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821 - Rethinking Webinars, Mobile Knowledge, Video from Train

Learning TRENDS by Elliott Masie - April 15, 2014.
#821 - Updates on Learning, Business & Technology.
56,444 Readers - - twitter: emasie - The MASIE Center.
Host: MOOC’s in Corporate Learning LAB - July in Saratoga Springs, NY.

1. Rethinking Webinar Design - Your Ideas Please.
2. Mobility with Knowledge in the Hand.
3. Video of My Cross Country Train Trip.

1. Rethinking Webinar Design - Your Ideas Please: Webinars are increasingly popular for distributing content and context to large numbers of distributed workers without the cost of travel.  Yet, webinars are suffering from a weakened brand in many organizations.  Here are some common complaints/brand descriptions:

* Attrition Before Arrival: In some companies, as few as 40% of individuals registered for a webinar actually show up.
* Departure Before Completion: We track early departure, after 12 minutes, as increasing in recent years.
* 2 or 3 Multi-Tasks: Many learners, including me, often engage in 2 or 3 other activities during the webinar.
* Low Engagement: Webinars are meant to be live to facilitate learner engagement. But, it is often quite low or just symbolic.
* PowerPoint Obsession: What is the right role for slides or PowerPoint during the webinar, especially as we add live video to the screen?
* Decreased Brand Sparkle: In many companies, the brand of a webinar is dropping, reflecting decreased learner value.

Bob Mosher, the Learning Advocate at The MASIE Center, is heading up our project to take a collaborative look at rethinking and redesigning the webinar.  We are interested in your comments and perspectives.  Could you send a note to with your thoughts about webinar redesign.

2. Mobility with Knowledge in the Hand: I have spent the last few days in Los Angeles in dialogue with a wide range of younger colleagues, most of whom are avid users of mobile phones.  I took some time with each to talk about their view of the mobile device and how they use it for learning:

* Not a single person was doing “mobile learning” in terms of constructed learning activities.
* Search was the single most commonly used function, beyond text messaging.
* Few of my colleagues had made a phone call in the last five days. They use their devices for content, messaging and apps, but rarely for calls.
* They actively see the mobile device as a core part of their memory and knowledge system.  They consciously keep large amounts of their own memory in the memory of the device. 
* They each wish for more focused performance or job assistance apps.  Their apps are for shopping, entertainment, travel and community.  Each colleague wishes for apps that are more deeply mapped to his/her role, job, career or job outcome.
* Work IT security issues actually hamper their use of mobile devices to support work.  Firewalls, security validation and other issues often kept them from using the mobile device as a work assistant.

We need to change our conversation away from “M-Learning” or “Mobile Learning”. Instead, let’s fully engage, innovate and explore how a range of mobile devices, in the hands of workers and customers, can be fully enabled for assisting performance at work.  We must widen our BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices) approaches to make content and collaboration more device enabled.  And, let’s apply a usability model to assess the best enabling approaches with workplace mobile use.

3. Video of My Cross Country Train Trip: As I mentioned last week, my trip from Chicago to Los Angeles involved a 2 1/2 day train ride on Amtrak.  I used my new, very high-def video camera (Cannon VIXIA Mini) to make a 4 minute sample of my ride across America: 

For once, I changed the ending of this video from “Yours in Learning” to “Yours in Training”. 

Yours in learning,

Elliott Masie
Host, Learning 2014

twitter: @emasie

MASIE Center Seminars, Events and Services:
* Learning 2014 - October 2014 - Orlando, Florida.
* Video & Learning LAB.
* On-The-Job Learning LAB.
* MOOCs & Corporate Learning.
* Membership in The Learning CONSORTIUM
Info and Registration: - twitter: emasie