The Learning Technologies Ignite Challenge

11pm Monday night – Google chat pops up on my laptop. It’s Dan.

Dan – Bad news someone has dropped out of the Ignite session for day 2 of Learning Technologies.

Sam – Hmm, I guess one of us could step up and do a talk, how about we do rock/paper/scissors to decide?

Dan – On Google chat?

Sam – Sure, you can go first

Dan – Ok, Rock

Sam – Paper

Dan – But Rock always wins??!!

Sam – Ok now I feel bad. Wait, I’ve got an idea – An Ignite duet!

Dan – Are you crazy?

Sam – what if we did a review of the Exhibition and compiled it into an Ignite talk during the show?

Dan – You’re definitely crazy, but it might just work. We could crowd-source some of it on Twitter!

Sam – so it’s decided we’re going to ignore all the advice we gave everyone else doing the Ignite talks and wing it

Dan – When you put it like that it sounds ridiculous

Sam – Too late I just tweeted it…

So here we are, we need your help to avoid making fools of ourselves at the end of the exhibition on Thursday. We will be delivering the final Ignite talk, unrehearsed on a wing and a prayer, inspired by everything we’ve seen across the two days. There will be highs and lows, tears and laughter, cursing at dodgy wifi. But we can do this together!

We need you to share your experiences of the Exhibition (not the Conference – we’re not allowed up there!). Imagine there was an award ceremony at the end of the Exhibition. What would the award categories be? Who would be your winners? This is where we need your help. Tweet us (@burrough or @danroddy or use #ignitelts) or comment below if you can help, but please don’t leave us hanging!

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Most exciting product
  • Most likely to change the world
  • Flavor Flav’s Don’t believe the hype award
  • Best in show
  • Best freebies
  • If we had any money we would definitely buy…
  • Best slides
  • Most entertaining stand/team
  • Quote of the show

Fortunately we also have 10 well prepared speakers to dazzle you across both days. Here’s the who and the when:

Wednesday
Barry Sampson
Sukh Pabial
Ger Driesen
Matt Brewer
Debs Figueiredo
Owen Ferguson

Thursday
Martin Couzins
John Curran
Dipesh Mistry
Dave Kelly
Owen Ferguson
Us (please help)

See you at the show!

Posted in blog

Five ways curators can improve user experience

Most people curate for the benefit of themselves or their organisations. What if we considered content curation from a user centered design perspective? What would audience centered curation look like?

Photo Credit: Methos04 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Methos04 via Compfight cc

Here are some ideas

1. Focus on quality, not quantity.
It’s ok if you don’t share anything today. Now say it out loud. ”I don’t have to share anything today.” Doesn’t that feel better? The world won’t stop spinning if you don’t share anything online today. A lot of the discourse around curation assumes we should always be online. We need to monitor our social media channels all the time. We need to push new content out every day. We need to automate tweets so we can keep visible over the weekend and holidays etc.

No we don’t (unless perhaps you actually work in marketing). The perception that you need to commit several hours a day to curation, not only turns normal people away, it’s also wrong. It makes it sound like something only professional curators, consultants and marketers can do. If you build strong networks, effective filters and maintain a discerning eye, you can become a valued source of information without dedicating all your waking hours to it.

2. Find your niche
One of the benefits of curation is that it helps people find useful information that otherwise gets missed by search and social media. Let’s face it, most things we like from popular sites like Mashable, the BBC, Fast Company etc. are going to be shared by large numbers of people in our social network. There’s nothing wrong with re-sharing them, but you aren’t really helping yourself or your audience by sticking to the main stream. At best you’re amplifying, at worst you’re boring. Instead be patient and wait until you find the really good stuff that hasn’t already been shared by 10 other people, don’t just share for the sake of trying to be first. To focus your efforts, it helps to have a niche. It may take some time to figure out what that niche is, but it’s worth keeping it in mind until you figure it out.

3. Rate the content
Is it really unmissable? Is it just really good? Maybe it’s worth a read if you’re stuck on the train for a while? Some of the best curators, like Robin Good, add a rating to their curated content on Scoop.it. But before you jump in and copy them, ask yourself what this communicates to the audience. If you rate all your posts out of 10, are you ever likely to publish anything that rates less than 7? By definition it wouldn’t be worth it, so what kind of rating scale would make sense for your audience and your topic?

4. Reading/Viewing time
The first thing most us do after opening a YouTube link, is to look at the duration. We decide there and then to watch it, save it for later, or not to bother at all. This is useful information for your audience, so why not apply it to written content? Every post on blogging platform Medium includes this small piece of information. It helps you select content that fits the time you have available to read. If you take this simple step too, your audience will think you’re a considerate curator and it sets you apart from the majority.

5. Tell me why should I read this?
Start with why and make it brief. Why did you pick the content? What’s special about it? How does it relate to other important ideas and who should care about reading or watching it? This is the important value that a curator should add with every selection. Focus on the content not yourself, get to the point and make it quick. You’re trying to persuade people to check out the content.

There you go – five things, three of which are simple steps we can all take when curating anything. The other two are more about setting the right attitude. It’s not hard to put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Start noticing the things that irritate and annoy you about other people’s content and think of ways to overcome them.

Posted in blog

The Ignite LTS line-up

Before Christmas we asked for people to “Enlighten us, but make it quick” at Ignite LTS as part of the Learning Technologies / Learning & Skills exhibition at Olympia 29-30 January.

Without further ado, let me introduce the people who answered our call:

We were delighted with the response. From seasoned pros to intrepid first timers, we’ve got talks of all sorts for you. We had a really hard time picking who was going to speak. So much so that we are now running not one, but two Ignites, one on each day!

On both days, you will find in Theatre 10 of Learning & Skills 3.15pm-3.45pm, situated near the Social Learning Zone and the Learning & Skills Exchange (check out the floorplans).

We hope you’ll come and join us for some talks with a difference.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in blog, events

Sign up for our mailing list.



eLearning Learning