody wants to learn from something that feels cold or like school.
Legitimization is obviously the biggest thing that needs to be improved within blogs. To actually believe in the information and trust it is one thing, but to be able to convict and convert on it is another. The information in blogs is largely personal with a whole bunch of narrative. The narrative is important because it gives things that human touch, much like Amazon allows personal comments about each item and personal lists attached to those items. But to be able to legitimize the info and have it be directly applicable to a goal is vital.
Organization is just a nice way for me to not scare everyone off and say repository. This is the place where the info is housed. Having free-range blogs is wonderful. Having millions upon millions of entries a day into the cyber world is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. It is adding to the new human information gathering mentality which has been evolving for nearly 700 years and is now starting to really reach it's apex The key is to allow the average user to find these gems of information without personally knowing or being recommended to that person/blog. Recommendation is a great tool but it doesn't lead to legitimization. What I'm talking about here is a giant domed infostructrue that can house these blogs and check information as it roles in and then categorize it into levels of importance. I'm talking about something huge and complex. That is, right now, just an idea. And I do think Skillsnet has a head start on this by organizing people's skills.
Maybe what we are after here isn't necessarily the next great education business idea or platform. Maybe what we are after here is making education fun by supplying this structure to it, taking personal tools and letting them remain personal but having a focus and infostructure based on learning. We don't have to necessarily train people who work for Innitec. We can train people in their leisure. This could be a new way of blogging that still allows the freedom and personal wonderful growth but at the same time brings organization, legitimization, and classification.
It could be a combination of the two. It could combine blogging and education. By constantly bombarding my head with this idea that the mass tools need to be taken into consideration, it made me realize that this tool that would be developed would not be initially used for business purposes. It would be used for people to have fun with, and learn at the same time. I mean hell you are learning right now by blogging. The difference is, I think we can make it so much better by focusing the content.
Link posted by JVMM : 5:23 PM
Let's start that list
The one about, well hell, I don't know what its about actually. It started with what we were saying about how Amazon is useful as a research tool to find out about music. Basically, I guess the idea I'm getting at is that all the tools and methods ordinary people have for dealing with technology right now could yield up some important clues and trends about what direction technology education could take in the future. Consider this my concerted effort to be constructive and give examples...
- Finding out what artists, music, genres are similar to ones you like
- I've started to use that "search this book" feature to find out more about obscure topics or research terms which I have been unable to locate information about on any normal websites
- If you think about it, Amazon has created a knowledge repository based around highly specialized topic areas. It has at its core the "official" information released by companies about their products. But around that is all kinds of information which has been added completely by customers, at no cost to Amazon. It might be a good analogy to think of the customers in this case as "learners" within this system. In this case, the customers go to Amazon to learn, but can also apply their expertise to become educators on the system, by writing reviews, lists, etc. You also have the option to say whether or not information on their is helpful to you. The idea I guess is that the best information will float to the top.
- The reason I like this sort of thing better than acronyms like SCORMS, is partly because of the language. It is not daunting to understand how a "review" works, or what it means to write a "list," but as soon as you start to get more abstract and technical, it becomes more difficult to use & understand as a beginner, because the ideas become more and more dissociated from ordinary life activities.
- I actually heard that Google approached Friendster about buying them. Don't know if that's true or not. And then there was that article Mike had about that thing Wallup, which is like the friendster knockoff thing, which allows you to interact with a group of people on a complex dynamic basis. Where people you interact with a lot come into the foreground, while others go into the background.
- I mentioned to you originally Friendster as a possible context for how to organize an electronic classroom. I still think it has potential for that.
- Maybe one thing different about Friendster and Amazon as a knowledge repository is that in Amazon, interacting with other people on the system occurs in certain ways, but it is not really the focus of the application. Mostly, you interact directly with the products, by looking at them, reviewing them, making lists including them. I wonder how it would change if you promoted within that system the idea of looking at other customers, of looking at them, and reviewing them (writing testimonials). One way Amazon lets you abstractly look at other customers is through the "customers who purchased this item also purchased"
- I think this collaborative blogging stuff is really important too.
- It gives us an easy and public way to keep track of and share information & resources, as well as debate over the value of information. I think thats definitely something we get into fights over all the time, is what are the good sources of information. But definitely that also comes from the differences in our learning styles, and what kind of information we prefer to digest, shit like that.
- I also think its vastly important that we each have our own blogs, in which we can just take and run with our own ideas and our own interpretation, and that soemtimes that becomes a battleground, but whatever. We need both, the individual and the collaborative, and for different reasons.
- I also think this new picture blog is really interesting because of the sheer number of people posting to it right now. I know its very different from this blog, or our own individual ones, but i think it represents some other kind of interaction that is possible, although im not sure how to define it yet
Okay, there are others, but thats a pretty good start, I feel like. What say ye
Link posted by tim boucher : 4:38 PM
Nice Elearning RSS Feed
This is a great feed with the most updates I have seen. It's quite windy in most of these blogs. I.E. there are no comments and sometimes people don't update for days. Even the sites that look like they put a lot of time into and appear to have a great big infostructure behind it. But this is one is real good.
Link posted by JVMM : 7:36 PM
Yet Another Possible List to Be Aware of
"Look for those situations where people are doing a mindless task manually or where they have created a workaround". That came from Dusk and Dawn.I'm sure we have all had this idea. But have we ever really sat down and tracked it? I haven't done it...i'll be back with some stuff later. Feel free to put in what you got.
Link posted by JVMM : 6:25 PM
In Response to Tim
Personally I think you take a huge offense to anything Gov't oriented. If you would simply take the technology and the ideas that they are actually attempting to cultivate (enterprise architecture, using knowledge as the ultimate weapon, having intense media (video games) as the sought after delivery tool) I think you would find that their ideas are good ones that we can use to build on. At this point in my research and knowledge gathering I am simply trying to find the winners in the industry, and they do exist, and the patchwork people who are simply trying to make a buck.
Please don't take offense to my incessant remarks about the "grass roots work" being done by the DoD. Maybe that was a poor term to use, and you, being you, wanted to throw down on the floor and site how gov't is totally bad. I have no problem with thinking that the Gov't might be the wrong way to go and that to find our own processes and cultivate the tools that people 3 years ahead of the curve are using is the right way to go. I guess what I'm asking you for here is your patience while I try to find out what is really being used. To align yourself with, what is now a standard, the SCORM IEEE crew is not a bad thing. Take it in. Just don't dismiss the theories because they have to do with something that you personally would never align yourself with.
One more point I would like to make. When you think about the government:
- "...the government on all fronts is a necessarily conservative institution, and it seems preposterous to me to be looking to them as an innovator. ...its the flip side of the coin of the govt legislating for and against technologies, like p2p, etc. their thinking will ALWAYS be at least 5 years behind the reality, because the nature of government is preservation, protection & consolidation. and thats the opposite of what we need here."
Ok...let me feel the flame.
Link posted by JVMM : 10:33 PM
John Paul Gee ""What Video Games have To Teach Us About Learning and Literacy"
I started reading this a little while ago because it came so highly recommended. I have to admit it has spawned some interesting theories of my own thus far:
- What domain are you working in?
- Does that domain overlap to others?
I'm not even half way through though, so these ideas aren't totally complete. I'll tell you one thing that bothers me about this book (and it really shouldn't bother me since I am way more guilty of this than anyone I know), the grammar and spelling are horrible. I have found at least 10 spelling errors. I mean that guy has to be ticked about the editing.
Link posted by JVMM : 6:17 PM
Easy To Read Article
Here's a nice easy to read article about SCORM's and why they are important. Most of the articles I see out there are just way too technical. This one seems to be a lot simpler. If you have been reading this blog you will also notice a lot of the same names being mentioned and quoted.
It also mentions, in detail, some of the companies that were smart enough to adhere to Gov't policy in adapting to SCORM as quickly as possible. Actually, designing a proper all encompassing system will take a grass roots effort. The beauty is that the effort has already been started by the DoD and they may be the only ones who could sponsor that sort of time and patience via funding. It has to be a 5-10 year project. I mean when you thin about it, SCORM has to be tied into EA and then EA has to be available to all companies so they can receive and send data seamlessly. The more I read the more I find that the big picture has very little to do with elearning. The bigger picture has everything to do with Enterprise Architecture (EA). And Mike, that has to do with that DNA article as well.
For further information here is a technical article about the birth of SCORM and how it used with XML.
Link posted by JVMM : 4:08 PM
From a book called "Growing up digital" (although much of the rest of this book sucks, unfortunately)
- "I believe strongly that what I teach has nothing to do with technology. I think it is essential that my students have access to technology. But I say to them, you are learning a way of thinking, problem solving, and planning 90% of which occurs in your head and in your creativity. You are creating dreams and ways to attain those dreams. Thats what we are doing in education"
Link posted by tim boucher : 6:19 PM
This is a nice overview of RSS.
This is the most exciting new blog I found all day. It talks about the Government's plans to use blogging and RSS to chime in with it's initiatives and architecture. It's great info.
We need to get on this mission somehow.
Link posted by JVMM : 5:56 PM
Something Isn't Right
I see a ton of people out there. A ton of "experts" with blogs throwing around more questions than answers. I'm seeing a scary, but possibly good trend, of insecurity and lack of clarity. I think the answers are simpler than people think they are. I think you need to look at Skillsnet (I know that site needs some work) and the DoD and see what some of the better directions are (we're talking grassroots people...not trying to wrap a donkey in Christmas paper). I haven't seen anybody else doing this. I see people talking about learning and "Where do you see it going?". Now dont get me wrong, I respect these other guys but I wish they would start thinking about what they wanted and stopped thinking about what might work. At this point in my career (and eventually it will be my career) I am merely a data getherer with cloudy ideas, therefore I owe them a ton for their knowledge and data gathering ability. But, I would really like to see some inovation soon. If not I may scrap my entire process of learning as much as possible to try to get into the industry, and thrust forward with my own ideas which may or not be completely worked out. At least they'll be mine.
Link posted by JVMM : 5:35 PM
So How Do We Climb Without Innovation?
The following comments stem from this article. The article states that:
- "One of the easiest ways to make your numbers look better is to cut back on "non-essential" items. Training and development can be axed. So can programs that give executives -- or any workers -- new ideas, new techniques, new tactics and new approaches to winning in the workplace. Once the tyranny of the numbers sets in, almost any investment in people is an easy target."
Saving your own neck is only going to get you so far. Cutting back on your people and downsizing will work in the short run. It may even buy you a little clarity in your processes. But when it comes time to revamp, like it looks like most companies are starting to do, you better revamp with a plan in mind to keep your human capital around long enough to make new processes and invoation a viable part of your business. I don't see the big Gov't contractors cutting back on these initiatives. Quite to the contrary, I see them labeling "elearning" and "human capital" as top priorities. The key is that they hide it under the term Enterprise Architecture.
Link posted by JVMM : 3:48 PM
IEEE has this great interactive email thing. It programs via your content. It's really awesome. It feels 80's but it makes sense and seems so robotic and automatic. Just send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and put "subscribe LTSC-LOM " in the body(not the subject). Wait for your mail to arrive and then party with it.
Link posted by JVMM : 2:31 PM
I'm sitting here going through some old disks that my Dad had laying around. I came across a whole bunch of small papers and proposals that he wrote about Enterprise Arhtiecture, KM and eLearning. Here's some excerpts:
"Homeland Security bespeaks historic complexity. Thousands of institutions and millions of people must interwork. A myriad of work teams must learn to manage matrixed processes, build collaborative communities, organize infinite knowledge choices; all while delivering real time services against varying tides of organizational cultures."
"People Defined Architecture processes are the only strategy which can deliver: 1) timely team and institutional collaboration, 2) effective performance management, 3) crucial skill and competency deployment and, 4) cost effective coordination of shared processes for first responders and catastrophic events: health services, warnings, hospitals, intelligence, citizens, schools, agencies, business, etc"
"The self-directed work team is the essence of the future of America. Only agile teams can filter unlimited knowledge; absorb exponential IT; develop and wield critical skills and competencies; network with other teams; and, continually hone these capabilities, and manage time-critical, collaborative, enterprise processes. The Homeland Security Department could cement national readiness, cultivate private sector support; and, ensure cost effectiveness by tapping into the team spirit innate to American culture."
"Knowledge is organic information. Information's root word, to inform, is passive. The root of knowledge, to know, becomes manifest only in human consciousness. Ubiquitous human networking, supported by a litany of advancing eSystems, escalates the gravity of this distinction beyond current preparedness and timetables for implementation"
"We have developed a skills-centric model. Skills are the common denominator in a three tiered-interrelated-interdependent-interworking referential infrastructure of workflow, eSystem integration and dynamic organizational communities. The granular component of our enterprise measurement and management systems are learning, business and skill objects."
That's really good. A poetic view of the future is a great start for inspiration, and it inspired me, but it is a poor way to continue building a house. Without the tools of implementation, the ideas aren't worth the paper they are written on. Would anyone have cared much about Lincoln's great speaches had it not been for his convicitons throughout the Civil War?
Link posted by JVMM : 2:23 PM
What's a DREL
More Acronym Definitions for you:
- "Digital Rights Expression Languages (DREL) is a formal language for expressing conditions and permissions for the use of digital resources. DREL expressions reference resources, actors and actions and define who may do what under which conditions and by what authority.
DREL expressions can be carried as part of a metadata instance associated with a learning resource. DREL expressions can also apply to classes of resources (e.g. “everyone in the world has permission to redistribute anything I write.")
DREL expressions are machine-actionable, i.e., software can read, write, interpret and act upon them. "
I think what this is trying to say is that a DREL is the way to Meta Tag stuff porperly via XML. It's like tagging every piece of data properly so it can be used in any area at any time.
- DREL is often associated with Digital Rights Management (DRM) and hence equated with the enforcement of copyrights. However, a standardized DREL has many more applications than that. Any sort of intellectual property license can be expressed using a DREL, including General Public Licenses (“copyleft”), Creative Commons licenses and statements involving scholarly attribution. A DREL can also potentially be used to express the pedagogical conditions under which a learner may interact with a particular piece of content or service. For example, a DREL could be used to say that a learning module may be viewed after a certain level of competency has been demonstrated, or that a learner must be enrolled in any one of a particular set of colleges to see a course.
Oh yeah I sort of forgot that XML is used for all kinds of good stuff. Like authoring and permissions.
Link posted by JVMM : 2:06 PM
Billy: But Mom I Don't Want to Play With IEEE
Mom: Well Everyone Else Does and So Do You
Billy: But He's No Fun and Makes me Curse A Lot
So most of my mornig has been spent looking through some other blogs and researching some companies. But then I hit the big IEEE wall. Our friends are back and they are the "Learning Technology Standards Committee". Now I love IEEE. It's an absolute necessity to make things happen. You just can't trust on the best product always "making it" for everyone else. Therefore you need them around to make sure everyone plays by the same rules. But, "He's No Fun and Makes Me Curse A Lot". Here's what I got off their site that I understood:
Purpose of the Learning Object
- Purpose of Proposed Project
- To enable learners or instructors to search, evaluate, acquire, and utilize Learning Objects.
- To enable the sharing and exchange of Learning Objects across any technology supported learning systems.
- To enable the development of learning objects in units that can be combined and decomposed in meaningful ways.
- To enable computer agents to automatically and dynamically compose personalized lessons for an individual learner.
- To compliment the direct work on standards that are focused on enabling multiple Learning Objects to work together within a open distributed learning environment.
- To enable, where desired, the documentation and recognition of the completion of existing or new learning & performance objectives associated with Learning Objects.
- To enable a strong and growing economy for Learning Objects that supports and sustains all forms of distribution; non-profit, not-for-profit and for profit.
- To enable education, training and learning organizations, both government,public and private, to express educational content and performance standards in a standardized format that is independent of the content itself.
- To provide researchers with standards that support the collection and sharing of comparable data concerning the applicability and effectiveness of Learning Objects.
- To define a standard that is simple yet extensible to multiple domains and jurisdictions so as to be most easily and broadly adopted and applied.
- To support necessary security and authentication for the distribution and use of Learning Objects.
Here are your players: Advisory Board
I tell you what, IEEE is a deep website. They have minutes for all their meetings and all the suggestions ever presented on a project or the paperwork revolving around that project available to you. Example
Link posted by JVMM : 1:58 PM