Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Virtual Classroom Defined

Many people wonder, “What exactly is a virtual classroom?”

If you want a precise definition, says, "A virtual classroom is a learning environment created in the virtual space.
"The objectives of virtual classrooms are to improve access to advanced educational experiences by allowing students and instructors to participate in remote learning communities using personal computers; and to improve the quality and effectiveness of education by using the computer to support a collaborative learning process. 
"The explosion of the knowledge age has changed the context of what is learnt and how it is learnt – the concept of virtual classrooms is a manifestation of this knowledge revolution.
There are a lot of different virtual classroom systems and platforms you can use: everything from Adobe Connect, WebEx, and Citrix GoToTraining. But what really matters is the way the training content is designed and facilitated. This is the key to successful knowledge transfer.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Short and Sweet

There's an important learning principle that many people seem to forget. It can be summarized in just three words, "“Keep it short.” 

Over the past decade, we have all been conditioned to learn in short, bite-size chunks thanks to the billions of learning fragments available to us at the touch of a screen and with the click of a mouse. This is the new learning reality — the way most people want to learn, like to learn, and choose to learn.
So when you're designing a training session or preparing to facilitate one, just remember to give people the relevant information and move on. They'll love you for it.

Need we say more?

We don't think so.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Getting Started

When we started researching the feasibility of moving face-to-face training to virtual classrooms,  we attended numerous online events and spoke to many experts. We then set out applying the best of what we heard and read, and omitting the ineffective practices we experienced first hand. Since then we have actively been testing, modifying, retesting, and fine-tuning our virtual classroom programs, while training instructors and launching virtual classroom initiatives worldwide.
The purpose of the book, The Learning eXPLOSION: 9 Rules to Ignite Your Virtual Classrooms, is to share the principles and practices we’ve discovered with everyone who has been tasked with moving traditional training to virtual classrooms.

Do we have all the answers, anecdotes, and instructions you will need? Probably not. But the rules, tools, and practical tips we share in this book will hopefully form a sound foundation from which to start or improve your own virtual classroom initiative.

Look for the book on Amazon in the next couple of weeks;)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

When will cell phones be part of mainstream learning?

From Treion: Do you remember life before the Learning Explosion? I remember navigating social life on a US University campus without a cell phone, email account, or Facebook profile. Yes,  I managed quite well actually. I went on dates, had lots of friends, and managed to contact those friends via traditional methods when necessary. And this was only twelve years ago.

Today, I carry a full fledged computer in my pocket at all times, I am an active tweeter, Facebooker, Yammerer, Blogger, and self-proclaimed online junkie. I am not sure I would cope well to not having a smart phone? Heck, I even do my banking on the precious little thing. As it turns out, I am not the only technical gadget addict. To read some interesting statistics on cell phone use, check out this fun post--Obsessed With Your Cell Phone?

You could also read this article to see if you really are an addict--Top 10 Signs of Cell Phone Addiction

Whatever your degree of addiction, the fact remains that we have all become very reliant on our smart devices. The question of the day is, how can we, will we, use our smart phones to learn? Will they become mainstream learning tools? How? When?

In their December, 2010 release  T+D magazine, highlights mlearning as one of the "Six trends that will change workplace learning forever." In the article they mention an IBM study, from a previous issue (January 2010) that suggested two main purposes for mobile phone use: "in-field performance support and access to current, just-in-time information that is relevant to a specific project or task." 

The article then makes a statement that I strongly agree with--"But an even more important reason to venture into the world of mobile learning is that newer workers in the workforce, the Millennials, are demanding it. The need to make social media and mobile learning a part of the workplace to attract, engage, and retain the younger generations is forcing learning professionals to explore new and innovative ways to deliver learning on these inexpensive devices, anytime and anywhere"

I think we all know we must venture into this new world of mlearning. However, even with a few pioneers of mlearnig blazing the trail for us, it seems like we are still a long way off from reaching a true blended/mobile learning solution. It feels like everyone is pointing ahead to the finish line, while being content to let others run the race. We all know we have to go mobile, maybe we just are not sure how to, or we are just willing to let those early adopters try it out first.

What do you think? Disagree? Please show me the way:) I am more than willing to learn and jump on the bandwagon.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Get daily learning ideas and news

While we may only post on our blog weekly, we are tweeting daily.

We are always searching and discovering new learning ideas (like, great online sources of relevant information (like, and any news that could influence how people learn (like Facebook for e-learning.) We then share these discoveries on twitter. The blog posts we write often have their genesis in those tweets.

To get your daily learning fragment, follow us on Twitter (learningexplosn).

We promise not to share what we are eating, unless it has relevance to learning of course:)  We use the #LFRAG hashtag whenever we have a great learning fragment source we wish to share. We encourage you to do the same.

Matt and Treion

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What is The Learning Explosion?

The Learning Explosion is the perpetual explosion of learning into countless learning fragments. Fueled by recent technological advances, this explosion is resulting in the worldwide distribution of ideas, innovation, and learning.
Technological advances are taking the traditional learning model and breaking it into billions and billions of pieces of information that we now call learning fragments. Learning fragments can be found through many different sources such as social media sites, training workshops, video documentaries, online communities, blogs, or mobile-device apps.

In fact, all of us have probably discovered new learning fragments today. Fragments like these are being created and discovered every minute of every day. Learning is everywhere and accessible to nearly everyone. This is the new learning mind-set. This is how learning takes place today.

With tools like mobile phones and the Internet, information and knowledge is easily accessible to all classes of people worldwide. The Learning Explosion has no boundaries. This omnipresence of learning fragments allows for limitless opportunities to learn, grow, and increase knowledge.

It is our mission to seek out learning fragments, learn from them, innovate, and share our insights with the world.

Matt and Treion

Monday, November 22, 2010

When we say global, we mean it.

For the first time ever, when we say “global” we really mean “global”. I remember the first day we conducted a webinar with a group of people from Korea. The following week we held one with people from Germany. Then Australia. Then Brazil. I specifically remember when we conducted a webinar that had people joined from four continents simultaneously. It was like magic.

But now it’s almost become commonplace. Not a day goes by when webinars are not being attended by someone sitting in another part of the world. All that’s required is an internet connection.

In 2008 23.9% of the world was connected to the internet—up from 12.5% just five years earlier. This means 1.58 billion people have access to the Internet. Iceland leads the globe with 90% of their population with an internet connection. However that’s less than 300,000 people. Compare that with China who has only 22% of their population connected equaling 300 million users. (Here’s a great resource we found to see the percentage of each country’s population that have access to the web:

The world is getting wired very, very fast. You can now reach a global audience rapidly, effectively, and cost effectively. Your training efforts can be expanded to people you typically could never have reached before. Put on a global mindset and try and reach beyond your physical borders. You can now teach those distributed workers that live on nearly every corner of the globe.

Have you conducted a webinar to a someone outside your own country? What went right? What went wrong?

Authors: Matt Murdoch and Treion Muller

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What has your online learning experience been like?

FranklinCovey has been known for its world-class instructor-led training (ILT). But a few years ago we realized that we also needed to provide our training online, or we would be trampled by the digital revolution that was steadily moving across the globe.
We were faced with a big challenge. We needed to create an online experience that would accomplish our goal of maintaining world-class instructional design and a high quality learning experience. We started our make-over with just a handful of team members, including a couple of marketers, an Instructional Designer, a Facilitator, and a techie, and a proven platform. (We also had a wonderful support group of internal and external experts to help us)
A few years later we now have a successful business that is growing substantially. We believe we have successfully created an online alternative without compromising the quality of the product or interactive end-user experience. How we did this is a whole bunch of other blog entries, which will be coming shortly.
While we believe we have created a terrific online learning product, we also know we have a lot still to learn and improve. So, in this spirit of continual improvement, we would like to ask you knowledgeable and experienced online learners “out there” the following two questions:

1. What are some great webinars you have attended? What made them great?
2. What are some bad webinars you have attended? What made them bad?

We look forward to sharing what we learned, and also learning from you.
 Happy surfing…

Authors: Treion Muller and Matt Murdoch