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September 2012
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TD Magazine

Activity Stream

Intelligence8
An activity stream is a list of recent activities performed by an individual, usually captured within a social networking site. Facebook's newsfeed feature is one of the early, and most well-recognized, examples of an activity stream. Twitter is another example, and one that is controlled by the user, who decides what information she will post to the stream.

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In addition to sharing a description of today's breakfast, outlining your weekend plans, or posting a photo of your cousin's stepdaughter's new puppy, you can access activity streams for "real" learning. One example is enterprise social software (ESS), which uses social software for business purposes in a corporate context. Yammer and Chatter are essentially activity streams used for internal collaboration among employees. Some software providers—such as Central Desktop and Wrike—integrate activity streams within their comprehensive solutions.

Basic in concept, an activity stream's potential for learning is broad. "What if you could take the information collected in people's activity streams and recommend learning experiences to them based on their interests or what they are doing?" poses Koreen Olbrish, vice president of learning design at Ayogo, in a company blog post earlier this year. "Better, what if activity streams collected performance data from online learning experiences and then recommended additional learning experiences based on their strengths and weaknesses? This is the basic concept behind personalized curriculum; our learning experiences can now be recommended and filtered based on our past performance and demonstrated competencies or skill gaps."

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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