Monday, 16 May 2011

What's the ROI on ROI?

A few weeks ago I participated in a panel discussion arranged by the network Swedish Learning Association. The subject for the discussion was Competence Development and we who was in the panel came from two furniture dealer companies from Sweden, IKEA and Kinnarps. It was really interesting to learn from another company working in the same field.

But what really caught my interest was a discussion that started way too close to the end of the gathering. One participant started asking us questions about how we proved that our competence development initiatives were successful. Did we prove it with showing the ROI? My response was that I have never calculated ROI in my life. But the participant wasn't happy with that answer, because how can I prove the right for an L&D department, if I don't show the management that they get something for the money they invest.

On the way home I reflected on my views on ROI and came to some conclusions. So here they are:

Monday, 14 March 2011

Is the future of Learning either/or?

I have been enjoying reading "The New Learning Architect" by Clive Shepherd. I am not through it yet as I try to keep the pace of the #lrntect book chat on the book. The main reason I really enjoy the book is that it takes a very humble approach to different types of learning (such as formal learning, informal learning, Top-down, Bottom-up). Often when I follow and participate in discussions on these topics I get the feeling that you have to be either/or. Either you believe fully in formal learning and a top-down approach or you believe only in informal learning and a bottom up approach.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Response to Question 8 in the lrnbook chat on The New Learning Architect.

Ok so I am trying out the Essay function in HootCourse. Let's see how it works.

In this post I will respond to the following question:
Shepherd suggests that people don’t resist change, but do resist being changed. What strategies do you employ to help people buy into/embrace changes?

Monday, 21 February 2011

Suggestion for Hootcourse on "The New Learning Architect"

In a few weeks time there will be a #lrnbook chat about the book "The New Learning Architect" by Clive Shepherd, that I will participate in.

Our course leader @britz asked a question on Twitter today on how to divide the reading of the book over the course period. Here is my suggestion:

1. We skip the Profile chapters as these deal with one individual per chapter. I am not sure if it's interesting to discuss these peoples work.

2. This is how I would chunk the chapters:
  1. Week 1: Introduction, Time for a rethink, One more time, how do people learn?
  2. Week 2: A contextual model for learning, Top-down learning, Bottom-up learning
  3. Week 3: Formal learning, Non-formal learning, On-demand learning
  4. Week 4: Experiential learning, Putting the model to use
Ok, that is my suggestion. Take it or leave it :-)

Thanks for taking the time,

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Change of behavior - Response to @janet_frg

Earlier today I participated in Marcia Conners (@marciamarcia) webinar on "The New Social Learning". It was a great seminar with a lot of interesting points. During the webinar there was also a backchannel discussion going on at #newsociallearn. During the session Marcia got a question on how Social Learning can create behavioral change. To me that seemed like somewhat a strange question. So I threw out a tweet saying:
Isn't the goal with all learning, social or not, behavioral change? 
It didn't take long before I got a question what I meant with this tweet from Janet Laane Effron (@janet_frg). Here is our conversation:

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Three reasons why some companies are scared of Social Media.

For some time now there has been a lively discussion about why so many companies are not allowing Social Media to be a part of their employees IT-environment. After reading the great book "The New Social Learning" by Marcia Conner and Tony Bingham I have learned how to respond to the skeptics of Social Media. I have used these tips a number of times when discussing these issues with different people from different companies. And to be honest it has worked every single time.

But as these discussions pops up again and again I started wondering WHY so many companies (or actually people within these companies) have these attitudes. Because if we really want to make a change I don't think it is enough to have answers to questions. I need to understand where these ideas come from in order to really work with the needed change.
So let's start with the first reason:

Monday, 14 February 2011

Reflections after the "Stupid Bloody System (Jävla skitsystem in Swedish)" seminar

Last week I attended a seminar at Linnaeus University in Växjö, Sweden. The title of the seminar was "Jävla Skitsystem" or in English "Stupid Bloody System". It was facilitated by Jonas Söderström who has written a book with the same title as the seminar. The sub heading of the seminar was "Cognitive stress from today's fragmented digital work environment - the users' view" which in many ways sums it up quite good.

In the seminar Jonas talked about how users get frustrated by badly designed IT-systems and how that can be a major influence of stress in the work life. I think we have all experienced how some systems we use in our work can be quite frustrating to work with simply because of the way they are designed. Jonas gave us some examples of systems that were just plain stupid.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Reflections after Learning Technologies 2011 Part 3

In my attempt to reflect on my goals with visiting Learning Technologies Conference in London last week I have now come to my third and last goal. For those who don't remember the third goal, here it is:

To get ideas on how to strengthen our L&D department in terms of brining value to the business.
I will not go into details on how the department I work in is setup and how we need to change, this is important to remember as some of the things I reflect on here isn't really based on my current job. It is more a general reflection on how any L&D department need to work in order to be at their best. 

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Reflections after Learning Technologies 2011 Part 2

Ok it's time for the second part of my reflections after the two days of Learning Technologies 2011 ( #LT11UK ). In this second post I will focus on my second goal that I had set up for the conference, namely:

To learn more about how to use Social Media as a means to Learning in an organization.
There is no doubt in my mind that Social Media can be used for learning new things. I have used Twitter and my blog for some time and have learned a huge amount of stuff that I would probably not have been able to learn without the use of these tools. So from a personal point of view I am in no doubt that learning can be enhanced by using Social Media tools, but what about whole organisations? Is it really possible to have a large organisation with high security demands on their IT environment to embark on the SoMe journey?

Two of the sessions I attended dealt with Social Media and how it can be used for learning in organisations and here are my thoughts on these two seminars:

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Reflections after Learning Technologies 2011 Part 1

It’s been a couple of hectic days in London this week as I was attending the Learning Technologies Conference #LT11UK .  I had written a blog post about my expectations before the conference. But due to issues with connecting to wireless networks I haven’t been able to publish it. So instead of publishing it now when the conference is already over I will just summarize my goals for the conference:
  1.  To meet some of my Personal Learning Network (PLN) in person.
  2. To learn more about how to use Social Media as a means to Learning in an organization.
  3. To get ideas on how to strengthen our L&D department in terms of brining value to the business.

In the coming posts I will go through these goals one by one to see if I can tick them off as fulfilled or not. In this first post I will reflect on goal number 1.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Confusion - A Catalyst for Learning?

Earlier today I listened to the first seminar in the CCK11 (#CCK11) course I have just started. Apart from general information on how the course works and the very basics of what Connectivism is all about there was some talking about Confusion. I think at least all the participants who are new to this kind of course (and probably some of the experienced ones as well) feel a bit confused right now. New things are happening that we am not in total control of and don't know enough about. We are asked to share our thoughts and ideas and reflections, something some of us might not have done before.

But what is confusion really? and can it be a positive thing?

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

What is learning? What is journalism? And does it even matter?

In the Connectivism theory one of the ground principals is that knowledge doesn't only exist in a human but rather in a network. For quite a long time there has been a discussion going on whether forums, blogs, wikis, tweets and so on can be considered as tools for learning. And can Learning exist in a networked environment. As I have my focus on learning I saw this discussion as something unique for the learning field. But I was wrong.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Why I Decided to Join #CCK11

About a week ago I saw a link on Twitter to something called a MOOC. Curious as I am I clicked the link to see what it was. MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. I had heard of online courses before of course, but never of MOOC. I started reading the information on the page and realised that this actually was quite interesting. So what is the course about? The course is Connectivism and Connective Knowledge 2011( #CCK11 ) and it is facilitated by Stephen Downes and George Siemens. I had never heard of Connectivism before but once I started reading about it I realised that this was actually quite interesting. I have a huge interest in Learning in general and Learning with assistance of new technology in particular and this is basically what Connectivism is all about.

As some of you might know I am quite new to the Social Media world. I have used Twitter for a couple of months now and blogged for about two months. And in these months my own learning has sky rocketed. I have built up a Personal Learning Network of people that I admire and respect. We share our knowledge and assist each other and together we create huge amounts of Learning. In these few months I have also realized that there are so many technologies out there that I don't know how to use, and so many interesting people that I have not yet connected with.

Now you might wonder what Connectivism is all about. Since I haven't started the course yet I can only give you a short and probably not fully correct answer. But as I understand it, Connectivism is a new pedagogic theory with its base in the possibilities new technologies offer to us. We learn by connecting with others, sharing our thoughts, ideas, failures and successes. Instead of Learning being seen as something that is only happening within a humans brain Connectivism sees Learning as something that happens in the connections we create with each other. Again I need to stress that this is just my very first understanding of what Connectivism is. I am sure that I, as the course progresses, will have a much clearer view of what it is.

Here are five reasons why I decided to join #CCK11:

1. Expand my Personal Learning Network.
2. Get new insights in what Connectivism is and how I could use it in my work and private life.
3. Learn about new tools.
4. Share my knowledge - to me there is no better way to learn than to share what you know with others.
5. To have FUN!
So all of you who have decided to join the #CCK11 journey, why did you take this decision? What do you hope to get out of it? Leave a comment and tell your story.

Thanks for taking the time,
Mattias (@mattiaskareld)

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Organising my favorite tweets in a mind map

I use the Favorite function to store tweets that seem interesting for later reading. This is probably not how the function should be used but I know that many people use it for that purpose.

The main problem with doing so, is that after a while the Favorite list becomes quite long and it's hard to keep track of what I haven't read yet, what is an actual Favorite tweet and what could be deleted.

I started saving interesting tweets in Evernote which is a pretty useful way to do it, but I am not friend with the tagging in Evernote and therefore I created a new mess there which wasn't what I wanted.

I started thinking of how I would like to store my Favorite tweets and my later-read-tweets and came up with the idea that it would be great if it was possible to store them automatically in a mind map. Then I could have them organised in the way I want it and I could design it anyway I think is good for me. But could it be done?

I put a question out on Twitter and right away got a response from Andrew Wilcox (@ajwilcox) who turned out to be quite a wizard when it comes to MindManager, which is the mind map software I use. He guided me on how to get my favorites to a mind map in a simple automatic way.

Here is how I (with much help from @ajwilcox) set it up:

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Reflection on "Growing Collective Intelligence" The New Social Learning chapter 5

I am right now reading the fantastic book The New Social Learning by Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner. For those of you that haven't heard about this book go check out the website
In this post I will reflect on the fifth chapter called "Growing Collective Intelligence", simply because I found this chapter really interesting and it got me thinking.

Collective intelligence in my world basically means that a group of individuals working together creates more and better outcomes than the same people would do working by themselves. To me this is common sense. There are so many examples of how bringing a group together over a specific subject creates things you could never have come up with yourself. And sometimes it doesn't even have to be a group. Just think about all the times when you are stuck with an issue and ask someone to come and help you. Often the other person just have to enter the room and all of a sudden the solution pops up in your brain. Or when you sit in a meeting and suddenly someone says "the magic word" that gets your brain working and you realize the solution to problems you have been struggling with for some time.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Working smarter - a personal success experience

A good wizard should
never be underestimated
There's a lot of talk today about the role of L&D departments in companies today. First there is the discussion about how to make L&D become an integral part of the business. Then there is also the discussion about what the L&D department should deliver. Traditionally learning within companies is delivered in a formal way either as face-2-face trainings or as e-learning activities. These activities are pushed from the top of the organisation down to the people in the organisation regardless of what the people on the other end really wants and needs.

Working Smarter
The Internet Time Alliance uses the term - Working Smarter - to challenge these traditional ways of looking at work and learning. When I first read about this term I thought: "Of course, this is just common sense". But when I started evaluating how I and my colleagues were working I realized that even though I thought of Working smarter as something completely obvious and common sense I didn't really work according to it. I realized that I often take part in creating traditional learning without really thinking about it and challenge its effectiveness. Therefore I decided to look back at all the learning initiatives I have been involved in during my time in the learning field, to see if I could find some examples where I actually did something completely different that worked. I found a couple of them and I would now like to share one with you to show that it is possible to move Learning into the very heart of the business and by thinking differently (actually just use ones common sense) basically remove all the need for training.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

London calling - but no data

I am writing this post as a first warm up post for the coming Learning Technologies 2011 Conference in London later this month. I am really looking forward to this and will blog before, during and after the conference. In this first post I am frustrated over how ridiculous charges limit my ability to use available technology when going overseas.

In my pocket I have the most wonderful tool, that just a few years ago was an impossibility. This little thing gives me instant access to all the knowledge in the world, all the latest sports results, all the music I could ever dream about, maps, games, you name it... I am of course talking about my beloved HTC Hero Android cellphone.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Twitter Quiz game reflection

Yesterday I finally got around to try out my idea of running a Twitter based quiz game. Unfortunately there weren't that many followers who were interested in participating but I decided to go ahead anyway. Simply because I really wanted to try it out and see how it would work. The setup was:

1. I invited anyone to participate via Twitter.
2. Two persons were interested (@CraigTaylor74 and @kstenqvist).
3. I posted five questions using the hashtag #mattiasquiz.
4. The questions were posted one by one with an hour in between.
5. The responses were sent to me via Direct Message simply because other participants shouldn't be able to see the answers and when the answers came in.
6. The one who first sent in the first correct answer for each question scored one point.
7. The winner was the one who first got three points.

And the proud winner was: