Tag Archives: Open Source

Some thoughts on Don Taylor’s 2014 Learning Trends Poll

If you haven’t already seen Don’s blog on 2014 Learning Trends, then check it out here: http://donaldhtaylor.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/what-will-be-big-in-learning-in-2014/

At this time of year, we are often asked what we think the next “big thing” will be and this year is no exception! A great thing about any poll that Don Taylor puts out there is that it will be seen and responded to by a lot of people across the broad spectrum of learning – not just a subsection of those specifically interested from a technology angle.Make sure you check out the results too!

However, the reason I felt the need to blog on this topic was the reference to Open Badges. I have to say that I like the concept and my present employers have a good use case for them. Indeed, we are already using badges in both our Internal and Customer communities, both of which are on the Jive platform. And this is where it gets interesting! I recently attended the Jiveworld conference in Las Vegas which by coincidence, was across the street from DevLearn. Thanks to the backchannel, I was able to pick up that there was keen interest over the road in open badges which wasn’t matched at Jiveworld. Even spending time in a session with one of the gamification partners in my conference didn’t seem to be able to drum up any interest at all in linking the community tool to Open Badges.

One could draw the conclusion from this that the elearning development people get this but the community folks don’t. And that worries me! I am very fortunate to work in an enlightened organisation where our customer & staff community efforts are run out of our Academy and collaborative learning is already here.

I have believed for many years that the worlds of Learning and Knowledge Management are a little like twins that were separated at birth but are now coming back together. (see this earlier post: http://andywooler.info/wordpress/?p=362). For this to be a reality, Community & Learning professionals could do with being more closely aligned – it would be a tragedy to be once again sat in a Collaboration conference feeling that maybe, the guys across the road get some of this better than we do!

As a final comment on the poll, Mobile Learning has been the next big thing for so long now one has to ask why it hasn’t actually taken off yet for many of us!

Reflections on Life at Kineo

As I am shortly taking up a new and exciting position with Hitachi Data Systems, I wanted to reflect on what has been a great 5 months spent with the UK’s leading e-Learning company, Kineo.


My role at Kineo was specifically around consultancy support for their larger corporate TotaraLMS customers – and for me, this was new territory on two counts:  a) working on the vendor side of the fence and b) working with Open Source based products. Now, I have personally had a Moodle site for a number of years – it was a great way of having a second place to test SCORM content! But as I have said many times, Moodle is not an LMS and has no place in the regulated world which I have inhabited for the last 25 years or so.


Which brings me to Kineo: When I met Sven Laux & Steve Rayson for the first time, it was clear that they were doing something about that!  There is still development to be done but Totara is certainly headed in the right direction. But don’t just take my word for all of this, check out the recent eLearnity report on Moodle and see what David Wilson and his team think.


There is another though another dimension to the LMS debate and this is where Kineo have also added real value. The User Interface is often cited as a major challenge for enterprise LMS implementations but when engaging a vendor which has a rich history in elearning design, you stand a better chance. Kineo have a lot more experience in creating engaging UI’s than the average LMS vendor (although it is also fair to say that a lot of LMS customers don’t invest enough in learning how they could improve their UI themselves – maybe a later blog for that one!).


The final major insight I gained relates to Corporate Purchasing processes – and yes, I have been on the other end of this for many years! But the Open Source model is something that seems to be totally alien to many corporates and they don’t always get it. If you are one of those people, then go read this Learning Solutions article:- “Levelling the software procurement playing field” 


Another interesting Open Source tool from the Kineo stable is Mahara – an e-portfolio tool. My own website at Andywooler.com is now powered by Mahara.


So, a great company with great people – you might ask why then is Andy leaving? It’s simple. I had an offer I couldn’t refuse and am returning to the client side of the equation with a Saba customer where my 10+ years experience of working with Saba and their product set can be fully utilised.

It’s been a fun ride and my thanks to all at Kineo – I leave you wiser and much richer for the experience and also with these thoughts about Moodle from the users themselves: