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Book Review: 'E-Learning Provocateur: Volume 2' by Ryan Tracey

By Laura Layton-James / January 2013

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If you like Ryan Tracey's E-Learning Provocateur blog then you will love this second edition of his collection of blog posts, this time from 2010 to 2012. If you haven't yet discovered his blog, then this book will give you an excellent taster, which will have you going back for more and adding it to your favorite RSS feed. Volume 2 presents the best of the blog in an easily digestible format.

Tracey shares his observations, his stories, and his extensive experience in the eLearning arena across a range of subjects from social and informal learning to how learning and development can play its part in supporting organizations. Using his gift of drawing on observations from everyday working life and how we can learn lessons from them, Tracey writes with passion for his art (for it is an art) and in such a natural way that, after only a short while, you get the feeling you have known him for years.

It is difficult to single out any particular examples as favorites because I loved every post for different reasons and, of course, different ones will resonate more than for some of you than others. But some to look out for are:

"Square Pegs and Round Holes"—looking at where we all, as part of an organization, will play a part in supporting informal learning environments.
"Art vs. (Informal) Science"—exploring an idea for performance support, the importance of interface design principles and meeting the needs of the audience.
"The Parable of the Monkeys"—looking at the parallel between the parable and mobile learning in the workplace.
"Doctoring the Informal Learning Environment"—how informal learning environments can work seamlessly with formal learning environments (and a great model for anyone working in the health service).

But if I had to choose, my personal favorite would probably be "Eye of the Tiger"; considering the value stepping into the world of our audiences to build great eLearning.

I hesitate to give you any more of a taste than this, as I wouldn't do him justice. Overall, it was easy to digest in small chunks, it made me laugh and, more importantly it made me think. Once you have read this collection and seen the world of learning through Tracey's eyes, it will have you going back for more.

Before I close, however, I would like to leave you with one last thought. Shortly after reading "Erin Doesn't Get It," the film "Erin Brockovitch" was shown on TV. I was immediately taken back to Tracey's words—I challenge you not to do the same.

About the Author

Laura Layton-James is a full time Learning Consultant with in the UK. She works with many large organizations in the UK helping them develop and deliver effective learning solutions in the traditional classroom and online. She specializes in blended learning and eLearning, helping people adapt and enhance their classroom skills to effectively deliver in an online environment. Laura blogs at Purple Learning and can be found on Twitter as @purplelearning.

© 2013 ACM 1535-394X/13/01 $15.00

DOI: 10.1145/2429653.2431054


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