This Week on #TalkTech: Cisco and Social Learning, Simplifying #mLearning and Fantasy Elements in Learning Games

#TalkTech is the “flipped” approach to Twitter chats. We publish all the topics a few hours before the chat so you can show up at 3 pm EST / 12 pm PST on Thursdays ready to discuss. We discuss three topics a week and the chat lasts around 30 minutes.

We’re shaking things up in 2013 here at #TalkTech! Every couple of weeks, a guest curator will be picking our topics and leading the discussion. Not much will change format-wise… we’ll still publish the weekly post here and the topics will still be tweeted by @BLPIndy, but a guest curator (besides yours truly) will pick the topics and be ready to lead the conversation during the chat. If you are interested in being a guest curator for TalkTech, let me know!

Topic 1: How does Cisco combine social learning and games with traditional learning tools?

Cisco and Social Learning

Cisco has long been a leader in using the latest technology to educate partners and customers. They were ahead of the curve when it comes to social learning and game based learning when they launched their “Cisco Learning Network” in 2008. It blends all sorts of learning tools together: Discussion boards sit alongside certification programs. Skill evaluations are readily available, as are multiple online games, such as the popular Binary Game. It’s a powerful example of how an organization can combine multiple forms of learning together to make online learning as effective and enjoyable as possible. What do you think makes the Cisco Learning Network a great tool? What would you add or take away?

Cisco: A Learning Social Community

Topic 2: What are the best ways to simplify #mLearning design while meeting client expectations?

We often look to RJ Jacquez’s mLearning Revolution blog for inspiration when it comes to mobile learning design. He put forward some great ideas to help instructional designers kickstart 2013 with a  well, simple, call to “Simplify, Simplify, Simplify.” What are the best ways to accomplish this task? How can instructional designers convince their clients to focus less on the content and more on the learner experience?

Our 2013 Mantra for mLearning: Simplify, Simplify, Simplify [Lessons from LinkedIn]

Topic 3: Why is it a good idea to incorporate fantasy elements into instructional games?

Fantasy Elements in Games

Many companies have a rather serious image of themselves. The thought of implement a learning solution with a fun, “out there” theme seems decidedly “off message.” But learning game design expert Karl Kapp takes a different view in his recent blog. Karl cites research that shows how fantasy themes can help cement memories. The novelty actually makes content more memorable than making a game too realistic. Read his well-researched post and let us know what you think.

Using Fantasy in Instructional Games

If you’re new to Twitter chats, don’t forget about awesome tools such as Tweetchat.com that automatically save the hashtag and help you focus on the conversation!