Harvard professor Andrew McAfee has a great collection of blog posts, resources, examples and other stuff on his  Web 2.0 in the Enterprise wiki. 

“What started out as an exercise to list and categorize Web 2.0 in the enterprise topics expanded into all things Web 2.0 for the simple reason that crossover is inevitable. I also hold a strong belief that the boundary between consumer and enterprise technology is blurring, therefore it would be illogical to exclude purely consumer oriented services and products.”

There are sections on Blogs and Content Management, Collaboration, Voting/Bookmarking/Tagging, Feeds, Media, Statistics, Online Storage and Social Networking.

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I was in an office building yesterday, and saw a big poster for a new initiative that was to provide “best practice” information. 

The funny part was that this was to be provided by “your senior leaders” and the actual worker bees didn’t seem to be involved at all.  Now if you google “best practices” you get more than 96 million hits, so it’s safe to say that nobody even understands what this is, any more.  But I’d like to offer my definition.

1.  Best practices come from the people actually doing the work.

2.  Best practices are not “best” in all situations — context is all.

3.  Best practices are a moving target.

4.  Best practices are only the best you’ve found so far.

5.  Anyone using the phrase “best practices” should be feared.

And in passing, you should know that “blog” currently has 2.5 BILLION hits on Google.  The rest is left as an exercise for the student.

Game-based learning has been the holy grail for trainers ever since they sang their “abc’s” in first grade.  The idea is that if you can get people interested in actually playing the game, the repitition and interaction will create a higher level of involvement — and, in turn, increase the learning.

I just saw a site called The Adsense Game that takes you through the process of creating and configuring an imaginary web site to learn how to use Google’s Adsense tool.  You pick the type of site, add elements, and watch the hits happen and your bank account get fat.

Built by Joel Comm to promte (of course) his book, it’s a really slick and engaging example of adult learning.  The simulation is attractive, tips pop up to help you, and the clean design makes it pretty easy to understand what you’re doing.

Google really needs to write this guy a check.

It never hurts to remind people developing any kind of learning content that there are key principles that have been proven over time.  In fact, those of us who have been teaching adults know that there are many parallels between teaching grownups and teaching pre-schoolers.

Blocks

They don’t like to share, they are easily distracted by shiny objects, and they learn much more easily with their hands on the controls — for example, toilet training.  You can lecture a 2-year-old all day, but put him on the potty seat and you’re headed for success.  Poop happens.

CLO magazine has a great article that expands on this called “Simulations Build on Adult Learning to Accelerate Skill Building and Application” and I’ve posted an excerpt below to make you want to climb up on the rest of the article and do your business.

Simulations Build on Adult Learning to Accelerate Skill Building and Application

October 4, 2006 – Kellye Whitney, Associate Editor

Simulations aren’t a new tool in enterprise learning. As with many of the technologies that have graced the learning stage in the past few years, simulations enjoyed a burst of popularity and attention that subsequently died down. But unlike many of the fly-by-night tech solutions that burst into a short-lived flame, the buzz around simulations still burns and with good reason — simulations are one of the top tools that engage learners and accelerate skill building, as well as the application of new skills and knowledge once employees are back on the job.

“We are seeing an increase in demand for simulations across the board, whether it’s an e-learning simulation, a classroom-based computer simulation or a board simulation,” said Rommin Adl, president and CEO of Strategic Management Group Inc., one of the largest simulation and multimedia training companies in the world. “We’re seeing growth in every single segment that we serve across different practice areas such as business acumen, leadership, project management and sales.”

Adl said part of the reason simulations are still hot is because they align closely with adult learning principles and offer the opportunity to learn by doing in a risk-free environment. Cost, once a huge deterrent to simulation implementation, remains a factor, but it is not as big a worry at the top of the organizational pyramid.

“It links to the strategic nature of learning,” Adl said. “If the learning is linked to some major strategic change initiative, then cost tends to be important, but it’s almost secondary to really creating alignment around the strategic change, whereas, if it’s a curriculum-based or open-enrollment type program, cost is going to be much more of a factor.”   more…