Friday, 20 May 2011

Commercial break

There will now be a short commercial break...

I have been impressed by a free booklet from Reed Learning, The Little Book of the Future: a guide to collaborative learning. Use this link to request your own copy.

It’s not really free, of course, as you exchange your contact details and allow Reed to pursue you with other offers, but so far I reckon it’s been worth it. The booklet includes short articles on leading-edge digital tools for learning, along with a bit of future-gazing. Among the latter commentaries, I particularly enjoyed Debbie Carter’s vision of phones printed on wrists and video screens in contact lenses – it chimed with some of my own predictions in the final chapter of my last book, Delivering E-Learning.

I’ve been getting agitated to mention Springest, which describes itself as an independent comparison website for learning and development programmes. Originating in Holland, it offers listings for all sorts of courses, organised in subject categories, along with reviews, links to other social media, and features for learners to store their own favourites. Worth a look, I'd suggest.

OK, Martijn?

While I'm mentioning other people's products I may as well mention my own.

My new book, 101 Learning and Development Tools, is not due for publication for another three months, but it’s available to pre-order on Amazon now.

Comments, as always, welcome.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011


As we have just held elections in Scotland and the UK, it seems apposite to restate what this blog is about. I want to assert some clearer themes, and encourage readers to subscribe to follow, and followers to invite others to follow.

The key themes are my favourite issues in learning and development, including:

e-learning and blended learning
work-based learning (and volunteering-based learning)
talent management and development
corporate universities or academies
resource-based learning and learning centres
leadership and management development
knowledge management whatever else may be topical in the world of occupational learning.

Please let me know if there are other, related, themes you would like to see addressed.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Are you my friend?

Driving to work the other day, I heard an item on Radio Scotland about how many online “friends” we can realistically maintain. I’m not sure how this became a topical item for commuter news, as I have investigated further and discovered Robin Dunbar identified the number – it’s 150 – way back in 2008. (See this New Scientist link.)

The point is that those who have hundreds of “friends” on Facebook, or other social networking sites, are kidding themselves, as they simply can’t maintain sufficient contact with so many people to justify describing them as friends.

As one of the dwindling refuseniks who still haven’t joined Facebook or Twitter, I gleaned some foolish comfort from this stat, but of course I have more than 150 people in my LinkedIn network, including many of the followers of this blog, so am I one of the deluded?

I don’t think so. One of the things I like about LinkedIn is that it makes no pretence that your network of contacts are friends. Its clear purpose is networking for work-related reasons, and it holds onto that objectivity.

I’ve just invited all my LinkedIn contacts to follow this blog, as a contribution to my previously posted intention to expand this community and generate more debate. But I won’t be offended by those who don’t sign up to follow, and simply continue to read when it suits them – that’s their choice.