Catching Up

I’ve been pretty quiet on this blog, and I wish I could say definitively that the silence is coming to an end, but it’s not. In the brief chance I have to gasp for some air, let me fill you all in on what’s been going on.

LETSI

The organization that would seek to build upon SCORM into a 2.0 state that meets the needs of distributed learning today and tomorrow has a new site up: https://www.letsi.org/ . You’ll still be able to look to any number of blogs that talk about our various activities, but this site is poised to be the definitive (and user-friendly) source of information about our activities, including what’s happening with “SCORM 2.0” — put in quotes because, quite frankly, it just might not even be called SCORM anymore for a variety of reasons that have been discussed (and will continue to be discussed) elsewhere. My involvement has grown beyond that of just a contributor of mindshare to the effort. I’m now, for intents and purposes, heading up the LETSI blog, which will feature several members of LETSI and the greater community. From here on in, if I’m blogging about SCORM or LETSI on this site, it will be largely in the context of my personal opinion (not a big stretch), or a technical explanation that is relevant to SCORM as it is today (2004 or 1.2) which would be not as relevant on the LETSI blog.

Avron Barr started the blog off with an excellent post, “What Are We Saying to Each Other?

Work

Around the middle of December, a new leader was brought into my area who is changing the dynamic of my organization; in my humble opinion, it’s quite for the better. About four weeks ago, he asked for my input on how I see formal instruction and knowledge management in light of each other, and what resulted was a (still growing) 30+ page white paper addressing the relationships among formal instruction, knowledge management and collaboration for our enterprise — going forward over the next 10-11 years. I had quite a bit of help organizing my thoughts and ramblings from several of my coworkers and peers. I will share pieces of it here on the blog in coming posts, but in this post I’ll just say that to some surprise it’s now the foundation we will build several strategic threads from. Rather than just languish as the techie/fix-it guy around the department, I’m now helping to coordinate these strategic threads, each with their own project teams, milestones, etc… Many will be working in an agile way, which is a significant shift from only following an ADDIE model for learning content — we’re going much bigger, much faster, and much more aggressive.

I like it a lot.

The downturn in the economy is opening up the possibilities for trying out new ideas in small lab settings — which is a huge win. In one example, one of my colleagues is moving forward with reinforcing focus and memory skills for our pickers in our Distribution Centers. We’ve been doing an instructor-led program that has proven to work for a couple of years now. This year? With one group, we’re going to buy Nintendo DSs and the Flash Focus game. They wanted to make the instructional exercises available online, and they wanted me to build it. Being lazy, I suggested they buy them DSs and the game — which altogether would be a lot faster to implement and cheaper to execute and maintain than for me to build it in Flash. Funny thing when you can innovate on the cheap — right now people are interested in giving it a shot.

I’d like to use it as an opportunity to actually study the impact of a game, when we can compare it to the ILT, and the audience we’re delivering to is heavy on metrics. If you have an idea on what we should be measuring, please respond in the comments!

Bottom line — between LETSI and work, things are going well and there’s a lot of activity going.

Business

I’d like not to blame the economy, but I was insanely busy with my little consulting shop towards the end of last year — so successful that I shrewdly bought a block of advertising on LinkedIn and Google AdWords to help deal with the possible downturn. Well… that was $123 not well-spent. I got no business from it at all. I hardly got a bump in traffic. I’ve been slow going for sidework of any type. Maybe it’s the time of year for E-Learning work… who knows? By posting this, it’s possible things start to pick up. I’m not stressing over it — I definitely have enough to keep me honest 🙂

The wonderful news is that I’m slated to speak at both the Innovations in Learning conference hosted by the DAU at George Mason University, and I’m also slated to speak at the ADL AcademicFest at UW-Madison (REPRESENT, MAD-TOWN!!!!). I love these opportunities to hang out with big brains, swap ideas, drink — I’m looking forward to these events quite a bit.

I’m almost positive I’ll be attending both the Masie Semi-Annual Gathering and the Learning Systems 2009 Conference, both back to back in Chicago. I’ll also likely attend the WordCamp Chicago in June, too.

Blog

The next couple of posts will be about the work I’ve done with Knowledge Management and Collaboration. The very next one will give you some context on what drove my thinking and what’s resulted from sharing those thoughts — this is important because like any creation worthy of sharing, the how is as important as the what. After that, I’ll share the highlight reel on the strategy — at least the parts I feel comfortable sharing for public consumption, which will likely use Creative Commons so there’s no misunderstandings.

Twitter

I had a small exchange via Twitter with “Meet the Press” host David Gregory (@davidgregory) last week, and since then the number of followers has exploded! I’ve been privy to some great exchanges in the past week and it has dominated my iPhone time that could be spent on Zombieville, USA.

10 replies on “Catching Up”