September 2011 Review

In September I added over 40 resources to my 2011 Reading List, but since I have already mentioned many of them in the four pieces I wrote for Training Zone where I curated articles on social learning (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4),  in this month’s review I am going to pick 5 articles that I haven’t discussed.

1 – How Twitter will revolutionise academic research and teaching – This article from the Guardian shows how social media is becoming increasingly important in teaching and research work although it reminds tutors, it’s a conversation not a lecture.  It ends with this paragraph:

“For higher education, social media is part of a process of democratisation. Its effective use can lead to an ethical shift towards active efforts for engaging new audiences and widening participation beyond the Ivory Tower’s walls. It all starts with the ear. Are you listening?”

2 – The 2020 Workforce and the LMS Disconnect – Xyleme recently interviewed Jeanne Meister. Based on insights from her book, the podcast looks at trends and predictions about what the workforce will look like in 2020. Part of the conversation wass about how the dependence on the enterprise LMS and the old modes of training delivery needs to be broken.

“In the 90’s and 0’s, the LMS became the entrenched learning channel in the organization and the gateway to learning content. The content tended to be monolithic eLearning courses delivered to desktop or laptop computers. Even now, 20 years later, new LMS companies are emerging on a regular basis and entrenching themselves in the organization. They pitch themselves as the gateway to learning content, but in today’s world they feel more like a bottleneck.”

3 – Why do Facebook users hate change – In September Facebook made some signficant changes, and in this piece Zack Whittaker asks, why Facebook users hate change, and whether this is a wider societal problem.  As part of the discussion, he writes:

“People need reassurances. Just as we like to explore new things, we are just as cautious as we have ever been, seeing most new things as a threat to our long-term stability. Though, of course, some people are more adaptable to change, it seems to wain as the generational divide shifts.”

4 – Refuting every point –  Stephen Downes writes “It’s not often that you get a series of points like this just begging to be refuted” – points that is, like “I don’t think most of us want our dentists to be “out of the box” thinkers” or “I don’t believe that when teaching a pilot to fly 747s we encourage a “don’t memorize facts, look it up” training.”   But in this posting on Half an Hour Stephen carefully works through each point, ending his post with:

“It’s when we rely on an old set of ‘best practices’ that are anything but that we do the most damage to children and students. It’s when we think we know, but do not, that we callously commit the most grievous damage.”

5 – Now that people finally matter to business, HR is the next big thing – In this piece for FastCompany, Marcia Conner says that the social business movement is forcing employers to treat people like the valuable assets they’ve always been, but asks if Human Resources is ready.

“People finally matter at work. Lip service be damned. The social media wave, now moving inside corporate walls through social business tools, is not a fad. It’s a fundamental change to how business gets done. The social everything movement is a humanizing movement, driven by dramatic changes in workforce demographics, forcing employers to treat people differently–more like the vital assets they have always been.”

One thought on “September 2011 Review

  1. Tony

    Thanks Jane. Reading these got me fired up again after a period of feeling rather dull. Nothing like learning from others for that.

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