Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Brent Schlenker Joins EdCast!


The Big Story!

I am officially part of team EdCast. If you missed it, I left Litmos a couple months ago. After a few weeks of soul searching and many many conversations with mentors, colleagues, and friends, I decided a new adventure on the cutting edge of learning platform solutions was exactly where I wanted to be. EdCast checked all the boxes for me and my family and I am beyond excited about this journey. Special thanks to the visionary Karl Mehta for trusting me to be a part of his team.

A Little Historic Context

I remember very clearly being quite bored with learning tech in late '90s. I had experienced all the authoring tools, the cumbersome LMSs, and a fantastic virtual reality project just as VR entered the trough of disillusionment...and then basically disappeared. The industry wasn't moving anywhere. I didn't see anything changing and contemplated a complete career change. But then the internet changed.

The tools that would soon be called Web2.0 started reaching my network of like-minded geeky friends. Blogs, wikis, RSS, and early mobile devices (Remember the Treo?) hit the scene. These technologies changed me. Once again I became excited about my chosen profession and what was possible. I could see the future of learning in this new internet and it was wonderful. This early adoption of Web2.0, and the Learning2.0 craze, helped me build the rest of my career.


I was well into Web2.0, but didn't actually start this blog until 2005 when I couldn't sit on the sidelines any longer. I needed to play. And so I began experimenting and sharing those experiments at every event that would accept me. It felt like we were onto something BIG! 

Check out my first blog post to get a feel for my frame of mind at the time.

Sadly, as we rolled into the second half of the 2000s, I realized the L&D market was a LAGGING indicator, not a leading indicator of technology. It would take many more years for these tools to become commercially acceptable. And then many more years for L&D to see the value. Some might argue L&D still hasn't seen the value, or made the shift. 

It was obvious to me that companies were not ready for this type of disruption in their training departments. But I was lucky enough to join the eLearning Guild and use the DevLearn stage to help influence training practitioners around the world. DevLearn was the first L&D event to use an event hashtag and display the tweets LIVE on a monitor at the event. It was about the same time that a Guild research report stated 82% of Guild members NEVER use twitter. Let's hope that percentage is MUCH lower today.

During all of this change in the internet the backend technologies that drove these systems were defined as "the cloud". And just when I was beginning to lose hope that learning tech would ever keep up, I discovered Litmos: The tiny little cloud-based LMS out of New Zealand. This was nearing the end of the 2000s and I had renewed hope that there was something to be excited about. But while I was excited about LMSs finally moving into the cloud, nothing really changed. It was the same LMS functionality we had before just, sort of, a little better, a little cheaper, and a little more user friendly. And that was GREAT! But still no rss capabilities. No wiki-style functionality. And we were STILL trapping media content in the black box of SCORM. Very much not Web2.0. It wasn't what I had envisioned for a truly Learning2.0 platform. 

Does anyone remember my 2007 keynote at eLearnDevCon in Utah? Were you there? Maybe you saw me deliver similar presentations on Learning2.0 at other events that year. I hope you felt my enthusiasm for the changes I saw in our future. That was almost exactly 10 years ago.

That presentation and Learning2.0, 10 years later, is finally reality.

So why did I feel like I needed to write a history report? I wanted to give you some context around my excitement joining the EdCast team. There are over 1300 LMSs in the market presented in various shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors. The world doesn't need ANOTHER LMS. We need to focus less on training events, and more on learning and performance. No traditional LMS can do that, nor should it. They do what they do very well. They solve the training problem. Now we need systems that solve learning problems. 

Can your LMS grab an RSS feed like Flipboard can? No. Probably not. 

Can it make decisions delivering the right content at the right time based on context? LOL! Right... what was I thinking.

Do your employees start their day by logging into your LMS? ROTFL! I'm cracking myself up :)

Does your LMS have live streaming video capabilities? No it doesn't. Most still haven't figured out how to allow uploading pre-recorded videos.

EdCast does all of this and so much more!

Let's just look at video. Video is the future. In all of it's many forms. Whether it's professionally produced, DIY, live streamed, recorded, or 360 degrees, video will dominate the consumer experience. That translates into the learning experience. 

Because ALL content is LEARNING content to someone. 

And when we talk about culture change? All employees are now both student and teacher. Does your LMS allow EVERYONE in the company to create content? Share content? Like it? Bookmark it? Comment on it? It should. But it doesn't.

And is your LMS Mobile 1st? More like 2nd, 3rd, or not. Pick up your phone and look at how many apps you have that allow you to stream video at the touch of a button: Instragram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, skype, slack, Periscope, gChat, and more. Is one of those icons your LMS? No. It should be. But that won't happen. It's going to take a complete rethinking of your enterprise learning culture to embrace the coming of the Learning Experience Platform (Learn more from Josh Bersin about Digital Learning).

Brace yourself! LXP is here... and it's about time!

Feel free to reach out to me online @bschlenker, LinkedIn, or even Snapchat @schlearning :)






Thursday, April 06, 2017

TLDChat - Video Friday - Guest Brian Fanzo talks Live Streaming


Welcome to #TLDChat!

Today we are talking with the amazing Brian Fanzo, aka @iSocialFanz !

You can view it here or click the video screen below and login at crowdcast.io for the event. 

Be sure to get updates on future #TLDChat guest by signing up for the newsletter at TLDC.us     
powered by crowdcast

Monday, March 20, 2017

TLDChat - Another First for the L&D Industry


Last year we experimented with a daily live streaming show called L&D Talk. It was a fantastic experience, and convinced me that this crazy idea of daily live streaming was now possible. I've been thinking about this since my days in broadcast television back in the early '90s. The live streaming tech that exists today makes it possible within a simple interface. And we are looking forward to moving the L&D industry forward and seeing the future. But we are also focused on how you can do the work of training today and provide immediate business value.

Crowdcast.io

There are many new apps, tools, services, launching in this space, but we've decided on Crowdcast.io to get us started. So far the tool has been wonderful. The Q&A and polling features are simple to use and add an interesting element to the conversation. The screen sharing is simple to use as well, and now that I have tested it I am looking forward to using it more often in unique ways.

TLDChat

#TLDChat is a part of the TLDC brand experience. TLDC is the Training Learning and Development C...: Community, Conference, and Chat. All aspects of the experience revolve around YOU, the members of the community. Technology has given us all the ability to organize more efficiently than ever before. TLDC is here to facilitate your success through interactivity with your peers and the experts the you want to hear from.

Rings of Focus

Are you familiar with the Rings of Focus yet? Maybe not. This is just one way that we looked at designing the TLDC experience. There are 5 rings: YOU in the center, Projects, Team, Organization, and Industry in the outer rings. These 5 areas make up the work in your career. You focus on yourself in order to produce great projects within teams for organizations or clients. You then have the ability to share key learnings and experiences within the industry as a part of giving back to the community that most likely helped you succeed. It always comes back full circle.


TLDC.us and TLDC.events

Check out TLDC.us to see a list of episodes and review the notes and archived recordings. If you want to participate in the live streaming conversation you can find us at TLDC.events.

The TLDCommunity is yours. Tell us what you want to discuss, learn, and share. We will figure out how to facilitate that for you. Because we probably want the same things. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Brent Schlenker Says Good Bye to Litmos!

The Big Idea

Today Litmos is announcing that I am no longer working as their Chief Learning Strategist.  We still plan to work together in the future, but currently have no specific plans to announce.

A Quick Look Back...

I remember meeting the Litmos founders via twitter back when they launched. And seeing them exhibit for the first time while I was Program Director for DevLearn was a highlight. I remember being so excited to finally see a SaaS based Learning Management System disrupt our industry. Of course today, just about all LMSs are SaaS based, but as far as I know Litmos was the first.

Litmos was acquired by Calliduscloud back in 2011 and I joined the growing team in 2014.  Up until that point I had experienced corporate training, and L&D, from just about every angle. As a practitioner that included instructional designer, eLearning & virtual reality developer, Director of Training, and other titles across different organizations like HR, logistics, manufacturing, IT, and corporate universities. My passion for technology as an early adopter and evangelist for what we called Learning2.0 launched my industry career beyond my corporate career as a practicing L&D professional which led to my role in programming DevLearn for 5 years.

Why Did I Work for Litmos?

The piece of our industry that I had not yet experienced, on the inside, was the vendor community. So, in 2014, I jumped at the opportunity to work with the vendor I saw disrupting the industry the most. I learned so much and enjoyed offering them leading industry knowledge, thought leadership, and playing a role in their tremendous growth. Through my industry presence blogging, being active in social media, presenting at events, and marketing campaigns, I provided Litmos visibility across many different channels giving them a voice, and face, in the larger community.

So, What's Up?

It's been a fantastic 3 years.  Experiences like this have given me a more complete picture of our L&D industry that is unique and valuable. I'm looking forward to taking this experience, and new vision of the future of training/learning into my next role. I'm grateful to the Litmos leadership team for the amazing opportunity. We plan on continuing our relationship while I continue to pursue opportunities helping other corporate training and L&D organizations optimize their training systems and processes.

As always, you can find me on twitter @bschlenker, or on snapchat as @schlearning. And my Facebook page is http://fb.com/brentschlenker .

Friday, March 03, 2017

Corporate Trainer as Knowledge Broker

I've often referred to the corporate training professional as a Knowledge Broker.  And not in the academic sense (Google it and you'll see what I mean), but in the framework of the corporate training profession. In all honesty, in the corporate setting that just seemed more closely aligned with what training professionals did on the job, and the value they provide to the business.
A Knowledge Broker connects those that have the knowledge with those that need the knowledge. - Brent Schlenker

The Knowledge Broker & Their Solutions

Designing and developing courses as solutions is only one part of the job. Actually some of your most valuable solutions to the business do not involve the creation of training content or courses. The Knowledge Broker has a much larger bag of solutions to choose from than the traditionally defined training professional. But don't get too caught up in the semantics of it all.  No matter what your job title is, thinking differently about how you provide value to the business is the ultimate goal.

"Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match!"

It may seem over simplified, but here's the reality: Some employees HAVE the knowledge and other employees NEED the knowledge.  New employees, often overwhelmed, approach the training department looking for answers, for content, for training... but mostly just for help. And more often then not, just connecting the new hire with the subject matter expert is all they need to get started.  It's 1:1 training. And it's the most valuable thing you can do.
That may not sound like "your job", and that you didn't really do anything because you didn't design a solution. But I would argue that you did.  In fact, you designed the most elegant and, likely, most effective solution.
"A designer knows when he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to take away." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Remember To Keep It Simple!


Remember to keep your solutions simple, and always look to add value to the business.  Part of your job as Knowledge Broker is simply being a matchmaker. Try adding Matchmaker to your toolkit of solutions.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Remembering L&D Entrepreneur Leader Don Pierson



The L&D industry lost another member of the community last week. Don Pierson died in a car accident last Friday.  Read In Memory of Don Pierson here.

This month last year we lost Jay Cross who was such a visible and outspoken advocate for learning and development. But Don was not part of that side of our industry. He was a strong member of the Phoenix entrepreneur community and a builder of software products. He was part of the L&D vendor community. Most ISDs, and practitioners of training and eLearning, probably didn't know him. But many of you have used the products and services he's built for us over the years.

Don was a co-founder of Learning-Edge, and founder of Interactive Alchemy. Then went on to launch Flypaper which was acquired by Trivantis 3 years later. He then jumped outside of L&D, but not by much, and started a business that could track and predict sales performance based on activities (at least that's how I understood it.) He most recently joined the Indecomm team providing software services for some of the largest companies you can think of.

I met Don in 1997 when he hired me to work for him at Learning-Edge. That was my first experience working with a small company and the entire team he assembled was top notch. I was honored to be a part of that team. I didn't end up staying long, because I was just starting my family and Intel was pulling me back with offers I couldn't refuse. I was only there a year, but that year built many great relationships.

I lost touch with most of my Learning-Edge colleagues during my Intel years until I discovered the Interactive Alchemy offices a half mile down the street from my house. Then he and I met for lunch and he introduced me to his latest project, Flypaper. It was very cool! I was programming DevLearn at the time and I remember their first appearance in the expo...they had the coolest stickers. Those were the golden years of eLearning to be sure.

Don and I had just recently started meeting for lunches again and talking L&D.  I was actually looking forward to our next lunch today. I will miss him. And my heart goes out to all of his family and friends.

Don was a big part of the Phoenix startup community. StartupAZ #yesphx has created a memorial fund in his name that will support the StartupAZ Foundation. Please consider giving a small donation in his honor. http://startupaz-donpierson.strikingly.com/

Friday, August 26, 2016

Video Friday - Scoping Video Projects for eLearning

Today we're joined by the President of Cine Learning Productions, Diane Senffner, for a fantastic discussion about all things Video Learning!

You can find out more about Diane and Cine Learning Productions at: http://CineLP.com/

Some fun tangents videos we referenced:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YxVMg8pWH8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2128crl2JaA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wew6K4zpGf8

Keep this conversation going on LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7059426

Also chime in with your 140 characters of comments on Twitter!
https://twitter.com/search?q=%23ldtalk

...And we'll see you here every weekday at 8am Pacific / 11am Eastern

Thursday, August 25, 2016

L&D Talk: Gartners Emerging Tech Hype Curve, LMS Platforms, The Changing L&D Industry

L&D Talk is presented by Litmos.com - Get your FREE trial at litmos.com/trial

-------------------
Today our panel discussion centered around the new Gartner Hype Cycle For Emerging Technologies report.

We also discuss LMS markets, trends, and issues.


Keep this conversation going on LinkedIn:


Also chime in with your 140 characters of comments on Twitter!

L&D Talk is every day 8am Pacific Time. We are currently testing new live streaming platforms.
But you will always find us at LnDTalk.com.


Thursday, December 03, 2015

Christmas Items for the Training Professional on Santa's Nice List

Check out these 3 great lists of gift ideas for the corporate training professional in your life.

This is a 3 Part Series from The eLearning Blog.

Books
Trainer's Emergency Kit Items
Video Recording Gear

You can also see the Holiday Gift Guide for that Special L&D Professional in Your Life from Brian Washburn at his blog Train Like a Champion.

Brian was the inspiration for part 2 of the Litmos blog series the Trainer's Emergency Kit. So, I'm certain you'll find more cool stuff in his latest post.

There are big items and there are stocking stuffer ideas. You're sure to find something for the trainer in your life. Let's stop giving apples :)

Monday, November 09, 2015

Remembering Jay Cross and Informal Learning


We lost an great leader in the Learning and Development community this weekend. His presence will be missed. But his impact will forever be felt by an industry struggling to see the future that appeared so clearly to him. 

I will miss Jay's casual, yet driven, approach to spreading the word about informal learning...and that smile. Oh, and those shirts. They were the perfect informal vehicle for carrying his message of informal learning. His warm presence will be missed at industry events all over the world.  

We love you. Rest in peace, Jay.

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I am encouraging everyone in the industry whether you knew him or not, to record a short, "informal", video with a short story, or comment about Jay's impact on your work.  I will be collecting and editing them together to be posted on the ITA website or other appropriate internet location.

You can use wetransfer.com to send large video files. And send it to brentschlenker(at)gmail(dot)com. 

Thanks!