Book Review – The Little Book of the Future

The little book of the futureIntroduction
This is the second of the little books from Reed Learning that I’m reviewing. The Little Book of the Future sub-titled – A guide To Collaborative Learning, is a brief look at how technology is influencing learning and enhancing collaboration. Written in 2011 it covers a lot of technology that has become common place among us today such as Google, Google Apps, LinkedIn, Twitter and Yammer. Some of the information in the book may feel a bit dated, but it is a good reminder on how technology can enhance learning especially in the area of social learning. The book has just 21 pages, so it can be read in less than an hour. Following is a brief review of each topic in the book.

Top Tips About Google: Seven top tips about Google searches which you should definitely know about. One of them says that: Expand your Google results to synonyms by adding a tilde symbol (~)  at the start with no space before the first search term.

Boost Productivity With Google Apps: This article written by Matt Trimmer is a short look at Google Mail, Google Sites, Google Groups for Business and Google Docs.

How To Defend Your Online Reputation: Has seven tips on how to have a good reputation online. What you might not know is that Google never forgets anything it can search for. You may delete it, but it’s still cached, so be careful what you post to sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Another tip is – Keep your work and personal lives separate by using different usernames, particularly if you have an unusual name or if you regularly post feedback on sites like amazon.com.

How To Collaborate On LinkedIn: This article focuses on some LinkedIn tools that are good for collaboration. One thing it does say is that LinkedIn is continuously adding new tools, so don’t just use LinkedIn, look out for some of it’s tools that can make your use of it more effective.

How To Harness The Twitterverse: This article outlines 10 good tips about Twitter. There are tips on using Twitter search, right people to follow, sharing information and more.

Crowdsourcing knowledge Online With Social Bookmarking: Written by the social learning expert Jane Hart, this article is a good explanation of what social bookmarking is and what you can use it for. It touches on two social bookmarking tools, Delicious and Diigo. A great review on how to crowdsource.

Watch and Learn – Explore the digital universe: Four free online learning sources are reviewed. They are:

  1. YouTube
  2. Open.edu/openlearn
  3. TED.com
  4. iTunesU.com

Video Learning: Anew Dimension: Written by Jon Kennard of TrainingZone, the emphasize of this article is on the importance of video learning. Here’s a quote from the article – Video learning adds an extra dimension to the learning experience, as long as it’s made up of good, meaningful content that is passionately delivered.

Try Yammer – The Enterprise social Network: Yammer is an enterprise social network. Think Facebook but internal to an organisation. Yammer enhances collaboration and sharing of information by employees within an organisation. This article has nine facts about Yammer.

The Millennial Generation: This article by Tony Bingham of ATD (formerly ASTD) is about the millennial generation who will soon make up a large part of the workforce and their affinity with social media. According to Bingham, “ASTD’s reserach study, The Rise of Social Media, found more than 50 percent of Millennials – higher than baby Boomers and members of Generation X combined  – said that social media tools help them get more work done , get better work done, learn more in less time, and truly learn great things.”

How The Internet Gets Inside Your Brain: This article has some very interesting information. It states that, “Adults who spend time on the web not only boost their brain power but could also help protect themselves from cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia later in life.” Other counter arguments are also presented about the web presenting too much information from the internet interfering with sleep.

A Vision of Learning In 2020: Debbie Carter does a bit of futuristic dreaming in this article about what technology will look like in the future. She talks about Body Area Networks (BANs) and mobile intercommunicating sensors that allows communications ability to be embedded into the body. While a lot of the things she writes about may sound like science fiction we may already be starting to see the advent of some of that technology with the arrival of wearable technology such as smart watches and Google Glass.

How To Use RSS To Become A Learning magnet: This article has nine tips on how to use RSS (Really Simple Sydication) to curate information for learning.

The Future of Learning sis Self-Directed: This article focuses on why technology will move learning away from mainly formal face-to-face learning towards informal, social learning. The 70-20-10 framework is mentioned and how this shift will affect learning and development is also discussed.

Meet Watson – The Words Cleverest Robot: A quick overview of the world’s cleverest robot(obviously at the time) called Watson built by IBM. The robot was able to defeat humans in the US quiz show Jeopardy.

Case Study: Collaborating Globally at IBM: Simply a case study of how collaboration happens at IBM.

Moodle Takes The Learning World By Storm: This article is a brief introduction to the popular open source learning management system, Moodle. It discusses advantages of using Moodle and some of it’s capabilities.

Making It Work In The Real World: In this article, Martyn Sloman, for learning advisor at CIPD asks the question, will we finally get the application of social learning right?  While he does not answer the question, he does give some of his own opinions about the question.

Top 10 Online learning Tools: A list of the top 10 online learning tools as listed by c4lpt.co.uk. The tools are:

  1. Twitter
  2. YouTube
  3. Google Docs
  4. Google Search
  5. WordPress
  6. Dropdox
  7. Skype
  8. Powerpoint
  9. Facebook
  10. Wikipedia

Be mindful that this list is for 2011. There will be a list for the current year at c4lpt.co.uk.

 

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