Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Today's the day! You've got an extra 24 hours!

You've said it. We've said it. Everyone's said it. "If I only had an extra 24 hours I could learn to..."

Well stop dreaming and start enjoying because, thanks to the switch over to the Gregorian calendar 430 years ago, you now have that extra day. It's called Leap Year. So, what will you do with it?...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Have Apps Made Your Life Easier?

With the number of iPhone app downloads nearing 25 Billion we have been asking ourselves if these handy little tools have made our lives easier or just more complicated.

With this question in mind I did some personal research and found that out of the 102 applications on my iPhone, this is how I used them (not counting the basic apps like Calendar, Phone, Texting, Music, Clock, and Email--these I use all the time):
  • Daily - Besides the basics already listed I probably only use 5 to 7 apps--Wunderlist (To do list), Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, and Hootsuite...
  • Weekly - Over the span of seven days my circle of apps more than doubled to around 15 (including the five already mentioned)--Instagram, HootSuite, Accounts (Banking and Checkbook), Evernote (Notes), Pinterest, Words with friends (Scrabble game), Flashlight, Calculator, Fandango...
  • Monthly - Surpisingly the total number of apps I used in a month only increased by a few to around 20...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Why we LOVE social media...

On valentines day we presented a session on our how to build a Mutant Learning Lab, or Social Learning Lab, at Training Magazines 2012 Conference.

In summary, the session was how we can effectively use social media and the web in general for learning. The five-step process we introduced included, connecting to the relevant few (sites and people), creating a system where relevant information is either pushed to us or where we can easily retrieve it, scheduling just fifteeen minutes five times a day to work in your lab, following a three-step process of scanning, reviewing, and studying in our lab, and then sharing what we learn with the community...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Social media can be an effective way to learn!

According to a Nielsen Social Media Report, “in 10 major global markets, social networks and blogs reach over 75% of active Internet users.” Which means most of you reading this post are probably already socially connected in the traditional social media sense.

The mantra we want you to adopt is to “Join the relevant few,” because you can very easily get caught in an online web of irrelevance. We would like to bring to your attention to the fact that social media can be a effective form of informal learning, if you take the right approach, that is.

For starters, you should join the Big 3 of social media, if you haven’t done so already. They are Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn (Google+ is making a serious push to break into this elite group, but is not quite there yet.)  While LinkedIn is not like your typical social network, it does does share many social media characteristics, making it the number one method of connecting to other like-minded business professionals. The power of this network is found in the groups that are founded and run by experts in a wide variety of industries.
As you start connecting to the big three, make sure you separate out the benign, banal, and boring that is so prevalent in some social media circles. Don’t waste your social time on irrelevant people or topics. Avoid the self-centered individuals who erroneously think the rest of the world cares what they are eating.

Choose to follow, like, and join ONLY relevant thought leaders, research sites, trade magazines, and knowledge brokers that can help you become competent in the topic or area you want to be competent in.

If you follow this simple advice of only joining a few social media sites, and then only following the relevant few who can help you focus on an area you wish to learn about, you will be amazed at how effective social media can be as a form of oinformal learning.