Be better at work using social tools inside (or outside) the org

September 28, 2011

Blogger Stephen Hale makes an informed, experience-based argument that social tools can help people to be less busy and more productive. He gives an example of getting frustrated at work, and then receiving feedback after expressing himself via social tools outside his org.

To me, that is the essence of social media. It is an incredibly powerful vehicle for connecting with others, and in ways unimaginable just a decade ago.

Whether you’re blogging, participating in online forums, connecting through tools like Yammer, or Tweeting your way to 2.0 bliss, social media has changed how we connect…and the possibilities that arise through those connections.

Stephen received some time-saving, efficiency increasing ideas about dealing with with email. I have gotten great ideas and feedback on my (not so great!) design ideas by reaching beyond through social media.

Based on such personal experience, and reams of external evidence, Stephen, I, and probably you, too, inevitably ask:  Why isn’t my team/org/group using these tools?

I preach the social gospel at least once a week in some water-cooler way: “you should share that on X (our internal platform)”, or, “why don’t you post it on X, and let people edit it, add to it, etc there?”

I always get push-back. Don’t have time, don’t trust, not ready to share the idea, blah blah blah.

I don’t know how to confront that, at least not effectively. But I will continue my crusade internally, and connecting externally in any way I can.

You see, social media doesn’t care about whether they are used inside or outside the company firewall. They exist only as vehicles for connecting. Where, and when, and with whom, is our choice. I’m all about keeping that choice as wide open as possible.


My tools for managing MOOC information abundance in #change11

September 21, 2011

Last week there were some great articles posted that focused on the “how to” of the course…how to participate in a MOOC, how to set up the social components, etc. So, I decided to follow the advice and get set up properly with a few tools to help with information tracking and participation. Here’s what I’ve set up so far:

Google Docs: Created a document to list the key articles or other resources I’ve read,along with any quick notes, sorted by week and topic. Also creating a sort of “dumping ground” document for random thoughts, copy and pasting stuff, etc. I’ll make these public once I have them a bit more focused and organized the way I like them.

Delicious: I started bookmarking course and related URLs on Delicious. I love the ability to use tags and bundles, and I’m especially looking forward to experimenting with the public and networking part of Delicious, both within #change11 and beyond. You can view my bookmarks here.

Twitter: Still a bit cynical about it’s usefulness, but I figured this will be a good chance to give it a fair try. Hopefully best practices will emerge! Twitter fan? Ping me and say hello – @kevinshadix.

Google Reader:  I’ve been using this for my RSS reader for a few years. It does a lot of things well, but one thing I find REALLY annoying about Google  Reader is that I can’t save posts that I’ve read. I’ve heard there are better RSS aggregators out there, like News Gator and others. Any recommendations?

This Blog: This is an on-again, off-again blog I started a few years ago. This MOOC may be the  kick-in-the-pants I need to get going with regular postings. Though I will also be posting on non-course topics, I will definitely post reflections, ideas, lessons-learned, and so on from my course experiences.

That”s all I have so far. I’m also interested in exploring and experimenting with other useful social media/networking tools, such as Flickr, SlideShare, and others.

What about you? If you’re in this MOOC, or have experience with any others, what tools did you find especially helpful? Any tips, best practices for the tools I listed (or any others)?

Bedtime here in Seattle, WA. Long day ahead – good night, good luck, and happy MOOCing.


Goals for my first MOOC: #change11

September 18, 2011

I’ve been interested in MOOCs (massive online open courses) since I first read about the first Connectivist MOOC a couple years back.

As someone with a long-time interest in various forms of distributed and “social” learning, I am fascinated with the concept of MOOCs. But after looking into a few since then, I hesitated joining in for two reasons: 1) Huge time commitment and 2) A academic-learning orientation in both content and community.

Being an instructional designer in a fast-paced technology corporation, I’m short on time. And I tend to look for the practical and applicable more than philosophical and theoretical. At least that is/was my perception. Now, reading more into the intent of MOOCs in general, and especially the Change MOOC that starts this week, I’m learning that it is really up to each person to participate how they want, especially focusing on setting their own goals and building their own network.

Sooo……I decided to dive in and see what I can learn, create, discover, build. Short on time? I’ll do what I can. I don’t have to write essays. My posts might be messy, but hey – life is messy. It’s a conversation, not a competition. Not in the academic world? Who says we have to be? It will be interesting to find others who are seeking non-academic applications.

At any rate, here are my goals for #change11:

  • Figure out what connectivism and MOOCs are about
  • Explore how each can be applied in a training environment (as opposed to academic)
  • Build a network of other corporate training professionals to share and learn with
  • Do all three of these as deeply, passionately, openly and…..SUCCINCTLY as possible!
Looking forward to the journey!
Learn all about MOOCs here.