November 17, 2007

Going Web 2.0 or not?

My organization is ready to embrace the addition of Web 2.0 tools in our training programs. Will we take that leap? I sure hope so.

Currently our Training department is the one that owns the development and maintenance of our Corporate University, and of all classroom and virtual training programs so the shift to Web 2.0 will bring new and exciting changes that I think we can all embrace.

Last year we attended the Learning Conference 2006 which is all about using Web 2.0 tools that enable learning. We came back with so many ideas, and we put together a team that was in charge of researching blogs, wikis, social networks, videos, podcasting, avatars, and audio. The result of this research lead to incorporating audio in our eLearning courses and to beta test an mLearning module which we had great results with but I think not too much chance was given to blogs, wikis, and other tools.

We just came back from the Learning 2007 Conference and this year the speakers focused more on actually examples of how to use Web 2.0 tools in your training programs so can you feel the excitement? After presenting all our ideas to Management, it looks like we will try to implement some of these tools. So I’m very excited, I’m a loyal advocate of these new tools. I've used them with my kids, siblings, friends, and for my professional development. I've learned more through blogging, wikis, communities then by reading books and attending seminars. And of course, thanks to Google I have found great resources.

Going by my experience and what I’ve heard from teachers, trainers, and other educators it seems that this technology is working. So why not give it a try? The concerns we have I know are the same that other corporations and educators have. We are very concerned about wrong information being posted on our wikis and bad comments being left on blogs. We don’t have too many resources that can continuously monitor these tools so it’s a little scary.

The fear is there and they only way it will go away is if we leap into this new world and we don't fall flat on our backs. I think we just need to let go of the ownership of the content, and let others contribute to our success. Like Brad Anderson from Best Buy said “Getting other points of view and other pieces of knowledge into our learning system that might otherwise have escaped is key to our success as an organization." And I think we understand this now.

From my research and experience with some of these tools, I’ve compiled a list of concerns and solutions that I think will help us deal with these issues. These will be posted in other articles so check back with us soon.

What has been your experience with Web 2.0 tools in the classroom? What tools work best for you? Any one?

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