Sunday, December 16, 2007

Using Workforce Development for change

I was originally 'blown away' by the "Google and the Wisdom of Clouds" article because of Google's 'cloud' concept of storing and accessing information - however - the real 'gem' of this story is the fact that Christophe Bisciglia, a 27-year-old senior software engineer at Google, was able to use advanced training with new recruits to radically create a new strategic approach to the way Google provides information.

Bisciglia used his "20% time, the allotment Googlers have for independent projects, to launch a course. .... Google 101. .... (which) eventually lead to an ambitious partnership with IBM (IBM), announced in October, to plug universities around the world into Google-like computing clouds."

So how can we tap into the concept of developing VET staff so they are able to create a training environment which reflects the needs of the 21st Century?

We have a lot to learn from Christophe (

It's the people that matter

I couldn’t agree with you more Will Richardson's "Network, Not Tools" blog posting - and it’s the skill of networking, sourcing and filtering information which we need to be teaching our students so they can be able to function in the ever changing knowledge world.

Long live George Siemens and Connectivism - where “the pipe is more important than the content within the pipe”, so “the ability to plug into sources to meet your requirements becomes the vital skill. As knowledge continues to grow and evolve, access to what is needed is more important than what the learner currently possesses.” Therefore“…the connections that enable us to learn more are more important than our current state of knowing” (George Siemens, Dec 12, 2004 viewed 29/11/06).

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Are you a Buyer, Seller or Broker of Information

Barb McPherson from River Murray Training has been working on a very innovative Individual Learnscope Project in SA called “Leveraging Enterprise Knowledge and Know-how”.

Barb has been an e-learning innovator with the Australian Flexible Learning Framework for a number of years - and her company, River Murray Training, are leaders is responsive training solutions in the VET Sector.

Here is part of Barb's Final Posting for 2007 LearnScope Teams & Individuals

"One very interesting concept I learned about was that in any organisation there are buyers, sellers and brokers of knowledge. Let's say you now have the "know-how" on some new e-learning thing. But you got the idea and a few starting points from someone else. Let's say the Learnscope team put you in touch with that someone else. You are a buyer of knowledge, the "someone else" is a seller; and the Learnscope team is the broker. Why would the seller have been happy to share their know-how with you? Maybe they were altruistic; maybe they felt indebted to the brokers for soomething they had done. Maybe you have something that the seller could use now or in the future. You are the buyer - what will you offer in return?

In organisations people don't just give away their know-how. If the culture is such that sharing knowledge is not supported and encouraged then it won't happen. If people are promoted on what they know then it doesn't encourage them to share does it. If they are promoted because they share their knowledge freely, then it is likely to encourage more open and sharing teams. What sort of organisation do you work in? If you are a manager, what messages do you send your staff. If you are a facilitator - what messages are you sending your students?"

Barb has highlighted some very interesting points:

- are you a buyer, seller or broker of knowledge - or do we change roles depending on the need/ concept/ process/ idea we are working on?

- are you a sharer or hoarder of knowledge?

- and how do we 'manage' knowledge?

River Murray Training's Industry Engagement Project "Engineering Employers Association Group Training Scheme" used the tool itensil to project manage this project. Itensil is a "a wiki and workflow software in one"