Jay Cross helps people work and live smarter. Jay is the Johnny Appleseed of informal learning. He wrote the book on it. He was the first person to use the term eLearning on the web. He has challenged conventional wisdom about how adults learn since designing the first business degree program offered by the University of Phoenix.
From the publicity Bersin & Associates and Brandon Hall generate, I assume lots of people read comparisons of Learning Management Systems. One item they probably don’t factor in is vendor viability. How likely is the vendor to go down the tubes or be merged out of existence? Think about it: Which is worse, to discover some glitches in the code or to find out your vendor is no longer answering the phone.
That’s why Emergent Learning Forum has been publishing financial analysis from ThinkEquity since the beginning of last year. We’ve got 90 of these financial snapshots of the learning industry online. Take a look at the latest issue to see what you’ve been missing.
Here’s a summary of ThinkEquity’s Ten Commandments of Research. Great stuff!
This is not a better view of the world; it’s a different view of the world.
Which reminds me. After years learning from the links Maish points out, I’m cancelling my email subscription to elearnpost. Not that I’m giving it up. This week I’m dumping email subscriptions because I will be tracking their webfeeds with Bloglines.
I’m recrafting my life on-line with more pull and less push. I plan to gather news on my schedule, not the provider’s. Also, I can home in on topics that grab my interest without sorting through the chaff. Tools like Blogdigger and Furl make it easy to monitor what’s going on with, say, Workflow Learning.
Update. 8/21, the next day. Another email arrives from IBM. My PC has shipped! The problem appears to be poor customer communication rather than fulfillment.
Download free CAD software
Design the model
Shop creates it
The Berkeley Manual of Style
Wired News has announced, “Effective with this sentence, Wired News will no longer capitalize the “I” in internet. At the same time, Web becomes web and Net becomes net.” Same here. For a while, this will be like trying to write the correct year on checks in January.
The Wired News article links to a piece they wrote four years ago explaining why they intended to use e-mail instead of email. On Google five minutes ago, e-mail has 22 million entries to email’s 280
,000 million. Email it is.
Once again, I’ve been asked if it’s e-learning, e-Learning, eLearning, or elearning. The answer: it doesn’t make any difference. I switched to eLearning long ago and am not about to go back now. Besides, I prefer performance improvement to any of the variations on learning.
The truism “Top-down KM didn’t work” has given rise to something called Bottom-Up KM. No, no, no. That makes it sound as if the underlings are dictating to the topsiders. In reality, the former top is no longer part of the picture in our flattened, decentralized organizations; there’s no there there. To borrow from complexity science, the opposite of top-down is bottom-out. It’s a collaborative thing. Peer to peer. Communal.
By the way, you are reading a blog. Short for weblog. The little orange button labeled XML links to my webfeed.
While I’m at it, Workflow Learning no longer needs a TM. Since I have embedded the term high and low, it will take a while, but I’m going to try writing is workflow learning. No caps.
To answer your questions, the car above is a Bugatti Typo 35 from the late twenties. A Bugatti 35 won the first Grand Prix de Monaco in 1929. The little 2-liter, 8-cylinder race car won hundreds of races. One of many masterpieces from the hand of Ettore Bugatti.
You can hear it here!
Print by Roger Hector. It’s for sale ~ $300.
Sun Microsystems has a very cool conceptual map of Java on their main site. The map is part definition, part advertising, part propaganda, and tons of information on a one-pager.
A few months ago I read de Bono’s Thinking Course on a long flight. I’d picked it up at a used book sale for fifty cents and the topic was intriguing. Thinking is a skill. It’s like driving; you can get better at it with practice. After you do, you’ll begin doing it automatically. People confuse thinking with intelligence. Bad mistake, for it leads to intelligent people squandering their potential.
Before I recount lessons learned from de Bono, I want to make some independent observations of my own.
There are two types of people in this world: those who can count and those who can’t. Well, that’s not quite right, but it probably seems reasonable to binary thinkers. Binary thinkers? People who see the world in terms of either/or. On/off. Dichotomies. To them, everything is black or white but rarely gray.
Bipolar thinking oversimplifies. Most issues contain gradations, maybes, what-if’s, emotions, mitigating factors, and other entanglements. They are analog. They are a continuum.
Business school teaches one to consider everything as a tradeoff. One becomes accustomed to weighing factors on either side of the issue.
A session at last year’s I-KNOW in Graz looked at virtual communities of practice as a series of trade-offs. Were they seeking innovation or standards? The list grew rapidly:
Last night a group of us went to see What the Bleep is Going On? In our post-mortem of the movie, we agreed that we’d have been less skeptical had the flick been positioned as art or poetry instead of science. The world is not made of absolutes. Everything’s a matter of degree.
Yesterday I received a critique of an article I’d written, saying that what I had proposed was “just another ridiculous buzzword meant to repackage the same old things.” If the critic had moved the slider a little away from the edge, offering some pro’s in the prose as well as the con’s, I’d have taken her more seriously.
Manifesto for Agile Software Development
We are uncovering better ways of developing
software by doing it and helping others do it.
Through this work we have come to value:
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan
That is, while there is value in the items on
the right, we value the items on the left more.
“Software development is a series of resource-limited, goal-directed cooperative games of invention and communication. The primary goal of each game is the production and deployment of a software system; the residue of the game is a set of markers to assist the players of the next game. People use markers and props to remind, inspire and inform each other in getting to the next move in the game. The next game is an alteration of the system or the creation of a neighboring system. Each game therefore has as a secondary goal to create an advantageous position for the next game. Since each game is resource-limited, the primary and secondary goals compete for resources.
The software development game is played in a milieu of many other games, personal and organizational, simultaneous and criss-crossing in time and purpose. One of the other games being played is to be able to play the next round of this game, i.e. the next game. That is, having once deployed a software system, to set up for changing, replacing, augmenting or complementing it.
Therefore, there is a residue to the game: a set of markers that will inform and remind the players of the next game. The players of the next game will know a different amount from the players of this game, and so what counts as “sufficient” for the next team is different from what counted as “sufficient” for this team.”
A move isn’t right or wrong; it’s better or worse.
People trump process (and in a small group, seven or less, the process is nearly automatic). Politics trump people. (Power corrupts….)
The archive on Cockburn’s website contains a wonderful article entitled Process: the Fourth Dimension (Tricking the Iron Triangle)
Cockburn writes that the “iron triangle” of project constraints (time, resources, and scope) is missing an important component: Processes.
“The three outdated and inefficient process conventions I tend to watch and replace are
- Get the requirements right before starting design and get the design right before starting coding.
- Writing things down in detail is better than sketching them and then talking about them.
- People work better in private offices.
Replace those with:
- Overlap activities in concurrent development. Get just enough requirements to get started on the design (where just enough varies from project to project), use early coding to get valuable feedback on the properties of the design.
- Capture documentation mostly in quick and rough form and support the documentation with good conversation.
- Get the people out of their offices into a shared work space.”
Cockburn has a lot more where these came from. Take a look in the Agile Toolbox.
A frequent Internet Time Blog reader dropped me a note, fearing for my health and wishing me and my family well. I hadn’t blogged in 72 hours, a sure sign that something was amiss. Thanks for the concern; I’m touched, but all’s well in Berkeley. I’ve been busy working on the Workflow Learning Symposium and contemplating the future of learning.
Today was the deadline for submitting descriptions of the seven sessions in the workflow learning track at Training Fall this October. Why not join us? The conference is in San Francisco. Register through Workflow Institute’s Anne Henry to receive a free white paper as part of the deal.
The world is changing at a dizzying pace. Moores Law seems to be contagious. Not only is computing power growing exponentially but so are information, networks, biotech, and the choices at the local supermarket. Theres more to learn and less time to learn it. Cycles are faster; their swings, more volatile. By the twenty-first century, our biggest problem was supposed to be figuring out what to do with our leisure, but now that weve arrived, we find that the leisure has disappeared. Everythings connected. Nothing stops. Its 24/7. Frenzy.
My old notions are not aging well. Personally Im so deep into Western Culture that a truckload of Franklin Planners, PDAs, and time management books cant pull me through. I wonder. Where is the profession once known as training headed? How are workers of the future going to carry out their jobs? In fact, what will those jobs be? What will business look like?
Whenever the squirrel-cages that power my thinking swirl so rapidly that everything becomes a blur, I simplify. I retreat to first principles. I look for a few pegs on which to spin a new solution.
I’m noodling through the implications of increasing complexity, network density, global connectivity, infoglut, the lessons of the Internet, process orientation, and the flattening of hierarchy. I haven’t figured it out yet am handing it off to my subconscious to mull over while I get some shut-eye.
I think back to the words of David Cooperider, describing Appreciative Inquiry: “We must learn to scale wholeness, to ask what’s possible rather than what’s wrong, and to move from systems thinking to systems living.” In this, we must rely on intuition as our guide.
As Einstein profoundly observed while challenging the boundaries of Newtonian physics:
One last observation before I head out on my morning walk in the fog: it’s about blogging.
A few evenings back, I became involved in a conversation about blogs. Inveitably, we overgeneralized. Blogs are no more one thing than are television shows. When people talk about Seinfeld or Ken Burns’s The Civil War, they don’t get into whether these shows compete with news shows or are tarnished because they reflect personal and perhaps narrow viewpoints.
A cool thing about blogs, something that can transform a blog into a mold-breaker, is closure. Or rather, lack of closure.
Many bloggers write self-contained articles or recommendations; every entry is whole unto itself…atomic.
Internet Time Blog is evolving into a stream of conversation. Because it’s a blog, not an article, I don’t feel compelled to draw a conclusion when I don’t have one. I’m happy for you to look over my shoulder as I paint on the canvas. With luck, or maybe a miracle, something meaningful will take shape.
from the NYT