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Learning 2.0 and Workplace Communities

February 19, 2009

I’m going to speak later today at the DevLearn show on Learning 2.0 and Workplace Communities.  I’ll be blogging about the comments and discussion later this week.  In the meantime here is my deck.

Ok, so I have to say that this conference session far exceeded my expectations.  While I always love presenting to folks on all sorts of learning and community topics (and maybe even have a modicum of skill in delivering these sorts of things), the reality is that a truly great conference session is as at least as much in the hands of the participants.  It’s a really a similar concept to community in a way.  If you go into a session expecting to be the great oracle from “on high,” then you are pretty much doomed to fail.  If on the other hand, you go into the session expecting and really wanting audience participation, then you have the makings of a good session.  If you take that a step further and you don’t think of them as an audience, but rather as peers or participants with whom you are having a directed conversation on a topic you know slightly more about, then you have an opportunity for real magic.  And that’s what happened yesterday.

By providing an opportunity for others to have a voice in “my session” (really their session of course), by ceding some of the control, and by being authentic and genuine with my colleagues in this space (all core community principles), I was fortunate enough to be the presenter of one the most fun and engaging sessions that I’ve done in the last 10 or so years.  And of course, it didn’t hurt that there were a lot of really smart people in the room.  It really gives me hope that our industry is starting to really get it.  If these folks were representative of where we’re heading, we’re going to be in really good shape.

In particular, I ran into this guy — Kevin Jones.  Smart, knows his stuff, is passionate about where we’re going.  During our session, he was always like a half a step of where I was going next.  It was like he was in my head… lol.  The best part is that he has a great blog that I was completely in the dark about. Do yourself a favor and follow him.  I know I will be.

Here are some of the great things we talked about:

  • How do we measure the impact of social learning?  ROI etc…
  • How do we ensure quality?
  • Who should own the initiative?
  • What additional skills or competencies might instructional designers need in a social learning world?

I’ve blogged about some of these topics in the past.  Particularly the quality questions and a little bit on the issue of ownership, but I’m going to write some more about these in the coming weeks.  Check back for more.

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