FREE eBook: eLearning 101 – concepts, trends, applications

ebook-banner-4The team at eFront and TalentLMS have got together to create a FREE elearning eBook to download on everything anyone needed to know about elearning! This eLearning 101’ book covers all important and relevant concepts, trends and applications of elearning.

People new to elearning will appreciate the first chapters which define elearning, describe best practices, goes over the basics on learning platforms, and online courses – how to make elearning effective and the tools that help you to do so.

Those more familiar with the basic concepts will find a wealth of information on current elearning trends which shape and define eLearning now, and in the near and distant future. Topics covered include: social and collaborative learning, blended learning, gamification, micro-learning, video learning, rapid elearning, personalization and elearning, and continuous learning.

Final chapters explore applications of elearning in customer service, sales training, safety training, customer training, IT training, healthcare training and product training.

This eBook will be updated from time to time so if you have any suggestions for chapters you’d like to see please do let us know! And happy reading! :)

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE EBOOK COPY

eFront in Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013

Thank you to all our clients and users who voted for us!

The Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013 list (released 30 September 2013) was compiled from the votes of over 500 education and workplace learning professionals from 48 countries. For a fuller analysis, please visit Analysis 2013.

In this year’s list, Twitter retains its no 1 position – now for the 5th year running – then comes Google Drive/Docs at #2. PowerPoint moved up to #5 and Evernote moved into the top 10 at #6. Google + and Hangouts moved into the top 10 at #10 and eFront moved up 19 places to #67.  You can view a text list of the 100 Tools here along with the Slideshare presentation.

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Designing learning for millennials

millennials“Millennials” is the corporate training buzzword we’ve been hearing a lot lately. According to PwC, by 2016, 80 percent of the workforce will be made up of millennials – the generation of people born between 1981 and 1999. As with any major culture shift, some companies are a little nervous, and understandably so – trainers know it could be significant but aren’t quite sure what to do about it.

What are some characteristics of workplace Millennials? Millennials rely more on email and social platforms rather than the phone and face-to-face communications to get work done. They also often like to use multiple mediums, for example switching between text, email or phone for a single topic as well.1 They are incredibly comfortable with technology, but let’s not forget that many industries employ older generations that have become just as comfortable with it. In fact, millennials are not unlike other audiences that training professionals have strived to engage.

So, how are millennial learners different?

According to a Pew Research study, they are motivated self-learners that can be self-directed employees. “Millennials seek transparency and real time feedback in their work environment. They have been accustomed to using innovative technologies for learning in their studies from K-12 to University education. It is a natural progression for them to use similar technologies for training in their work environments.”2

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Infographic: Social Tools in the Workplace

Microsoft recently conducted a major global survey on enterprise social use and perceptions. Microsoft wanted to find out more about the uses — or lack of use — of social tools in business. What social tools were most common, what tools were restricted and how far would people go to get their hands on those tools? The infographic you see here reveals how nearly 10,000 information workers around the world view social tools. The survey results are can also be read as a PDF here. Continue reading

efront LMS integration with Facebook

Lately we’ve been talking a lot about using Facebook as a learning platform. Social is integral to learning in the workforce today – and learning platforms need to be able to support formal and informal, personalized and social learning. We took that into consideration with the eFront platform which comes with a rich set of social tools that facilitate the communication and social learning process together with an easy-to-use Facebook integration plugin.

Facebook Integration

eFront allows users to connect to the platform via their Facebook account. By using the Facebook connection some info from Facebook is transferred to efront (specifically the user status and avatar). If the eFront user changes his/her status this change is also reflected on his/her Facebook profile.

The administrator enables the Facebook integration though the system settings and the Facebook tab (in ‘External tools’) by entering the Facebook API key and secret code. The admin can then choose to allow connection with Facebook, Facebook data acquisition (avatar and status exchanges) and the external login to eFront through a Facebook account.

The basic steps to create the FB integration are outlined below, or you can go directly to our wiki page for more on social extensions.

1. Go to http://developers.facebook.com/ and click on “Create new App”

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Part 2: Using Facebook as a learning platform (videos)

For those who missed last week’s post “Part 1: Using Facebook as a learning platform” we shared some important links for instructors interested in using Facebook with students.

This week I would like to share my favorite YouTube videos on the subject!

1. Using Facebook to teach: Bullis School teacher Sara Romeyn talks about using Facebook as a teaching tool in her AP U.S. History Class.

2. Facebook used in the college classroom: Continue reading

Part 1: Using Facebook as a learning platform

facebook-for-learningLet’s start this post by stating that Facebook was not actually created as a learning platform, it can however clearly be used to enhance and support elearning. Facebook is STILL the most convenient way to get connected to friends, get updated on existing friends, find new people, build relationships and express identities – so the big Facebook advantage is that your audience is most definitely there. Facebook makes it easy to network and interact with other virtual students, and because most people know how to use Facebook they don’t need to become familiar with a new platform.

It’s also relatively easy to create apps for Facebook, making it a great canvas for developers to add cool new functionality and get users involved pretty quickly. We have written about Facebook apps for elearning before in this post!

For those interested in using Facebook with students the following links may be of use: [Resource: Facebook as an “interactive learning resource”?]

1) Stephen Heppell: Using Facebook in the Classroom This page outlines the dos and don’ts of using Facebook with students. Examples include the following (and much more):

  • Do – build a separate teacher page for your “teacher” presence.
  • Do – keep your teacher and personal page very separate
  • Do – post pictures of school/lessons/trips – even diagrams you put on the board (snap them with your phone and post them) – it reminds students that you are there, generates a pride in the school and reminds them that this is not a vacuous space!
  • Don’t – ‘friend’ students yourself – not even as your “teacher” presence.
  • Don’t – accept complete ignorance of Facebook as an excuse for dangerous school policies like blanket bans. Instead offer to be an action researcher, and try it out for a year. Continue reading

Twitter in the classroom

It’s inevitable that any medium designed for ease of communication and networking will be applied to a learning context however many educators are still trying to come to grips with Twitter, and in particular its use in the classroom.

For a comprehensive list of resources on Twitter in the classroom and workplace, check out Dr. Tony Karrer’s list here – and also Edudemic’s 100 Ways to use Twitter in Education.

There are a multitude of ways Twitter can be integrated into classroom teaching, for example: Continue reading

5 free tools for creating slick infographics

Infographics (or information graphics) have been around for many years and recently the proliferation of a number of easy-to-use, free tools have made the creation of infographics available to all. They are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. By presenting information in a compact and creative format, infographics are not only able to quickly convey knowledge but also engage its viewers – and social media sites have allowed for this kind of content to be spread quickly and easily.

There are many reasons to include infographics in your content strategy – 10 good reasons are listed in this blog post:

  1. Infographics are compelling and attractive
  2. Easily scanned and viewed
  3. Viral capabilities
  4. Portable (embeddable)
  5. Worldwide coverage
  6. Brand awareness
  7. Increases traffic
  8. Benefits SEO
  9. Shows an expert understanding of a subject

We have taken a look at some free tools for creating infographics and here are our favorites: Continue reading

Social networking & the workplace

Dan Pontefract’s recent blog post on companies (not) allowing Facebook at work has prompted me to dust off the topic of how social helps companies get the business of communicating, collaborating and learning done – and hence the business of business done! I’d like challenge a few misconceptions:

Enterprises consider social media only in terms of their potential as a marketing tool:

It’s obvious that social networking outlets such as Twitter and Facebook are channels through which enterprises can deliver information and engage customers with an unprecedented level of creativity and reach. What most do not realize is that “some 70% of the extra profit to be made through social technologies has nothing to do with marketing. It’s in areas of the company such as knowledge management, innovation, communication, and better integration with the supply chain.”1

In the book New Social Learning: A Guide to Transforming Organizations Through Social Media2, we are provided with real-world case studies and supportive research to demonstrate how social networking is helping employees learn, innovate, share knowledge and engage peers, business partners, and customers. In this ‘knowledge-building ecosystem’ people are at its core and information-transfer becomes a form of currency. “We need new ways to filter content, save information and learn from each other and our trusted sources,” write authors Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner. Continue reading