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Educause 2013: It’s All About Engagement

Educause 2013 brought together the country’s greatest minds in higher education to discuss the future of learning. We’ve come away from this year’s conference with a lot to think about – the role of mobile devices in the classroom, new technology implementations and turning the traditional classroom upside down. But throughout all of these different discussions, the common thread throughout the conference was engagement.

At the Cisco booth, we featured solutions that can help engage students through the use of video.  Cisco partner Vyopta demonstrated how Cisco® Lecture Vision and Vyopta vPublish, work together to manage the entire lecture-capture process, from recording content to managing media assets to streaming on demand. Read how San Jose State University is using this tool to deliver 51 next-generation learning spaces across campus.

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ISTE 2013: The Idea Incubator

We attended ISTE 2013 this year and came away filled with ideas and excited about a bright future of technology in education. One of the most inspirational takeaways was from the keynote speech by Steven Johnson, “Where Good Ideas Come From”.

Kevin talked about the evolution of ideas. Contrary to popular belief, the best ideas aren’t a light bulb going off, they take time to mature and develop. He defined this as the “slow hunch”, the source of true creativity. Furthermore, ideas are usually not single and solitary, but are built on a network of other ideas. Within this incubator of ideas, connections and collaboration become more and more important, both for development and implementation.

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Listen, Inspire and Celebrate: Cisco’s Global Sales Experience (GSX) 2012, Part One

November 5, 2012 at 8:49 am PST

One of the challenges of a globally distributed event such as GSX is tapping into audience emotion and engaging attendees regardless of how they are experiencing the event.

To level set, the GSX format is a unique hybrid experience.  Some of the key format challenges of the event are:

  • Distributed over four days with three waves (one wave per region)
  • In 88 locations and 400+ Cisco conference rooms
  • 75% of the audience attending via remote viewing locations (i.e. watching a projection of the live broadcast)
  • 20% of the audience attending virtually (i.e. via their desktop)
  • 5% of the audience in main broadcast locations (i.e. watching live speakers on stages in one of the four broadcast hubs)

As mentioned, every year we just scratch the surface on the possibilities of the GSX format, and each year we work to fine tune the experience. This year, a variety of tactics were deployed to tackle the opportunities our audience was looking for. They wanted peer networking, the ability to recognize team contributions, inspirational content, and insight into the larger, global audience conversation and activities.

In this post I will talk about the specific tactics deployed during GSX FY13 (calendar 2012) to listen to the audience and leverage the vast amounts of data coming in from the event to showcase real time what the audience was talking about and doing. Let’s dive into the examples… Read More »

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Bridging the Participation Gap – Networks, Learning, and “Play”

As much as the industry talks about social business and the need for organizations to become more “people-centric”, our conversations too often focus on the merits of social applications and platforms. While technology plays a critical role in enabling new ways of working, those new practices should also be complimented by management and community-building strategies that encourage employee participation. Fostering a more participatory culture and work experience that motivates people to contribute beyond the minimum required of the job requires leadership teams to re-think the ways we engage and recognize employees.

At the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston, I moderated the “Organization Next” workshop that explored different tactics strategists can employ to close the participation gap that occurs when employees disengage from their jobs. Instructors and panelists explored a variety of topics, touching on issues related to motivation, behavior, culture, and the role of technology. The centerpiece of the discussion revolved around the pro’s and con’s of potential solutions such as “gamification”, social networking, and “in-flow of work” learning. Attendees left the workshop with recommendations on how/where to get started, common pitfalls to expect/avoid, and best practices to consider (based on the real-world experiences of instructors and guest panelists). Highlights from two sessions conducted by our instructors included:

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Gamifying Training of All Types

May 31, 2012 at 9:18 am PST

Gamification to drive engagement for events, K-12 and higher education, wellness, and employee outreach has been discussed on this blog before and this post will focus on demographic/topic specific training.

Pew Internet recently published a report entitled, The Future Of Gamification, in which over 1k experts were interviewed with some university researchers indicating that gamification principals could actually improve creativity, learning, participation and motivation. So no surprise that K-12 and higher education has been an early adopter in trying out gamification tactics on programs. In the last month there has been a lot of buzz about gamification opportunities for training on more niche content areas for specific demographics. Let’s dive into some examples.

Financial Education

According to a recent press release, “Wall Street Survivor‘s online financial education platform offers a series of engaging, rewarding “missions” that guide users through a range of stock market concepts, from portfolio basics to investment strategies. The platform is geared toward millenials who consider themselves novice investors. Today, 30 percent of millenials turn to social media for information on the economy and investing strategies.”

The program incorporates a number of gamification techniques including badges and virtual as well as real world rewards. Learn more about the program via the video below.

Executive Training

Another recent press release explores the idea of gamification for executive training. Read More »

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