Thursday, April 21, 2005

Steve Rae

Steve defines informal learning as that which is not measured. No grades, no certificates. Usually it's by choice.

The way to increase informal learning is to make it more attractive. It's like gravity, where there's mutual attraction. There are three key gravitational forces for informal learning:
  1. Accessibility 25%
  2. Quality of the experience 15%
  3. Walkaway value 60%
    (% is relative weight)
Access covers the cost of participation, portability, awareness that it exists, exclusive pre-reqs

Quality includes production values, ease of use, it's what I was looking for

Walkaway value is WIIFM timeliness ("latency"), time savings, economic value, outside incentives, punishments for not doing it, participation.

These three factors can pinpoint informal learning's Achilles' Heel about 80% of the time.

Latency is an important value now. IM is pervasive at IBM. I asked a friend how often he used IM. "At least once an hour." Blue Pages, an in-house directory that shows every IBMer's profile, photo, reporting relationships, and current assignments, he consults at least once a day. IM is the most rapidly adopted technology in IBM history. Google has rapid returns, but iffy solutions.

The Community Tools/Webhead Team is working on some great collaborative structures. Skill tap lets you post a query to a tagged community of interest. Previous queries are logged into an FAQ. Content develops itself. Contact Mark Sheraton for more info.

The human element, the establishment of intimacy between people which Steve expects to become the major user of bandwidth, is vital. He was on a call with a senior exec, who asked him a question to which he did not have the answer. While talking, he used SameTime to ping someone who had the answer, and slipstreamed it into the conversation. It's immediate. Sometimes the only way to find something out is to contact a human brain. The system lets you find the other brain and then access it.

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