"The Greatest Speech"

The Great Dictator is a comedy film by Charlie Chaplin released in October 1940. Like most Chaplin films, he wrote, produced, and directed, in addition to starring as the lead. Having been the only Hollywood film maker to continue to make silent films well into the period of sound films, this was Chaplin's first true talking picture as well as his most commercially successful film.[1] More importantly, it was the first major feature film of its period to bitterly satirize Nazism and Adolf Hitler.

At the time of its first release, the United States was still formally at peace with Nazi Germany. Chaplin's film advanced a stirring, controversial condemnation of Hitler, fascism, antisemitism, and the Nazis, the latter of whom he excoriates in the film as "machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts".

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Informal learning is semi-structured and occurs in a variety of places, such as learning at home, work, and through daily interactions and shared relationships among members of society. For many learners this includes language acquisition, cultural norms and manners. Informal learning for young people is an ongoing process that also occurs in a variety of places, such as out of school time, as well as in youth programs and at community centers.

In the context of corporate training and education, the term Informal Learning is widely used to describe the many forms of learning that takes place independently from instructor-led programs: books, self-study programs, performance support materials and systems, coaching, communities of practice, and expert directories.

Informal learning can be characterized as follows:

  • It often takes place outside educational establishments standing out from normal life and professional practice;
  • It does not necessarily follow a specified curriculum and is not often professionally organized but rather originates accidentally, sporadically, in association with certain occasions, from changing practical requirements;
  • It is not necessarily planned pedagogically conscious, systematically according to subjects, test and qualification-oriented, but rather unconsciously incidental, holistically problem-related, and related to situation management and fitness for life;
  • It is experienced directly in its "natural" function of everyday life.

Informal knowledge is information that has not been externalized or captured and exists only inside someone’s head. To get at the knowledge, you must locate and talk to that person.

Examples of such informal knowledge transfer include instant messaging, a spontaneous meeting on the Internet, a phone call to someone who has information you need, a live one-time-only sales meeting introducing a new product, a chat-room in real time, a chance meeting by the water cooler, a scheduled Web-based meeting with a real-time agenda, a tech walking you through a repair process, or a meeting with your assigned mentor or manager.

Experience indicates that almost all real learning for performance is informal, and the people from whom we learn informally are usually present in real time. We all need that kind of access to an expert who can answer our questions and with whom we can play with the learning, practice, make mistakes, and practice some more. It can take place over the telephone or through the Internet, as well as in person. Informal access is not built into the formal learning process, the chances of getting past knowing to doing will be difficult at best.

Our vision of ‘whole life learning’ embraces the ideas of ‘life-long learning’, ‘life-wide-learning’ and ‘personal wellbeing’

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