Sunday, December 30, 2007

Is learning a new language one of your resolutions?

Web 2.0 tools are fantastic for help in learning a language. Do you want to find a native language buddy to practice writing in the new language? Want to get help with punctuation? Want to listen to movies or music in a different language? Want to practise speaking and listening? Do you want to download a free textbook for learning. You can do all this and more to help you reach your New Year's resolution.

Here are some sites to check out:

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

What did you learn about learning in 2007?

From Tony Karrer and other's I learned about eLearning 2.0 tools. I've been concentrating on WBT and LMS for years. I was more concerned with EOD for Authorware and what tools I would be using to replace it. I was also disappointed in the elearning I was creating and that many companies seem to equate converted Powerpoints with eLearning.

Using Web 2.0 tools in learning is really exciting to me. In the Forum for the Future, I explored some of these tools and how we could use them within our firm. We've identified two projects for wikis (in support of training) and are looking at how we can use eLearning 2.0 for actually providing learning activity to our learners.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Forum for the Future

I haven't written this week, because it was a very full week for me. The global training team at Latham put on a Technology Trainer's Summit where we learned, shared and planned training for the future at Latham. Our big topic this year was Office 2007 and Vista and our theme was

One of the sessions I helped to present was called Forum of the Future. In this session we talked about making training more accessable to the learner. If I can figure out how to link in a downloadable file, I'll share my presentation. Otherwise, I'll start copying in pages of it. We discussed blogs, wikis, rss feeds and other elearning 2.0 tools.

We are expecially interested in finding a different way to use our tip sheets. We have written over 500 nicely formatted tip sheets in Word format. They contain great information in a How To task approach and are great for using in instructor-led classes. Students take them back and store them in binders or in that pile we all have on the desk. We have them posted on our CDC, but they are searchable only by title and category. We are looking for other ways to host the content. We need them to be totally searchable, indexed by How to headlines and easy to access. However, we still need the nicely formatted tip sheets for class, so a wiki doesn't seem to be the best format for that. Our web development team is working with Work Product Libraries and new search tools to access documents in our document management system (interwoven) So we will be looking initially to using this feature.

We are looking at using wiki's (probably through Sharepoint) for our Technology Team bi-weekly meeting minutes. In fact we will be approaching our senior technology managers about putting all of the different technology meeting minutes in such a format. Now they are in Word documents that can be accessed from the appropriate team webpage, one at a time. If you want to find the date for a roll-out and you know it was discussed in one of last month's meetings, you have to search each one. I'll keep you informed on how this works.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

eLearning 2.0 on LA Times front page

Do you want to study philosophy with Yalies, string theory with MIT students, just go to iTunes. Apple's free iTune University provides podcast downloads of lectures from many top universities. Communters and truck drivers download and listen to lectures while they are driving. Retired lawyers listen while they jog or work out.

One of the front page stories of the Saturday, 11/24 issue of the Los Angeles Times discusses this phenomenon.,1,6060431.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

Could this method be used to reach busy attorneys and other firm employees with training?

Friday, November 23, 2007

What is an RSS Feed and why would I use it?

I'm really excited about learning more about elearning 2.0 and the use of eLearning in law firms. However, the amount of time I have to research these topics is limited. On top of that, over 1% of all blogs are someway related to elearning. Oh my! Can I keep up and have any time left over for the rest of my life?

RSS feeds to the rescue. They allow you to easily track new updates on blogs, news sites and wikis that you are interested in checking out information on. To learn more about RSS feeds and how to use them, check out this video RSS Feeds in Plain English.

To use the RSS Feeds, you need a software service call an RSS Reader. Outlook 2007 can be used as an RSS Reader.
However, until I get all my computers on Office 2007, I decided to use Google Reader. ( ) This free service from Google, can be accessed from any computer I log into. So I can quickly find out new information about elearning 2.0, and blogs of my friends and family.

There are other RSS readers if you have issues with Google.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Who's Blogging?

The growth of blogs is growing at an expotential rate. Let's take a look at why people blog. For more information check out this article. blogging - Can you make a living as a blogger? Making a living from a blog is difficult. In each vertical market - gadgets, technology, politics, celebrity gossip - there are a few very successful blogs that get a large volume of traffic. In the long tail, and even in the middle tier, there is simply not enough traffic to run a blog as a sustainable business. How do you make money on a blog? Ads and subscriptions.

Blogging for professional and personal pleasure - Many find that blogging is an incredible learning experience. I've learned more about Web 2.0 and eLearning 2.0 in the last two weeks than I'd learned in two years of reading and listing to podcasts/webinars. I also expect to build connections in the legal learning industry as a result of this blog. I also get a good deal of pleasure from learning and sharing information. Could I make some money? Yes, it might be possible by using AdSense to add advertisements from my blog. Maybe in the future.

Blogging for a cause - While some bloggers hope to make money from their blogs, many blog because they are passionate about their cause. Top causes? Religon and politics. The upcoming presidental primary has generated a large number of blogs. Currently the Democrats beat out the Republicans in the number of blogs.

Personal blogs - Money making and blogs for causes make up a small portion of the blogosphere. The long tail is all about self-expression. Are you a closet poet? Want to share your passion for kitties? Want to stay connected with a spread out family? Personal blogs proliferate.

Spam blogs - Most posts find their way through the blogosphere only to be republished on so called splogs (spam blogs). These fake blogs work by scraping the content of legitimate blogs, republishing it, driving traffic via search engines and selling ads. They are completely useless, but are clever pipes that just make money for the owner with little-to-no work. Very little can be done to stop these blogs, since they've gotten great at remixing the content. They are so good sometimes that you do not realize right away that you are reading a fake blog.
What does this mean to law firms? Most bloggers are in their late teens and early twenties. If history is a guide, they will carry skills and knowledge about weblog capabilities into workplaces. Does your firm allow employees to blog? Do you block blogs? Do you have any blogging policies?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

CLTI Conf. - Let's get real about the virtual

This session is on virtual worlds for learning by Steve Mahaley from Duke Corporate.

Take people out of their comfort zones and drop them into a virtual learning experience.

Learning occurs when we use our senses. Recess as a learning experience. Games, working together, creating.

New tools bring new uses - Can we build it? Yes we can (but should we)

Design for humans on the adoption curve - Can they build it, Yes they can (within limits.)

Links for learning in a virtual world - Berkman Island, Harvard Law School - in Education - in Business

Can be expensive to develop
Difficult for users to navigate around 2nd life
2nd Life blocked by many corporations
Learning required just to use the systems.
Hard to hold on to participants. Too many distractions.

Private land allows you to control and have invitation-only events
Public land - data gathering, running a SL business, interviewing
Building tools - team exercises, prototyping objects
No RL Physics - No need to support a bridge because no gravity, etc
Avatar appearance - different from self, role playing, gender issues, diversity
Inventory - evidence collection, treasure hunts
Groups - set up and maintain relationships between individuals in a group
Chat vs. Voice - structuring conversations, capturing histories

Corporate Learning: Trends and Innovations conference

A group of eLearning gurus decided to deliver a totally free online conference delivered on the web. It started today 11/14 and runs through 11/20. If you 'd like to join, go to

Following this morning's opening session, Tony Karrer is now speaking on the topic of this blog, eLearning 2.0. Discussions on how to learn about this new technology. Going to blogs, like this one and Tony's

Using a tool like and follow the tags like "elearning2.0". Here's a link to a really good videos on Web 2.0, Check out RSS in Plain English.

Because of the speed of change, the most important skill is to learn how to learn.
"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn". Alvin Toffler

Get actively engaged in learning. Shift activity from relying on print, but move into scanning with RSS reader and blogs, following tags in social bookmarking, building a network via LinkedIn.

RSS Readers include Google Read. Check out the following site for information on RSS Readers. For keeping up on technology:

Would it be interesting to have a new associate blog about their first year at the firm. Could it be used for recruiting? Would this be too dangerous?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Leading Attorneys to Training

What's one of the most difficult things to do? Train employees who don't come to class and won't take the online courses. For law firms, attorneys are the hardest to get to take training. Even one-on-one training cuts into billable hours. Can eLearning 2.0 tools help us provide training to attorneys and other employees too busy for training? Definitely!

Let's look at some of these tools and how they can be used for training the elusive attorney.

Podcasts are audio or video files that can be downloaded to personal mp3 devices like iPods. They can then be viewed or listened to at the learner's convenience; commuting, working out, standing in line at the grocery store.

How can podcasts be used for training? Engaging short pieces which motivate users to come to training. Rationale for why a new technology is important to the firm. Success stories from respected senior partners. Introduce new technology. Can be used for CLE courses. Unfortunately for technology training, the size of video podcasts makes it a poor screen for representing computer screens.

Blogs or blawgs as legal blogs are called are sites where people can create their own online journals. Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. Blogs are archivable and searchable. They can be used to provide short training lessons on specific topics. They could be messages from the technology partners regarding what the technology plans are and how the technology will benefit the firm.

RSS Feeds are often found on blawgs. They allow you to subscribe to the blog and get updates sent to your RSS reader or e-mail address.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

DevLearn and eLearning 2.0

I just got back from eLearning Guild's DevLearn conference. It was an eye opener for me. I was most impressed with the idea of using Web 2.o tools for learning, tagged with the name, eLearning 2.0. I decided to start exploring and researching this topic by using one of the eLearning 2.0 tools, blogging. So welcome to my blog.

What is Web 2.0?

Let's start by comparing examples of Web 1.0 to Web 2.0

Web 1.0 --> Web 2.0
Netscape --> Google
Favorites -->
Britannica Online --> Wikipedia
Ofoto --> Flickr --> uTube
personal websites --> blogging
publishing --> participation
media producers --> personal media creation
streaming video --> podcasts
discussion lists --> social networking

A central principle of Web 2.0 is it allows us to embrace the power of the web to harness collective intelligence. Users no longer are limited to browsing content developed by others. Web 2.0 makes it easy to collaborate with others. Amazon allows you to share your opinions. Wikipedia allows you to add to and edit their encyclopedia. If you aren't familiar with the Web 2.o terms above, google them and join with me on this exploration.