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Blogging Newbie – In Search of “Blentors”

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I must admit – incorporating e-Learning tools into my training sessions is daunting to me.  There I said it!  Yes, I am able to troubleshoot basic technological issues and handle complex training issues.  But there is something about e-Learning that has me shaking in my educational boots.  However, if I want to advance in my career and be the best resource I can be, this is a must!

 I am new to blogging and I am looking for a few good mentors hence the title.  I must say, I feel like I have the master key that has accessed the doors of colleague collaboration and knowledge sharing.  For the past several hours, I found bloggers that peaked my interest by either challenging my thinking or by calming my training nerve because I know I am not an island.  Here’s my take on a few of them:

Internet Time, by: Jay Cross

From the very first sentence, Jay had me captivated.  In his post “Tell Me Why,” Jay asks the question “What on earth has led us to a situation where corporations overwhelmingly invest in formal training but workers overwhelmingly learn informally?”  What a huge wake up call to trainers who spend hours of preparing lessons and facilitating lessons that result in ZERO culture change in the organization.  Jay also discusses the differences between informal and formal and why it is so difficult for corporate leadership to understand or even care to address the true educational needs of their employees.

Jay has been coined the “informal learning guru” because he is credited with inventing the term e-Learning.  He also developed the first online courses for the University of Phoenix.  Jay’s wealth of knowledge and insight into the field of e-Learning will help me as I blaze my own trail.

 Grad Program in T&D at Roosevelt University, by: Nancy Solberg

 This blog is sponsored by the Training and Development Department at Roosevelt University.  I have over 10 years of experience in formal training, with some webinar and LMS application.  The information available is relevant to those new to the field, as well as seasoned professionals. 

In the latest post, guest blogger Nancy shares that her company has made the transition from instructor-led to Web-based training (WBT).  The organization as a whole was very supportive in this decision and the staff seemed to enjoy the use of technology.  However, feedback from the staff suggests the current e-Learning solutions are boring, so gamification is currently being explored as an option.  Her goal is to transfer work scenarios into an engaging method of training.  Nancy asks readers who have implemented gamification to share their experiences.

Let’s save the world from boring e-Learning!, by: Cathy Moore

Cathy Moore is known as a thought leader, who specializes in performance improvement, instructional design, and e-Learning.  Cathy is where I see myself in my professional future.  She has traveled all over the world with the purpose of “saving the world from boring e-Learning!  Her clients include Microsoft, Pfizer, the US Army, UNICEF, and New York University, just to name a few.

In her latest post “Is training really the answer? Ask the flowchart, Cathy provides a different approach to the “We need training” statement we have all heard hundreds of times.  To most, a performance problem equals a training need however, if the source of the issue is environmental or motivational, a formal training course may not address the issue.  The use of the flowchart helps the trainer / designer ask the right questions to develop correct resolution.  The intent of the post is summarized in this closing statement, “The time we don’t spend on creating unnecessary training becomes time we can invest on designing much higher quality activities.”

Cathy’s blog seems to be focused on assisting instructional designers and educators to be the right resource to their clients and learners.  Her writing is concise, easy to understand, and very practical.  She has developed the “e-Learning Blueprint,” a resource that displays information in a way that’s visually appealing.  A link of the program is available on her site.  She also includes a schedule of her workshops and webinar sessions and from what I can tell, it would be well worth the investment!