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Thoughts on the skills and mindsets learners need to participate in a MOOC inspired by Stephen Downe's post... MOOCs in Workplace Learning - Part 5: Skills Learners Need Today - I would love to know your thoughts. 

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Our #msloc430  team is exploring how to motivate people to use working out loud to improve efficiency and problem solving within an organization. What ideas do you have? Do you have any success/failure stories? +Sahana Chattopadhyay and +Dennis Pearce, you both seem to have some interesting thoughts on #wol! Maybe you have some thoughts on our questions?!

Right now our #msloc430  team is discussing how a MOOC could be used to train managers in a large organization about performance management. The even bigger-picture goal would be that these MOOCs could then encourage CoPs to form among managers who are interested in these different aspects of talent management. We would love to hear any thoughts the community has on this challenge!  +karen jeannette, I read the blog post by Stephen Downes that you posted and it got me thinking a lot about the literacies that would be required from people within the organization in order for the MOOC to be well-received and effective. Thank you for the helpful resource! +Mitra Emad, your post on the 'MOOC Monster' was incredibly interesting; do you think that people within an organization may share the same attitude toward a MOOC as they do in higher education? 

I've been doing a lot of thinking about how to use social learning and the concept of building a #PLN as a way to introduce an #ESN . Thanks to +Keeley Sorokti for inspiration. I'd like to see features built into social tools to explicitly support these activities. Here is an idea I've put together for such a tool to support a network of school teachers. +Helen Blunden  +Tanya Lau +Maureen Crawford +Kate Pinner +Helen Crump  +Essa Garland +Bruno Winck +Paul Signorelli +Jeff Merrell  I'd love to hear your thoughts on the value of such a tool, suggested features, and how/whether you think it could support learning in an organization. Please invite others to comments as well!

Personal Learning Network Support Tool

Purpose of the tool:
Maintaining a diverse network of strong and weak ties helps you learn, advance, and build social connections, and develop a stronger identity.  The personal learning network tool helps you visualize, grow, and learn from your network.

Key features:
Displays a visual diagram of your contacts taken from email, social media, contacts, calendars, and information about organizations with which you’re associated (e.g., schools, work places, volunteer organizations, etc.). The diagram illustrates strong and weak ties based on interactions with each person. Data can be manually manipulated to account for offline interactions. The diagram updates automatically so it shows a picture of your network ties at a specific point in time. You can also review the history of your network to see how it has changed.

Analyzes the diversity of your network including number of strong, weak and very weak ties, number of contacts extending across structural holes, and affiliations, skills and interests of your contacts. Makes recommendations based on this analysis for expanding your network or renewing ties. Recommendations include suggesting specific interactions, such as “ following” someone on social media, commenting on a post the person has written, or attending events. Also alerts you to relevant activity based on your current interests.

Allows you to enter a question and uses network analysis to suggest people who could best help to answer it. For example, “How do I handle bullying in the classroom?” “What skills do I need to transition from teaching kindergarten to fourth grade?” Or “Who has worked at XYZ school?” For questions posted on the ESN, recommendations can come in the form of suggested @mentions or #hashtags to draw the attention of the right people. You can also search your network by keyword to find contacts to reach out to directly.

You can enter status updates on current projects, learning goals, etc. (i.e., respond to the question "What are you working on?"), which will cause relevant content (blogs, status updates, etc.) from your network to be surfaced. This is similar to a customized content feed, but it also alerts others to your interests and matches you with like-minded users so you can both learn from and contribute to the existing conversations.

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A lot of organizations struggle with engaging employees. How can we leverage ideation, crowdsourcing and CoPs to develop connections? Here is a process flow that I think can help. Can this be realistically implemented in the work environment? How else can this be improved?

Examples of organizational scenarios we're working on. Share more by Feb. 26

In the on-site version of #msloc430 we're working on three organizational scenarios, looking at how we might apply networked learning or work models to create new approaches to addressing the challenges in each scenario. These include:

- A technology company that looking at new ways to develop and engage its high-potential talent. The company has network technology in place but it is underutilized.

- A Chicago area not-for-profit organization wishes to expand its operations regionally and perhaps nationally. The organization has a small central staff - but a large extended enterprise that it serves. Members of the extended enterprise might legitimately participate in a network (they are all working professionals). The challenge: What might an extended enterprise network look like, and how might it support the organization's growth strategy? No network is currently in place.

- A national for-profit organization has already made headway with enterprise social networking for internal use. Today, the network provides value in basic information sharing. The challenge: How does the organization utilize the network for more strategic purposes - an example being to support a large organizational change that is currently underway?

Share your scenarios here by Feb. 26 - or via Twitter #msloc430   We will review them during our Thursday night class to see if there are logical groups of challenge types and then propose ways to share our brainstorming on new approaches.

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As I was engaging in one of my favorite past times of watching TED talks, I came across an interesting talk for several reasons.  My 7th grade daughter was shown this talk in school last year by her chorus teacher.  The talk, Eric Whitacre: A virtual choir 2,000 voices strong (,  is a great example of how thousands of people from around the world can come together virtually to create something amazing!  

What is even more interesting for me, is that last year's virtual choir by Eric Whitacre includes my daughter, Heather, 11, United States of America.  The website is set up so you can actually search and find specific contributors.  (  

To me, this is a great example of crowdsourcing but with a purpose other than creating something for an organization.  It's crowdsourcing for the pure passion, talent and creativity of everyone involved.  This is an example, for me, of taking that box and looking at it from a different perspective.  The purpose doesn't always have to be to fix a problem, design a new product, or create organizational effectiveness.  The purpose could simply be to connect and be a part of something beautiful and amazing for the simple joy of doing it.

I'd love to hear from others and what you think?  Do you know anyone who has actually been involved in Eric's work?  


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Week 5 Introduction: Time to start innovating

First step: What organizational challenges or opportunities do you want to work on? Read this post and watch the video for examples. Then share what you'd like to work on via Twitter #msloc430   before Feb. 26 at 6 pm Central Time U.S.

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So as I'm relaxing at the end of a busy week and busy weekend, I go to my usual online favorite,  As I'm watching a talk by Eric Whitacre from 2011, Eric Whitacre: A virtual choir 2,000 voices strong (, I thought this was familiar somehow.  Then my oldest daughter came over and reminded me of why.

Last year, her middle school chorus teacher shared this talk with the class along with information for an opportunity to be involved with the 2014 production, What If.  

I'm not completely sure how this work would be classified based on the definitions we've explored so far.  But I would say this is a wonderful example of crowdsourcing.

So here are the links to the Ted Talk and the Virtual Youth Choir for What If that includes my daughter: Heather 11, United States of America.  

You can actually search for individuals in the video.  So I'm curious, has anyone in this community been involved with the work of Eric Whitacre?  
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