Wednesday, October 25

A Short Experiment: Six Word Lesson Plans

I don't know how many of you have seen it, but over at WIRED, they did an article in which they asked a series of writers to follow in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway and write an entire story in just six words. Hemingway wrote "For sale: baby shoes, never used" and declared it his finest work.

I have always been a fan of the Webby Awards and their restriction of only 5 words for acceptance speeches. You can see the great results here. I have also just listened to the podcast from IT Conversations featuring Kathan Brown talking , in part, about how constraints push creativity into new places. Along those lines and with a big tip o' the hat the the genius behind the creation of the Big Question - I have my only little contest going.

Let's see who can write the best lesson plan of learning objective in only six words. I have also posted this challenge on my humble blog and would love to see the results go either place (I promise to share all results in both places).

Let's have some fun and see what ideas constraints might bring us!


Harold Jarche picks up the gauntlet first - here
Peter Isackson adds one with an artistic feel
Geetha Krishnan weighs in with an over-arching set
Dave Lee jumps into the mix with this great entry
Lee Kraus has one here that really resonates
My buddy Brent Schlenker has the Apple-induced six worder here
Jay Cross make his move and brings some other 'possible' entries with him like one from Roger Schank. p.s. Buy The Book.
Stephen Downes joins the fray and follows the narrative idea from the original WIRED story nicely.

Monday, October 16

DevLearn Handouts and A Success Story: Elearning and Instructional Design Musings

The sessions at DevLearn went really well. You can find handouts from DevLearn sessions and you can find my session handouts at:

What’s Now and What’s Next in e-Learning: Technologies and Practices

Not sure if you'll need any special permissions to get these. If you do, let me know and I'll post them somewhere else.

Now, let me say that many presentations I give, I know that when Monday rolls around after the conference, there won't be any real action. But today, I've received several emails that indicate real action is being taken and even one person sent me a link to their new blog that they decided to create as their next step out of my presentation. Here's the blog:

Elearning and Instructional Design Musings

Of course, now I have big expectations. (Actually, a pretty good write-up of thoughts around DevLearn can be found.)

Kudos to all of you taking action!

Tuesday, October 10

The Big Follow-up Question

What a great conversation our Big Question generated last week. As Tony has summarized, it seems most everyone agrees that blogs are great tool for acheiving some vital professional development characteristics that every learning professional should have:
  • being self-reflective,
  • being collaborative,
  • being rigorous in supporting our positions,
  • open to feedback,
  • understanding our point of view and learning to share it,
  • working knowledge of new technologies,
are a few we've identified. But where does that leave us? Of course, the begged question here is -

So, What Can We Do About It?

If you think it's important that everyone be blogging, how do we get there? If you agree the goals that I've just listed are important, but blogs aren't the answer. What is? Blog about how you would take steps to improve the quality of learning experiences using blogs - or other technologies.

The form for submitting posts regarding the big follow-up question has been closed. However, if you have a post in response and would like to have it added to the list below, please contact dave lee at blogmeister (at) mac (dot) com

Sunday, October 8

Community Net Worth

In my assumed role as devil's advocate, I'll be bold and make another observation about the negatives of blogging. Using the very example of this blog, doesn't the "everybody blogging" (or everybody wikiing) principle inevitably result in what I'm tempted to call "learning labyrinths" in which focus can only be provided by individual participants or learners? What I mean is that there's little hope for community focus, which in turn means that even tentative conclusions about what is discovered, learned, validated, etc. is either the result of a peremptory use of authority (wherever it may be situated) or the vaguely perceived subjective impression of which way the wind is blowing for the majority.

That said, at least for this group, learning labyrinths appear to be fun. They could also become a productive tool if we had both a strategy for managing such complex and unpredicatable entities as well as the means and know-how to carry the strategy out. But it's a lot of work (as well as virtual juggling), as Dave's efforts and successive adjustments demonstrate. As at least one element of progress towards a strategic goal I would suggest the need to plan and successfully execute a refocusing phase at some point. But to do so requires taking on major responsibility as a guide or guru, which raises the question of roles and the exercise and abuse of power in "teaching" relationships.

My one "positive" suggestion is that, as in marketing, the place to start is not with the product and its features but the marketplace and its structure. We're engaging in something that concerns a broadly defined community (the "learning" profession) and proceeds through the spontaneous generation of smaller communities of discourse. That much, at least, seems clear from this experiment. One way of finding out about one's marketplace is, of course, to launch the product and test the reaction; but it's usually considered wiser to examine the intended target audience first to see what it's capable of taking on board.

Now that the first wave of bloggers and blog-readers have read the initial results both in the form of serious utterances, straw polls and comic reformulations (thanks, Tony for that refreshing exercise), whither go we? Do we know more about our marketplace or do we simply know more about the individuals who have so far participated?

Thursday, October 5

Throwing a Big Community Net

I have a few new aspects of "The Big Question" to announce. Both are designed to bring everyone in the greater LCB community a bit closer to each other and to enhance the conversation.

Capturing the Big Conversation

Through the magic provided by Cocomment and MySyndicaat we now have a chronological listing of all the comments made to all of the blog postings regarding The Big Question. To let you in on the secret behind this list here's what I did:
  1. Captured the comments conversation for each post with the cocomment widget (whether there was a comment made to the post yet or not)
  2. From the cocomments "your conversations" page I then found the RSS feed for each post and it's comments(this is generated once there is at least one comment on the post)
  3. I then fed these RSS feeds in to a MySyndicaat feedbot.
  4. (Then I leaned on MySyndicaat's support service because I could only generate the first comment for each post)
  5. Giovanni from MySyndicaat got me the last mile by fixing a setting in my feedbot and Voila! We have the page you can link to by clicking on this button where ever you see it.

A Poll For Our Lurkers
Following good community design, we've posted a flash poll in the sidebar to give anyone and everyone a change to participate in the discussion. The first poll is simply a repeat of The Big Question - Should Every Learning Professional be Blogging? Whether you've posted to your blog, commented on a post, or have just been sitting back enjoying the discussion, go voice your opinion in our poll.

Now back to the conversations!

Wednesday, October 4

The Big Question for October:
Should All Learning Professionals Be Blogging?

The Big Question is a new monthly feature on Learning Circuits Blog. We want everyone in the LCB community to join in - from the comfort of your own blog. Each month we will pose a question we think is of interest to the learning community.For info on how it will work, please see the Sidebar.

The Big Question for October is:

Should All Learning Professionals be Blogging?
Posts Discussing This So Far (26):
  1. Dave Lee - eelearning - did your great-great-great-great grandfather write a novel?
  2. Tony Karrer – eLearning Technology - LCB's Big Question - Should All Learning Professionals be Blogging?
  3. Brent Schlenker - Corporate eLearning Development - Should All Learning Professionals be Blogging?
  4. Jim Belshaw - Managing the Professional Services Firm - Should All Learning Professionals be Blogging - Practical Issues
  5. Rodolpho Arruda - Noverim Me, Noverim Te - Pessoas que trabalham com educação deveriam ter seu blog? (Don't worry, Rodolpho posted in English for us monolingual US people.)
  6. Stephen Downes - Half an Hour - Should All Learning Professionals be Blogging?
  7. Harold Jarche - The Big Question
  8. Bill Bruck - Blogging and the Nature of Dialog
  9. Matthew N. mLearning World Learning Circuits Asks- Should All Learning Professionals Be Blogging?
  10. Mark Oehlert eClippings Learning Circuits Asks- Should All Learning Professionals Be Blogging?
  11. Barry Sampson Learn Me Happy The Learning Circuits Blog: The Big Question for October: Should All Learning Professionals Be Blogging?
  12. HowCron e-Training in the Trenches Should All Learning Professionals be Blogging?
  13. Geetha Krishnan Simply Speaking Should All Learning Professionals Be Blogging?
  14. Jane Interactive-HE in FE Should All Learning Professionals Be Blogging?
  15. Karl Kapp Kapp Notes The Learning Circuits Blog: The Big Question for October: Should All Learning Professionals Be Blogging?
  16. Rovy Bronson Situativity Should We All Blog?
  17. Nancy White - Full Circle Online Interaction Blog: The Big Question for October: Should All Learning Professionals Be Blogging?
  18. Bronwyn Clarke - Should All Learning Professionals Be Blogging?
  19. Tony Karrer - eLearning Technology: Top Ten Reasons To Blog and Top Ten Not to Blog
  20. Dave Wilson Learning Reflections The Learning Circuits Big Question
  21. Clive Shepherd Clive on Learning Should all learning professionals be blogging?
  22. Tony Karrer eLearning Technology Blogs vs. Discussion Groups or Mis-Understanding Blog Reading and Blog Communities
  23. Dave Lee eelearning blogs are awesome
  24. Clark Quinn LCB Big Question of the Month
  25. Peter Isackson Learning Circuits Blog Community Net Worth
  26. Mohamed Amine Chatti Mohamed Amine Chatti´s ongoing research on Technology Enhanced Learning Should All Learning Professionals Be Blogging?
  27. David Wilkins Performance-based Learning The Big Question -- Should All Learning Professionals be Blogging?
  28. Terence Armentano, M.Ed., The eLearning Spotlight and Resources Should all Learning Professionals be Blogging?

Check out all 54 comments responding to these posts. Just click on this button whenever you see it!