Using Social Media for Learning

I’m not only a big proponent of social media, I’m also an educator who develops learning programs for companies and organizations. I love it when I see a blog that collects great information and other related sites … it’s one of the reasons I blog. This one from the eLearning Blog by Tony Karrer is a great example for anyone who is involved with learning and social media.

Take it away Tony …

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Big Huge Opportunity for Education

The 800-pound gorilla in the patient’s waiting room, with a rolled-up version of the healthcare reform act in one hand is … an opportunity for you.

Here’s the deal…

The following article is the best of many I’ve read in the past few days outlining the real vision that President Obama has for healthcare in this country. It may be, as it’s detractors say, many things unpopular. But one thing no one can argue about – well they can but it would be a stupid waste of time (or is that what politics is all about?).

The very new foundation of the healthcare reform act is to bring doctors and hospitals and healthcare companies as quickly as possible into the 21st century Knowledge Economy.

To misquote Bill Clinton, “It’s all about technology, stupid!”.

I must say that I think Republicans are Luddites who would throw a monkey wrench into a works just because that’s what they do. And the majority of that minority calling themselves the “Tea Party” couldn’t even turn on the President’s smartphone. So they just don’t get it.


It’s like that infamous CEO of a now long-gone and once very successful high-tech company who said that no one would ever want a personal computer, and even if they got one it would end up in the closet with the rest of their never used exercise equipment.

Okay, moving right along …

I find that more than funny since I’m writing this on my wireless laptop as I’m walking on my treadmill. So here’s the deal. The following article from Fast Company sums it up better than I could, and points out two important elements of the healthcare act.

First, technology is in the President’s DNA. We finally have a leader who sees a future that we need to get to as fast as possible. And it’s a digital future firmly set in the new Knowledge Economy. And he gets it. So healthcare reform is not just about the way it will or will not impact upon the patients, doctors, hospitals, healthcare companies. Not to mention the Republican Luddites.

It’s about the way it will change the face of medicine in this country forever.  It’s a glimpse at the way the French use Carte Vitale. It’s a look at small software companies that have incredible programs like BioClaim and iSALUS just waiting to get started.

And behind all this technology is THE OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU. Everyone in the chain, from patients to nurses to doctors to hospitals to healthcare companies will need to learn how to make the best use of all this technology. And that means they all will need a raft of education and training.

So here’s the article, and an attached whitepaper, that you might want to read if you want to get in on the game. The focus is financial, but the implications for us are awesome. It’s the topic almost no one during the debate mentioned for a simple reason: most people have no idea of what healthcare will be or look like when it gets hit with the digital tsunami that has been unleashed.

And if you think this is pie-in-the-technology-sky you have no idea how crafty the President has been. One of the key provisions, as you’ll read, is that all this starts within his circle of influence , with the newly created (before the healthcare act was even in the news) department called the Health Information Technology department (HIT).

And here’s the kicker. The new law devotes an entire section to HIT enrollment standards and protocols. And I quote: “Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this title, the Secretary, in consultation with the HIT Policy Committee and the HIT Standards Committee, shall develop interoperable and secure standards and protocols that facilitate enrollment of individuals in Federal and State health and human services programs.”

In other words,  this new world of digital Knowledge Economy healthcare starts in the  Presidential backyard. And the people who are in the know, are fully aware of the savings of dollars that will result from this one change alone.

As pointed out in another great blog Social Media 101 , “Vastly improving the wireless bandwidth accessibility and speed in the country, from New York to Google, Kansas to Silicon Valley, suddenly starts to make sense with regard to healthcare reform.  There’s a BIG plan here for the future if you know where to look!”

… and we need to be part of that plan to help make it work …

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Training IS the Problem

I came across the following piece when I was Googling around for information about new versus old forms of learning. I thought the picture in the article was worth more than a thousand words.

It sums up the problem.

There is a pool of always and rapidly changing, ever-growing knowledge that people need to know and the “training department” or whatever name it chooses, is the bottleneck between the knowledge and the people who absolutely need to know and know how to do.

What I especially liked about this article is that it does not just list the problems, it also proposes thoughtful solutions.

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A Purpose-Driven Blog

When we were thinking about creating a blog, we initially had all this great stuff we wanted to share – articles, stories, parts of research papers, quotes, pictures and more. Then we stopped to think about it …

What do we provide to our customers and clients when we design and deliver education and training? Simple. Value-add. Something useful.

So we decided that what we really wanted, what would really reflect who we are and what we do, would have a purpose. And that purpose would be to provide knowledge that we have learned during years of creating education and training programs around the world.

Knowledge that moves education and training from the traditional analog Industrial Economy, to the more innovative digital Knowledge Economy.

We have seen that we can raise what we call The Corporate IQ. That means that we can improve performance, increase innovation, add real revenue to your P&L. In short, we can help make your company smarter.

And we know that in this economy  – a brutal, at times downright ugly, and far and away the most competitive worldwide marketplace ever imagined – only the smartest companies will win.

So our purpose is simple. Present knowledge that adds value to what you are doing in the area of corporate education and training. Make this one of the places that you come back to again and again for ideas, examples, great links and more. A place where you can become a knowledge star.

That’s what we mean by a purpose-driven blog.

New Digital Textbooks

Macmillan’s New Digital Textbooks Let Profs Reorder, Rewrite, and Stick It to Rival Academics

BY Dan NosowitzToday


Macmillan’s newly announced DynamicBooks textbooks are a huge change for the stodgy, ultra-conservative world of academic writing. The digital textbooks give professors the power to reorder chapters, insert extra reading, delete irrelevant passages, rewrite individual sentences, and scribble in the margins. Oh, and they’ll cost half the price of physical textbooks.

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Learning About Learning

This is where it all happens. All that I am and will  be. We’ve learned so much about how we learn and know so little. I love “brain rules” by John Medina because it translates what little we know into easy to digest and use chapters.

If you want add the current neuroscience about how the brain learns to your ability to facilitate any type of Knowledge Transfer then read this book.