What’s the point?

That is what one senior exec said to me, the other day when it came to social learning.

I shot off the usual reasons, the benefits, the gains and then found myself expanding into the next possibilities of where a system and content authoring tool had to go.  It didn’t seem that far of a stretch, actually. Not at all.

For end users, they have to see value that is the point.

I believe this is very possible, because regardless of the generation, people want easy, they want fast and if they could do a lot of things in a system for example, rather than having multiple windows open, they would do it.

For vendors, they could make it happen and generate revenue.

So, where do we begin?

Slideshare

  • Create presentations that can be embed into a system, so that end users can not only create them, but go one step further and edit them
  • They share them (the premises of slideshare) with other users, who want to view them and download them
  • For specific groups per se, they have the ability to work in real time, editing virtual, and then posting them
  • Even with slideshare, you can actually post e-books and other documents, so it follows suit in a system

What solution?  LMS/LCMS/Learning Portals (commercial & free), Social Learning stand-alone systems, hybrid system, content authoring tools, m-learning, web conferencing (already exists in many systems), virtual worlds, virtual meeting systems (already exists in some systems), marketplace exchanges (not affiliated with a system)

Who can use it? Anyone, regardless of vertical

Scribd

  • Read, share, print or send to mobile devices: ebooks, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations/slides, documents, images, audio/video – user generated
  • Expand it, so that e-books, documents, audio files can be viewed on e-book readers, if it is ePub (the most used format, and recognized with every e-reader, sans Kindle) it will work.
  • Most e-readers enable the end user to listen to mp3s and view other documents
  • Opens up learning, and makes your solution a one stop service
  • You can tie this type of feature into any job role, department, division, region, class, subject area

What solutions? LMS/LCMS/Learning Portal (commercial or free), e-readers, any mobile device(i.e. mobile learning) – especially tablets, social learning stand-alone solutions, hybrid system (yet to be developed by any vendor), virtual worlds (v-learning), marketplace exchanges (not affiliated with a system)

Who can use it? Anyone, regardless of vertical

Tutorialized

  • Create tutorials to be viewed. Tutorials can be e-books, audio, video (mp4, avi), web based training courses
  • Expand to offer off-line with synch capabilities
  • Add end user ratings, comments
  • Add ability to send tutorials to other end users without them having to go to a repository to find the files and download
  • You can tie this type of feature into any job role, department, division, region, class, subject area

What solutions?  LMS/LCMS/Learning Portal (commercial or open source), social learning stand-alone, hybrid system, web conferencing, mobile learning

Who can use it? Anyone, regardless of vertical

Connotea

  • Online reference management system – access to information
  • End users can read, share, any types of information including reference materials
  • Expand materials to include quick reference guides, quick reference cards, how to documents, links to information
  • You can tie this type of feature into any job role, department, division, region, class, subject area

What solutions? LMS/LCMS/Learning Portal (commercial & open source), m-learning (tablets & smartphones), v-learning (virtual worlds), social learning stand-alone, content authoring tools, web conferencing, marketplace exchanges

Who can use it? Anyone, regardless of vertical. Connotea currently is available for researchers, clinicians and scientists, but with your solution, it doesn’t have to be

Mixx

  • Combines the benefits of Twitter, Facebook, social bookmarking sites, aggregators
  • Creates a “Best of ” channel
  • Tie it into your FB like page, Twitter like, RSS feeds, social bookmarking (one system has this feature)
  • Expand so that end users can rate, comments
  • Incorporate Social Q/A
  • Incorporate end user generated audio/video
  • You can tie this type of feature into any job role, department, division, region, class, subject area

What solutions? LMS/LCMS/Learning Portal (commercial & open source), m-learning (tablets), v-learning (virtual worlds), social learning stand-alone, marketplace exchanges (not affiliated with a system)

Who can use it? Anyone, regardless of vertical

Metacafe

  • Online video clips
  • Clips is the key here – short
  • End users can locate video tied to business area, subject, class
  • End users can upload video clips
  • Tie into job role, division, department, region, class

What solutions? LMS/LCMS/Learning Portal (commercial & open source), m-learning tablets & smartphones that can record video, social learning stand-alone, hybrid systems

Who can use it? Anyone, regardless of vertical

clipclip

  • Cut, copy and paste the web
  • Short clips – go beyond just having links
  • End users can read, share them – again without having a repository where people can only view and download

Systems? LMS/LCMS/Learning Portal (commercial & open source) social learning systems, content authoring tools (first two bullets), web conferencing (go beyond just the links, plus add additional content), hybrid system, m-learning

Who can use it? Anyone, regardless of vertical. Albeit this is perfect for academia & education – especially when many synchronous systems are stale (many still are stuck in the late 90′s in terms of real engagement – I’m sorry but reading a discussion thread and responding is not what I call interactive nor engaging, and you are assuming that the instructor is going to be checking daily or very often – sadly this not always the case)

Newsvine

  • Identify RSS feeds you want to subscribe to, add web article clips
  • Expand to create something similar to Flipboard (i.e. looks like a magazine)
  • End users can read, rate, comment
  • Eliminates the RSS feed that so many systems use, that is just text and comes as a line feed
  • Add images
  • Expand so that end users can create their own content (i.e. ditch the blog)

Systems? LMS/LCMS/Learning Portal (commercial & open source) social learning systems, hybrid system, m-learning (perfect for tablets)

Who can use it? Ideally for business including non-profit, associations. Can be used in academia/education, although wouldn’t be my first choice

Dripy

  • Turn any YouTube video into a .mp3
  • End users can download the mp3 into their mp3 player, e-reader (some offer this feature), tablet, smartphone, burn on CD, offline

Systems? LMS/LCMS/Learning Portal (commercial & open source) social learning systems, hybrid system, m-learning (perfect for tablets)

Who can use it? Academia/Education

Bottom Line

So what is the point?

The point is that we no longer are limited to the same ol same. Every site listed above is a social media site. Every one.

Sure, there are others, like Memrise – where you can learn a foreign language, perfect for those who are stuck either going offline or stuck with language learning tools that are expensive or outdated.

Quora is another. Many people believe it is the next big thing. It is Social Q/A, where end users can also follow the “expert”, post additional questions, add comments. However, many systems are incorporating a Social Q/A, which is why it was left off the list.

Innovation is the key. I know, I’ve been preaching this for a long time.

Back in 1995, I created a web site that included among other things, a chat room, discussion board and offered fee based solutions. The content was geared towards education. By 1998, it was generating 600,000 hits a month from all over the world.

So what’s the point? It wasn’t difficult to do to make it happen.

I didn’t feign reasons not to do it, rather I went ahead and made it happen.

The same thing can be done with any e-learning system today. Yet the excuses for not doing it seem to be the standard, rather than the rarity.

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of the excuses.

 

E-Learning 24/7