1. Introduction 2. Top tips about Google 3. Boost productivity with Google apps 4. How to defend your online reputation 5. How to collaborate on LinkedIn 6. How to harness the Twitterverse 7. Crowdsourcing knowledge online with  social bookmarking 8.

 Watch & learn 9. Video learning: a new dimension 10. Try Yammer: the enterprise social network 11. The Millennial generation 12. How the internet gets inside your brain 13. A vision of  learning in 2020 14. How to become a learning magnet 15. The future of  learning is self-directed 16. The world’s cleverest robot 17. Case study: collaborating globally at IBM 18. Moodle takes the learning world by storm 19. Making it work in the real world 20. Top 10 online learning tools

Produced by Reed Learning  Lovingly designed by L-and-CO.com ©2011

A Gu i de t o C ol l A b or At i v e l e A r n i nG
By Hugh Greenway


his little book gives you a taster of the tools which we think will significantly alter the way people learn, at work and at home. Interestingly, most of them are free. One of the most remarkable elements of social and collaborative learning is the shift away from knowledge being something you pay for. Access to knowledge is almost limitless. Indeed the proliferation of information (much of it rubbish) has become a problem in its own right. Why would you pay when Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Diigo, Foursquare, Wikipedia, Yammer et al can provide you with the answers to your questions free of charge. The challenge is selecting which answer, from the multitude provided, is the right one. We cannot know the future and I cannot say hand on heart that all tools in this book will survive. But I do know that in order to learn you must first do something. If you don’t ever do anything you won’t ever learn anything. And many of these internet tools give you the opportunity to try things and access networks of expertise beyond the imaginings of only a few short years ago. I have learned more in the last three years using some of these tools than I learned in the previous decade. So I urge you to give some of them a try. Nobody is going to laugh at you. Start building and sharing your own library of knowledge and who knows what the future may hold.

HugH g reenway has been Managing Director of Reed Learning since 2004. www.reedlearning.co.uk


Googleʼs Wonder Wheel will show your search results as a mind map with connected links to relevant topics. Just type your search term, click “More search tools” in the left panel, and select Wonder Wheel. Choose “Translated Foreign Pages” and Google will find sites in languages other than English and display a translation for you.


07 06 05 04 03 02 01
You can use Google as a calculator – simply type your sum and hit return. Or to convert between units of measurement enter your desired conversion into the search box (e.g. 4 lbs in kg). Also in the “More search tools” menu, select “Timeline” and youʼll see a graph showing dates relevant to your search term.

Expand your Google results to synonyms by adding a tilde symbol (~) at the start with no space before the first search term.

If youʼre a pirate and want a search engine that speaks your language try www.google.com/ webhp?hl=xx-pirate.

Or restrict your search results by excluding certain words. Just add a minus sign (with no space) before the terms you donʼt want to see in your results.

b o o st P roduC t i v i t y w i t h GooGle A PPs
By Matt Trimmer Google Mail – means there’s no need to invest in costly, admin-heavy email servers. It can serve all email using your business domain and deliver mail quickly and virus free to all staff. It integrates into Google’s calendar system, so organising team meetings and client visits is easy with everyone sharing a common calendar interface. Google Sites – is a basic site building tool which is fast and makes it easy to build shared web pages – a basic company intranet or a list of policies and procedures for example. Again, many companies invest in complex intranet servers to build document sharing tools, but with Google Sites there’s simply no need for such expense. Google Groups for Business – allows employees to share docs, calendars, sites, shared folders and videos with others. You can control who has access to content, making Google Groups a secure and user-friendly communication portal. Google Docs – offers powerful collaborative word processor and spreadsheet applications which revolutionise the way you share documents with fellow staff members, clients and suppliers. Although many Microsoft Office users may find these collaborative applications a little unfamiliar, the newly announced Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office will allow us to use familiar Office applications with the power of Google Apps collaboration… Plus find tips about using Google Reader on page 14

M att t riMMer is Principal Consultant and Managing Director of ivantage Limited, and a Google Certified Trainer. www.ivantage.co.uk


Remember... ‘social ’ doesn’t mean ‘casual ’

Google never forgets. You might  put  old  friends  and  colleagues  behind  you,  but  a  nasty  comment  left  on  a  blog  will  never  be  forgotten.  And  thanks  to  caching,  you  can’t  really  delete it. Don’t  accept  friend  requests  from  just  anyone  through  your  Facebook and LinkedIn account  –  every  friend  will  become  connected, if  in just a small way,  to your own online reputation.  If   you’re  worried  about  how  you  appear  in  Google  search  results,  first  check  your  privacy  settings  on  social  networking  sites like Facebook. Use credible sites like LinkedIn to  create  new  more  recent  activity  which  will  appear  higher  up  in  the  search  engines  and  detract  from anything embarrassing.

Keep  an  eye  out  for  comments  and tags added by others, and set  up  a  free  Google  Alert  that  emails  you  whenever  new  content  involving  your  name  is  posted online. Keep  your  work  and  personal  lives  separate  by  using  different  usernames,  particularly  if   you  have an unusual name or if  you  regularly  post  feedback  on  sites  like amazon.com. Double  check  everything  you  post  online  that  can  be  tracked  back  to  your  work  profile.  Spelling and grammar are just as  important  on  blog  posts  and  updates. Remember that “social”  doesn’t mean “casual”.

how t o C ol l A b or At e on l i n k e di n
By Richard George


inkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with more than 100 million members in 200 countries. This makes it the best source of professional insights and opportunities and your door to accessing the collective wisdom and experience of the world’s professionals. LinkedIn is continually adding new free tools to allow its members to collaborate, discover information and connect with experts to help them be more productive in the job they have or get the job they want. Here are a few to try out: LinkedIn Groups – with hundreds of thousands of different groups on LinkedIn, you’ll find one which will be relevant to you and your industry. Find out about latest best practice, get advice on expanding your business or discuss the latest news relevant to your sector. For teams working across borders and in different offices, creating a group can be a great way to discuss projects, share ideas and collaborate, with full control over who has access. LinkedIn Answers – get the information you need to complete a project or garner opinion on a topic relevant to your work with LinkedIn Answers. Allowing you to post questions and read the responses to previous questions, this tool can quickly get you the information and answers you need from the relevant experts, wherever they might be based. LinkedIn Signal – currently in Beta, LinkedIn Signal is a new way to find out who’s saying what about which topic in the professional world. Signal allows members to search LinkedIn updates by keywords and phrases and then narrow down the results by a wide variety of criteria including location, company, industry and the time. So, if you want to find out who’s discussing your company news and what they think, LinkedIn Signal can tell you.

r icHard george is the PR Manager and spokesperson for LinkedIn Europe. www.linkedin.com


he ess t rn to ha How

MANY PEOPLE’S RESPONSE to Twitter is, “I just don’t get it”. Yes, Twitter is super cial and often inane. BUT Twitter’s super ciality can be its greatest strength. Amidst all of the rubbish about people’s holidays and what they ate for dinner there are interesting, intelligent people sharing insights and information of genuine value. The secret is to nd out who those people are and follow them whilst ruthlessly ditching the time wasters. Think of it as a conveyor belt of information quietly humming along in the background. If someone says something interesting or posts a link to an article you can pick it up. But you can just as easily ignore it all. Remember that if you’re using Twitter for work your username, followers and everyone you follow will be visible to anyone. You can always create separate personal and professional accounts.

Use Twitter Search with keywords to nd relevant information and conversations. It’s a good way to nd out if anyone is talking about you or your company. To make your posts searchable by others add # in front of the topic (e.g. #eLearning). Click on “Trending Topics” from the home page to see what people are talking about right now. Share web links, screencasts, pictures, documents, videos and blog posts with your network. A lot can be packed into 140 characters if you use a URL shortening service like bit.ly. Try following Tom Peters, Tim Harford, Jane Knight, Ben Goldacre, Harold Jarche, Nicholas Nassim Taleb, Lucy Kellaway or any number of interesting and original thinkers.

EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS at www.Twitter.com

C row d s ou rC i nG k now l e d G e on l i n e w i t h s o C i A l b o ok m A r k i nG
By Jane Hart


ost people are familiar with collecting and storing website links in their browsers – they’re usually known as “Favourites” or “Bookmarks”. Social bookmarking is about collecting and storing these bookmarks online, and then sharing them with others. Two popular social bookmarking sites are Delicious (delicious.com), and Diigo (diigo.com). What’s great about social bookmarking is that the bookmarks can be “tagged”. This means categorising or describing them using keywords defined by you, which means that they then become searchable by you and others. It’s a useful way to find popular resources on a topic, as you will see the number of times a particular link to a resource has been saved. The best resources will therefore rise to the top. With Delicious you can also share your bookmarks by agreeing on a tag that you and others will use, so that they will all appear together. You each “subscribe” to that tag, and have your very own library of links. Diigo on the other hand is more than just bookmarking. It doubles as a powerful research tool where you can highlight text on a website and attach sticky notes to it. These highlights and sticky notes remain, so that you will see them when you return to the page – just like highlighting passages in a book. Diigo is a great way to create groups to pool and organise research about a project. This is “crowdsourcing” at its best.

Jane H art is the founder of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies, and a leading thinker and practitioner in the area of social learning. www.C4lPt.co.uk


Explore the digita l universe!

• YouTube

has over 490 million unique users, spending a combined total of over 300,000 years on the site each month. • Find clips on topics from fiscal policy to how to fold a t-shirt, from building pivot tables to how to apply make-up, recorded by experts in each field. • Try Common Craft's "Plain English" series on internet tools, or Randy Pausch on Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.


• Thousands • •

of riveting talks by remarkable people, free to watch online. TED brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less. Try Malcolm Gladwell on spaghetti sauce or learn Shai Agassi's bold plan for electric cars.


• Over • •

8000 study hours of learning materials from Open University courses, all available free. Topical and interactive content, from expert blogs, to videos and games. Try Evan Davis on the UK tax system or The Foods That Make Billions about the rise of bottled water.


• • •

Over 350,000 lectures, videos, films and other educational resources from all over the world. All content is free to download to listen to on the move. Try "What Great Bosses Know" by the Poynter Institute or Yale. University's "How To Write A Business Plan".


v i de o l e A r n i nG : A n e w di m e n s ion
By Jon Kennard


ideo learning adds an extra dimension to the learning experience, as long as it’s made up of good, meaningful content that is passionately delivered. As body language experts and NLP practitioners are always telling us, one of the keys to successful communication and knowledge transfer is mirroring and empathetic body language. If you have a video of a presenter introducing an idea to you, you’ll be more naturally inclined to watch and learn than if you were asked to read a paragraph of text explaining the same thing. Context is key. As a learner, video learning typically comes in ‘bite-size’, more digestible chunks, or at least it should do. There should be regular pauses to assess and question what you have just seen, maintaining the energy levels of a training session more effectively. So, video learning is really like a blended experience as opposed to one straight-up style of learning. Psychologically, video learning is about breaking through the stigma and barriers of the traditional classroom environment. The seemingly never-ending app zeitgeist and buzz around the iPad gives you more ways than ever to integrate video learning into your working lifestyle. As our work takes us further away from the office, content will be increasingly adapted for playback on our personal devices. The future for video learning is looking very bright indeed.

Jon K ennard is acting Editor of trainingzone.co.uk. Prior to this he was a freelance writer on the topic of learning technologies. www.trainingzone.co.uk




Yammer is used by over 90,000 companies worldwide. It’s a free online internal network that lets you communicate securely with your colleagues. You can collaborate and share more easily and efficiently than ever before in private or public groups and communities. It reduces the need for meetings, increases communication, highlights areas of expertise and connects remote workers. You can share documents with colleagues, groups, or your entire company.

It connects you with people in other departments and offices. You can tag content and messages in your network to make it easy to organise and discover. Connect to your network anywhere, any time by downloading free iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile applications. All you need is a company email address.

t h e m i l l e n n i A l G e n e r At ion
By Tony Bingham


e are on the cusp of one of the most exciting transformations in business history. Organisations in the 21st century are facing unprecedented global challenges, and the speed, agility, and creativity with which they address these challenges is influenced by generational and demographic shifts. Predictions estimate that by 2014, half of the U.S. workforce will comprise the Millennial generation. The way this generation learns and the tools they expect to use at work have tremendous implications for the learning profession and managers. How are Millennials different from previous generations? In Don Tapscott’s book Grown Up Digital, he notes the differences: They want freedom to work when and where they like. They seek customisation and want to be managed as individuals, not as a group. They value integrity and transparency. They want to have fun. Most of all, they want to collaborate. For organisations this may be a paradigm shift – moving away from relying on formal learning, and exploring social media to facilitate informal learning. ASTD’s research study, The Rise of Social Media, found more than 50 percent of Millennials – higher than Baby Boomers and members of Generation X combined – said that social media tools help them get more work done, get better work done, learn more in less time, and learn truly useful things. Companies that encourage the use of social media tools can expect to see wider participation from all generations of the workforce and find themselves ready to move forward with a deeper understanding and a renewed energy to learn.

tony BingHaM is President and CEO of the American Society for Training & Development – the world’s largest association dedicated to learning and development. www.astd.org



ADULTS WHO SPEND TIME on the web not only boost their brain power but could also help protect themselves from cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia later on in life (according to research by neuroscientists at the University of California, Los Angeles – UCLA see newsroom.ucla.edu). ey suggest that using the internet causes temporary synaptic rewiring. e strength of neuron connections changes, new connections are made and lost, and new cells are formed. Others argue that the bombardment of information through the internet could end up interfering with our sleep, sabotaging our concentration and undermining our immune systems.


gets inside

In addition, navigating documents online that include hyperlinks has been shown to disrupt concentration and weaken comprehension. People who read plain text comprehend more, remember more, and learn more than those who read text peppered with links (see wired.com). However, web-savvy brains show more activity in areas of the brain that control decision-making and complex reasoning. E ective searches and making decisions on what to click on appear to engage and develop important cognitive circuits.

A v i s ion oF l e A r n i nG i n 2 0 2 0
By Debbie Carter


y 2020 our view of ‘connectedness’ will have moved to quite a different level. Imagine being able to exchange business information through a handshake. Imagine office furniture that can detect signs of emotional stress or tiredness and respond by cooling the air, temporarily diverting calls, sending an alert message, or playing a soothing music selection. Developments like Body Area Networks (BANs) and mobile intercommunicating sensors will mean that ‘always-on’ communications can be physically implanted in the body. A phone printed on the wrist or a video screen in a contact lens for example would maintain their charge by drawing on the user’s body heat or from their physical activity. Let’s say you want to check on a telepresence meeting. You call out: ‘What time is the telepresence?’ The watch printed on your wrist checks your online diary and displays the time on the watch’s face. On moving through the building, sensors detect your presence and relay meeting information to your palmtop. You are feeling tense before this important meeting and your BAN senses this, relaying information to the room’s air control system which lowers the temperature temporarily, while a calming meditation session plays through your tiny earpiece. Brain implants or downloads could be viewed as effective methods of imparting knowledge or skills quickly in order to sustain the need for new learning. ‘Smart’ drugs could help learning, memory retention and feelings of well-being at work. This may seem like science fiction but the reality is that at some point advances in technology and neuroscience will enable these types of interventions to become part of both our working and personal lives.

deBBie carter is former Editor and currently Director of Research at Training Journal magazine. www.trainingjournal.com/ld2020



RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. You can receive ‘feeds’ from news sites, forums, blogs, LinkedIn… indeed any page that supports RSS (and most do). The point is that everything you want to read can be accessed through one website, saving you time, ltering out all the junk and creating your own ‘personal newspaper.’ To set up RSS feeds you need a Reader. Google Reader is the biggest: go to google.com/reader. It works well with mobile devices too. Then just link the sites you like to your Google Reader. Somewhere on the sites you like you’ll see a link to RSS feeds – just click and subscribe. A few keyboard shortcuts will speed up your browsing time. Use j and k to quickly ip through posts, and use s to star them. You can group your feeds into folders to help you organise different topics, and share your content with other users. Go to Settings > Send To and share selected feed items to Diigo, Twitter, Facebook, Delicious and other social media sites. Google will also suggest interesting feeds just for you based on your searches and selections. To learn more watch "RSS in Plain English" on YouTube.

Take action: www.google.com/reader

t h e F u t u r e oF l e A r n i nG i s s e l F - di r e C t e d
By Tricia Hartley


e all have the potential to be self-directed learners, programmed with the curiosity, problem-solving abilities and practical intelligence to learn for ourselves. Traditionally training at work has focused on formal delivery of learning rather than encouraging people to learn for themselves. Many companies place great faith in formal training but do not identify what difference they expect to see and do little follow up to see if this happens. Technology will change this. In the future, with a more technologically savvy workforce, there will be a shift towards informal, social learning. This can work especially well for staff who are nervous about or bored by formal training. We all know that a high proportion of organisational learning takes place on the job. Charles Jennings, former Chief Learning Officer for Thomson Reuters, calls this 70-20-10 (in which 70% of learning happens on the job, 20% informally from colleagues and only 10% from formal training.) What does this mean for learning & development? Firstly, it makes it more cost effective, with some face to face training replaced by online and blended methods. Secondly, it shifts the role of the L&D professional from knowledge-giver to facilitator and adviser - communicating organisational goals, identifying core content, providing information to help employees make their own decisions and coaching people who need extra help. Thirdly, line managers become vitally important negotiators and mediators, enhancing learning experiences and co-creating learning with team members to develop self-directed learning that meets individual and organisational needs.

t ricia H artley, is the Chief Executive and spokesperson at the Campaign for Learning. www.campaign-for-learning.org.uk


Meet ! n Watso



IN 2011 IBM took another step towards creating a machine that could compete with the human brain. The computer, named Watson, beat humans head to head in the US quiz show ‘Jeopardy!’ without being connected to the internet. It had to understand natural language, determine the answer to a question, and then calculate the odds that its answer was correct in order to decide whether it was worth buzzing in. According to IBM, “The goal was to have computers start to interact in natural human terms, understanding the questions that humans ask and providing answers that humans can understand and justify.” Watson won the match with a final score of $35,734 to its opponents’ $10,400 and $4,800. IBM says it hopes Watson will transform the way businesses work, and even assist in research and medical diagnosis.

C A s e st u dy: C ol l A b or At i nG G l ob A l ly At i b m
By Paul Jagger


t might sound strange to many people but at IBM your closest colleagues might be people you don’t see from one year to the next. Using collaborative online tools is as commonplace as using email or picking up the phone. Blogs, wikis, online team rooms, instant messaging and web conferencing – they’re an integral part of every employee’s day-to-day working life at IBM, especially so in respect of workplace learning and development. “Collaborating Globally” is one of IBM’s core competencies. People are recognised for their contribution to the knowledge networks, and they’ve become very forthcoming about sharing what they know with others, supporting another of IBM’s core competencies “Helping IBMers succeed”. And in a company like IBM the wealth of expertise available internally is obviously vast. WikiCentral is the main access point for wikis in IBM and is used by two thirds of IBM employees world-wide. Every working day, more than 90,000 employees access up to 300,000 pages from a bank of more than 8 million wiki pages. And the IBM Community Map hosts more than 2,000 different online Communities of Interest. The flexibility that social collaboration and learning brings is a huge benefit, and a competitive advantage. Communicating easily across teams, countries and time zones means the scope for collaboration on projects is huge. Many IBMers work flexible hours from a mix of office, home and client sites without feeling out of the conversation. If there is a downside it is that the abundance of tools, forums and networks is difficult to keep up with. But like anything, the kind of natural selection you get with these things means the ones that work, do work exceptionally well.

Paul Jagger is a Business Area Manager for IBM Learning Development (Europe). He serves on advisory boards for the National Skills Academy for IT and the Institute of IT Training. www.ibm.co.uk


- A N N O U N C EM EN T -

Moodle Takes The Learning World By Storm
MOODLE is an open source learning management system that is taking the education world by storm. More and more colleges, universities, businesses and commercial training organisations are turning to Moodle to host and deliver courses online, as it o ers a sophisticated learning resource – with no licence fee.
t its most basic level, Moodle can be used to store, categorise and display course information for learners to read and digest in their own time. Beyond that, the system o ers assignment submission, quizzes, peer review, instant messaging and discussion forums. While Moodle won't create complex eLearning modules for you, it does o er a great way to host and organise any existing modules you own and embed things like video and interactive content.

Visit us at moodle.org
To work it needs to be installed on a web server somewhere, either on one of your own computers or one at a web hosting company. You don't need to know any programming to set up your own Moodle, but a bit of PHP knowledge will allow you to create a rich, well-styled site. It's easy to nd a developer who can help you with your Moodle set-up, but don't forget that, as it's built on open source software, you can acquire support via the active user community. is is often more e ective and usually free, although it may require more engagement on your part than you are used to. At the end of 2010 there were over 50k registered Moodle sites serving 37 million learners globally. For a great example of what you could achieve with Moodle, visit openlearn.open.ac.uk


All Moodle packages are GPL licenced

m A k i nG i t wor k i n t h e r e A l wor l d
By Martyn Sloman


o will we finally get the application of social learning right? It’s unlikely there will be a ‘eureka moment’. More likely there will be a gradual but irreversible recognition of a simple fact: what matters in learning technology is the learner not the technology. The profession will finally stop throwing the latest tools at people in the hope that they will use them and learn something. New technologies can be seductive, but some things will work and some simply won’t. Online systems might look the part but fail to impart the necessary skills. For example, developing the “big society” skills of volunteering using online virtual classrooms might seem an attractive use of available technology but be an entirely inappropriate solution. Practical skills taught through experience and feedback may be an unfashionable but far more effective solution. Without anyone noticing it, some forms of learning through technology will show incremental but irreversible growth. The use of webinars for professional staff across different countries to share and update the knowledge could be particularly important. The key point here is that the learners are motivated and interested. The emergence of a learner-centric approach, and far less technology hype, will mean that a more constructive debate can begin.

M artyn SloMan is a former learning advisor for the CIPD. He is currently a visiting Professor at Kingston Business School, Kingston University. www.martynsloman.co.uk


TOP 10






reproduced with permission of the centre for learning & performance technologies c4lp t.co.uk







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