Learning Against the Odds: LINGOs Member + Partner Donated Tool

Featured image above: GOAL SYRIA Humanitarian Communications trainee, Al-Baraa Haddad (Image: A.V. Crofts) from FlipTheMedia.com

Sometimes, supporting learning and development feels far from the front lines of humanitarian work. Yet, often, it is front and center – we were inspired by this story of how a LINGOs-supplied resource from one of our long-standing partners enabled a member to provide training and support to happen despite some extraordinary challenges. Earlier this month, Janet Humphreys from LINGOs Member GOAL shared an article written by a trainer who had recently traveled to Antakya, Turkey, to lead a workshop on communications for humanitarian workers on both sides of the Turkey-Syria Border.

Border closures kept staff who were intending to come on the training in Turkey from Syria from traveling to the training, and the GOAL office was also closed due to security. However, a number of staff were still able to participate using Blackboard Collaborate from their homes. We also recorded some of the sessions for others who couldn’t make it. The trainer was very complementary re the technology which we get through our LINGOs membership and it certainly meant the training reached staff despite the logistical challenges.

Read the story by AV Crofts on Flip the Media:

Stories That Showcase Resilience and Everyday Acts of Hope: Humanitarian Communications in a War Zone

And THANK YOU to our partner Blackboard for your generous support of LINGOs and our Members’ work.

LINGOs offfers quarterly online training courses that can help staff of member organizations to deliver online training.

The next LINGOs Moderator Training for Blackboard Collaborate is June 11:  Register - Moderator Training Button

LINGOs and Volunteer Extraordinaire Greg Davis offer a quarterly Virtual Training Mastery Series (VTMS) on how to design and deliver virtual classroom training. The next two-part VTMS is July 28 & 29.

Register VTMS button

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eLearning Guild Benefits

Ben K.

Learning Solutions conference experience and other eLearning Guild benefits
B
y Ben Kocarnik, Online Learning Coordinator, Mercy Corps

Being a member of the LINGOs community has a variety of benefits. One benefit that I find increasingly useful is our premium membership with the eLearning Guild. This premium membership includes a free entrance to one of their five major conferences each year. For the first time, I was able to take advantage of this benefit and I highly recommend it.

Last week, I attended the Learning Solutions and Ecosystem conference in Orlando, Florida, USA. This conference provided an opportunity to discover new technologies impacting the learning field, experience new ways to design and deliver content, and engage with peers in the learning field.

It was amazing how much knowledge could be packed into two and a half days! Some of my favorite sessions included tips and shortcuts for Articulate Storyline 2; ways to combine Agile, Lean, and User-Centered Design in selecting an LMS; a forum around developing communities; and how brain science can impact the learner’s retention of training (see attached handouts from some of these presentations).

I even leveraged our one free pre-conference certificate a year for premium members to learn more about “Building business skills to empower the training function.” This certificate provided useful insight on how to achieve internal buy-in for training, especially from your business leaders.

On top of these learning opportunities, the community at the conference proved to be quite vibrant. It was a great opportunity to meet and discuss online learning experiences with others. I found many of my conversations helped validate some of the work I am doing, while also providing me with other ideas to try.

The LINGOs community had a great showing as well, holding down a prominent booth in the main hall and attracting lots of attention with their bracelets from Guatemala. I must say grabbing dinner with several LINGOs members in Downtown Disney was definitely a good time and highly recommended!

Beyond the conference itself, having a premium membership also allows access to all the content on the eLearning Guild website. This includes articles, white papers, research, and forums on everything related to learning.  Their website makes it easy to filter by sources and/or topics to find what you need. I have found their white papers and eBooks particularly helpful in my work at Mercy Corps.

All in all, I am extremely grateful to be a premium member of the eLearning Guild and attend such an outstanding conference.  As a bit of a newcomer to the field of online learning, this membership has been valuable for me to quickly get up to speed, as well as see where the online learning field is heading. If you haven’t already, I definitely encourage you to start leveraging your premium eLearning Guild membership–both the online content and the in-person conferences. I believe it will truly help you in making a difference in where you work!

The top 3 things the LINGOs community wanted the new CEO to know

Guest Post by LINGOs CEO Chris Proulx

Chris_Proulx

LINGOs members consistently want more community and networking opportunities. That is the most common message that I have heard from members of the LINGOs community during my first three months as CEO. Through a variety of formal and informal listening events with LINGOs members, I have heard a lot of what you value about LINGOs and also what you aspire it to become.  Now, I am able to summarize some of the key themes that have come from feedback exercises at the Portland Annual Meeting and the London Members Meetup, the 2015 Membership Renewal Survey and individual conversations with many of you.

Community and Networking

By far, the most valued component of your membership is your ability to network and share best practices with each other. So, naturally you want even more value from the community. First and foremost, you’d like additional opportunities to meet in-person, not just virtually, and not just at the LINGOs Annual Meeting. (Shameless plug: this year’s Annual Meeting is being hosted by Heifer in Little Rock, AR, USA on October 15 and 16—and, attendance for one participant is included in your 2015 dues!) You want smaller sessions where we can have more focused dialogue and more opportunities to build local relationships.

So, we are going to facilitate more regional LINGOs events in 2015:

  • London: I facilitated a UK/Europe members meeting at Plan on Jan 14—about 15 folks attended, networked and heard from Speexx, our new language learning partner.
  • Boston: a self-organized member meetup at HREA on Feb 5 with ideas and feedback sent to LINGOs staff.
  • Nairobi: I am organizing a LINGOs member meetup for members and key contacts in the region on Feb 24. There’s still time to sign up!
  • Orlando: Gus Curran and I will be meeting with members attending the Ecosystem and Learning Solutions  conference Mar 25-27.
  • More on the way: we are looking to host a DC area meeting and perhaps a Bangkok/SE Asia meeting and very likely will do another London meeting later in the year. If you want to host something in your area, let me know.

In addition, you are also interested in improving how we develop and share best practice deliverables around topics of interest. So, you want to not just talk the talk, but walk the walk. This is on our radar screen, and we have a couple of interested members willing to take the lead on a couple of topics. Stay tuned for more details.

Reach, Reach, Reach

I have also heard a lot about reaching your field staff, including more support for occasionally connected users, mobile content, and content in more languages.  As you all know, there are a number of complex and inter-related issues, but we share your commitment to deliver learning to the last mile. To start, thanks to the financial support of two members, Goal and Relief International, the LINGOs Last Mile Learning online courses for PMDPro, as well as the PMDPro guide, will be available in Arabic later this spring to complement their availability in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Please reach out me and/or connect us with your country and regional staff to we can continue extend the reach of our PMDPro expertise to where you are working.

In addition, the new LINGOs Learning Platform will be mobile-ready, so that will be a big step forward, especially for mobile-ready courses that you are developing. However, many of our commercial content providers are not yet providing us with mobile-ready courses. So, we will need to work with our content providers to help prioritize this need.  Our Last Mile Learning courses provide us with more flexibility but there is also work to be done. If your organization is interested in supporting our effort to develop and deploy these modules in a mobile format, please let me know.

Ensuring that we reach the field with appropriate, accessible, and affordable learning is a value that is shared by the LINGOs team. Let’s continue the dialogue to help us prioritize the most important courses and benefits, and where needed, to identify the financial support to make it happen. LINGOs has a long history of deploying new solutions thanks to the shared financial support of several of its members that helps us to leverage the engagement of private sector partners.

Onboarding and Curation

The third big theme was how LINGOs could do a better job in making new member start-up more of a turnkey process and how, for all members, we could do a better job packaging and curating the benefits and courses. LINGOs has become a victim of its own success; there are so many benefits available, that it has become difficult to manage. As the newest member of the LINGOs team—I agree; it has been difficult for me to get my head around it, so I can appreciate your needs.

Tacking this is a big challenge, but I would like to highlight two items in the works. First, based on our lessons from the LLP training, all new LINGOs members will now be on-boarded to LINGOs in quarterly cohorts. This will provide two benefits: a more focused opportunity to work with others on how to best deploy LINGOs internally and an immediate community for new members upon joining for broader best practice sharing.

Second, we will be co-hosting a webinar on April 16 with David Kelly from the E-Learning Guild on the topic of Curation that will be followed by an in-depth workshop at the Annual Meeting in Little Rock in October. Let’s use this to jump start our collective efforts to curate the best of LINGOs and provide all of us in the community with new tools and techniques to help our organizations and learners be more effective and more focused in their professional development.

So, these are the big three topics. I also heard plenty more about blended learning, social learning, technical course content, management and leadership development, monitoring and evaluation, employee onboarding, online communities, LINGOs working groups, and more.  The team and I have ideas and potential projects around many of these topics as well and we will share more on some of these topics later in the year.

In closing, it has been exciting for me to discover this robust, generous, and committed community at LINGOs and one that I look forward to working with on a number of initiatives where we can clearly be “better together.” Thanks for your hospitality in welcoming me to LINGOs. I hope to see each of you in the coming months.

Need fresh ideas for your eLearning? Check out Chop Shop Redux!

The LINGOs tenth anniversary member meeting was packed with many sessions and we’re excited that several presenters have offered to adapt and host their sessions as virtual classroom sessions.

You can get a sense of the fun and inspiration shared with participants at the workshop ” “Chop Shop: Stealing ideas, breaking them up and re-purposing them,” got some great ideas and sources of inspiration for developing eLearning” from co-leader Brian Washburn’s promo for the November session. Click on the image below to launch a short YouTube video, then read on for how you can participate in the Chop Shop Redux session on February 4th.

chopshop image

LINGOs Members Brian Washburn of SightLife and Shannon Cavallari of PATH will share an online version of their fabulous LINGOs 2014 Session “Chop Shop Redux.” In this  online LINGOs Community Session they’ll provide participants with fresh ideas on how to develop engaging eLearning and new places to find creative inspiration.

Eventbrite - Chop Shop Redux: Fresh ideas and sources of creative inspiration for engaging eLearning

By the end of this one hour virtual training session, participants will be able to…

  1. List potential sources of inspiration
  2. Re-purpose concepts from existing material to fit their organization’s learning needs
  3. Identify others in the LINGOs community who can serve as a “sounding board” when coming up with new ideas

Register Now so you don’t miss this opportunity to learn with Brian and Shannon, two of LINGOs Rock Star Members.

BrianWashburnBrian Washburn, Global Training and Development Manager at SightLife. Brian writes the Train Like a Champion Blog. A Learning and Development professional with 14+ years of experience, he was named one of Training magazine’s 2011 Top Young Trainers.

 

 

Shannon_Cavallari

Shannon Cavallari, Organizational eLearning Development and Delivery Manager at PATH. Shannon’s  enthusiasm for learning and taking on new challenges is infectious. With over eight years of experience creating and managing training processes and practices, she’s consistently brought ideas and engagement to the LINGOs community.

Eventbrite - Chop Shop Redux: Fresh ideas and sources of creative inspiration for engaging eLearning

 

If you missed it, you can catch LINGOs CEO Chris Proulx’s online version of his Member Meeting session “What  Lessons from eCornell for the LINGOs community…Redux” by clicking on this link.

 

Letter to the Boss…

Our last post highlighted the upcoming LINGOs 2014 Member Meeting focusing on Learning in NGOs. Many members have asked for a letter-to-the-boss to share with their supervisor to strengthen their request to attend.  LINGOs Co-Founder and CEO Eric Berg wrote this post for member representatives who could use a bit of leverage with their manager or boss. (There’s an editable note, where you can insert some of your own info on the LINGOs 2014 Member Meeting web page. Remember, early bird registration ends on July 31.)

 #Let’sDoThis

#LearningInNGOs

EricBerg (1)Dear _________________,

I am writing on behalf of (insert your name/s here) to let you know of an important capacity building event happening in November. LINGOs is completing its tenth year and we are taking this opportunity to gather many of the individuals and organizations that have instrumental in our efforts to provide world-class learning free or at little cost to anyone working to improve lives in the developing world. As one of the founding members, Mercy Corps will be hosting this year’s meeting at their headquarters in Portland Oregon. In addition to highlighting the innovative programs our members are running to build the skills of their staff and implementing partners in the field, we have three industry leaders coming to share their expertise with the group:

Vikas Narula, Creator and Co-Founder of KeyHubs, a Minneapolis-based management software and consulting firm, which specializes in helping organizations realize their potential by uncovering and tapping the hidden organization – the informal network of relationships that exist between employees.

Kevin Carroll, author, speaker and agent for social change (a.k.a. the Katalyst), it is Kevin’s “job” to inspire businesses, organizations and individuals – from CEOs and employees of Fortune 500 companies to schoolchildren – to embrace their spirit of play and creativity to maximize their human potential and sustain more meaningful business and personal growth.

Chris Proulx, President and CEO of eCornell, will share the lessons he has learned about staff development and cultivating excellence while growing the eCornell business into the award-winning online professional development leader in the industry. As the incoming CEO of LINGOs, Chris will explain how any organization can leverage technology and content to improve organizational performance.

In addition to the leaders above, there will be concurrent sessions on blended learning, implementing partner engagement, mentoring and coaching and several opportunities to meet with people from other organizations coping with the same resource-constrained staff development challenges face by (your organization name here).

Finally, with the launch of the new LINGOs Learning Platform (LLP) this year, there will be an opportunity for your staff to see how the early adopters are using the LLP to engage the power of social networking and peer-to-peer learning in a two-day event prior to the LINGOs meeting.

I know resources are limited so investments in staff development must be made very wisely. I assure you this event will do more to enhance the capacity of (insert name/s here) than any alternative available. We hope to see (organization) take advantage of this unique opportunity.

Eric Berg

Co-Founder and CEO, LINGOs

 

For more information, visit the LINGOs Tenth Anniversary Meeting Page

Insights to Better Connecting a Growing Team

Guest Post by Kris Ritter, InsideNGO HR Manager

InsideNGO is a membership association dedicated to strengthening operations staff and fostering leadership in the international NGO sector. InsideNGO is a supporting member of LINGOs.

Using Learning From The Insights Discovery Program

To meet significant growth in its membership and the range of benefits and international services it provides, InsideNGO has increased its staff from five to twenty-five in just over five years.  With the addition of the new staff, it quickly became clear that the less formal management style of InsideNGO was no longer effective.  After efforts to clarify position descriptions and reporting lines, we realized that there was an element missing:  an understanding of management and interaction styles, which are essential in any organization, but especially important in a smaller, growing one.

We leveraged our LINGOs member benefit to the Insights Discovery Profiles

Insights: “…released capacity we didn’t know we had”

Looking for a means to drive individual self-awareness, better communications and organizational development, InsideNGO launched the initiative to have each staff member complete the Insights Discovery profile to incorporate as the major focus of the all-Staff Retreat in December 2013.   We used the individual assessments, online learning available to us as part of InsideNGO’s supporting membership in LINGOs, as well as in-person exercises. As we implemented the Insights Discovery program, a new language, culture (and humor) began to emerge across InsideNGO,  leading to major benefits of a more effective teaming and partnering style across the organization. “Insights unlocked the “software” that allows our hardware (i.e., role/job descriptions) and wiring (i.e., reporting lines) to work even more effectively and release capacity we did not know we had,” observed Tom Dente, InsideNGO Chief Operating Officer.

Insights-InsideNGO

A more effective team means more creativity and innovation as InsideNGO looks to meet the changing needs of its more than 300 members working around the world.

Learn More

InsideNGO Annual Conference: Insights’ Don Johnson will be speaking at the InsideNGO 2014 Annual Conference “Sustaining Excellence in a Changing World.”

LINGOs Member Benefit: Many InsideNGO member organizations are also members of LINGOs (Learning in NGOs). Click to see a list of LINGOs Members. Among the benefits in the LINGOs Membership Toolbox are facilitation tools including Insights Discovery Profiles.

Insights – LINGOs partnership strengthens individuals and teams for global development

 

 

 

 

Financially Fluent… in multiple languages

Last year, LINGOs Last Mile Learning program launched a financial management learning path in English. This five course learning path based in the Mango (Management Accounting in NGOs) curriculum contextualized to the Global NGO covers planning, accounting records, reporting, and internal controls.

Question 1: Are you fluent?

Available in English since last July, we asked potential learners “Are you Fluent in Financial Management?” (click the image to find out).

The answer was that global NGOs want to build the financial skills of their global staff and they wanted the financial management path available in other languages. We wanted it, too, but just didn’t have the resources.

Financially_Fluent

Question 2: Can you help?

This time we asked our members for help, and thanks to the generous support of a few members, we now offer the Financial Management Learning Path in Spanish, and soon will be able to do so in French. We’re about a third of our way to getting the Financial Management and People Management learning paths translated to Spanish, French and Portuguese.

TranslationFunding-April2014
Translation Funding as of May 1, 2014

 

 

 

 

Thanks, Gracias, Merci, Obrigado ….

Huge thanks to The Nature Conservancy, Samaritan’s Purse, CARE, FHI 360, Habitat for Humanity International, Helen Keller International, IUCN, MSH, Plan International and WWF for the initial contributions that have gotten us on our way.

It’s not too late to help – we have four languages/paths to go right now, and more as new paths are developed in English.

I want to help!

 

“Crowdfunding is the collection of finance to sustain an initiative from a large pool of backers—the “crowd.” Wikipedia