eLearning trends

I have been reading Leaning Circuits and they have released their report on the state of eLearning at the end of 2004. A report that generated mixed reactions with me.

While as the report states it almost looks like the number of organisations using eLearning are dropping, however I am not sure the we can draw that conclusion. The number of participants from 2003 to 2004 reduced from 272 to 122. Maybe the participants that did not response this year were the ones who have fully deployed, we have no way of knowing?

Further in the report they begin to talk about the number of years eLearning has been used in the organisation. The summary of comments surprised me, while the number of responses was not given the fact that terms like Web conferencing, virtual classrooms, simulations, m-learning are being used is great. It was also interesting to see that 54% of organisations are using online meeting technologies.

The barriers to usage are not surprising at all, what gets me down is these are very similar reasons that were given by organisations over 5 years ago. Either we are not learning or technology vendors are not listening, I would love to know what it is!

What is a Wiki?

I have been asked by several people recently “What is a Wiki?”. While there are some great examples and references out there, a recent article from Forbes provides a good background and good support for the use of Wiki’s.

If you want to find a Wiki, check out Wiki Engines where there is a wiki for just about every platform.

iPods for all!

It is strange how things turn out.

Over the last 6-12 months I have wanted an iPod but just could not justify the expense and I was concerned about “the next big thing from Apple”, so far I have watch the 4G, 40GB iPod, and Photo iPod all being introduced. I listen to all my music and podcasts on my laptop, which just looks strange on the training if I am not working on it (yes I work on the train). I have also being looking into media centres, and additional wireless items for your home network. All of these items are in the luxury category and as such tend to take a while to get purchased.

Anyway, my lovely wife decided she had had enough of my obsession with iPods and decided I was to get one for Christmas. After some investigation she decided she had better discuss the specifications because I was going on and on about the potential benefits of the Photo iPod. After several discussion we settle on 40GB, hoped onto the Apple store and made our purchase on Monday evening. The only catch was I had to wait until Christmas until I can open it, oh well.
Now jump forward to today, Friday of the same week. At about 10am this morning I got a call from David Shepard Business Development Manager at MCQ International, apparently I had won an iPod through an online survey I did about 2 months ago! How bizarre. So I went and picked up my prize today, a brand new silver mini iPod!

Now I have one, and my wonderful wife has one!


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SAP Tech Ed online

For all you SAP heads out there if you did not get to TechEd this year, or even if you did go, you can now purchase DVD’s of the events via the SAP Developer Network.

On other SAP related items each time I visit SDN I find all sorts of interesting pieces of information. Such as their White Paper on Portal Cockpit covering portals, KM, collaboration etc. While very SAP centric it would give any organisation some good ideas on what they can be aiming for.

On another note, yes I know there is a typo in a post a couple of days ago, but I just can’t bring myself to fix it that is what was published so it should stay. I will just need to be more careful. 🙂

Benefits of internal blogs

Adrian O’Leary pointed to me to an interesting article from Fast Company in April. Where there is a poll on the potential for businesses for blogs, results are interesting showing a fairly even split over knowledge management, project management, sales & marketing, and competitive intelligence. Ok, maybe only 1000 votes but still an interesting breakdown.

The results show a massive potential in many different areas of the business for the introduction of internal blogs to businesses.

Blogs & Social networks for internal communications

Via Enterprise RSS.

Charlene Li talks about Razorfish using blogs and other social tools for internal collaboration and knowledge management. Interesting post. Charlene wonders if such an arrangement displaces traditional KM systems? I would say yes it will!

Blogs are about opening up conversations with people, as we have seen recently with Scoble. By opening up conversation you are sharing, and this create a shared knowledge. Which I believe is the bottom line when it comes to KM (others will disagree). If we look back over the last 10,000 years societies before us had very good methods of knowledge management, sharing.

Blogs, Wikis, RSS and other similar tools provide a direct, open, transparent, timely and personal means of communication. When we overlay the current search technologies we have a fantastic method of managing our knowledge, whether internal or external it can be managed. Entries in there tools can be categorised, searched, indexed, commented on and developed further.

I am interested in Forrester’s vision of the future when an employee joins an organisation. I would love to see further bits added to this, but right now most organisation struggle to have a desk, computer and phone when a new employee arrives. I will just wait until we have all learnt how to crawl with respect to day one triggers before I get too ahead of myself.

Manageing digital identity & trust

Just listened to Phil Becker being interviews by Doug Kaye over at IT Conversation. Phil is one of (maybe the) organisers of the Digital ID World conference that was recently held in Denver this year.

I am finding myself more and more interested in the whole area of digital identity, I have mentioned single sign on (SSO) several times here as I thought it was important and the HRIS industry has been talking about it for a LONG time, same with the regular IT industry. I am only now beginning to understand really what is required.

Phil spoke about a presentation from Tony Scott, CTO General Motors and GM’s experiences in developing a global phone book for their employees. The project took 1 year to complete, the technological portion about 2-3 months. The cultural, political and legislative took 1 year. GM learnt how they had to deal with the incompatibility between the different privacy attitudes/legislation environments around the globe. Having been through this in the late 90’s at Nortel Networks, working on single instance (physically in the US) global SAP HR roll out, I can fully appreciate the issues they had to face. These issues of privacy and cultural differences are going to be some of the biggest issues faced by digital identity.

Phil also spoke about trust and how critical this is for digital identity to succeed, but also recognises that technology cannot generate trust. Trust is probably the biggest change issues faced when deploying workforce applications. When you start placing employee payslips online, processing performance reviews, salary changes, IR action etc the employee’s trust in the integrity of the system is paramount. So often I have seen very successful (up until deployment) projects damaged by a poor roll out and change program.

So how do you create trust? Personally I feel you create trust over a period of the meeting (or exceeding) expectations of your customers. Phil confirmed this during the interview.