Wikis and Webcasts and iPods, Oh My!

Tools to Train the New Learner

The Veterans, also called the G.I. Generation, Matures and Radio Babies, are divided into two groups: 1) G.I. Generation: Born between 1901 and 1925. The G.I. Generation fought two world wars and survived the Great Depression. Civic virtue is important to this group and is expressed by participation in churches, clubs, and community activities. 2) Silent Generation: Born between 1926 and 1945. Some of them were too young to remember to remember the Depression; others were too young to fight in World War II. Nonetheless, they were influenced by the patriotism and selfsacrifice that typified their time. They have a strong allegiance to law, order and faith – pillars of a stable society.


Born between 1945 and 1964 (ages 43–62). Boomers are considered loyal and hardworking; they stay until the job is done. They prefer autonomy and will work things out persistently, even if wrong. Boomers are well-educated and lifelong learners, which translated into higher income levels than their parents.


Born between 1965 and 1981 (ages 26–42). They value flexibility and balance in their work-life relationships. Gen X tends to feel a sense of insecurity due to the rapidly changing world that they have observed and due to their position as wedged between two larger birth cohorts. They form virtual families “where they are.” Personal experience is critical; respect is hard-won.


The newest members of the workforce are the Millenials, also known as Generation Y, the Text Generation, iPod Generation and Generation Next. They were born between 1982 and 2003 with many of them just graduating from college and entering the workforce. They grew up with technology and never knew a time without cell phones and Internet. In a world of sound bites and 24-hour news sources, the Millennials think in bullet points and are ravenous researchers.


Source: Washburn, E. “Are You Ready for Generation X? Changing World View – the Five Generations,” Physician Executive, January – February 2000.

Formal/conservative Value to team vs. self Straightforward Learn privately Big picture, then detail Respect for experience Tie to real-world Clear and logical facts

Lifelong learners Well-educated Interactive, participatory Non-authoritarian Networking, teamwork Make ’em feel important Real-time application Be democratic

Generation X
Edutainment Clear expectations Be efficient Tie to reality Use visual aids Up-to-date technology Break frequently Role plays are good

Teamwork Technology Experiential Learning communities Clear structure Fun and games Relevant Short attention span


Self-Initiated Continuous Just-in-Time Just Enough

Interactive Blended Approach Information Sharing Collaborative


Source: Coates, J. Generational Learning Styles. LERN Books: River Falls, WI. 2007. Wikis and Webcasts and iPods, Oh My! Tools to Train the New Learner, Resource Guide, Page 2

Web 2.0
From Wikipedia3:
“Web 2.0 is a trend in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aims to facilitate creativity, information sharing, and, most notably, collaboration among users. These concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-based communities and hosted services, such as socialnetworking sites, wikis, blogs and folksonomies. The term became notable after the first O-Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference in 2004. Although the term suggests a new version of the World Wide Web, it does not refer to an update to any technical specifications, but to changes in the ways software developers and end-users use webs.”

“The first decade of e-government was about moving services online and creating a single-window access where citizens could visit
one Web portal to file their taxes, renew a driver’s license or review their Social Security account. It’s no longer sufficient to simply provide one-stop shopping for government services. Single-window services constitute one-way information flows to the citizen.

With the new, function-rich infrastructure of Web 2.0, government no longer needs to work on its own to provide public value.
The Web provides a mechanism for collaboration between any combination of public agencies, the private sector, community groups and citizens. We call these networks governance Webs, or G-Webs. These G-Webs will deliver or perform activities that were once the exclusive domain of a single public agency or institution, thereby providing greater value and lower cost to the

customers of government, and more engagement for the owners of government: the public.”

Excerpt from an interview with Anthony Williams Author of Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything (Portfolio, 2007)4

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Ten Web 2.0 Things You Can Do in Ten Minutes to Be a More Successful E-learning Professional5
By Stephen Downes, National Research Council Canada The following list was inspired by eLearn Magazine Editor-in-Chief Lisa Neal's blog post "Ten Things You Can Do in Ten Minutes To Be a More Successful e-learning Professional." We'd like to offer the "Web 2.0 Edition" of Lisa's list:

1. Listen to a conference presentation. When you run across conference presentations while reading your RSS feeds (EDUCAUSE Connect is a prime source, as is OLDaily), save the conference site as a bookmark and revisit it to hear a presentation. 2. Record a 10-minute presentation about something you are working on or learning about, either as audio (use Odeo) or video (use Ustream), and post it on your blog. 3. Do a search on the title of your most recent post or on the title of the most recent thing you've read or thought about. Don't just use Google search, use Google Blog Search and Google Image Search, Amazon,, Technorati, Slideshare, or Youtube. Scan the results and if you find something interesting, save it in to read later. 4. Write a blog post or article describing something you've learned recently. It can be something you've read or culled from a meeting, conference notes (which you just capture on the fly using a text editor), or a link you've posted to The trick here is to keep your writing activity to less than 10 minutes—make a point quickly and then click "submit." 5. Tidy your e-portfolio. For example, upload your slides to Slideshare and audio recordings to Odeo and embed the code in your presentation page. Or write a description and link to your latest publication. Or update your project list. 6. Create a slide on Zoho. Just do one slide at a time; find an image using the Creative Commons licensed content on Flickr and a short bit of text from a source or yourself. Add this to your stick of prepared slides you use for your next talk or class. 7. Find a blogger you currently read in your RSS reader and go to their website. Follow all the links to other blogs in their blogroll or feedroll, or which are referenced in their posts. Well, maybe not all the links, or it will take hours, not ten minutes. 8. Write a comment on a blog post, article, or book written by an e-learning researcher or practitioner. 9. Go to a website like Engadget, Metafilter, Digg, Mixx, Mashable, or Hotlinks and skip through the items. These sites produce much too much content to follow diligently, but are great for browsing and serendipitous discovery. If you find something interesting, write a short blog post about it or at least a comment. 10. Catch up on one of your online games with a colleague—Scrabulous on Facebook or Backgammon on Yahoo. Or make a Lolcat. Or watch a Youtube video.

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10 Steps to Create an Organizational Blog6
1. Define your vision/audience: Different situations call for different measures. You
could use a corporate blog as: a) an educational tool, b) a feedback loop, c) conversation starters (for the blogosphere as well as other media), d) a focus group, and/or e) a crisis management tool.

2. Designate an editor or chief blogger: Who is it that you want to guide the
process, monitor and control content and ensure the consistent communication of your vision to the target audience?

3. Create an internal team to support the project: Strategically, this is THE most
important aspect of organizational blogging, because selecting an internal team is as important as establishing a connection with your target audience.

4. Define your content categories: Once your vision is clear, begin to create the

buckets of content for populating the blog – what topics will you address? Is there an order in which these topics need to be presented?

5. Enlist contributors and plan posts: Before you start blogging, generate a list of
possible blog contributors from within your organization to address the content categories.

6. Create a blog calendar: Your blog is built for a specific purpose, so a calendar of

posts is essential. The calendar can also be built around the different categories/tags you've envisioned and that way you'll have a steady flow of posts.

7. Define your template/layout: A blog template has to be in consonance with your
organization’s mission.

8. Stick to the content categories: "Laser like focus" is an essential prerequisite for
any blog, more so for an organizational blog. Once you define the categories or tags, NEVER veer away from them and start creating content on a regular basis and keep increasing the frequency.

9. Veer towards content that provides value: Crafting 5 posts a week from 10

categories, means you'll be veering towards content that has increasingly provided more value for your audience. If your blog is an educational tool, then start focusing on posts that encompass outline tutorials and keep augmenting the value. Maybe, start enhancing your tutorials in multi-media to add to the text based posts.

10. Measure progress: Once you start your blog it's always good to invest in an

analytics software that can help you track, plan and measure the growth of your blog. This in addition to the feed stats measurement tools. The first few months of blog growth can be measured by the following four stats: 1. Technorati ranking, 2. Alexa ranking, 3. Comments, 4. # Subscribed to your feed, etc...


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Active Government Blogs
 Blog – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides this blog as a part of the website to provide information on the uses of new media for the HIV/AIDS community. ASY Live Blog – The "ASY Live Blog," an extension of the Department of Defense America Supports You program, highlights the support supplied by citizens and corporations nationwide to our men and women in uniform and communicates that support to our troops. Big Read Blog – National Endowment for the Arts literature director David Kipen blogs regularly about his experiences promoting the 2007 Big Read initiative. Congressional Budget Office Director's Blog – Peter R. Orszag, Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) blogs as an additional way to communicate with Congress and the public. Learn about the type of work done by the CBO including how they do it and what types of analysts they have. Dr. Orszag will also use the blog to clarify potential misinterpretations of CBO data. This blog does not accept comments. Corps e-spondence – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Chief of Engineers and Commanding General Lieutenant General Robert L. Van Antwerp blogs about all things relevant to the Corps, including their many missions in service to the Nation, leadership, selfless service and people. Dipnote – This blog offers the public an alternative source to mainstream media for U.S. foreign policy information and the opportunity to discuss important foreign policy issues with senior State Department officials. Evolution of Security – Five employees of the Transportation Security Administration blog to facilitate an ongoing dialogue on innovations in security, technology and the checkpoint screening process. Eye Level – This Smithsonian American Art Museum blog covers American art and the ways it reflects American history and culture. Flow of the River – Find out the answers to interesting questions about the Environmental Protection Agency in this blog from their Chief Operating Officer Marcus Peacock. Future Digital System – U.S. Government Printing Office blog about the Future Digital System program that will be a world-class information life-cycle management system GLOBE Program – Dr. Peggy LeMone, chief scientist of the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE), shares her comments and thoughts on science topics through this blog. Gov Gab – Gov Gab's seven bloggers share tips and information from the federal government to help you make life a little simpler. Read along each weekday and comment and share your own experiences. Great Lakes Earth Day Challenge Blog – Employees from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 office in Chicago blog from April 1 to May 9, 2008 to share personal insights into how they approach Earth Day, and how Great Lakes communities are participating in the Earth Day Challenge. The "Challenge" to communities around the Great Lakes is to collect 1 million pounds of electronics (e-waste) and (the equivalent of) 1 million pills of unwanted or unused medications. Greenversations – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) blog is authored by EPA employees who share their unique perspective on environmentalism and personal experiences in protecting and improving our nation's water, land, and air. Health and Human Services Department Blog – Secretary Mike Leavitt blogs about health and the related challenges that face United States. Health Marketing Musings – A blog about research, science, and practice in health marketing and communication, social marketing, information technology, public health
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partnerships, and more with Jay Bernhardt, Director of CDC's National Center for Health Marketing. Homeland Security Leadership Journal – Secretary Michael Chertoff blogs about working to protect the American people, building an effective emergency preparedness and response capability, enforcing immigration laws, and promoting economic prosperity. InfoFarm – The National Agricultural Library blogs about what they do and your world of agriculture, food, nutrition, animal care, and the environment. Library of Congress Blog – Highlights news and collections for the Library of Congress. Written by the Library's Director of Communications. Military Health System Blog – Department of Defense leadership discusses the future of the U.S. Military Health System. Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) CEO's Blog – Through this blog, Ambassador John J. Danilovich, the MCC CEO, directlycommunicates with the public to offer his first-hand perspective of MCC programs and the results that assistance to partner countries is producing on the ground for the benefit of the world's poor. Mount Rainier National Park Volunteers Blog – Get the latest news about the volunteer program at Mount Rainier National Park in Washington. National African HIV AIDS Initiative (NAHI) Blog – Margaret Korto, a member of the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health Resource Center's HIV Capacity Building Team, hosts this blog as a way for communities in Seattle, New York, Massachusetts, Atlanta and Washington, DC to communicate and gather ideas about upcoming health summits. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Science Blog – This blog helps NIOSH to fulfill it's mission of translating scientific research into practice. It also provides a forum for NIOSH partners and the public to present ideas to NIOSH scientists and each other while engaging in scientific discussion. National Museum of the Air Force – Blog posts from the public about their experiences at the National Museum of the Air Force National Parks – The National Park Foundation enriches Americans’ connection with our National Parks. Navy Department Chief Information Officer Blog – Robert Carey, CIO for the Department of the Navy, blogs about matters related to information management and information technology and how they impact the Navy Department. Peace Corps Volunteer Journals – Experiences of Peace Corps volunteers from around the globe. Pushing Back – Office of National Drug Control Policy blog to educate Americans about illegal drugs and the latest international, federal, state, and local efforts to reduce drug use Take Pride in America: The Blog – Take Pride in America, a national partnership program aimed at increasing volunteer service on America's public lands, hosts this blog to empower volunteers from every corner of America to maintain and enhance our natural, cultural, and historical sites. Walter Reed Health Care System Commander's Blog – Colonel Patricia D. Horoho, Commander of the Walter Reed Health Care System, blogs as an added communication tool for staff, patients and their families, and for anyone else who is interested in the Walter Reed military medical institution.

Archived Government Blogs
 1-800-QUIT-NOW Challenge – Blogs from the Quit Now Challenge participants reporting experiences between December 2006 and February 2007 as they quit smoking using 1800-Quit-Now Quitlines
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America's Marines Blog – In the fall of 2007 the America's Marines Tour followed the Silent Drill Platoon to cities and towns across the nation. Discover the connection between Marines, Americans, and the Marine Corps by reading the blog entries from each event. Lost Tribe of Green 5 – Weekly blog that chronicles the experiences of an AmeriCorps*NCCC team working in the field to serve community needs NOAA's 200th Anniversary Celebration Blog – Chronicle of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 200th anniversary celebration events from around the country between December 2006 and April 2007. Pandemic Flu Leadership Blog – Five-week long (5/22/07 - 6/27/07) blog summit, from HHS, to expand the conversation about pandemic flu preparedness What Would You Put on a New Golden Record? – Aboard each spacecraft is a Golden Record, a collection of sites, sounds and greetings from Earth. If a new Golden Record were to be created, what one item from the past 30 years would you include?

Wikis and Government
Swarming Information By Justin Rood January 11, 2006 – Excerpts from the Article
The now infamous failure of national security agencies to share information that might have prevented the Sept. 11 attacks led Congress, the White House and the organizations themselves to attempt major changes. But for the most part, those reforms have been plagued by familiar problems: turf wars, slow-moving bureaucracy and a perception that the compartmented nature of intelligence work precludes collaboration. Lessons from a rare example of information-sharing success and a spontaneous grass-roots response to disaster could hold a novel recipe for transforming the intelligence community. In 2003, CIA veteran John Brennan took on one of the biggest challenges of his career: getting members of the so-called intelligence "community" to work together on the terrorist threat by standing up the all-source, all-agency Terrorist Threat Integration Center. To succeed, he had to get warring national security fiefdoms -- the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the FBI, the State Department and others -- to share intelligence and personnel. Brennan linked his center's computer to the databases from all the three-letter agencies, giving his analysts direct access to more intelligence than any other federal organization in history. The center's real success came from those analysts. Although they came from organizations that have battled to control turf and information, inside the center they worked side-by-side without incident, sharing information and collaborating on analysis. "Within [the center], I never had an instance of institutional rivalry," recalls Brennan, who retired from TTIC -- since renamed the National Counterterrorism Center -- in August 2005. "Your badge designating you as CIA or FBI or DoD quickly becomes irrelevant as you come together to work in a collaborative environment." "I wish I could take credit," says Brennan, now a private consultant to government counterterrorism programs. "But if you put people together, give them a very important mission and give them more information than they've ever had access to, chemistry develops."
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Brennan might be modest - but he's also on to something. "If you move below the executive level to the analysts who do the work . . . they can figure this [information-sharing] stuff out on their own," says Randy Pherson, a former career CIA analyst who now trains FBI analysts and consults with the Homeland Security Department's intelligence operations. "The little guy knows more about what he's trying to do than the big guy." High Stakes Indeed, high stakes seem to bring out the best in people. Less than two hours after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast 0n Aug. 29, for example, volunteers had set up a "wiki" -- an open, collaborative online tool -- to be a central repository for information to help survivors find aid and volunteers to provide it. As officials struggled to straighten out their bureaucratic hierarchies, the Hurricane Katrina Help Wiki ( quickly became a more comprehensive source of information than any government outlet, helping tens of thousands of people use dozens of largely uncoordinated public and private efforts to save themselves and their pets, find food and shelter, and locate loved ones. Thousands contributed information updated postings and made corrections. To be sure, the wiki was an even more radical experiment than Brennan's center: There was no Brennan to run it. The handful of organizers were facilitators, not directors. They couldn't order people to participate or point to a White House directive for authority. They had little control over the site or its contributors. Yet the result was stunning. Such self-organizing collaborations -- "swarms," as they've come to be called -- are in some cases more effective, efficient and resilient than other organizations, researchers have found. Responsibility is shared, participants feel more invested and oversight is spread to the edges of the group instead of hoarded at the top. Still, their success is something of a mystery. "The system works, but sometimes you can't really explain why it works and how it works," says Eric Bonabeau, a Cambridge, Mass.-based researcher and consultant to the public and private sectors, who has studied the phenomenon. "Its behavior is the result of myriad interactions." Bonabeau has co-authored two books on the subject, Intelligence Collective (Hermès Sciences, Paris, 1994) and Swarm Intelligence (Oxford University Press, 1999). For the system to work in government and business, managers must let go, he says, and few executives (in government, especially) are willing to embrace a solution they can neither completely control nor explain, even for intractable problems. "Managers would rather live with a problem they can't solve than with a solution they don't understand," Bonabeau says. A government executive's aversion to the swarm approach might be as prudent as it is conservative. Throwing a group of people into a room and telling them to solve a problem holds little appeal to someone who might have to testify before Congress if the effort fails. On the flip side, removing "ownership" is part of what might make swarms work, particularly interagency collaborations such as Brennan's center. "Ownership implies hierarchy implies authority, which implies command over resources," says former CIA analyst Pherson. "Most of that doesn't work for [information-sharing]." Sharing intelligence isn't the only information challenge facing the national security community. Despite efforts by the FBI, Homeland Security and others, there is no effective
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system for passing data and analysis among local, state and federal agencies involved in counterterrorism, nor for sharing it with the private sector. The most recent attempt, the top-heavy federal Homeland Security Information Network, is collapsing under its own weight, according to news accounts. Created as a system for informally sharing tips, questions and information at all levels -- from city cops to federal intelligence analysts -- the network now is used mainly by DHS to broadcast information that state and local recipients say is of little use. Communities of Interest What better to replace a failing top-down bureaucratic methodology than a networked antibureaucratic one? Pherson has hatched just such an approach. He calls it "Agile Global Intelligence Network of Networks." In Pherson's schema, the thousands of people who should participate in HSIN -- local law enforcement officers, security staff at factories and power plants, bank security personnel, state homeland security officials, emergency managers and more -- would form communities of interest, using something as simple as an e-mail listserve. For example, a security official for a Houston oil refinery might belong to a community for refineries, another for the Houston area and perhaps one for port security. It would be up each official to join the most useful groups. The result, predicts Pherson, would be an overlapping network of networks that would quickly and efficiently circulate information not only up and down the local-state-federal ladder, but around and among users, public or private sector. The system is smarter about sharing, and protecting, information, Pherson says, because "you're imposing human brain filters at every step of the way." In November 2004, Congress assigned the director of national intelligence to create a networked "trusted environment" in which intelligence agencies can share information and work together. The effort, has been slow in starting up, and its first act -- creating what amounts to an online phone book of the intelligence world so specialists can find their counterparts -- was both necessary and alarmingly rudimentary. Could self-organizing collaborative communities then grow organically from that? Skeptics say no. "Folks in the intelligence community aren't in the same gene pool as folks who are doing self-organizing, joining things," says Linda Millis, head of the Markle Foundation's National Security Program. Her group has proposed a complex information-sharing system, known as the SHARE Network, which served as the basis for legislators' instructions to the director of national intelligence. With two decades of intelligence experience, Millis reflects the thinking of many seasoned veterans and senior officials. And perhaps they are right -- although Brennan's success argues otherwise. If doubters are correct, then even the most sophisticated network in the world won't fix the information-sharing problem. And who will explain that to a Congress and America next time the system fails?

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More Agencies Turn to Podcasts to Get Message Out7
By COURTNEY MABEUS April 22, 2008

Don’t have time to catch the morning weather forecast? Depending on where you live, the National Weather Service might have a solution. Get your weather to go in the form of a podcast. People living in the Baltimore-Washington region can already do that. The Weather Service’s Baltimore-Washington regional office in Sterling, Va., started making daily forecasts available about a year ago as a way to experiment with the technology, said Steve Listemaa, an information technology officer in the regional office. “It’s an easier way to get our information out there,” he said. So far, only three Weather Service offices — Sterling; El Paso, Texas; and Anchorage, Alaska — appear to be making weather podcasts available, but those examples are indicative of various agencies’ efforts to explore how they can adapt podcast technology to disseminate information about services or events. Podcasts are digital audio or video files that are uploaded to the Internet and then can be downloaded to a playback device, like Apple’s iPod or Microsoft’s Zune. Just about anyone with a way to digitally record audio or video can upload the files to the Internet via Apple’s iTunes or other podcasting Web sites at little to no cost. One of the first agencies to move into podcasting was the Defense Department. It began offering audio downloads of programs on the Pentagon Channel — — in spring 2005. The channel offers news and documentaries, among other programs. Since then, more than 7.1 million podcasts have been downloaded, said Michael Winnaker, a marketing coordinator for the channel. Brian Natwick, general manager of the Pentagon Channel, said he got the idea during a trip to Afghanistan in 2005 with the military. As he boarded an aircraft, he noticed about 80 percent of the soldiers on board had whipped out their iPods. “It just kind of hit me that this is another distribution technique that we have to add to our model,” Natwick said. The podcasts are an easy and inexpensive way to reach deployed troops, Natwick said. “We’re pushing voting right now,” Natwick said. “Overseas voting is really important to us.” There are about a dozen Pentagon Channel video and audio programs available as podcasts. Among the most popular are daily news roundups and “RECON,” a monthly documentary series on topics such as operations and military history.


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This month’s series is about preparing for war at the Joint Readiness Training Center. Also popular is “Fit for Duty,” a half-hour exercise program that offers resistance and strength training and pilates. The Agriculture Department’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) will launch its first podcast this week and is planning two series: One is targeted to consumers; and another, with information about safety inspections, is meant to reach plant owners, managers and employees. “Different people receive information in different ways,” FSIS spokeswoman Amanda Eamich said. “It’s kind of a no-hassle approach to getting information out there.” The Federal Aviation Administration is also exploring podcasts as a way to communicate with air traffic controllers, FAA spokeswoman Tammy Jones said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relies on podcasts to reach some public health professionals and health care providers with updates about vaccination issues and news such as E. coli outbreaks, said Fred Smith, a senior technologist with CDC’s Division of e-Health Marketing. He also has discussed the idea of cooperating with the State Department to provide podcasts targeted at overseas travelers. “The idea is to get this set up [so] that if there is a pandemic flu,” the government can more easily deliver vital information, Smith said. The Coast Guard’s District 13 headquartered in Seattle is eyeing podcasting as a possible recruiting tool. The office started to offer video podcasts on its Web site in January and has purchased helmet cameras for boat crew members to wear during missions and catch some of the action for later upload, said Paul Roszkowski, an assistant public affairs officer who helped coordinate the project. “What it allows them to do is to show a recruit, or a possible recruit, the different aspects of the job,” Roszkowski said. “It’s new ground for the government.”

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Podcasts and the Government8
Official information and services from the U.S. government. Business and Economics Podcasts Small business tips, economic news and statistics... Defense and International Relations Podcasts State Department Stories, Pentagon Channel, DoD Briefings, Air Force News... Environment, Energy, and Agriculture Podcasts Energy saving, water, waste... Family, Home, and Community Podcasts Profile America, Barney Cam... Health Podcasts Health care, research, patient safety... History, Arts, and Culture Podcasts Black History Month, Holocaust Museum... Money and Taxes Podcasts Investing, saving for college, investment strategies... Public Safety and Law Podcasts Homeland security, drug control policy... Reference and General Government Podcasts White House, courts, data and statistics... Science and Technology Podcasts Space, weather, research labs... Voting and Elections Podcasts Federal Election Commission meetings and hearings... Podcasts en español Spanish language podcasts from the U.S. government...


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Cellphone College class opens in Japan9
By Yuri Kageyama, Associated Press, November 28, 2007
TOKYO — The Japanese already use cellphones to shop, read novels, exchange e-mail, search for restaurants and take video clips. Now, they can take a university course. Cyber University, the nation's only university to offer all classes only on the Internet, began offering a class on mobile phones Wednesday on the mysteries of the pyramids. For classes for personal computers, the lecture downloads play on the monitor as text and images in the middle, and a smaller video of the lecturer shows in the corner, complete with sound. The cellphone version, which pops up as streaming video on the handset's tiny screen, plays just the Power Point images. In a demonstration Wednesday at a Tokyo hotel, an image of the pyramids popped up on the screen and changed to a text image as a professor's voice played from the handset speakers. Cyber University, which opened in April with government approval to give bachelor's degrees, has 1,850 students. The virtual campus is 71% owned by Softbank, a major Japanese mobile carrier, which also has broadband operations and offers online gaming, shopping and electronic stock trading services. The cellphone lectures may be expanded to other courses but for now will be for the pyramids course, according to Cyber University, which offers about 100 courses, including ancient Chinese culture, online journalism and English literature. Unlike the other classes, the one on cellphones will be available to the public for free, although viewers must pay phone fees. The catch is the lectures can only be seen on some Softbank phones. The service may be expanded to other carriers, officials said. Sakuji Yoshimura, who heads Cyber University and gives the pyramids course, said the university provides educational opportunities for people who find it hard to attend real-life universities, including those with jobs and those who are sick or have disabilities. "Our duty as educators is to respond to the needs of people who want to learn," Yoshimura said. He scoffed at those who question the value of Internet and cell-phone classes, noting attendance is relatively high at 86%. Whether students play the lecture downloads to the end can be monitored by the university digitally, officials said. Although real-time exchange with professors and other students isn't possible in Net classes, social networking and other cyber-discussions are flourishing, said Hiroshi Kawahara, professor in the Faculty of Information Technology and Business.

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Social Virtual Networking and Government
Washington Unveils MySpace Page and Facebook Group10 November 8, 2007, News Report
Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed launched today an agency MySpace page and Washington State Elections Facebook group. Both are part of an effort using social media to engage all of Washington's citizens. "Today people don't get their information from just one source. They might listen to the radio on their way to work, grab a newspaper at the office, watch the evening news, and logon to Facebook at night. We must adapt to their changing needs," emphasized Reed. Currently, the MySpace page offers viewers information about the upcoming November General Election and Washington elections. Throughout the calendar year, the page will be updated to feature the various programs and responsibilities of the Office of the Secretary of State. Visitors to the page can make comments and submit questions directly to the agency. A calendar of public meetings, important dates to remember and events are also listed on the site. is the third most popular Web site in the United States and has on a few occasions topped out as the nation's number one most popular Web site. Facebook users are invited to join the Washington State Elections Facebook group. Users who sign up as group members are sent reminders of important deadlines and dates to remember. Members of the group will receive up-to-the minute information about current hot topics in Washington State's Elections. has the largest number of registered users among college-focused sites, with more than 42 million active members worldwide. "As social media, or web 2.0, continues to grow it's important to recognize its impact on the people we serve," said Reed. "Government is here for the people and finding new ways to reach out to the citizens it serves is crucial to transparency and trust." Earlier this year, Secretary Reed launched a series of MySpace and e-mail vote reminders for the State Primary in August and the State General Election in November. In addition to information available on MySpace and Facebook, the office has also started to utilize video through YouTube, including video offering viewers an inside look at Washington Elections.


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Social Networking Meets Corporate Learning11
Jeanne C. Meister, October 2007
Assume you could develop a learning program that attracts millions of learners, holds their attention for hours, impels them to contribute often and come back with their friends. Well, this is happening on numerous social networking sites. Just go to one of them, and you can get a feel for how important social networking is to a growing and diverse population. Social networking is all about making connections and bringing people together. In May, the Institute for Corporate Productivity, in conjunction with, surveyed 322 business executives whose average age ranged from 36 to 45. Surprisingly, 65 percent of respondents said they use social networking sites for both professional and personal reasons. Of these sites, the most frequently used were LinkedIn and Yahoo 360°. The survey identified various ways business professionals use these sites: • • • Fifty-five percent of those using networks do so to share best practices with colleagues. Forty-nine percent use them to get answers to issues they are facing on their jobs. Forty-seven percent use the networks to connect with potential clients and to showcase their skills.

The feature that makes social networking sites so compelling is the ability to treat users as co-creators rather than passive consumers of knowledge. These sites have developed “pull” platforms where users are comfortable sharing some aspect of their lives. As learning executives, we should be creating social networking experiments within learning departments so we can better understand the power of how to use this medium for learning. Below is a list of what’s possible to move your learning platform from one that “pushes” mass content to one that “pulls” you into a network of personalized ideas and experts. Podcast Your Stars Develop a podcast series profiling experts who share their top tips in less than 10 minutes. Model it after Harvard Business Review’s Ideacast,, a weekly podcast that features breakthrough ideas and commentary from leading thinkers. In fact, HBR Ideacast was recently named a Staff Best Pick of 2006 on iTunes. Use Wikis for New Ideas on Learning Programs Finally, consider starting a wiki for new ideas about what learning programs to develop to meet specific business units’ strategic goals. The typical way for CLOs do this is to develop a learning needs assessment, but think about what would happen if you opened up the floodgates of new ideas with a wiki targeted to your business partners. It’s easy to use, and it can happen 24x7 (so there are no more cancellations to that business partner meeting), and you’ll have a running record of all possible ideas for new learning programs around specific business needs. Remember: This will not take the place of more formal needs assessment processes (although it might someday), but it can jump-start excitement among the workforce, from senior executives to front-line employees, about what learning is doing.


Found at Wikis and Webcasts and iPods, Oh My! Tools to Train the New Learner, Resource Guide, Page 16

U.S. Government Presence Grows in Second Life Online World12
By Cheryl Pellerin, USINFO Staff Writer, May 2007

Agencies use virtual reality environment for education, outreach
Washington – Since early 2007, more than 6 million virtual residents of the online world called Second Life have had new neighbors – a handful of U.S. government agencies that are exploring possibilities for education, collaboration and outreach in the popular real-time multiverse. Agencies that have facilities of varying complexity and interaction in Second Life include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA, the National Institutes of Health and its National Library of Medicine (NLM), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. House of Representatives. The Department of Homeland Security, the National Science Foundation and many other U.S. agencies also have representatives in this virtual world who attend regular “in-world” meetings of government representatives to discuss Second Life and how best to work with its features. With virtual residents from more than 100 real-life countries, Second Life is a good place to reach people with a range of messages – about health, science, disaster preparedness, education, current issues and more. “Second Life provides a new medium, a new ability to communicate with citizens and customers,” said NOAA information technology specialist Eric Hackathorn during a May 4 interview at the NOAA facility in Second Life. In Second Life, Hackathorn said, “people have the ability to communicate directly with NOAA in a two-way conversation ... behind the corporate firewall. To me, it’s the price of doing business in the 21st century.” LIVING SECOND LIFE Second Life opened in 2003, created by Linden Lab, a San Francisco-based company founded in 1999 by Philip Rosedale, to create a new form of shared experience. Its residents own and build the world’s digital infrastructure, including homes, vehicles, nightclubs, stores, landscapes, clothing, games, islands, schools, companies, government organizations, libraries and more. Anyone can sign up for a free membership by registering with Second Life and creating an avatar – a member’s persona in the virtual world. This virtual world, says Linden Lab, teems with people, entertainment, experiences and opportunity. It even has an economy based on Linden dollars – about 265 Lindens to the U.S. dollar. Millions of Linden dollars change hands every month for resident-created goods and services, and can be bought and sold on LindeX, Second Life's official Linden dollar exchange.


Found at Wikis and Webcasts and iPods, Oh My! Tools to Train the New Learner, Resource Guide, Page 17

VIRTUAL GOVERNMENT Of all the U.S. government agencies in Second Life, NOAA has the most complex facility so far. On its own island, called Meteora, visitors can experience a hurricane on the wing of a research aircraft, rise through the atmosphere clinging to a weather balloon, stand on a beach during a tsunami, or ride underwater on a NOAA submersible. NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory developed the site by holding a competition among Second Life design companies and letting Second Life residents help choose the winner. “Right now we have an island that has a smattering of NOAA’s research,” Hackathorn said, “but NOAA does so much more. Incorporating those activities will take a heck of a lot more land. Ultimately, I’d like to see a NOAA continent.” Not far from Meteora is Health Info Island, a medical library and virtual hospital initially funded with a $40,000 National Library of Medicine (NLM) grant to a group called Library Alliance in Illinois to provide consumer health information services in virtual worlds. There are three buildings on the island, said NLM technical information specialist Laura Bartlett, a consumer health library, a medical library and a health and wellness center. Over time, the project will provide training programs, outreach to virtual medical communities, consumer health resources and one-on-one support to Second Life residents. EDUCATION AND OUTREACH Another NLM division, the Office of Outreach and Special Populations in the Division of Specialized Information Services, is exploring Second Life as a way to improve access to high-quality, accurate health information in underserved and special populations. “Second Life and many [similar] tools are becoming very popular,” said Victor Cid, senior computer scientist in the Office of Outreach and Special Populations, “and we believe it is very important to start exploring these tools as means to disseminate information, reach people and collaborate.” Some government agencies, like CDC, have basic facilities so far that offer two-dimensional information and little interactivity. Others, like the Department of Homeland Security, do not yet have permanent spaces in Second Life but are making use of the digital world. Jean-Paul Boucher is a contractor with SRA International Inc., a company doing several Second Life projects for government agencies. His avatar wears a shirt with a Homeland Security logo. Homeland Security, he said, “is holding a virtual conference the first week in June in the auditorium on NOAA’s island for first responders and academics from around the United States.” Such collaboration, Boucher added, is one of the great values of Second Life. “It’s a tremendously powerful tool set that eliminates the time and space boundaries that normally hold people back from collaborating with each other,” he said. “We see that as another primary focus for the government.”

Wikis and Webcasts and iPods, Oh My! Tools to Train the New Learner, Resource Guide, Page 18

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