Learning means converting & translating

I was recently in Turkey doing program evaluation training for the United Nations, which meant carrying a variety of ubiquitous plug adapters.  I laughed at the above combination of plugs – all feeding into one that would fit the hotel outlet, allowing computer and IPhone to charge.

The need to convert, change or adapt in order to make things relevant and workable for my current circumstances caught my attention.

In the realm of plugs this can be essential.  Especially as I’ve been known to singe my hair with my curling iron, as I mistook the plug adapter for the voltage adapter.  (Putting a gadget that was designed for 120 through 220 is not a good combo, or so the smell of burned hair taught me.)

The learning and development field is ripe for new learning opportunities served up via new technology.  Each need their own tweeks and adaptation.  Examples?

  • my VA (virtual assistant) is situated in India – technology allows us to communicate almost seamlessly.  Translation?  I need to remember that I’m working across cultures and be explicit with my instructions.
  • at the end of all my workshops I now share my Delicious link – enabling participants to access a wide range of learning resources.  Tweek required?  I need to remember to explain what a social bookmarking site is, as it’s not common knowledge (yet).
  • many of my workshops now include short video clips (thanks to Youtube) that reinforce and anchor the concepts that I teach.  Conversion?  Getting Internet accessibility in the training room can be a pain or downright impossible.
  • Hootsuite amalgamates all my social media feeds into one place – easily and conveniently allowing me to follow other learning and development specialists.  Adaptation?  I need to be strategic about who I’m following and how much time I spend on social media, while at the same time recognizing that it’s a critical part of my business now.

Learning means converting, translating, tweeking and adapting content in order to get and hold the attention of participants.

No attention = no learning.


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2 Responses to “Learning means converting & translating”

  1. Doug Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    I agree these are great suggestions for conversion and translation.

    I would go one farther regarding the use of video. As you mention, you need live internet if you are using videos off youtube or other video sharing sites. I hate leaving this to chance, and prefer downloading the video onto my own machine.

    Now, I am on a MAC, so don’t know how this would work on a PC, but you need to do a couple of things to get the video on to your machine:

    1. http://www.web-video-downloader.com/ – this is a plug in for firefox users. It works on most videos, and downloads your videos in a flv format.

    2. safari – for a more complicated way – but sometimes more successful – you can go to the safari browser and when you are on a webpage with a video you want, you can go to “activity” under the Window pull down menu. If you look for the largest file (again a .flv) and double click on it, it will download.

    After you get a flv file, you can then open it up using quicktime, and then save as a mp4. Or, you can get a program called evom which converts the file into a larger range of formats.

    Sometimes the video files are embedded in a webpage so they are inaccessible — then you are SOL.

    That’s it. Again, this only works with a MAC, if you have a PC your on your own.


  2. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    I have a much easier way to get video onto my computer if I don’t have access to internet. I simply ask my wonderful tech guy (none other than be you)! Thanks for all your help in digging me out of technological quagmires.

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