Pick of the Month: May 2012

Here is my pick of the resources that I shared on Twitter and in my Pick of the Day in May.  Note, for easy reference, ALL the links in my daily Picks  are collated monthly on my 2012 Reading List.

1 – Jane Bozarth started the month with some wise advice, as usual, in her Learning Solutions Magazine, Nuts and Bolts column piece: Selling it (1 May)

Shooting ourselves in the foot
I see this happen all the time with people trying to gain support for implementing new learning approaches and technologies, and I am sure I am often guilty of it myself. What we find cool, others find intimidating. What we find useful, others find threatening. What we find magical, others find scary. And the very benefits we tout are sometimes exactly what others fear.

Later in the month (25 May) Dave Kelly also had some advice in his post, How Trainers are Holding Themselves Back 

Training professionals need to recognize that by being business-focused in every aspect of their work. Our work needs to provide value to all of our stakeholders, whether their investment is financial support or time via participation. We need to get away from the widget-based metrics of the past and focus on the impact and value our efforts have on critical business performance.

2 – There were quite a lot of valuable postings this month on the topic of informal learning v formal learning. Harold Jarche’s post on 1 May, told us to to Take off those rose coloured glasses:

The future will not be L&D 2.0 but rather a new organizational learning approach, where learning is integrated into the workflow. Many departments outside L&D are already staking this new ground and building their expertise.

Bill Cushard suggested Save Training For Those Who Need Training (3 May)

“Sending people to training they don’t need devalues the training and demotivates your highest performers. We ought to be able to exempt some people from certain training. If people don’t need it, they shouldn’t have to attend.”

This little video from weneedacourse, showed  a day in the life of a lowly e-learning professional (4 May)

Later in the month (21 May), Ryan Tracey, wrote a post where he said we should start with Informal first.

“No longer is formal training the central offering with informal learning relegated to a support role. On the contrary, when we adopt the informal first mindset, informal learning becomes the central offering.”

A few days later (24 May), Clark Quinn wrote a post where he talked of Reconciling formal and informal:

“There are really two viewpoints: that of the learning and development (L&D) professional, and that of the performer. Each of these sees the world differently, and we need to separate these out.

And Jay Cross picked up on this with his own post, Bringing informal learning up to date (29 May), where he made this point about elearning.

“I also back away from the word eLearning. What once held such promise for democratizing learning often led to boring page-turners no one should have to endure. I’d like to see bad top-down training eliminated, flipped, or made experiential. Most eLearning is formal, in that it has a rigidly defined curriculum, and it’s based on the flawed notion that exposure to content is all that’s required for learning.”

2 – There were a couple of interesting posts on blogging for learning. Firstly, Harold Jarche, explained How blogging changed my life for the better (1 May)

My blog is a key part of my professional development and essential to my personal knowledge management processes. It’s how I make sense of many things. My blog keeps me connected.

Then Chris Dixon in Blogging to learn (13 May) explained,

People blog for all sorts of reasons. For me, it is mostly about learning. This wasn’t my original intention – it evolved over time. Now I see blogging as part of a continuous learning process:

4 – Clark Quinn’s report for the eLearning Guild, Mobile Learning: The Time Is Now was released (10 May)

In this complimentary report for eLearning Guild members, author Clark Quinn assesses how mobile learning is changing, and recommends strategies to make the most of the technology’s emerging opportunities. He also examines the current trends in mLearning, analyzing usage, perceived barriers, availability, ROI, and other aspects that will help you make the decision of how and when to go mobile.

5 – On 23 May Mashable run an article on how Grokit wants to build a Pinterest for learning

Their new product, Learnist, works a bit like a Pinterest for learning. Soon anyone (the capability is still invite-only at launch) will be able to compile content pieces onto a board or “learning.” A nifty bookmarklet makes it easy to collect content from other sites.

But a few days  later (25 May), a post by Brent Schlenker, asked the (valid) question), Pinterest is popular! Do we need Learnist?

“I don’t even need to look at Learnist to make my point and ask you this question. Why can we not use Pinterest as a learning tool? Why do we need to copy what’s popular and then spin it as “…for learning”?”

 6 – Tom Spiglanin wrote a nice post, Social Learning Truths, (25 May) which included this quote at the end

“Therefore, encourage me to learn, but don’t force me. Show me how to improve my performance, but don’t send me to unnecessary training. Empower me to grow wiser, but don’t hold me back. Give me access to social knowledge, but don’t limit me. In the end, we all will benefit.”

7 – And finally my prize for the Infographic of the Month goes to  Self-Learning: The New Master’s Degree [Infographic] from the Udemy Blog (25 May)