Twenty Web 2.0 Apps for Learning

» Posted by Jeanne Meister  » Posted on 10.22.09  »

James Clay had an excellent Pecha Kucha presentation recently talking about Twenty Web 2.0 Apps for Learning. If you have not already experienced Pecha Kucha, it was developed a few years ago in Tokyo and means “Chit Chat.” Essentially you give 20 slides in 20 seconds–think of it as a high speed journey on a topic. The presentation above uses it for giving a glossary of social media terms you may not be aware of.
I took the liberty of defining all the terms below. Let me know if you are using this in your presentations and what your experience has been.

  • Flickr Image and video sharing website.
  • Twitter A microblogging service where users communicate in short messages called “tweets” that are limited to 140 characters. As of September, 2009, Twitter raised an additional $50,000 from investors, and is valued at $1 Billion.
  • Etherpad A free online live collaboration site that enables simultaneous writing.
  • Screenr Instant screencasts for Twitter.
  • Posterous Allows for posting video, music, photo galleries, and documents to Twitter.
  • Audioboo An audio blogging application that is available free of charge.
  • Evernote An application that lets you create notes, snap photos, and record voice memos that can be accessed at any time.
  • Shozu A mobile social media platform enabling fast, easy, two-way exchange of photos, videos and other multimedia content.
  • Google Apps Access to all of Google’s suite of tools.
  • Ustream Live video streaming.
  • Prezi Allows for creating zooming presentations offline.
  • Slideshare Sharing application for presentations.
  • Ning An online service to create, customize, and share a social network.
  • Delicious Popular social bookmarking site.
  • Wordpress A website providing an online service where users create and customize their own blogs, free of charge.
  • QikA mobile utility that enables anyone to share live video from their mobile phones.
  • Friendfeed Social media feed aggregator. Friendfeed allows users to aggregate services such as Twitter, Flickr, and personal blog posts on one platform. Users subscribe to each other’s feeds and comment on posted content.
  • Remember the Milk Online to do list and task management.
  • YouTube Video sharing website where users upload, view and share video clips. Content ranges from movie clips, TV clips, and user-generated content.

Can Your Team Impersonate You? …& Other Lessons From World Business Forum

» Posted by Jeanne Meister  » Posted on 10.13.09  »

Business Team

The World Business Forum was in New York City last week and one of the most entertaining and thought-provoking speakers included Patrick Lencioni, management consultant and author of Five Dysfunctions Of A Team.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, Lencioni, shared his insights in a presentation pegged to his “Five Dysfunctions of a Team” book.

In Lencioni’s view many bosses mistakenly prefer to tell their team something once, and leave it at that. They fear repeating themselves will be a waste of time. Think about this: are you in this camp?

According to Lencioni, employees need to hear something at least seven times before they are able to incorporate it. Says Lencioni, “It’s only when people hear things over and over again, that they start to actually believe it.” To bring this point home, Lencioni tells the story of a wife who asks her husband why he never tells her he loves her anymore. The husband replies: “I told you when we got married. I’ll let you know if it changes.”

Now let’s assume you are head of Corporate Learning or Human Resources. Ask yourself: could your employees “impersonate” you if they were to give a presentation on the vision of aligning learning to business priorities?

Would they be able to:

  • State the vision for learning;
  • Share how and why it is important to align to business goals;
  • Communicate the 2010 plan and their objectives to meet this plan;
  • Deliver on how to achieve your department’s stretch goals;

If not: Instead of simply repeating seven times, try creating a visual story or Learning Map. These are powerful ways to engage your team in both the message as well as its implications.
In fact forward-thinking companies are creating a visual story or what is known as a Learning Map. This is a powerful tool to share a vision and its implications for both leaders and team members. After all, seeing a picture is really worth a thousand words and importantly if we want team members to do more than repeat the vision, but actually take action, we have to be as creative as possible in painting the picture for them.

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I Am What I Learn

» Posted by Jeanne Meister  » Posted on 09.25.09  »

President Barack Obama gave a boost to the learning industry when he called on the nation’s students to take greater responsibility for their education.

In short order, this led the U.S. Department of Education to launch a national video contest titled “I Am What I Learn.” Students from ages 13 and older are being asked to enter a two-minute video to respond to the question and to share their stories about why their education and career training is so important to their future. The initiative is called I Am What I Learn.

The contest is open from September 21 to November 2, 2009. Winners get a $1,000. I already encouraged my daughter to enter; maybe you can do the same with your teenagers.

The video contest not only encourages creativity and reflection among American students but it is a telling lesson for all of us employed in corporate learning and talent management. I see three takeaways:

1.) Consumer generated contests and crowdsourcing have made their way into the Department of Education. This is an interesting example of Crowdsourcing applied to marketing the importance higher education. Crowdsourcing is a term coined by Jeff Howe and refers to how companies such as Legos, Procter & Gamble, and Boeing use the wisdom of crowds to develop solutions for R&D problems, designs for products, and new ideas for businesses. At the heart of crowdsourcing lies a simple truth: “The most efficient networks are those that link to the broadest range of information, knowledge, and experience.” I wonder how Department of Education will use these videos—hopefully we will see them in a series of student generated ads highlighting the growing importance of education and life long learning.

2.) Young people will bring their video habits to the classroom and the workplace. This phenonom has been called Technology populism by Forrester Research and it refers to how YouTube has become such a growing part of all of our lives.

Consider the following statistics that can be found on the Did You Know Video:

  • More video has been uploaded to YouTube in last 2 months than all the footage aired by ABC,CBS, NBC since 1948
  • It would take 412.3 years to view every video on YouTube
  • There are 13,000,000 articles available on Wikipedia in 200 languages
  • There are 3,600,000,000 photos archived on Flickr
  • There are 3,000,000 tweets per day on Twitter
  • Over 1,000,000,000 pieces of content (weblinks, news, blog posts) are shared each week on Facebook
  • 3.) Government is being re-defined by the social web. Increasingly various parts of the government are using social media tools such as YouTube, Wiki’s and Blogs to connect to and collaborate with constituents. Consider the enormous success the social network MyBarackObama had in generating funds for the Obama presidential campaign.

    So my question to all of us is this:

    How are you using the social web - or the cluster of Web 2.0 tools, such as blogs wikis, and social networks, that drive community-building and collaboration - to redefine and re-invent your learning and talent management departments?

    Share with me in the comments section, via email, or send me a note on Twitter.

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    Mobile Phones - So Much More Than a Phone

    » Posted by Jeanne Meister  » Posted on 09.05.09  »

    Mobile Learning

    Over 4 billion individuals around the world today carry cell phones with them on daily basis; and many are also incredibly powerful computing devices.

    In a recent article, Abhijit Kadle of Upside Learning detailed the myriad opportunities for uses of mobile phones:

    1. Voice - Phones with voice only technology can be still used to learn languages, literature, public speaking, writing, storytelling, and history amongst a whole range of topics.
    2. SMS -
    SMS text messages can be used to provide performance support, mentoring, coaching, just in time information product information, or quizzes. There are also innovative learning games based around SMS ideal for Millennial employees.
    3. Graphic Displays -
    Most phones today have far more graphic power and are able to display words, pictures and animation. Such screens also allow for meaningful amounts of text to be displayed, supporting rapid serial presentation of context-appropriate information.
    4. Downloadable programs -
    With mobile phones that have memories, and can accept and install downloaded programs an entire new learning space is opened up on the phone. Almost any sort of learning content and interaction technology can be delivered to the phone using this method.
    5. Mobile Internet Browsers -
    Internet browsers are now built into an increasing number of phones, especially those that take advantage of 3G or enhanced data networks such as GPRS. Having a browser on the phone opens up all the learning resources available on the web.

    Mobile phones may be ideal learning devices because they combine tried and true learning strategies with technology that is portable, customizable, and that allows for two-way communication.

    However, there are also some challenges as noted by Don Duquette of GP Worldwide:

    1. Screen Resolution
    2. Browsers
    3. LMS
    4. Bandwidth
    5. Instructional Design

    In short, to overcome these challenges, mobile learning needs to differ from eLearning in several respects. As Sami M. Leppänen, former Head of Learning Solutions at Nokia writes, mobile learning should positively differ from e-learning. It should be:

  • More personal
  • More fun
  • More interactive
  • Spontaneous
  • Shorter duration
  • More connected
  • Directly to the point
  • Just-on-time learning
  • From reader to producer of content
  • Will most learning be mobile and wearable in the next five years? Does mobile learning sound feasible at your organization? How will learning remain the same, and have to adapt to work on mobile platforms? What new possibilities are out there for this new learning platform as it grows?

    Share with me in the comments section, via email, or send me a note on Twitter.

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    Social Networking: Growing Among the 25-34 Age Group

    » Posted by Jeanne Meister  » Posted on 08.11.09  »


    New research proves what my teenage daughter has been saying for the past year: social networking sites have been taken over by what she calls “the older folks,”–those over the age of 25.

    According to the U.K.’s government communications watchdog, Ofcom, 30% of U.K. adults have a social profile on Facebook (up from 21% in 2007), but the share of 15-24 year-olds with a social profile has dropped from 55% in early 2008 to 50% this year. It’s not a massive fall, but it’s the first time the number has decreased. Over the same period, however, Ofcom’s research showed a corresponding increase from 40% to 46% in social networking for the 25-34 year-old age group.

    And this decrease goes for Twitter as well as Facebook. Analyzing 250,000 Internet users in the U.S., Nielsen found that 25% of them were under 25. But only 16% of Twitter users were in that age group.

    The chart below shows the explosive growth of Twitter among 25-54 age category—the working adults in your firms.

    Teens on Twitter

    So, the impetus to use social media inside your company may be coming from the Generation Xer’s (in their 30’s) and even the Boomers (like myself) rather than just the Millennials. And this trend will continue as all of us realize that using social media and joining social networks is important to stay employable as well as connect with old friends. Understanding these demographics are key especially if your firm is using any type of social networking for sourcing, developing and engaging talent.

    Do these statistics jive with your experiences of what you see and hear around your firms? Share with me in the comments section, via email, or send me a note on Twitter.

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    Are You A Member of the Threshold Generation?

    » Posted by Jeanne Meister  » Posted on 07.28.09  »

    Diverse Workers

    I came across an interesting research report I want to share with all of you. According to Pew Research, just over half of all working adults ages 50 to 64 say they may delay their retirement – but here is the surprise: another 16% say they never expect to stop working.

    See box below:

    Pew Data

    Pew calls these folks the Threshold Generation, meaning those who are perpetually on the threshold of exiting the workforce. Even those Thresholders who do plan to retire some day say they will keep working, on average, until they are age 66 — four years older than the age at which current retirees report that they stopped working. This is certainly contributing to the shifts in workforce demographics as the participation rate of those ages 65 and older has increased from 12.9% in 2000 to 16.8% in 2008.

    What’s driving this commitment to continue working? The Pew Research survey finds it may not be how much you earn but how much you lost in the investment market meltdown that determines whether you are re-thinking your retirement plans, with those that have lost 40% or more of their portfolio being firmly in the Threshold Generation.

    If you are the head of HR or Corporate Learning and members of the Threshold Generation are employed at your firm, here are some questions for you:

    • Is your organization prepared to have an increasingly aging workforce?
    • Do these Threshold Generation members have the skills their employers need to win in the marketplace? If not, are they committed to building new skills in areas such as social media literacy?
    • How are these organizations preparing for managing a multiple generation workplace?

    Share your thoughts here, in the comments section, via email, or send me a note on Twitter.

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    The “Social” Behind Social Learning

    » Posted by Jeanne Meister  » Posted on 07.23.09  »

    Social Networking
    Currently there is a stream of interest and activity about social learning—with much of the focus on the power of social learning to drive innovation in the enterprise by accessing a host of new technologies, tools and social software.

    But the engine behind using social media for corporate learning requires the participation of people to fuel it. So social learning starts with building and nurturing a community of engaged users, and of course part of the launch process is to identify the right social technologies to support this. Think here of Twitter. The success of Twitter rests largely with folks like you and me who keep Twitter humming along with new content, ideas and applications. This phenomenon has been referred to as “open innovation,” where end users provide new knowledge and content.

    As companies plan to expand the focus of learning to be “social,” in addition to examining the range of social tools and social technologies, ask yourself: what has to change inside the learning department? Here are three questions to consider:

    1. What new roles need to be developed inside the learning & human resources department? What is the focus of these roles? Will there be someone assigned to “feed” new content to kick off the initiative?
    2. What new guidelines and policies need to be put into place so everyone is clear about how to participate and the general rules for engaging in social media in the workplace? What needs to be addressed in these guidelines?
    3. What new metrics are put into place for encouraging participation? How will performance management be impacted? Will employees be clear about their responsibility to be contributors not just consumers of new knowledge?

    These are just a few of the questions I see among companies that are seriously considering re-thinking their learning department.

    Share additional questions and your insights with me either in the comments here, via email, or by following me on Twitter at

    I will recap your thoughts in a future post!

    Corporate Social Networking: What Is Role Of HR & Learning?

    » Posted by Jeanne Meister  » Posted on 07.07.09  »

    Corporate Social Networks

    It’s no surprise that corporations have a love/hate relationship with the use of social media inside the company. As Business Week reminds us in recent article, there is reason for the tension inside companies on how they should handle usage of social media.

    On the one hand, Millennials have social networking in their DNA, and are saying,”I need these tools to be productive.” But the legal folks, and yes, some HR folks, are saying, “This could implode, remember the dark side of using social media and be aware of the experience of Domino’s Pizza“. For those unaware of the Domino’s Pizza fiasco, two former Domino’s Pizza employees used YouTube to create a fictional video account of unsanitary conditions in a Dominos pizza kitchen in Conover, N.C. The story became front-page news on the NY Times.

    One solution: Create social media guidelines and be sure all employees understand how to follow them.

    IBM’s social computing guidelines are very informative and they have since grown to cover social media usage on sites like Twitter and Facebook as well as inside the company network. Essentially these guidelines urge employees to be open and transparent, to remember they are personally responsible for what they publish, and perhaps most importantly, to take a deep breath and think about what they are doing before hitting the send button.

    See the complete IBM Social Computing Guidelines here.

    Once you have developed a strategy and a set of guidelines, your next question: How Can Social Networking Be Used for HR and Corporate Learning?

    In the July issue of T&D magazine, in an article entitled Social Networking: A Force For Development, a number of concrete uses for social media were outlined:

    • Link learners before and after a formal training event
    • Engage Millennials—Perhaps as reverse mentors to senior executives
    • Provide new content prior to a face to face class
    • Provide links and resources to new content
    • Determine future training needs by searching tags and reading conversations
    • Reinforce and sustain learning try using twitter for this

    Additionally, you can read a detailed post I wrote about ways to specifically use Twitter for learning & development here.

    What are you doing about developing a social media strategy?

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    Employers Using Twitter For Recruiting

    » Posted by Jeanne Meister  » Posted on 06.22.09  »

    Twitter Recruiting

    I have been using Twitter and just like you fascinated at how Twitter has been a leading forum in reporting the situation in Iran. The US State Department themselves requested Twitter delay scheduled maintenance to avoid disrupting communications among and reporting from Iranian citizens as they gathered in protest.

    Twitter has become an unexpectedly powerful tool. As “the technology writer Clive Thompson calls part of what Twitter provides ‘ambient awareness’: by following quick, abbreviated status reports from members of your extended social network, you get a strangely satisfying glimpse of their daily routines…The social warmth of all those stray details shouldn’t be taken lightly.”

    So, I asked myself how are companies using Twitter for recruiting purposes? Are they using it to it’s fullest potential? What advantages will these give employers? What advantages do employers have if they take an active and early role using Twitter to have a dialogue with employees?

    First, thanks to Job Hunt for doing the research here to compile the below list.

    Some comments on the list:

    It’s interesting to see which companies in a particular industry are on the list and which are not– Burger King, but not McDonalds. PepsiCo, but not Coca-Cola. Microsoft but not Oracle, Sybase, or Adobe. IBM but not Dell or HP. MTV and WArner Brothers are there, but Disney and Pixar, are not. Intel and EMC are the only manufacturers that made the list.

    U.S. Department of State is the only branch of the U.S. Federal Government or ANY American government entity, that is recruiting on Twitter.

    This reminds me of another list I complied—CEO’s of companies that are bloggers. That number has gone up, but still only 12% of Fortune 500 companies are blogging.

    Food for Thought For HR & Learning Executives

    1. How are you using Twitter for your own personal use and to explore how to use this to drive more collaboration inside the company?
    2. How are you using Twitter as a personal learning tool? Check out my earlier post on the subject for more ideas on how to do so.
    3. Now think forward five years—how will your Human Resources and Corporate Learning department change with the explosion of these new technologies?

    My overall take here: Just registering for Twitter account and using this for recruiting is not enough. Companies must be authentic, include real voices of their employees, and engage Millennials in conversations they are already having online. Share your comments with me and if you find an employer’s Twitter recruiting account that is not included, please let me know.

    List of Companies Using Twitter for recruiting in alphabetical order:

    Employer / Twitter Account
    Accenture @Accenture_Jobs
    ACULIS, Inc. @aculis
    ADP @ADPCareers
    Allstate Insurance @AllstateCareers
    Assurant Solutions @AssurantCareers
    AT&T @ATTjobs
    Burger King @BKCareers
    comScore @comScoreJobs
    Davita, Inc. @DaVitaJobs
    Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu @JoinDeloitteUS
    Ecolab @Ecolab_Jobs
    EMC @EMCCareers
    EMC @EMCCollege
    Ernst & Young @Ernst_and_Young
    Follett Software Co. @FSCCareers
    Forrester Research, Inc. @forresterjobs
    Fullhouse Interactive @fullhousecareer
    Hershey Company @HersheyCompany
    Hewitt @HewittCareers
    Hyatt Hotels & Resorts @Hyattcareers
    Hyatt San Antonio @HyattSanAntonio
    Intel @JobsatIntel
    J.B. Hunt @WeHaveFreight
    Kaplan Test Prep Services @KTPA_Careers
    Keller Williams Realty @KWCareers
    Kissito Post-Acute Care @kissitocareers
    KPMG @KPMGUSCareers
    Wipro, LTD @WiproCareers
    Kroger @KrogerWorks
    LexisNexis @LN_Recruiting
    Mattel @MattelRecruiter
    Mattel @mattelmba
    McCormick & Schmick @Careers_At_MSSR
    Microsoft @JobsBlog
    MTV Networks @MTVnetworksjobs
    MTV Games @MTVGamesJobs
    Raytheon @Raytheon_Jobs
    Razorfish @RazorfishJobs
    Sodexo @SodexoCareers
    Spotsylvania Medical Center @CareersAtSRMC
    Thomson Reuters @TRCareers
    Twitter (of course!) @jobs
    United Parcel Service @UPSjobs
    UPMC @UPMCCareers
    US Dept. of State @DOScareers
    Verizon @VerizonCareers
    Warner Brothers @WBCareers
    Wipro, LTD @WiproCareers

    What are your experiences using Twitter for recruiting? Let me know in the comments, or send me a note on Twitter at

    Twitter More Important Than LinkedIn, According To Survey

    » Posted by Jeanne Meister  » Posted on 06.03.09  »


    A recent poll on LinkedIn asked users a simple question: “What is the most important new platform for brands to master? Twitter, Facebook, the iPhone, Digg, or LinkedIn?”

    The results may not be what you’d expect. Even though the poll was performed on LinkedIn, with more than 3,600 respondents so far, Twitter was deemed the most important new platform for brands to master.

    LinkedIn Poll

    Specifically, the results of this poll revealed that LinkedIn users view Twitter as of primary importance (30%), followed closely by Facebook (26%). LinkedIn came in third (22%), followed closely by the iPhone (18%). Digg was far behind the pack: it garnered a paltry 1% of the votes.

    LinkedIn vs Twitter

    Twitter’s popularity make sense given the rapid growth it has been experiencing. The National Business Review reports that Twitter is currently gaining 10 million users per month. However, ReadWriteWeb breaks down the results further to show that:

    Most appreciative of Twitter: Business owners, C-Level or VPs. People at large- or medium-sized companies. People doing business development, marketing or creative work.

    Least appreciative of Twitter: Non-managers. People at very large or small businesses. Consultants, Salespeople and Engineers.

    Most appreciative of LinkedIn: C-level and non-managers. At small- or medium-sized businesses. Doing consulting or sales.

    Least appreciative of LinkedIn: Owners and managers. At large or enterprise companies. In creative or marketing departments.

    This poll has clear implications For HR/Learning professionals. Ask yourself three questions:

    1. Are you experimenting how to use Twitter as a personal learning tool–to enhance your creativity and keep up with current happenings/thoughts in your industry?
    2. Are you exploring how to create a “Twitter-Like” application behind your firewall? If Twitter has become so addictive, why not leverage this “inside your company?” One to consider is Yammer
    3. Are you sharing the power of suing social media for learning with your teams?
      Share how using social media can improve your personal learning and your HR/learning department.

    To continue the dialog, come follow me on Twitter!

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