Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Elearning Awards dinner in London, having been a judge in a couple of the categories.
During the after awards drinks, Jane Hart and I were discussing the lack of any awards that encouraged the use of social learning tools.
Well, earlier this week I was a participant in a meeting between the eLN and Bizmedia, and I’m pleased to be able to say that as a result of that there will be a new category introduced for the 2010 Awards – “The best use of social media for learning”.
The official launch will take place at Learning Technologies in January.
Back in the summer I wrote an article for Saffron Interactive titled ‘The Advance of Social Media’. Its key message is that social media is now a mainstream activity and that organisations that attempt to ignore it, do so at their own risk.
If you’d like to read the full article, it is available to download here in PDF format, along with a number of other great articles in Saffron’s Advance series.
Despite the title, the article seems to be more about the shortcomings of companies, and why that makes them unsuitable as users of microblogging. To quote the article “Nevertheless, I think there are several fundamental reasons why companies are unsuited to microblogging,…”.
The article goes on to list 5 reasons why companies are not suitable;
Companies are incapable of dealing with things in real time
Companies are incapable of brevity
Companies are not open
Companies are neither altruistic or reciprocal
Companies do not have distinct voices or personalities
I don’t think I’m alone in being relieved I don’t work in a company that behaves as described in the article. One which is probably not fit to deal with its customers, is certainly not fit to manage and develop its employees and is unlikely to have a very bright (or long) future.
The biggest problem with the article, is of course that all five of the statements are wrong. Many companies are very good at dealing with things in real time, and can be both brief and open. Altruism and reciprocity are not unknown qualities in the world of business. Virgin, Disney and Nike are just a few examples of companies with a distinct voice and personality.
If you actually read the story, you’ll find the tone is clearly tongue in cheek, but that won’t stop some people attempting to use this as evidence that Twitter has no place in business.
On the 25th September, the eLearning Network held its Next Generation Learning Management event at Holborn Bars in London.
As part of the event, Matt Brewer of Chubb Insurance and I ran a collaborative session to identify what eLN members wanted to see in an LMS that was fit for use in 21st Century organisations. I’m really pleased to say that we have taken the output of that session and produced a report that can be freely downloaded from the eLearning Network website.
Today in the UK it is National Poetry Day and the subject is heroes and heroines, so I thought I would take the opportunity to post one of my favourite poems, written to honour the pilots who flew in the Battle of Britain.
He was no Galahad, no knight sans peur et sans reproche.
Sans peur? Fear was the second enemy to beat.
He was a common, unconsidered man, who, for a moment of eternity,
held the whole future of mankind in his two sweating hands.
And did not let it go.
Remember him, not as he is portrayed, but as the man he was.
To him you owe the most of what you have and love today.
Whether for holidays or business, flying is one of those things that has become so common that we rarely give it any thought. In particular, most people give the appearance of ignoring the pre flight safety briefing. So if you want people to pay attention and learn, it makes sense that you should do something uncommon.
That’s exactly what Thomson have done, and on a flight with them last week, I would estimate that 90% of the people on the plane paid attention to the whole thing.