My Connectins

These past four weeks in EDU624 (eLearning Design for Diverse Learners), we covered a wide range of engaging subject matters that I am learned about for the first time, or was introduced to in prior courses but never got to the meat of it, or even topics that I know and am getting a “refresher” on. The two concepts I will review and make my connections to are Web 2.0 and Knowledge Management (including Web 2.0), ranging from K-12, Higher Education, and Corporate settings (I will bounce back and forth between these settings).

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 refers to the use of the internet for interpersonal content sharing and online service delivery. It is concerned with establishing and maintaining more fluid, more flexible and richer online connections between people, services and information (Barnatt, 2012). The philosophy focuses on the idea that the people who consume media, access the internet, and use the Web should not passively absorb what is available — rather, they should be active contributors, helping customize media and technology for their own purposes, as well as those of their communities (Krasne, 2005).

This impacts educational settings (in general) because this is the new generation of the internet, which is where many of us get most our research and information from – formally and informally. As students, we are without a doubt feeling this transition. For example, I have not used Twitter, WordPress, and other relevant pieces of technology in prior educational settings as much as I have in this program, and frankly I do not see us turning away from this anytime soon.  It was strange to me at first, but now it is commonplace.  In addition, instead of writing general summaries about articles, I am now required to agree/disagree with articles and defend my position – and simply “contribute” more to the field as Web 2.0 describes. These are some of the major impacts of Web 2.0 that I have noticed due to experience.

In regards to training in corporate settings (my context), Web 2.0 really has not had much impact. When training for a job, it is usually more formal, structured, and trainer-led. I think when one is working/training from home, the use of podcasts, social bookmarks, chat, and other tools will be more common. I think Web 2.0 has not gained much headway in corporate trainings due to security risks. For example, how does one make Twitter only exclusive to their organization without having outside parties read the tweets? Blogs and wikis are more appropriate since this can be made exclusive for a company’s use and eyes only, but I still think there is that fear of classified information leaking to the public. Another factor is skepticism.  For example, on the job training is “learning by doing”, so many corporate-heads may feel, “How does one ‘do’ and engage in authentic assessment with Web 2.0″?

The impact this has on the design of instruction for diverse learners is phenomenal but varied. Despite your age, ethnic background or learning style, there is a place for everyone in Web 2.0. I think as the designer, the 2.0 tool to utilize in the classroom should be left up to the learner – just as long as it meet the lesson objectives. For example, I may demonstrate understanding of a topic better using a blog while another may shine using YouTube. There should be that flexibility there. However, this is easier to setup for K-16, but, it is still a challenge for the workplace.

The question I would like to pose is do you think it is necessary for corporate trainings to utilize Web 2.0? If yes, why and how? If no, why not?

Knowledge Management

Knowledge management (KM) is a discipline that promotes an integrated approach to identifying, capturing, evaluating, retrieving, and sharing all of an enterprise’s information assets. These assets may include databases, documents, policies, procedures, and previously un-captured expertise and experience in individual workers (Koenig, 2012).

This impacts corporate educational settings because with the principles of Web 2.0, it allows organizations to collaborate and learn both formally and informally by publicly sharing messages, feedback, policies, and documents with each other rapidly and securely each each other. KM is not a new concept, as corporations have always had an intranet and database with policies and materials stored for refreshing or training purposes – whether for/of the staff, client, or customer. However, with the explosion of Web 2.0, KM has become more inclusive, interactive, and interpersonal even in the workplace.

I am still building my company, Walthour Entertainment, and the KM system that my business partner and I use is SkyDrive. We both have the SkyDrive folder on our computers and mobile devices, and anytime we upload or update a document, it appears instantly in our folder. The only downside is the lack of Web 2.0 features. SkyDrive is at Web 1.5 at the moment. I say this because my partner and I still have to text, call, or IM each other whenever we upload or update a document so that we can be made aware of its existence. We are also unable send messages or leave feedback on certain documents or in general. However, this is convenient for now because all of our files are in one place and can be retained from anywhere with internet.  We are looking into converting to Yammer in the future.

The impact this has on the design of instruction for diverse learners depends on how dependent you want to be on the system. KM itself does not train.  If it is Web 2.0 such as Yammer, it simply allows for storage, collaboration and sharing of ideas and documents across the board. The benefit to KM is that formal and informal learning can be done anywhere and at any time if one has the access.  One can use the KM system during and even after training, which is a great resource for designers and trainers, but not in regards to the creative and design aspect.

The question I would like to pose is with phone, text, chat, and email still being popular, is it required that KM systems enable features to allow collaboration and providing feedback? Why or why not?

In closing, here is a small video I found on why social media (for collaboration purposes) is useful for the workplace:

References:

Barnatt, C. (2012, September 13). Web 2.0. Retrieved from http://www.explainingcomputers.com/web2.html

Koenig, M. E. D. (2012, May 04). What is km? knowledge management explained. Retrieved from http://www.kmworld.com/Articles/Editorial/What-Is-../What-is-KM-Knowledge-Management-Explained-82405.aspx

Krasne, A. (2005, December 22). What is web 2.0 anyway?. Retrieved from http://www.techsoup.org/learningcenter/webbuilding/archives/page9344.cfm

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