The Dangers of “Push” Training: A True Story


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This post was written by Susan Fry, Vice President, Creative Strategy, KnowledgeStar.

A recent experience proved how dangerous adhering to the old “push” model can be. In consulting with one of the world’s best-known NGOs, I conducted an exhaustive series of interviews with Managers and Directors at different levels, located in countries around the globe.

This NGO is funded to do work throughout the world improving health — which also means working to eradicate deadly diseases or control outbreaks. The interviews quickly revealed that members of the NGO in one country were not sharing information that could be extremely beneficial to coworkers in other countries, even though doing so surely could have eliminated suffering and saved lives.

Deeper investigation revealed that the NGO had a long-established culture of “hoarding” learning and training and doling it out to those that the top management had decided they wanted to bring into “the fold.” When a favored few rose to the top in their own country, they were invited to the world headquarters located in a vibrant, wealthy city, where they were wined, dined and welcomed into the elite “inner circle.”

They then moved to the headquarters city to take their new positions, where they communicated information to the other “elites,” occasionally returning to their home countries. The pattern had been in place for years and there was little desire to change it — even though changing to a learning culture could clearly make them much more agile, effective and successful in meeting the stated goals of their organization.

This exposes one of the dangers of a “pull” learning culture as well, where inputting knowledge is power. If I go to my PC, it is KIKO (Knowledge In, Knowledge Out). The technology systems that enable the learners are only as good as the information they contain. If the underlying culture is still embedded in the old command-and-control hierarchy in which knowledge is power, then selectively sharing knowledge will become power.

The culture is the bedrock upon which leaders, learners and the enabling technology is built. In a true learning culture people instinctively believe that sharing knowledge is empowering and automatically act on that belief.

This is yet one more reason to build a real learning culture and not just erect a facade that might be able to pass for one.

Flipapalooza – When Education Moves @ Lightspeed


The next two articles actually make me believe that change can come to Education sooner than later. It’s a case of ‘if it’s broken fix it’. It’s the model that was first talked about here by Daniel Pink two years ago, in September, 2010.   Two years in the world of education is mere pedagogical blink and yet here we are.

I added some sources for you to learn more about this rapidly spreading way of learning in the new Idea Economy. The next step is to get corporate education flipped even if it’s a virtual classroom so the lecture is your “homework” and the time spent with your peers and instructors practicing what was preached is your schoolwork.

All I can say is “Flip it, flip it good!”
The secret flipped side of Khan Academy: http://www.khanacademy.org/coach/resources
An Educator’s Take on The Flip http://connectedprincipals.com/archives/1534
Here are two articles, the first from NPR and the second from Liz Dwyer, Education Editor for Good Education.
From NPR 

Welcome to the 21st century classroom: a world where students watch lectures at home — and do homework at school. It’s called classroom flipping, and it’s slowly catching on in schools around the country.

When Jessica Miller, a high school sophomore in rural Bennett, Colo., sits down to do her chemistry homework, she pulls out her notebook. Then she turns on an iPad to watch a video podcast. Whenever the instructor changes the slide, Miller pauses the video and writes down everything on the screen.

Miller can replay parts of the chemistry podcast she doesn’t understand, and fast forward through those that make sense. Then she takes her notes to class where her teacher can review them.

Back in the classroom, chemistry teacher Jennifer Goodnight walks up and down the rows of desks giving verbal quizzes, guiding students through labs and answering questions.

Goodnight is one of about five teachers flipping their classrooms at this small school on Colorado’s Eastern Plains. She’s part of a growing group of teachers using the concept since it emerged in Colorado in 2007.

In Durham, N.H., Oyster River Middle School seventh-graders Patrick Beary and Morgan Bernier play with StoryKit, a free app that helps middle-schoolers put together simple presentations, and elementary students make storybooks.

Goodnight’s been teaching for 12 years and has been flipping her class for the past two. The effort is paying off with better test scores, she says.

“If they’re going to have their iPods all the time, might as well put a lecture on it,” Goodnight says. “So on their way home from school, on the bus or whatever they can maybe watch your lecture for homework that night. It’s truly about meeting them where they’re at, and realizing that the 21st century is different.”

Jerry Overmyer, creator of the Flipped Learning Network for teachers, agrees. “The whole concept of just sitting and listening to a lecture is really, that’s what’s getting outdated, and students are just not buying into that anymore.”

Overmyer’s network has almost 10,000 members. He says the flipped classroom concept is particularly popular in math and science classes, where students can easily become frustrated working problem sets at home.

And while the video component of the program seems to get the most attention, he says what really matters is how teachers use classroom time.

“It’s about that personalized face-to-face time. Now that you’re not spending all of class time doing lectures, you’re working one on one with students,” Overmyer says. “How are you going to use that time?”

While there’s little academic research on the concept, it appears to work in a variety of schools from Colorado to Illinois and Michigan. Outside Detroit, Clintondale Principal Greg Green tested the idea in 2010 as a way to curb disciplinary issues and boost test scores. It worked well enough that Green flipped the entire school, which has a large number of at-risk students.

Jessica goes over her work with teacher Jennifer Goodnight. Goodnight says "flipping" her class has improved students' test scores.

Grace HoodJessica goes over her work with teacher Jennifer Goodnight. Goodnight says “flipping” her class has improved students’ test scores.

“Now you can simply just take about five steps and record a video and then simply send it to your students and parents and keep everyone informed,” Green says. “So now we’re becoming even more transparent.”

That transparency can go a long way toward winning over parents who are skeptical of the idea.

Back in Colorado, Bennett High School parent Denise Patschke was once one of them. She questioned classroom flipping videos when her son first came home from school with one. But as time went on, she began to watch them.

“I can listen to the video as well when they need help, and then I can try to help him understand what [the teacher] is saying,” Patschke says.

Chemistry is tough enough for high school students — let alone parents whose last chemistry class was 25 years ago. A flipped classroom, advocates say, could make helping students easier for everyone.

From Good Education – One Small Step for Students One Giant Leap for Education          

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Another sign that the college lecture might be dying: Harvard University physics professor Eric Mazur is championing the “flipped classroom,” a model where information traditionally transferred during lectures is learned on a student’s own time, and classroom time is spent discussing and applying knowledge to real-world situations. To make it easy for professors to transition out of lecture mode, Mazur has developed Learning Catalytics, an interactive software that enables them to make the most of student interactions and maximize the retention of knowledge.

Mazur sold attendees at the recent Building Learning Communities conference on this new approach by first asking them to identify something they’re good at, and then having them explain how they mastered it. After the crowd shared, Mazur pointed out that no one said they’d learned by listening to lectures. Similarly, Mazur said, college students don’t learn by taking notes during a lecture and then regurgitating information. They need to be able to discuss concepts, apply them to problems and get real-time feedback. Mazur says Learning Catalytics enables this process to take place.

The way the software works is that first the instructor inputs the concept she wants students to discuss. The program then helps create either multiple choice or “open-ended questions that ask for numerical, algebraic, textual, or graphical responses.” Students then respond to these questions using electronic devices they’re already bringing to class, like a laptop or smartphone.

The instructor can see a snapshot of who “gets” a concept and who still needs extra help, and then pair up students accordingly. The students even receive personalized messages on their devices telling them who to talk to in class, like “turn to your right and talk to Bob,” until they master the concept. And, when it’s time to study, they can access questions and answers from the class discussions.

Learning Catalytics was so successful in Mazur’s physics classroom that it’s being rolled out across Harvard, but it’s also open to other users on an invitation-only basis. If this tech-based flipped classroom approach takes off, maybe we’ll end up with a generation of students that retain what they’ve learned, long after the final is over.

FLIP IT, FLIP IT GOOD!

121 Blogs About Learning


Here’s my daily reading list from which I pick and chose every day. The represent the best minds in the area of learning and learning technology. Enjoy!

Aaron Silvers

Adventures in Corporate Education

aLearning

Allison Rossett

Assets

B Online Learning

Blogger in Middle-earth

Bottom-Line Performance

Bozarthzone

brave new org

Brian Dusablon

Challenge to Learn

Clark Quinn

Clive on Learning

Connect Thinking

Courseware Development

Daretoshare

Dawn of Learning

Designed for Learning

Designing Impact

Developer on Duty

Discovery Through eLearning

Dont Waste Your Time

e-bites

e-Learning Academy

E-Learning Provocateur

E-learning Uncovered

easygenerator

eCampus Blog

eLearning 24-7

eLearning Acupuncture

eLearning Blender

eLearning Brothers

eLearning Cyclops

eLearning TV

Electronic Papyrus

Element K Blog

Engaged Learning

Enspire Learning

Experiencing eLearning

Getting Down to Business

Good To Great

I Came, I Saw, I Learned

ICS Learning Group

ID Reflections

IDiot

Ignatia Webs

In the Middle of the Curve

Integrated Learnings

Interactyx Social Learning

Jay Cross

Jay Cross’s Informal Learning

Joitske Hulsebosch eLearning

Jonathan’s ID

Kapp Notes

KnowledgeStar

Lars is Learning

Latitude Learning Blog

Learn and Lead

Learnability Matters

Learnadoodledastic

Learnforever

Learning and Technology

Learning Cafe

Learning Conversations

Learning Developments

Learning in a Sandbox

Learning Journeys

Learning Next

Learning Putty

Learning Rocks

Learning Technology Learning

Learning Unbound Blog

Learning Visions

LearnNuggets

Leveraging Learning

Living in Learning

Managing eLearning

mLearning Trends

Moodle Journal

onehundredfortywords

Ontuitive

OutStart Knowledge Solutions

Performance Learning Productivity

Pragmatic eLearning

QuickThoughts

Rapid Intake

Redtray

Road to Learning

Rob Hubbard

SharePoint and Assessment

Simply Speaking

Skilful Minds

Social Enterprise Blog

Social Learning Blog

Spark Your Interest

Speak Out

Spicy Learning

Sticky Learning

Stoatly Different

Sudden Insight

Take an e-Learning Break

Tayloring it

The E-Learning Curve

The eLearning Coach

The Learned Man

The Learning Circuits Blog

The Learning Generalist

The Peformance Improvement Blog

The Writers Gateway

Thinking Cloud

Tony Karrer

Trina Rimmer

Twitterpated with Learning

Upside Learning Blog

Vikas Joshi on Interactive Learning

Web 2.0 and Learning

Wonderful Brain

Work 2.0 Blog

ZaidLearn

Independent Learners Cannot Use A LMS


Independent Learners Cannot Use A LMS

Learning has become an ongoing process and the CLS is destined to take over where the older event-driven LMS stopped.

Innovative CLS Starts Where LMS Stops

A new program, the Certify Learning System (CLS), has been developed and designed to track and reward continuous independent learning for your most talented employees who learn what they need to know to stay at the top of their field.

Learning today is an ongoing anytime and anywhere process driven by independent learners who learn what they need to know to stay at the top of their field. When learning was formal and event driven, Learning Management Systems (LMS) were developed to help track and record programs that employees were assigned to attend. That was then.Today, learning has become a continuous informal process that occurs independently whenever and wherever people need to learn. Employees can choose on their own to take a webinar, attend a conference workshop or read an important new industry whitepaper. Until now there has been no way to track and record what they are learning.

The Certify Learning System (CLS) was developed to modernize the process and pick-up where the older LMS drops off.Independent learners are often the most knowledgeable and talented people in any organization. Being able to reward them is important. Being able to identify, hire, promote and assign them to key teams is even more valuable. The old LMS cannot provide you with this information, or reward your independent learners for their efforts.The CertifyLearning System (CLS) registers employees online from any device, and records every kind of learning event from a wide variety of providers. By assigning credits to these events, the cloud-based system allows employers to maintain an up-to-date record of employee’s informal ongoing and independent learning.

“Since learning never stops or even slows down, you want to be able to identify the people who are always learning.” states David Grebow CEO, KnowledgeStar and worldwide expert in informal learning. “Highly motivated learners are the smartest employees, and CLS is like a GPS that guides you to them when you need to know who they are.”

With everything online and no software to install, CLS is quick and inexpensive to setup and maintain.  The system is designed to be customized to reflect the brand and identity of your organization.  Because the CLS records are cloud-based they are portable and follow the registered individual from company to company. This again differs from Learning Management Systems where records are kept private by a single employer. This makes CLS especially useful for people who frequently work for different employers in the same field.

The CLS has just completed a successful 3-month pilot with one of the largest educational publishers in the country and is ready to help your organization identify your knowledge stars.

If you would like a free demo, let me know so I can send you a pair of warm stockings since it will blow your socks off and I wouldn’t want you to get cold feet!

The New Metric: Compound Learning Rate


A few weeks ago, my nephew asked me what the word “expert” means. I told him it was a person who knew a lot about something and learned more everyday. When I answered, he nodded and asked “so am I an expert about superheroes yet?” It made me think about how that question would translate into the companies with which I consult.

Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab, wrote recently about “neotony”, the retention of childlike attributes in adulthood. This ability to learn is like the compounding interest on an investment; after two or three years, a relentless learner stands head and shoulders above his peers.

“Relentless Learning” is a quality that is an essential element of success. It is the hallmark of leaders of successful companies. I realized that it needs to become one of the new metrics against which an individual leader, a team and even a company is measured. I’ve heard it referred to as the compound learning rate.

Here’s an example. Try asking your team this question at your next end-of-week wrap-up meeting: How did you get 1% better this week? What did you learn from our customers that is valuable? What change did you make to any of our products or services that drove better results? What specifically did you learn this week?

You can start by putting in your own 1%, and telling the team what you learned.

As your team gets into a learning rhythm, you can review this as a group each week. It definitely makes for a more valuable use of people’s time in meetings. It replaces the boring and usually repetitious serenade about their numbers which they already reported.

Plus it’s not inconsequential – 1% per week per team member adds up. Like compound interest in a mental savings bank. And on the weekly call it’s the sum total of that learning shared with the entire team.

If you wanted to take the compounding even further, you could start capturing the learning on the web as part of a shared learning collaboration portal. Everyone on the team and other similar teams would be responsible for sharing at least one thing they learned every week.

It reminds me of the idea I’ve always had that a company or corporation is equal to the sum total of the brains that walk around, sit in offices or cubicles, talk on the phone, attend meetings, and more. If you took away the bodies you can envision the brains floating around the office. Now add the bodies as the instruments that these brains need to communicate with one another.

Above all remember that a higher corporate IQ equals a smarter company. And in today’s Idea Economy, only the smartest companies win.

This Says It All …


In the future all learning experiences will be flipped …

“Will the teacher please step to the front of the room.”

 

The Best 100 of 2011


Jane Hart is one of my great “go-to” resources for all things learning. Every year she posts a great review of the Top 100 Tools. Here it is and Thanks, Jane!

“Yesterday, I finalised the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2011 list.  In the last few days of voting  there was a surge of contributions (both online and by email) that brought the number of contributions to 531.  Many thanks to everyone who took the time to share their Top 10 Tools and help me compile this, the 5th annual survey of learning tools.” Jane Hart