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Steve Flowers
Worked at USCG
Lives in Newport News, VA
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Steve Flowers

Discussion  - 
Sad to learn of Jay's passing. Great man. Great life. Great conversations. Great contributions to his field. May we all endeavor to make our passion projects into our living and vice-versa. Jay, you will be missed.
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Steve Flowers

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Interesting perspective! I am in agreement about common misconceptions about the nature of knowledge. Commonly referred to, I believe incorrectly, as the missing link between information and behavior change, we do opportunities for use of knowledge a disservice. A transient thing, the value of knowledge increases proportionately to context and time of application. Diminishing to nothing if it's not connected with a context or application.

The way we talk about learning as a packaged unit / noun is also irksome. I think part of this is language imprecision. We say learning when we mean a number of other things. The darn English language tends to encourage that.

In the case of Q0, the prompt is more "what cool thing or insight do you have to share this week?" than "what did you learn?" -- again, imprecise description. It works, because most of the responses are understood as an answer to the first question.

I cringe at a lot of things we tend to say. But have to concede that folks have the best of intentions and the "what we call it" arguments are probably the most wasteful navel-gazing exercises we tend to engage in.

We've started to expand our lexicon here to be both more direct with expectations of what we would like to see as well as more "meta" with how we'd like to get there.

Words that represent characteristics and activities such as:

- Encouragement (instead of learning culture)
- Habit (when folks could do it all of the time if it were natural - habits are a huge impediment and a giant opportunity)
- Practice
- Feedback
- Support
- Development (instead of training)
- Communication (instead of training)

And expanding the lexicon to be more precise and to encourage holistic thinking in terms of what we think of as an outcome of development and support. How do we enable discovery, achievement, creation, application, connection, and provide opportunities for folks to step up and shine? To answer the question, "How do we move toward the adjacent possible and tap the untapped potential of what could be?" Development of what? Capacity / capability? Capacity / capability in what?

- Skills
- Confidence
- Perspective
- Connections
- Grit, empathy, insight
- Any one or combination of of hundreds of general or fine grained characteristics that can be developed when effort, focus, and support are applied to enable growth.

I don't think people mean to be goofy about using learning as a verb. Or even (cringe) training as in "I'm going to a training." It's language precision and habit. Both of which are fixable if it's important enough. That becomes the real question. Is it important enough? Maybe:)
I've been known to be pretty hard on the pursuit of 'knowledge', I think it's a fool's folly to try to hold something that flows like a river.  I've written it's a trap, it's not an object and various other views that we shou...
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Steve Flowers

21C Literacies  - 
I've spent the last few weeks winding down one chapter in my profession to prepare for the next. One of the things I struggle with is the frames folks tend to have for interactions. In my field, there's quite a bit of tunnel vision when it comes to both interaction type and intervention categories. 

I spent the weekend attempting  to work out some interactions designed by someone else (read: reeling against poor design) in the solo zone illustrated below. I posit that working exclusively in one category without consideration to the strengths, effort requirements, or transitional (and transactional) relationships between interaction categories is a myopic waste of time and energy.

Have a look at the attached table. Did I miss anything on the scale of interaction modalities / frames? I want to extend these with profiles and attributes that could map to specific patterns. Characteristics including analog / digital, facilitated / freestyle, synchronous / asynchronous, overt / covert, etc.. could introduce some depth and consideration to design conversations. 

Looking to move away from the mental models hung up on provisioning narrow, insulated solution sets.
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Your categories made me think about what I have been doing over the last couple of decades. I'll use math as metaphor.

Categorisation I equate to pure math, where the field of all possible math is explored. I have a strong practical streak to me, experientially. So, just in the same way the maths for exploring physical reality has precedence historically and has resulted in our 'control' of the world, I am only interested in linguistic categories that enable us to gain 'control' of our social world. Once we stabilise our world, then I am happy to explore other categories, other math, etc.

So, in terms of your categories, all my social designs and practices seem to be overt, freestyle, analogue, and synchronous. (As a corollary, the math I explore is less about controlling physical reality -- which includes treating people dreadfully as objects and then enumerating them -- and more psychologically sensitive, becoming more aware of learning, which leads to subjective evaluation and the math of intention.)
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Steve Flowers

Conversation  - 
Inspired by the stuff other folks have been posting here, I put a new post together tonight. Feedback and conversation welcome:)
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Steve Flowers

Discussion  - 
Hey guys! This should be fun. 

As I mentioned in the mailing list, I'm a performance technologist (fancy job title for "assistant to the apprentice, the journeyman, and the master") with the U.S. Coast Guard. More about me and stuff I write about here:
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Steve Flowers

Development Tools and Techniques  - 
This year has offered good showing for Wordpress LMS plug-ins. A new one just hit the market. Looks interesting. Affordable LMS plug-in with Tin Can API support. Can't tell by the site documentation if it supports SCORM. 

Looks affordable at $69. On par with Sensei, price wise. 
Steve Flowers's profile photoCharlie Williams's profile photo
I think both Sensei and Learn Dash aren't helping themselves.  Can't find any demos for Learn Dash, not trial version.  Even if they are pretty cheap, and simple to install and use, it's still going to cost $69 plus 'playing' time to find out that they don't fit your needs.
Looking forward to seeing some more Tin Can LRSs implemented in fully featured VLEs soon though.
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Steve Flowers

Discussion  - 
Thanks for the follow on Twitter, Jay. Caught my attention. Bought the book and am spreading the love with the L&OD crowd at my agency. This is super-similar to the trajectory we're trying to set at my organization. 

We're approaching it from two sides. One is from the org / strategic end for lining up resources (time, allowance, $$) and supporting activities that lend habit development. But the biggest change is shifting the locus of control and the mindset. Away from supervisor controlled or centrally diffused toward individually owned. Away from training and conferences as the tools of development and toward a broad spectrum of opportunities.

We're attaching this to IDP. Yes, these things have a history of lackluster results and tends to be too formal to be helpful. But... it has strong ties to KPI and critical performance elements we can use to make sure folks in charge pay attention and do what they can to encourage and move out of the way. We've worked to make the process people-centric and less formal than typical but the process has some formalization. I'm hoping most of that will fall away once we shape new habits. It's a long road. Has to begin somewhere.

Here's one of the presentations we use to make the case with supervisors.
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Thanks, Jay! Swipe away. There's a bit more that used to be in the presentation and a few tools we're working on for things like goal setting, defining success, creative strategies for finding resources and people to keep you going, approaches for prioritizing and chaining actions, etc..

Last year was all about shifting mindset (stop using the word training for everything) and valuing development. This year will start into a focus on chaining, layering, and reflection. Toward the end of next year, we're planning to offer some tools and strategies to improve our overall coaching capacity across the organization. Small stuff.
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Steve Flowers

Visual Storytelling  - 
Three stages of expertise. Interesting graph that explores what those that have made the transition to real expertise come to understand. That only once we have significant perspective within a domain can we understand how much there truly is to understand.

This also frames pseudo-certainty, the Dunning-Kruger effect, and what many see as anti-intellectualism pretty neatly.
are "I know nothing", Hazard and "I know nothing" . Figure 1 - The three stages of expertise. (click on image for larger size)
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Love the shu-ha-ri reference! Explored a few different frames in this post:
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Steve Flowers

Development Tools and Techniques  - 
Carry-on baggage. Bringing files along for the ride in Storyline.

Take a look at this screen recording for a method you can use to consistently attach files and employ them using a relative link (HTML5 and Flash only) within your published output.
This is a convenient way to attach JavaScript libraries or other custom structures you want to use at runtime. Here's the process:
1. Create a folder to contain your "carry-on". 
2. Add an index.html file to this folder. It doesn't need to contain anything.
3. In Storyline, import a WebObject and target your new carry-on folder.
4. Publish the story for Web.
5. Explore the folder structure. Navigate into story_content and WebObjects.
6. Copy the unique folder string for the folder that contains your new carry-on. You'll need this to complete the relative link chain.
7. Back in Storyline, employ the folder structure. For example: "story_content/WebObjects/5nM8Oqq62Th/yourfile.pdf" You can use this to launch with a jump to URL / file or with a hyperlink on text. 
The neat thing about this is the unique ID is created when the WebObject is imported. Unless you reimport it, that unique "5nM8Oqq62Th" folder name stays the same every time you publish. This gives you a consistent relative reference within your published structure to use whatever files you "carried-on" without having to resort to post-publish surgery.
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Steve Flowers

Discussion  - 
Everyone's a moderator! :) Feel the powa.
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Steve Flowers

Introduce Yourself  - 
Steve from Virginia. Performance Consultant and producer of digital stuff.
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  • USCG
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