I had the chance today to take part in the Fall Conference of Central Indiana Chapter of ASTD. It was a fabulous event, and we were lucky to have David Anderson, Community Manager of Articulate, as the keynote. I took some notes and I thought this might be a good chance to share.
Two fun facts: David can do some impressive work in Second Life. He recreated the conference room in SL before the start of the 8:30 am keynote. He also has three pets: chickens. The chickens have their own blog. (I couldn’t find the chickens’ blog, but I did locate David’s take on Multimedia Learning.)
While Second Life is impressive and new, the reality is, many elearning developers still need more help creating master slides and reduced bullets than 3D worlds. The 2009 Horizon Report says that cloud computing and mobile technology will be the big new items this year, but we’re still struggling with the basics.
According to a recent eLearning Guild report, 22.8% and 18.6% of learning professionals have felt some or moderate pressure to use new technologies in their learning. Conferences often focus on the new and upcoming technologies… we could use help with the basics. Two or three years ago, we just started hearing about blogs, wikis, and social networks; now the majority are involved in at least one of the three.
We have to wear many hats, as instructional designers, elearning designers, elearning developers, graphic artists, and multi media producers. Add in figuring out the next big thing, and we find ourselves feeling the pressure.
Thinking about our elearning, we need to focus on three things:
- Adapability: We’ve not adapted to our business as the business would like we need to adapt. They won’t learn our language, so we need to get better at communicating. Instead of expecting them to understand our jargon, use language they understand. Think about the adapation that newspapers have undergone; we should be ready to make the same kind of changes.
- Agility: Agile elearning needs to be reusable, editable, searchable, accessible, and shareable. As instructional designers, we need to be able to use some basic tools. There are now photo, audio, and video editing tools online that can do decent jobs.
- Anticipation: We have a tendency to hold onto the magic of what we do. We need to get better at showing others in the organization how they can do what we do. Maybe we set up some templates and create a set of standards to give them guidance, and then help them as they start their work.
We need to embrace elearning and work together to help each other with the basics. We need to stay connected: talk to peers, use working labs, access experts, and create a personal brand.
Thanks for a great presentation David! It was wonderful to hear such a different take on elearning from the usual conference keynotes. Instead of reaching for the newest technology, my challenge for the rest of the year will be to take your advice and look to see what I can do better with the technology I already know.