Archive for Training

American Society for Training and Development Leader’s Conference

I’m running late on this post.  I attended the ASTD Leader’s Conference in the middle of October.  I have to say that it is one of the best conferences I’ve attended.  It a small conference for leader’s of ASTD chapters.  I served as President for 3 years of our local Hattiesburg GIG (Geographical Interest Group) which is part of the Mississippi Chapter of ASTD.  I am currently the Past-President, but this was my first opportunity to attend this conference.  A friend and fellow ASTD officer and I co-facilitated a session on “Communication Across a Geographically Disperse Chapter.”

This conference renewed my excitement and energy in the field of training and development and ASTD.  Training and development continues to be my passion, but my career has drifted away from this.  Having the opportunity to network and learn from other professionals in the field re sparked my passion and left me with my mind racing with ideas.  The conference had some awesome keynote speakers including Jim Smith, Jr., Lou Russell, and Heather Richetto-Rumley.  All three speakers gave interactive, amazing, and inspirational talks.  I also loved that the conference gave us so many opportunities to connect with others who share the same passion.

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Technology in Training…Where Do I Start?

This a presentation I gave to the Jackson group of the Mississippi Chapter of American Society for Training and Development about using Technology in Training.  In the presentation, we discussed using Webinars to conduct virtual training, e-learning, and using clickers in training.

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Training & Development Certificate Program

I recently completed the Training & Development Certificate Program offered through the Workforce Learning & Performance Institute at The University of Southern Mississippi.  The program requires that you complete 84 hours of in-person hours and 4 extended learning activities outside of the in-person sessions.  Participants complete the program over a 4 month period where  they attend 3 full day sessions a month.  The program covers 35 competencies outlined by the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD).

This program was the best experience of my life.  I made some wonderful friends and professional contacts as well as learned a lot about the field of human resource development.  The all day sessions include a variety of activities working in groups to allow you to learn from the facilitator as well as the other professionals in the program.  I took so much away from this program and have implemented many of the things I learned in the program already.  I will never forget this experience and would recommend this program to anyone in the field of Human Resource Development or Training.

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Lessons Learned: Implementation of a Virtual Classroom

Recently, at the 2009 Creating Futures Through Technology Conference me and one of my colleagues gave a presentation entitled, “Lessons Learned: Implementation of a Virtual Classroom.”      

In this presentation we discussed the implementation of Wimba Classroom at The University Southern Mississippi.  Southern Miss implemented the virtual classroom in phases, choosing to do a pilot before full implementation.  We discussed the lessons we learned throughout the implementation process.  We also included a discussion on the policy and procedures that were developed to effectively deal with any issues.

As illustrated in the presentation slides we are using Wimba Classroom in different ways out our institution, including academic and non-academic uses.   We developed a set of best practices to assist instructors as they are preparing to incorporate a virtual classroom into their course which are also discussed.  As a result of what was learned during the pilot and implementation, we also found that the training we offered needed to evolve in different ways to be of the greatest benefit to our institution.  To learn more about what we discussed, view the slides from our presentation below…

Lessons Learned: Implementation of a Virtual Classroom
View more presentations from ahornton.

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Podcasting

We are getting ready to roll-out podcasting here at our university. It has been over a year in the making. We began with a pilot last summer, but it has taken this long to work out all of the kinks of technical and policy. We had intended on using iTunes U but that has been put on hold for reasons I won’t go in to. We ended up developing our own internal solution. We got the idea from Mississippi State University but ended up developing are own from scratch. We use LDAP authentication so that only our faculty, staff, and students will have access to the application. Only faculty and staff have access to create podcasts and students have access to view podcasts.

We hope to be able to implement iTunes U at a later date, but we have run into road blocks with that so we are not sure when that will come about.

Many discussions of policy about use, accessibility, and best practices went into this before we are arriving at this point. We are set to release our solution university wide July 1st and so now I am feeling the pressure to finish all of the documentation as we will be offering our first training in just a few weeks.

In training, I plan to not only talk about the technical side of podcasting, but also include information about the pedagogy as well. I think it is is important to emphasize certain best practices and using the technology appropriately for their courses.

As we get materials up on our Web site, I will post links to those.

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Technology Showcase

Last week we put on a technology showcase for our faculty. We called it the Tools for Transformation Showcase. We designed the event to be fun by using different types of technologies to play different types of games. We opened up registration for the event to 60 and much to our surprise it was completely full within 2 days. Due to the great feedback from the faculty we now plan to do a technology showcase twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. We plan to incorporate different types of technologies each time.

This time we showcased our Course Management System (Blackboard), our video conferencing tool (Wimba Classroom), social networking using Facebook and collaborative workspace using GoogleDocs.

In our CMS we played “Name that Tune” using the assessment tool. We created a quiz that had 5 questions with each question playing a different piece of music. The faculty were in groups of 3 and took the quiz together. They had to listen to the music that was played and name the artist and title of the song. The faculty had a lot of fun doing this. We had the music randomized so no 2 groups were listening to the same song at the same time.

In our video conferencing tool, we used the content area to display baby pictures of famous musicians and they had to guess who the musician was. Then, at the end they had to figure out what all of the musicians had in common (they were all musicians from Mississippi). Then we used the Break-out room feature to break them out into 5 groups and they had to work together using the whiteboard and text chat to come up with as many more Mississippian musicians as they could. The winning group won a prize.

We introduced social networking and collaborative workspace to them by having a faculty member who uses these tools show how they use them for their classes.

Throughout the event we gave them prizes and treats and served them lunch at the end. The event was an overwhelming success. One of the things that we do stress when doing things like this for our faculty is that it is not all about just using technology but using it in an appropriate manner. We also stress good instructional design techniques.

Our local news did a TV spot on the event: http://www.usm.edu/lec/tfts/t4t.mp4

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