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  • The Technology Guy 07:57 on February 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BETT, , Learning   

    My day at BETT 

    Spent all day Friday walking the exhibition at BETT and all day yesterday thinking about it.

    A new venue, coincided with LT13 and for the first time to include workplace learning.

    They called it a conference (that’s a laugh) thousands of teachers with little budget oo’ing at technology they probably can’t afford. Hundreds of kids milling around. Why?

    A few stages dotted about, crammed to the gills with people trying to hear over the exhibition noise and about 1000 exhibitors trying to force their brochure in your hand. Everyone with multiple huge carrier bags full of them. I wonder how much ends up in the recycling by the end if this weekend!

    There has to be a better design.

    No roadmap to find your way around, no logical layout of the hall, no real colour scheme and a lousy map. I thought the iPhone app was cool till I tried to use it on site.

    They set out the hall supposedly in areas but with little signage, I was, according to my badge, part of ‘workplace learning’ took me 4 goes round and I found something called workplace learning lounge. It was full of teachers eating their packed lunch. Not another workplace badge in sight. My pedometer reported 3 miles by the time I left.

    Were there specific workplace vendors? If so I missed that entirely.

    Networking was non existent. I had two conversations with vendors. One with the coolest overhead projector I ever saw making an Elmo look like a monster from an older era, I can’t wait to order one. And, a conversation with a guy with some animation software. Problem you would need a year to make a 10 minute animation.

    I had a further two conversations with attendees who were willing to chat none who was confused like me and another when I stopped for an overpriced tasteless bagel. He was from Eastern Europe and was surprised that everything was video technology.

    Lots to learn from this shambolic ‘conference’.

    Maybe they will hire me to make it a real conference next year.

  • The Technology Guy 13:05 on August 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Learning, team skills,   

    Well it’s been two months since I blogged. Why? For the last two months I have been working on the London Olympics. Specifically I have been working contracted to LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) as a Field of Play Group Leader in the Modern Pentathlon team.

    We delivered one hell of an amazing event, it was great over the last weekend of the games to get texts during the modern pentathlon to say, ‘just seen you on TV’. That was not the plan of course but some close friends and my kids were all watching carefully. During two months I created and read more spreadsheets that in the last 20 years, all for one weekend of sport!

    It’s been some great highs and lows over the last two months, made some great friends and probably upset one or two along the way, oh well, those who know me know I don’t suffer fools lightly.

    I have seen something first hand that I never expected and gained an experience like no other. For the last twenty years I have worked as a trainer delivering interventions both in the classroom and electronically to ‘fix’ many broken attitudes and skills. I have created some amazing events, (none quite the size of the Olympics) but during all that time I have always been on the outside looking in.

    The last two months I have worked in a large team from the inside looking out. My experiences and what I have learned I will begin to write about over the next few weeks, but as a taster I can tell you I will be delivering team training in a different manner from today. Check out my new site http://www.neillasher.com

    Tonight I meet with all the guys I worked with as TEV’s, training event volunteers for the team leaders of the London Olympics, we are working on collaborating for better team training in organisations.

    Watch this space…….

  • The Technology Guy 09:07 on April 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Learning, , , ,   

    Reflections from #LSCon 2012 

    I have had a short week to get my feet back under the desk after a whirlwind trip to Orlando.

    Such a great week amongst some of the clever people in our industry, so much to listen to and so much to learn from other’s ideas.

    Of course they tweet the same about being with me and listening to my presentations, I just get embarrassed in the normal way.

    What was clear in this week and in reflection since leaving the hot sun in Florida is that there are a number of interesting changes taking place across the world in T&D. The first is that T&D is on it’s very last legs in large corporations. If you are still working in a department with this name or have a business title of L&D Manager, get ready as sweeping changes will knock you off your feet if you are not ready.

    The changes are a distinct move towards the Business Performance Department, delivering a set of technologies that include training where required but more of acquiring and rolling out technology that assist your workers to make more money for the organisation. The talk in the back rooms and of course on the backchannel were about revenue and profitability, not about good LMS scores or completion rates. Jay Cross almost had it right last year with ‘Work Smarter’ concept but I think in times of economic downturn that we are all experiencing, Work Leaner may have been a better term. But I take my hat off to Jay as he was ahead of the game on this one.

    Those who understand business and how to generate higher revenue through capability and capable staff certainly have the edge. (Check out my paper i2 that was launched at #LSCon which aims to replace ROI with an Incapabiity Index. Paper available at http://www.thelearningcoach.co.uk/media.html)

    The tools being spoken of were more of performance support, remember how that came and went, it was just too early and is making a huge comeback. Other technologies in the frame are those that provide a social lounge for the workforce to talk about what is important to them, where they can dip in and out learning materials and use new concepts like IVR (see http://www.phone2know.com) to deliver contextual information in numerous ways.

    New products were in the expo to deliver to mobile devices, the imminent product from Articulate, Storyline, is the first of a new breed of tools to help deliver this type of learning. I have used the beta of this product, the latest version includes mobile and html5, very exciting prospects for the future.

    The second big thing to come out of #LSCon was the concept of Conversation in learning. I was not the only person presenting or talking of this. Conversation in communication is key to creating a platform where people can learn. The presentation I made ‘Conversational Learning’ is available to watch in a cut down form from http://bit.ly/HesHMt

    I have come home very enthused about this coming year. I have launched a great service at Phone2Know using the latest technologies to add conversation to learning, eLearning, mLearning and delivered as an addition to face to face training. Some cool concepts that will grow over the coming months.

    The next conference I attend is Congreso de Recursos Humanos in Mexico City later this month http://www.congresorh.com.mx/ where I will be presenting what can be achieved using conversation and mobile learning. Then I am onto mLearnCon in San Jose for June to host the Mobile Tools and Tech Stage. By this time we should be seeing some very cool additions to the mobile scene.

    • Aleymi 09:44 on May 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Right on BJ! I also can see mLearning as an additional recourse to classes, instead of printouts that rest in shelves, wouldnt be more useful to provide main ideas in nuggets (memory cards type) that learners could access via cell phone when needed, thus,extending learning beyond classrooms and real performance?

  • The Technology Guy 08:32 on January 31, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Instructional Design, Learning   

    Do you employ your authoring tool vendor to teach your instructional design? 

    Why would you trust your authoring tool vendor to teach you instructional design? Would you not go to an instructional design trainer with a pre conceived plan to fit your instruction into their templates delivered with your authoring tool?

    The problem with virtual training: instructional design, not distance http://smf.is/1FdgiQ (via @summify)

    An alternative? Buy the tool you know will create your learning and attend independent training. http://tinyurl.com/7wmtpst

  • The Technology Guy 17:51 on October 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: #devlearn, , Learning,   

    Live from Vegas 

    Arrived in Las Vegas for DevLearn. This week I will be live blogging as things happen.

    If there are specifics you are interested in then leave me a comment.

    Also watch twitter #devlearn

  • The Technology Guy 12:34 on October 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Learning, , Living, Steve Jobs   

    iSad day today. 

    “If you live each day as if it were your last, someday you will most certainly be right”

    “Since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, ‘If today was the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?’.

    And whenever the answer has been ‘no’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I have ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything, all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure, these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die, is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked, there is no reason not to follow your heart.”

    Steve Jobs. 2005

    Thank you Steve you changed the world.

  • The Technology Guy 11:44 on January 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Learning, , SoMe, SoMeFat   

    Is SoMe killing us softly with it’s words? 

    Struming my pain with his fingers
    singing my life with his words
    killing me softy with his song
    killing me softly with his song
    telling my whole life
    with his words
    killing me softly with his song

    Notice I ain’t blogged for ages. I think I was suffering with what Cammy Bean highlighted this week as SoMeFat. Social Media Fatigue. or was it really SoMeBo? Social Media Burn Out?

    It prompted me to ask myself some questions about my own changing patterns of use of Social Media in the last year.

    In October 09 on this blog I asked ‘How many tweets make overload?’ How much are we actually learning or are we kidding ourselves that it is learning. Are we just spending every moment in the electronic Hyde Park Corner listening to others bleating on about what interests them? Or in real terms not even bleating about their likes, but the likes of others, the RT?

    I took some time to recover from the shock of reality some time ago and realised I was spending far too much time blogging, tweeting and facebooking everything in my life that actually was none of your business. Did I need to share the fact I just had a great poop? (not that I shared that information) Why would I want you to know that i was stuck in traffic on the M4 and using my phone illegally? Why would I want to tell you that I was going to the theatre tonight. (only really interesting to you if it was your intention to burgle my holiday home in Wales… No I don’t have a holiday home in Wales and were you interested in that information?)

    Hey, why am I writing this blog now? Are you interested? Will you comment on it? Do I care if you don’t… hell yes!

    I think we are all suffering from a new form of hysteria, defined as ‘A mental disorder characterised by emotional excitability’. We all get excited when we tweet, blog or f/book and even more so when we are re-tweeted or commented on. And we are all doing it together all the time, while we pretend we are learning something, other than what time John on the next continent to us put his cat out!

    The more we do this, the more we get into Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, we want to do it more and more until we actually are doing no work, have no real social ability to talk to one another unless it’s in 140 characters or are repeating someone else’s thoughts or views. Have you noticed the distinct lack of new papers being written or published on groundbreaking learning ideas? Its because we have no time.

    So time to reconsider SoMe, how to limit how we use it, limit how we teach our children to use it. Watch the next time their phone goes ‘ding’, it is the new fastest thing known to man, the time it takes between phone going ‘ding’ and clicking send on a response to the sender.

    For me the new So for 2011 is meeting people, chatting on the phone or in person and getting a real ‘Social’ back into my life. I will still Tweet and Blog but far less. Care to join me……

    • Neil 12:13 on January 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I just thought I would comment just to make sure someone did…

      Does this feed my own compulsive disorder of needing the recognition.. LOL

    • Steve Howard 07:02 on January 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Work forced me to cut back on SoMe early last year. I’ve turned into a consumer more than a contributer, something that’s not been true for over a decade.

      I hate it – I feel like I am missing so much friendship and information. And yet, in a way, I enjoy the freedom, as I no longer feel compelled to “be social” 24/7.

      From a learning and professional growth perspective, I want to me more involved in SoMe. I just learn so damned much when I have the time to follow every interesting link. Yet, from a personal perspective, after a dozen years or more of intense social interaction, I think I was burnt out and, like Ross and Rachael, I needed a break. I’m hoping that I can get back up to speed in the next few months, but I have a notion that my corner of the world will not collapse if I continue on SoMe tickover for a more protracted period.

    • Maritza 07:03 on January 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I think you’re going through a typical phase of user adoption behaviour of any new technology. I was there about a year ago myself. I wanted to switch off practically every social media tool that I was using, and I went on a 30-day sabbatical from Facebook specifically.

      In the process I learnt a few things about myself, and how I want to use social media (or not). Afterwards, I adjusted a few things and I’m now much happier with the balance I achieved.

      Also, for me, social media are just the spark to connect with people. It’s the meetings and conversations that happen directly or privately that turn those initial, brief contacts into something lasting or worthwhile. Pretty much every connection I’ve made in 15 years of online activity that became more than just a ship passing in the night, has been followed by personal interaction at some level.

      Oh, and thanks for the follow on Twitter. 🙂

    • Scott Hewitt 08:36 on January 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Social Media can be very effective for learning but the sheer amount of information that we receive from all media channels can be over-whelming. It is very easy to be distracted by the last linkedin notification, tweet, email ping, facebook email, text etc… Learning how to get the most of social media is the challenge and not being managed by it. The Tim Ferris book – 4 hour week (http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/) has some great ideas about how he did it!

  • The Technology Guy 17:47 on May 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: food, istanbul, Learning   

    Shall I eat here 

    I am in Istanbul, came to speak at the HR Summit (more later) found a place next to the hotel to eat. Googled it with Google translation, question is, Should I eat here?

    “In the summer outdoors in the winter when there is so much beauty in all of them will be deprived of if you have already stated he thought we’d be wrong.

    Güzelli?ide winter weather is creating a separate restaurant. While watching a movie on TV, “Oh I wish it out of the snow in the mountains or at home if I was at the beginning of the fireplace when it rains,” said the dead?

    If your answer is yes, we realize that your dreams are trying to care for indoors. Spell the beginning of this as I mentioned in the entire mountain house in the air is considered out for the snow or rain when you, like glass on the edge of the beauty of watching if you want the fireplace next to his firing from the crackle of meat you eat and wine you can sip.

    Another feature of the interior of the hall is a twin. While sitting in a hall or across the room I wonder how I wonder if we sit across the tarafam? because I do not think the two sides to the table decor in the same sequence.”

    Reckon they must sell kebabs!

    • Norman Lamont 07:43 on June 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      ‘like glass on the edge of the beauty of watching ‘

      That’s beautiful poetry – thanks Google!!

  • The Technology Guy 07:23 on February 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: balance, Learning,   

    Work life balance 

    Interested in some new research? read on….

    My life has changed somewhat over the last year. The process of divorce, moving home and having a father who has dimentia has taken it’s toll on the stress levels.

    It is very easy to bury yourself into your work, bury your head and hope it all goes away. To be honest it doesn’t.

    However, I always said it would be good to get a work life balance. Like many however I never really understood what this meant or how to achieve it. Read the book, seen the video etc etc.

    When you do finally find how, it is a revelation. So let me share some thought.

    There comes a moment when you live on your own after having had a partner and kids in your house for 26 years, when you close the front door on returning home and realise you are alone, this is it.

    I thought this would be a lonley place, turn on the laptop, work. However I set a rule when I moved in that work at home was only allowed during work hours. Force yourself to read books, listen to music, learn to cook better, blog loads of thoughts and Tweet, anything other than work.

    Some time ago I met a person who has changed the way I think. They have made me consider what I have and what is missing. The time spent in the presence of this person is very challenging and has made me think inwardly. The challenges posed were not easy in the begining, I was pretty closed to new ideas or change. Over time I have seen the light. Seeing this person has become really fun.

    Now this relationship has taken a very long time to flourish. I have always been a positive person viewing everything as a challenge in my work environment and with my clients. It is what my reputation is based on, however, how is this affected by what happens at home? Before the rumour machine gets going, this person is a theraputic professional.

    At this time I am having a really good time at home, my social life is the best it has been for years, what I do outside of work is fulfilling and has become great fun. I do not have time to blog and Tweet as much as I would like. I do not have enough time to read all I want and the Sky box is filling quicker than I have time to watch it.

    Sounds great no?

    What I have realised is that this great time out of work has had a serious affect on how efficient and effective I am in the office. The better it gets at home, the more efficient I get at work.

    So here is my challenge. I do not know yet how to research this so input from all is required.

    My first thought is that we are training the wrong subjects in the workplace. Training people to be more effective in their work could be achieved better by training them how to have a good time out of work. Time management training could include how to stop at the end of the day.

    The crazy first thoughts are that if we help our staff learn how to have a good time out of work, they will have a good time whilst at work and be more productive.

    New course titles could include:

    Cook your partner a great meal.
    Understanding the difference between Merlot and Shiraz.
    Making cleaning your house a fun experience.
    Bringing your true self to work!

    Do you carry a breifcase home every day? I do! Now I force myself not to open it at home out of work hours. But when I open it in the office, I get twice as much done.

    What research is required here? Where do I begin? Interested in taking part?

    • Barry Sampson 08:59 on February 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Neil, glad to hear everything is coming together.

      Funnily enough, about 10 years ago when I was a trainer in a corporate L&D department, I regularly ran a course on bringing your personality to work. I must tell you about it some time.

    • Sue Cohen 10:08 on February 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Neil
      Sounds great. I’m not sure how the research would work but I can certainly agree with what you’ve said. I have done some work with people about managing their work better in order to get their work/life balance in order, but taking it the other way round is intriguing and really powerful.

      Great message – look forward to seeing more.

    • Nick Shackleton-Jones 11:49 on February 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Neil –

      I admire your candor. For my part, I don’t believe in a work/life balance: it implies that your life isn’t part of your work or your work not a part of your life – that would be a terrible thing. Things like ‘facebook’ and ‘twitter’ – and technology generally – mean you can do work-like stuff or life-like stuff anytime.

      But I agree you have a point – I think it’s a point about the work/play balance. For some people work is all play (did you cathc Ben & Jerry on the BBC this morning?) – and sometimes it’s like that for me. But in all honesty some of what I do at work is a chore and some of what I do at home is a chore, and it’s play that enables me to focus and get through; that’s how I interpreted your post, anyway.

      I love the idea of a course about how to play well…


    • Sarah 14:53 on February 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I have been telling you this FOREVERRR
      Like, actually.
      Love you x

    • Cammy Bean 15:03 on February 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I used to work for a company called Work/Family Directions — all about the balance. At the time, I didn’t have kids or a spouse. Feel like I could use some of that now! I think it gets even more challenging for those of us who work from home. My office is in a detached shed, but I bring my laptop in every night just the same. There are wonderful tradeoffs in my day — I walk my kids to the bus and pick them up at school. And I work at night after they’re asleep to stay on top of everything. I agree with you about being more efficient — I always do better work when I’m busy and have tight deadlines.

    • Kevin 17:51 on February 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      “Making cleaning your house a fun experience.” Now you figure out how to train that you’ll have a gold mine on your shelf! Confession: I like cleaning mine and when I break out the Dyson, its “search and destroy” mission looking for dust bunnies!

      I can relate to some of your story. I’m retired Army and my first career was Army, Country, Career, and if the Army wanted me to have a family and life they would have issued me one. Seriously, that’s how I thought and maybe my success in that career was I put work before life.

      I brought that work ethic to civilian life and put 60+ hours a week into my work. Is the effect of that cause due to where I am now professionally? Perhaps. The added effect may also be the result of my first marriage failing.

      I, too went through a period of defining the value of balancing work and life. Once I figured it out, I am less stressed, more productive, and have a loving and supporting family.

      Fundamentally, it’s learning how/when to take one hat off and putting the other one on!

      • Neil 18:41 on February 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        To be honest I had not really considered any enlisted people in my thoughts. It has given me another dimension to add to the mix, so thank you for your input.

        I actually do like cleaning my house, I suppose I have become ‘house proud’ and enjoy making it look how I want.

        I too spent far too many hours working, actually filled every moment with it. But have found there is so much more. My new rule of not opening briefcase out of work hours is not set in stone, but so far has proved a great starting place.

        I loved Nick’s comments about work/play, because good life outside work is most definitely fun. And I also like Barry’s take on brining your personality to work, just have to make the personality a great one…

        My thoughts continue on this.. First course on fun cleaning? Not sure, it may be the difference between Merlot and Shiraz as I am having much fun finding out!


    • Janet Clarey 19:50 on February 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      You write with such honesty Neil.

      I don’t know about this…to many people, a course is just the “Read the book, seen the video etc etc.” you write of. What happened to you was triggered by your reaction to outside events. It’s incredibly complex.

    • Araceli25SNIDER 10:36 on September 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      If you’re in a not good position and have got no cash to get out from that, you will need to take the mortgage loans. Because that will aid you for sure. I take term loan every single year and feel myself fine because of this.

    • paleo primal diet 08:35 on April 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Concentrate on using basic compound paleo diet movements in and out
      of GPS reception. I began to question why I was even following a plan that will work.

    • http://youtu.be/FQc8zF5tGB4 19:28 on June 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I REALLY I am in love with the caveman diet… I’ve been on it for 2.5 months & have noticed such drastic positive changes…. I strongly recommend this toanyone I began off by watching this youtube vid for great recipes!!! watch the video

  • The Technology Guy 15:16 on February 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Learning, ,   

    Finally fixed my blog… 

    Oh boy, got hacked, lost a couple of posts and then everything redirected to a chinese website.

    I am honoured that they thought my lille ol blog was worth hacking.

    Back to blogging tomorrow….

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