Caspian Learning, developer of Thinking Worlds, a commercial software platform that enables the rapid development of 3D immersive learning simulations and serious games, has announced plans to launch their first Serious Games Challenge.
The challenge will pit instructional designers of all experience levels against each other in a 30 day Serious Games Challenge to create the most innovative learning simulation using drag and drop Thinking Worlds technology.The Serious Games Challenge will be launched from Caspian Learning’s ‘Experience Lounge’ exhibition stand at the Game Based Learning conference on 28th March 2010. The £3000 Serious Games Challenge will be open to everyone, whether individual or corporate, and will last for 30 days. Entries will be valid until the 30th April, at which time, Caspian Learning’s design team will select a winner from the entries.
The winner will be the designer (or team) that submits the most innovative 3d learning, training or performance simulation by the 30th April 2010. The winner of the challenge will also receive a licensed copy of Thinking Worlds Standard, worth £2999.
To take part in the 30 Day Serious Games Challenge, all you need to do is download a free trial copy of Thinking Worlds and submit your entries by April 30th, 30 days after the Experience Lounge launch. Download your free trial from the following http://www.thinkingworlds.com
My colleagues at the Internet Time Alliance have been thinking a lot about what "learning" and being a "learner" means. This has been part of the ongoing discussion we have been having about the hijacking of terms like informal and social learning by "snake oil sellers".
Jay Cross has become well known for helping organisations understand that learning is either formal or informal.
In my Social Learning Handbook I identified 5 categories of learning: Formal Structured Learning, Personal Directed Learning, Group Directed Learning, Intra-Organisational Learning and Accidental & Serendiptous Learning.
Harold Jarche looked at these 5 categories and grouped learning into 3 types: directed, self-directed and undirected learning.
In his posting yesterday he now refers to learners as being Dependent, Independent and Interdependent
So how do these different terms map together? I've drawn up this table to make it a little clearer
Recently I have come across a lot of instances of the use of phrases like "managing informal learning" or "formalising informal learning", which might sound as if they make sense, but when you look more closely at what they mean, it's the same thing as saying "directing the learning of self-directed learners" which makes no sense at all!
In my opinion it is just not possible to manage or formalise informal learning - if you do, it just becomes formal learning. All you can do to do is SUPPORT and ENABLE self-directed (independent and interdependent) learners and their learning, which is quite a different thing altogether.
So what about those people who say that you can’t let employees be responsible for their own learning, they might not learn the right things(!), let me point you to the article in December 2009's CLO Magazine written by Timothy R Clark and Conrad A Gottfredson, Agile Learning, Thriving in the New Economy, which explains why supporting and enabling self-directed/independent learners should be encouraged:
"As competitive environments increase in speed, complexity and volatility, organizations and individuals are compelled toward a dynamic learning mindset. Dynamic learning is defined as rapid, adaptive, collaborative and self-directed learning at the moment of need."
So as organisational learning departments simply can't respond quickly enough to the ongoing learning needs of the organisation (it takes weeks if not months to put together and deliver a course) , they will need to consider new approaches, so as I put it in my article ..
"The consequence of this for Learning & Development is that they now need to concern themselves more with helping employees become dynamic, agile, self-directed, independent and interdependent - what we might also term "smart" - learners and less with creating and managing learning solutions for dependent learners. Helping employees become smart learners includes supporting them acquire a set of trusted resources and networks, using the most appropriate tools; and having the right mix of skills to make effective use of the tools and (re)sources."
"This is the final piece for my AS art course, a flipbook made entirely out of biro pens. It's something like 2100 pages long, and about 50 jotter books. I'd say I worked on and off it for roughly 3 weeks."
He also adds:
"UPDATE: It (the final piece) got full marks! YAY :D"
Well done Jamie!
[Via Geeks are Sexy]
Following on from my posting about a conversation I had at the LT 2010 Exhibtion, and after reading commentaries from other bloggers (notably Mark Berthelemy and Patrick Dunn), I started to gather together some e-learning myths for a follow-up blog posting.
However, yesterday I found out that the subject of this week's lrnchat was online learning myths. Janet Clarey @jclarey reminded us of her 2008 posting where she presented some online learning myths - many of which, remarkably, are still in existence.
For those of you don't know about lrnchat it is online chat that happens every Thursday night between 8:30-10pm EST / 5:30-7pm PST on Twitter. This is rather late for me in the UK (1.30-3.00 am), but when I looked at the real-time stream earlier in the evening, there were already some myth-busting tweets being posted using the #lrnchat hashtag, so I added some more!
These and many other similar tweets created some early conversation before the formal lrnchat session began.
Although the lrnchat blog holds a transcript of the main session, unfortunatelely the real-time feed for the #lrnchat tag doesn't go back as far as our pre-discussion. Luckily though Guy Wallace @guywwallace captured some of it in a cartoon strip. I've embedded it below but if the right hand side has been cut off (ie you should be able to see 4 columns) then just click on the image to view it full size.
The Teacher Connections Writing Contest, sponsored by Teachers Without Borders and Helium.com, provides opportunities for all those passionate about education. You choose among 30 contest titles about education. Write informative articles that meet Helium's Writing Standards. Contest winners will share $400 in cash.
Yesterday, at the Learning & Skills Group Conference in London, I ran a Cafe session, entitled "From E-Learning to Social Learning". At the end of the session, Jim Potts, handed me a cartoon he had drawn. Jay Cross took a photo of it for me, and here it is:
Yesterday was of course April Fools Day, and Twitter was, as usual, awash with information.
However, I felt rather like @mweller when he tweeted: "trouble with April Fools day is I stop believing anything, for fear of looking dumb(er). '2 for 1 offer' - ha, they're not catching me!"
There were a number of April Fools jokes I enjoyed, however:
What was your favourite April Fools Day joke?
Lisa Neal Gualtieri has again this year gathered predictions on what lies ahead for the e-learning community. She summarises the results as follows:
"While our colleagues here unanimously agree the global economic downturn is the overwhelming factor coloring their forecasts, they do see a great array of opportunities and challenges in the coming 12 months. Their insights never fail to inspire further discussion and hope."
You can find the 30 or so predictions (including my own) in the current edition of eLearn magazine:
For the second part of my review of 2008, here is an overview of my personal year - with some added comments about what's coming up in 2009. In addition to writing daily posts here at this blog and working on consultancy projects for clients, I did a few other things ...
2008 started with the usual requests for predictions for the year. kineo asked me and a number of people for their thoughts, as did Lisa Neal, which she published, in eLearn magazine.
I've just been asked for some predictions for 2009, so it was interesting to go back and review what I said will happen this year - some I got right. Let's see if I am as successful this time.
|Top 100 Tools for Learning
In late January I presented the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2007 list at the Learning Technologies conference. although by then I had in fact already opened up entries for the Top 10 Tools for Learning 2008. In April I produced the Spring 2008 List based on 155 contrbutions. I re-opened the list during the summer and by the end of October, 223 learning professionals from around the world had contributed their Top 10 Tools for Learning. I finalised the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2008 list in early November and created a slideshare of the results which I put on Slideshare. This has now been viewed over 18,500 times. I also categorised the Top 100 tools in, what I called, the Toolset for Learning 2009.
In March/April 2009 I will open for entries for your Top 10 Tools for Learning 2009, in order to produce a Spring 2009 Top 100 Tools List, and then again in late summer 2009 in order to finalise the list in early November 2009.
|25 FREE Tools every learning professional should have in their Toolbox
In March I wrote an article for the April 2008 edition of e-Learning Age magazine called 25 Tools every learning professional should have in their Toolbox - and all for free. It became so popular that I a turned it into a resource in itself and wrote Mini Tutorials for each of the tools. I also set up the 25 Tools Ning community to support it, which was featured on the Ning blog in June 2008. The 25 Tools community now has over 550 members I have also given the 25 Tools presentation a number of times this year at different conferencess, e.g. ALT-C in Leeds in September, at the Learning And Skills webinar in September, and at the online Learning Trends & Innovations conference in November. In August I uploaded the slideset to Slideshar, where on 27 August it became Slideshare's Slideshow of the Day. Since then it has been viewed nearly 10,000 times.
In the Spring I will update this resource to reflect the outcome of the Top 100 Tools Spring 2009 list.
In May 2008 I began investigating the use of the iPod Touch for learning and performance support purposes, and started to put together a list of the top web apps and optmised sites for the iPod Touch for learning and performance support purposes in a new section of the Centre's website, called iTouch Learning
|Social Media & Learning
In early 2008 as there was increasing interest in the ways that social media tools were helping to generate a new phase of learning - known variously as Learning 2.0, E-Learning 2.0, Collaborative Learning and Social Learning - I decided to change my title from E-Learning Consultant to Social Media & Learning Consultant, to reflect the fact that my focus was now on helping organisations understand and implement social media tools for learning and performance support. I also set up a separate section of my website, Social Learning, where over the year I have been aggregating a number of articles and resources I have written, including a presentation "Using social media for learning and performance support", a Model for Engagement with Social Media, a Quiz to profile your engagement with social media, as well as a number of magazine articles: 10 Tips for successfully implementing social media for learning and performance support in the workplace, 12-step plan to getting engaged with social media (for elearning age magazine in September), and a 3-part series of articles for Inside Learning Technologies magazine: Part 1 (Social bookmarking, file sharing and social networking) (in October), Part 2 (Microblogging services (in December) and Part 3 (Collaborative working and Learning (for the January conference edition) together with a number of other resources (mentioned below).
|Engaging with Social Media
In July I produced a more substantial online learning resource, which I initially called "Engaging with Social Media" although later renamed to "How to do more on the Internet for free". It was intended to help individuals experience and/or increase their engagement with a wide variety of social media tools and was based on 40 activities around using social media tools. In addition to the online materials I also produced a PDF version.
There has been enormous interest in this resource so I am currently revising it, and will be relaunching it in January 2009 as "An Introduction to Social Learning".
|Directory of Learning Professionals on Twitter
In September I compiled a list of 100+ learning professionals on Twitter - to help those who were looking to make connections with others - but soon renamed it to the Directory of Learning Professionals on Twitter as hundreds of people wanted to appear on it. I receive daily email requests from those want to be included on the list, and there are nearly 700 names on it. Let me know if you want to appear on it too. I also have been maintaining a List of Twitter Applications and Twitter Reading List (part of the Library of Reading Lists).
|Directory of Social Networks for Learnng Professionals
In October I compiled a list of social networking sites suitable for those working in education and workplace learning. There are nearly 100 networks on the list including my 25 Tools community as well as the Workplace Learnng 2.0 Ning Community I set up in May for anyone who wanted to discuss anything related to Learning 2.0 in the Workplace.
|ELearning Guild's E-Learning 2.0 Report|
During the summer I was invited to join the team working on the E-Learning Guild's E-Learning 2.0 report. The team comprised Steve Wexler, Tony Karrer, Michele Martin, Brent Schlenker, Mark Oehlert and Sanjay Parker. We all wrote articles to go alongside the report, and my article Understanding today's learnerss - which looked at the generational and technological effects on today's new breed of learners - was published in September just prior to the Report itself. In November I attended the E-Learning Guild's conference DevLearn in San Jose, California and helped Tony Karrer run the E-Learning 2.0 Pre-Conference Symposium.
In March 2009 Mark and I will presenting the Learning in a Web 2.0 World Pre-Conference Symposium at the eLearning Guild's Annual Gathering in Orlando, Florida.
|Directory of Learning Tools
All year I continued to add tools to The Directory of Learning Tools and it now contains well over 2,500 tools, of which over 2/3 are free.
This is where it all started ... The Directory is therefore an important C4LPT resource, and I will continue to maintain it during 2009, so let me know if there are any tools that you would like to add to it.