Oh dear … what I learnt from Wordle today

First Rob Hubbard produced a word cloud during a webinar to get a sense of participants’ answers to a survey (see the recording here).

Then Ryan Tracey did a summary of his year’s blogs using a word cloud (see his post Thinking out loud).

“Excellent!” I thought. “I’ll do the same with my own blog. I wonder what I have been talking about all year?” I went to http://www.wordle.net/create and put one together. Here it is, and I’m not sure I need have bothered:2014 Blog WordleCall me crazy, but I think I can spot a trend here.

New Year’s resolution: a little more variation in the blog.

What will be big in workplace learning in 2015?


Image by SecretLondon123 (CC Sharealike licence) via Flickr http://bit.ly/12JGtJe

[Update 7 January 2015] The poll is now closed; it has been fascinating watching the votes come in. You can see the results below. By Monday 12th January I’ll post my analysis in a separate blog entry.

Last year I ran an online poll asking readers of this blog where they thought learning would be heading in 2014. We ended up with 13 things people thought were important – you can see the original post and results in text, or watch a video about them. The three trends for 2014 were:

  1. Maturing, widening deliver channels
  2. The networked individual
  3. The demanding business

That was the year that was Looking back on the year, I think it’s fair to say that the last two have been very much part of the scene. I’m not so convinced that delivery channels have matured as much as I expected. However, I may be missing the point. After all, in January’s Learning Technologies Conference, mobile and video are very much part of the programme. In a few years they have become an accepted part of the delivery landscape – so perhaps things really have matured after all. What about 2015? Perhaps inevitably I’m now running a variety of the same poll again. The idea is to see what’s changed in comparison with last year. Some of the options are the same, some are different. Before you vote: This is a poll about adult, workplace learning. It has nothing to do with US home schooling and opting out of standardized testing. I understand if you feel strongly about those issues, but this poll is completely unrelated. So, please choose your top three points of interest for adult, workplace learning in 2015, or suggest something else:

If you complete the poll and add something under ‘Other’, it will remain buried in the poll engine. Don’t worry. I will extract the comments and add them here, unedited. [Update 12 December 2014] Other Comments There have been plenty of interesting comments in the ‘Other’ section, with a much greater variety than last year. Here they are, unedited, so far:

Training Department Detox (undoing years of reliance conditioning) Reincarnation of LMS to support next-gen learning experiences, microlearning Apprenticeships and other post-school CPD to train incoming youth to contribute People realising the above have been a waste of money. Interactive WBTs to learning and its immediate application Learning and leadership Helping employees build their own learning ecosystems; also M2M comms Integrated Approaches to Learning (that combine above vs focus on one modality) EPSS Inspiring personalised ambition through mobile technology Automation (as a general trend but impacting on various areas) Adaptive Learning The How of doing- less talk, more action Death of the LMS as we know it The voice of the customer Micro-Learning Adaptive Learning wearable performance support tool Informal Learning Learner Generated Content

You have to love “People realising the above have been a waste of money.” Indeed, that idea that this list focuses too much on buzz words and not enough on learning is feedback I’ve also received on the LinkedIn entry about this. Please keep the thinking and insight coming. I’ll share it all at the beginning of the year.

Hangout with Elliott Masie on trends in organisational learning

Today I had the good fortune of running a Google Hangout with Elliott Masie, who was in London between trips to Abu Dhabi and Paris. We discussed one question from the script, then threw it away and went straight to queries from the online audience.

On being a keynote

Photo: Paul Clarke

Photo: Paul Clarke

“Keynote” sounds grand doesn’t it? Like the key stone that keeps an arch in place, it sounds like something irreplaceable, the piece without which the rest of the edifice will crumble.

Most keynoters would like to believe we are that important. The truth is, we’re not.

The truth about any keynote address is that while it sets the tone for an event (the key note is literally the note the orchestra tunes to), it’s only one of many things that the audience will hear. So while it’s important, the conference won’t fall to pieces if it’s not perfect.

Continue reading

An open letter to spammers


Image: AJ Cann, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0

I receive a lot of friendly requests via Twitter and LinkedIn, and sometimes from these channels, via email. Actually, they are simple spam dressed up as something friendlier. Instead of replying to them individually, I have written this post so that I can simply reply with this URL:


Dear Spammer

You don’t think you’re spamming, because we follow each other on Twitter, or LinkedIn, or somewhere. You think this give us some sort of relationship.

It does.

A tenuous, arms-length relationship. We’re not close enough to swap favours yet. So when you mail or tweet me promoting yourself and your services, here are four things that are wrong: Continue reading