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Home learning is here

Embracing elearning is now forced upon us and for many this is a long time coming.

Can the new COVID revolutionize education?

Do we still need to sit in classrooms, all learning at the same pace, leading to stronger learners being held back and the reverse for the less able students.

The new distance learning could revolutionise teaching.

Staff could be allocated a cohort and then track and support progress from a distance

Schools could be used as drop in centres and activities to promote social interaction. Open to the general public to use the facilities.

Students with identified issues could be invited in for 121 support and provision.

More focus can be placed of individual progression and therefore be more learner centered and highly personalised.

A revision on learning outcomes needs to be addressed for the current qualification schemes and the development of a new distance online curriculum.

onboarding staff

Why do many companies struggle to offer new colleagues as great onboarding experience?

Forward-thinking companies are utilizing research to develop and implement adaptive onboarding and training programs that reflect individualistic socialization. Encouraging new hires’ authentic self-expression throughout onboarding has been found to increase productivity, efficiency, work/life satisfaction, and retention.

Here are a few simple changes to increase individualized socialization in your employee onboarding strategy:

1. Offer New Hires Individualized Experiences

During introductions, ask each new hire to come up with a few words that describe their personal values, strengths, and weaknesses. Then, bring the cohort together to share with one another. There will surely be similarities between the responses but discovering those similarities will help create group cohesion. You can also let them design their workspace with personal items. Even name tags and badges can go a long way to making employees feel integrated while also individual. Rather than offering branded swag, try giving new hires something with their name and the company logo on it.

2. Recognize And Utilize Their Signature Strengths

Reinforce individual strengths and the unique benefits new hires offer. If they have confidence in their abilities, then your new hires will be more inclined to bring their own invaluable creative skills and ideas to their teams. Research has shown that a disregard of individuals’ unique values will lead them to feel alienated. Consider using activities that prompt individual self-reflection. For instance, one IT consulting company had new hires walk through a decision-making “survival” exercise and think critically about how their individual skills would contribute to their success.

3. Use Adaptive Learning To Modify Corporate Training Based On An Employee’s Prior Knowledge

This method will allow the learner journey to evolve as they explore training content. Adaptive learning creates a transformative learning experience that is tailored to the individual, adding relevance and increasing engagement as a result. Afterward, have learners share their personalized learning experiences within their training cohort. The differences in their learning experiences will reinforce feelings of individuality.

4. Avoid Giving So Much Freedom That Culture Fails To Mutually Integrate With The Organization

The goal is to champion individuality while creating a learning environment where all employees harmoniously work together toward a common purpose. Emphasizing and reinforcing individuality is the key to creativity, but new hires still have to follow an established process for the organization to be effective. That’s why framing is important. Show them how their skills will make their job easier and how they can better contribute to the organizational goals.

Conclusion

An engaging onboarding process can instill the values of the organisation, provide instant access to relevant documentation and enable compliance documents to be collated. It also builds social interaction, which for many new staff, is invaluable.

Is digital literacy still a problem?

I recently was part of a conversation regarding colleague engagement via smartphones.

It is widely accepted that the majority of people now have smartphones and have access to the internet.

With more and more providers are moving to online-only presence is it just accepted that everybody will be able to navigate the online world?

The colleague I mention are a wide cross-section of the general public, working-class; yet during this conversation, many of those colleagues who were approached did not have an email address or know the @ symbol and typed “AT” in a work email address.

As the workforce age increases and the population grows older, do we need to work harder to improve digital literacy, the global push that was around 10 years ago or so has died down and the working people of the older age bracket, still struggle with modern technology?

Do we need to continue to provide support and easy access to online courses? How do we do this in the modern workplace?

Do we offer open classes to build confidence in the digital savvy worforce?

WordPress based LMS

  • LearnDash
    As one of the first-ever WordPress-based learning systems, LearnDash stands to be the most powerful and feature-packed LMS of all. It’s extremely easy to set up, offers a whole bunch of in-built features and seamlessly integrates with all the major extensions and add-ons in the market. What makes LearnDash suitable for corporate training is its thoughtfully-crafted feature sets that account for all your nitty-gritty requirements. For instance, the “Flexible Prerequisites” option allows you to have your trainees take more courses only when they’re through with compliance training.

It also has a comprehensive group management system in place which can be customized to suit your L&D teams’ specific training needs. With features like advanced quizzing, detailed reporting, dynamic forums, and compatibility with TinCan API and SCORM, LearnDash undisputedly bags the number one spot on this list!

Highlighted Features
LearnDash focus mode
Assignment management
Expire access
Multisite enabled
Mobile compatible
LearnDash ProPanel

Pricing
A single site license of LearnDash is available for $159.
The Plus and Pro packages are priced at $189 and $329 respectively.

  • Lifter LMS
    With an equally diverse set of features, Lifter LMS provides a great platform to create an effective corporate training environment. It’s got all the necessary elements of a traditional LMS, like drip-feeding content, drag-and-drop course builder, multi-instructor functionality, customizable course enrollments, discussion forums, and the like. If you’re authoring some courses in-house, you can add multimedia lessons including video, audio, text, images, and more to make your courses more appealing.

You can make the most of its achievement badges, certificates, and personalized emails to engage your trainees and foster a healthy learning culture in your organization. Just like any other WordPress-based software, you can customize Lifter LMS as per your specific training needs.

Highlighted Features
Course tracks
Instructional Design
Recurring payments option
Course bundles
Private coaching
Business, marketing, and technical support


Pricing
A basic single site license of LifterLMS is available for $99, with an additional charge for the add-ons you choose to purchase.
The higher-level packages are priced at $299 (for 5 site licenses) and $999 (for unlimited licenses) and provide a wide range of added features and extensions.

  • LearnPress
    What stands out most about this LMS plugin is its sleek and learner-focused User Interface. LearnPress is a free plugin that has been developed with a special focus on keeping the tool lightweight and optimized for speed to accommodate all the additional extensions and add-ons that you might integrate with. While it provides all the basic LMS related features for course authoring and delivery, investing in third-party add-ons to add functionality, like social learning or advanced reporting, helps you streamline your expenditure to some extent. This way your base plugin stands to be free, and you’re only spending money on the features that you really need.

Wishlists, course reviews, and prerequisite courses are available as free add-ons with LearnPress. The paid versions come with a bunch of additional features and a “Theme” of your choice.

Highlighted Features
Unlimited instructors and co-instructors
Drag-and-drop course builder
Manage learner progress
Support for multisite
Automatic email system


Pricing

The basic version of LearnPress is free and allows you to create a basic online course website. Based on the add-ons and customizations you choose to work with, additional charges will apply.
The Theme and Pro bundles of LearnPress range between $49 and $249 respectively.


My Thoughts;

I have tried and tested all of the above and for my money, LearnDash comes out tops.

It has its quirks, sure! But for the ROI, it carries all the features and functions and more.

The updates and addon are great, it increases the costs, but it would give you a very powerful system for a fraction of the costs of the big players. In many ways, it outperforms them.

Workplace learning

Here are 10 misconceptions about Modern Workplace Learning (MWL).

1 – MWL simply means modernising training.
No. It is much more than modern training. It means a modern approach to learning at work – recognising and valuing all the ways that people learn at, through and for work – not just in training, but as they do their daily jobs as well as on the Web. MWL means a new organisational learning mindset.

2 -MWL is all about using new trends and technologies to design and deliver modern learning experiences, e.g.

  • moving training from the classroom to e-learning – so everything is online
  • using social learning – making people discuss things with one another in courses
  • using mobile learning – turning e-courses into mobile courses
  • using micro learning – chunking courses up into small pieces
  • using virtual reality, augmented reality or mixed reality

No. Whilst all these trends and technologies have their place, it is not just about using the latest technology in training, but rather helping to find the right solution for a problem. This might be some sort of training, but there might well be another more appropriate non-training solution.

3 – MWL is all about the “learner”.
No. People don’t go to work to (e-)learn; they go to work. So, they are primarily employees or workers (rather than learners), but ultimately individuals with different needs and interests. The term “learner” conjures up images of sitting in a classroom or at the desktop ploughing through an e-learning course! In the workplace, it is better to think in terms of the “modern professional” or “modern employee” rather than the “modern learner”.

4 – MWL means providing personalised learning for every individual.
No. It’s about helping individuals to develop their own personal learning strategies that suit them and their needs.

5 – MWL is all about “learning”.
No. MWL is a much wider concept. It’s about (new and improved) performance, individual and team growth, and professional career development.

6 – MWL is all about ensuring individuals can do TODAY’S’ jobs.
No. It is also about preparing for the future. It is not just about providing modern courses or resources for individuals to do their current work, but building and supporting a new skillset for the modern workplace.

7 – MWL means using gamification to improve engagement (and learning) at work.
No. Gamification doesn’t necessarily result in engagement nor learning. People only learn when they are motivated and have a purpose to do so – and the greatest motivation and purpose is to keep themselves marketable and employable.

8 = L&D is responsible for MWL.
No. Everyone is responsible for what they learn. L&D might take responsibility for designing and delivering modern learning experiences (where required), but managers are responsible for the growth of their team members, and individuals are responsible for their own self-improvement and self-development.

9 – MWL means tracking everything everyone learns in a central learning platform.
No. Whilst it will be important to have central records for compliance and regulatory purposes, it doesn’t mean trying to achieve the impossible task of tracking everyone’s learning. Rather, it means helping individuals to manage their own learning and development – using their own personally-selected tools – and maintain a record of their own achievements that they can take with them throughout their career.

10 – MWL means there is no role for L&D in the future workplace.
No. But the profession now needs to adapt to the new world of workplace learning – one where it is no longer solely about L&D directing and managing training. Instead L&D needs to provide a broader service that includes encouraging, enabling, guiding, facilitating and supporting all the ways people learn at, for and through – as and when it is needed.

Jane Hart First published in September 2017.http://modernworkplacelearning.com/

What You Need To Know About Starting A Blog in 2020

Blogging is a great way of sharing your personal opinions, reviews, tips, and tricks with other people, but a lot of talented writers with a lot to say don’t know how to get started.

Your blog could shape opinions and inspire. It could be a source of entertainment for someone interested in a certain topic. It could help someone make a decision that changes their life for the better, it could be to support your small business, or it could just be for a good laugh.  

None of these things can happen if you never figure out how to make your blog. But don’t worry if you’re not there yet. Almost every famous blogger was just as clueless as you were when they started their blog.

You might not know how to start a blog or what you need to do in order to become a blogger. You might not even know what HTML means or how to use it, but you are in luck.
Starting up your own blog is actually quite easy.
Especially in the world of modern digital marketing and search engine optimization, there are a couple of things you need to know beforehand. Knowing about these things can help you overcome some of the challenges that might stand in your way.
Here are a few tips that you should follow. These tips will not only help you in creating a blog but will also help in saving your time and energy as you continue to build your audience and grow it down the line

Tips to follow for an easy setup

The first task is to write down a list of some long- and short-term goals that you’re aiming for. You’ll then select a domain name and will choose a CMS as well. There are plenty of content management systems that you can opt for. Most people or businesses use WordPress, as it’s the easiest to navigate, especially for people who aren’t super tech savvy.
The second step will be to design your blog, so choose a simple a theme that you like and then start modifying it to achieve your desired look. You’ll be selecting branding logos and colors that will define your blog and will be the highlight of your blog.
It’s important to note that just because you’re using a CMS doesn’t mean you can’t customize the look of your site. Usually, it’s best to create a homepage design, then create an individual post design. This design for a post explaining electronic invoicing, for example, has a navigation. If you’re doing more in-depth posts, this works. If you’re focusing on simple, more informational posts, like this one on how to file for bankruptcy, can probably be scaled back and more text-based.
The next task you need to do is opt for the best plug-in you can get your hands on for your blog. You need to come up with forms in order to start collecting some subscribers. And lastly, start writing high-quality content for your readers to read and enjoy.

Factors that will make your blog different from others

Firstly, if you’re starting up a blog simply to earn money through your blog posts, then you’re doing it wrong and will probably be disappointed. Sure, you can have a sponsorship now and then, but having an entire blog filled with sponsored products and advertisements is something you wouldn’t want to do because you just won’t be successful in keeping anybody on your page.
Most readers find sponsored advertisements quite annoying, leading them to unsubscribe or bounce from you page. So, remember that if you’re starting a blog in order to earn money, you’re going to have to be creative about it.
You might end up earning a solid income through it, but that should not be your first priority if you want to make it last. There are probably going to be numerous websites similar to yours. The thing that will set you apart is the quality of content. Otherwise, why would anybody read your site over another?
Secondly, you should not be writing these blog posts in order to earn fame.
Instead, the main purpose of you blogging is to make people aware of either your interests or professional work. Blogging about yourself is ok as long as you’re giving people actionable steps to follow. If people don’t get anything productive out of reading your work, why would they care what a complete stranger has to say? You have to make them care, again, with quality content.
Finding a niche makes this a lot easier. Blogging about things that you’re passionate about is a great way to interact with people who have the same interest as you. See who your readers are, and write accordingly. You want to write things that will attract people who will become repeat visitors.
The more relatable the blog will be, the more audience you’re likely to have. Your content should mean something to them. Make sure to write original content, and don’t just duplicate the work of others. Your focus should be on writing. As far as managing a website goes, especially if this is your business, you can enlist one of the many reputable WordPress hosting services to deal with everything.
You need to be yourself so that people can get to know you better through your blog posts. Be interesting, relevant, charismatic, and simply be honest. People don’t want to read lies about things. They want your honest and 100 percent original opinion on things.
Just keep everything simple, research things before you post them, and make a schedule for when you’ll be posting so that your readers know when they’ll be able to read more content.

Being different is important in Modern Blogging

The internet is absolutely chocked full of competition and if you want to make it, you need to think about what makes your website different from the rest. Reproducing the same content as other sites, unless you have a better distribution network than them, won’t really get you anywhere.
The real attention is in people who seek to do things differently, those who can capture a new audience just because they’re interesting. This is the style of blogger you should be modeling your writing after.
Building an audience is extremely difficult, but totally doable if you spend the time and effort on building out your blog for long-term success.

3 Wearables That Can Be used For eLearning

Technology is ever evolving with fresh inventions being introduced on a regular basis and if care is not taken, most people won’t be able to keep up with the pace. Apart from using smartphones, tablets and tools like the free plagiarism checker for elearning, wearables appear to be here to stay, although it is not fully optimized yet.
Basically, wearables are devices that can be worn on any part of the body or attached to clothing materials with electronic technologies incorporated into them. Without gainsaying, they are the rave of the moment. They are often embedded with sensors or software that allow transfer of data and most are comfortable to wear. Wearables can perform the same functions as tablets and smartphones, but works more specifically with the tendency of being sophisticated. Let’s take a peek at some of the devices that can make learning worthwhile.
1. Virtual Reality.
Let’s put aside the immersive, engaging gaming and 3D video experience that VR has to offer for a while and focus on its possible impact on education. Using VR as an educational platform is a faster, creative way of learning, motivating students to learn more and the memories stick to the brain better. Another bonus is that students can learn at anywhere and anytime. Developers around the world are working on ways that history, sciences, sports, astronomy, architecture, medicine, foreign languages, literature and even any subject can be learnt through VR, it’s possibilities are just endless. In the United States and Europe, some companies supply schools with packaged educational content, curriculum and technological tools to support VR?-based learning.
2. Smartwatch
It is a fashion accessory that also works as a mobile learning device, it is really a smart and interactive way of learning as the name implies. Is there any foreign language that you’ve always wanted to master, but seems difficult? Free language apps that are compatible with most smartwatches exist. Aside from that, there are other educational apps that are similar to those downloaded on tablets and smartwatches. Users can learn effectively and comfortably. Research can be carried out quickly on the web through voice commands and the results delivered promptly. Additionally, it can be used as an organizing tool.
3. Smartglasses/ Digital Eye Glass
They are devices that display modified images to the wearer with some having the features of a smartphone. During hazardous laboratory experiments, smartglasses can be worn to serve as a protection and can also be used by students for viewing the experiment procedure when there is not enough room in the lab. In the field of medicine and surgery, students could be taught with the aid this device. As time goes on, Microsoft’s HoloLens will be indispensable in studying human anatomy. Organs of the body can be easily isolated to see their functions and appearance without interacting with a living human.
It’s amazing that most of these wearables are affordable and can be used for elearning even without the aid of a tutor because in the absence on none, students can have quick access to tutorials and manuals