Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wek 11 R685 Alternate Reality Learning

I'm still grappling with how to utilize this Web 2.0 in a corporate setting. Last night's chat with Intellagirl and Dr. Evil talking about Second Life was fascinating. It's clear that virtual reality tools can be adapted for learning. The business school marketing course example is only one that Intellagirl mentioned.

I asked about simulations and Sarah mentioned that Second Life had a learning curve for users and might be limited to business use for ongoing training.

I wonder if a virtual reality might be developed for a specific business setting and used for problem-solving not unlike that used for training airline pilots but in this case for company-specific applications. Need to ask Sarah's thoughts on this.

Week 10 Interactive and Collaborative Learning

Another interesting topic this week.

It came at a time when I have been exploring communities of practice. I'd read several articles on CoPs as part of my mid-term assignment and found quantitative evidence of the benefits of CoPs. One involved a construction company building a bridge across the sea between Denmark and Sweden. They measured the momentum of quality issues as an indication of the effectiveness of CoPs and found direct correlation with declining quality issues and CoPs. Neat!

I see this as one result of collaboration and learning.

I wonder how to adapt this to virtual CoPs, those that don't have a face to face element?

Week 10 R685 YouTube and Online Video

This has been a fascinating week of reading and shared ideas in class. I had not realized the scope of video content that was available and am still gaining a toe hold in this body of knowledge that is available.

Interestingly I'd learned to google "how to" topics earlier this year for house projects often finding help from amateur videophiles on techniques through YouTube. After this week's class focus, I see the use of video even more broadly.

Using video as anchors, enders, etc makes sense from our class chat and discussions. John Keller ARCS comes to mind with video but also the notion of dual coding. I've seen Sonoco personnel's eyes become "anchored" to the screen with some of my prototype video clips so I'm convinced of the power of video to gain attention and transfer knowledge.

I'm going to use this idea in my final R685 project. I've begun scripting several videos of quality systems elements for several North American facilities. I think these will be very effective and I wouldn't have considered without what we learned in class.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Week 8 Wikis and collaborative writing

This week involved looking across the landscape of online collaborative tools focusing initially on Wikipedia. We discovered that there were multiple forms of wikis for different applications but equally important that tactics in using wikis for collaboration needed to be considered against the cultural values of the participants.

One article in class talked about wiki responses across international groups using their norms for social interaction. For example, cultures where there was strong central authority (China) tended to have a different type of wiki collaboration than countries that were more individually-independent (Netherlands).

I see the principle of culture applying to corporate settings. In fact, I think this explains differences that I have observed within my company to people working with wikis.

Related to cultures, I made contacts with a couple of practitioners this week in communities of practice. What I am hearing is that relationships are key to CoP success, effectiveness and sustainability. This has the tone of paying attention to "culture" that I mentioned above. I'll continue my conversations with these CoP experts and see where the dialogue leads.

Week 7 R685 Connectivism and participatory learning

This week's class chat involved role playing several of the authors in the week's readings. I was assigned to be Nicholas Carr who wrote an article questioning whether the ease of access and ease of use of search devices like Google were degrading our learning. He was concerned about superficial learning and talked about the importance of time to reflect versus power browsing where learners just skimmed material.

I realize there needs to be a balance between the two and the exceptional functionality of Web's capability to open up knowledge sources is quite profound, but I was struck by this idea of superficial learning mirrored behaviors I had seen in my corporate world. Terms like "keep it simple, don't worry about the details, just get it done...." troubled me in that their tone was similar to those that worried Carr.

I'm not sure where I stand on this question right now. Connectivisim is here to stay and can make substantial inroads to learning. I think what will happen is that society will learn how to use these capabilities, to gather information, store it rapidly but we will still circle back to it to think.