The Classroom, Information, Podcasts, Net Generation, & 3D TLC

Many Orbs

IDEO's Ten Tips For Creating a 21st-Century Classroom Experience - Metropolis

Insights provide powerful lessons for architects and designers creating the schools of tomorrow. Also see Open-Ended Learning.

Information Wants to Be Expensive - Wall Street Journal

When author Stewart Brand coined the expression "Information wants to be free," he focused on how technology makes it cheap and easy to communicate and share knowledge. But the rest of his quote is rarely noticed.

iTunes U better than attending class? - Lars is Learning

ReadWriteWeb and New Scientist picked up on a preliminary piece of research that suggests better retention and learning is achieved through using an audio podcast of a lecture than actually attending it. This says, "Information also wants to be expensive." The right information in today's complex economy and society can make a huge difference in our professional and personal lives. Not having this information can also make a big difference, especially if someone else does have it. And for valuable information, online is a great new way for it to be valued.

More Evidence Supports the Need for Caution - Net Gen Skeptic

Results of research being conducted that the BC Institute of Technology cast serious doubt on many of the Net Generation claims.

3D Training, Learning and Collaboration (3D TLC) conference

3D Training, Learning and Collaboration (3D TLC) conference taking place April 20-21, 2009 in Washington, DC, is the leading event for businesses seeking to understand and maximize business strategies using virtual worlds. 3D virtual worlds have broad implications for business not the least of which is cost savings and energy conservation. Attendees will hear valuable insight, information, and best practices about what innovators and early adopter organizations are doing right now, including what works and why. Our first announced keynote is Joe Little, Chief Technology Office, BP Group. BP has chosen Virtual Worlds as the game changing technology for (2008/9). Joe will discuss how the decision to focus on Virtual Worlds came about, what business issues are being addressed via the technology, what challenges he has faced in implementing solutions and what results he has seen from early pilots.


Photos, Good Enough, Visual Memory, Sentences, & Audio

The Hillside

Photos for interaction - Boxes and Arrows

In software applications, photography in most cases is used as content element, since photos express situations of human life very well and thus are well suited to capture and represent a certain message. The images have a semantic meaning, communicating information to the viewer and user of the respective web or software application. However, photography in interactive media is often a trigger for engagement and interaction. Interaction designers working on the product's interaction flows can thus provide visual designers with key information to select and apply visual elements, in order to start the conversation, and keep it alive.

Why Doing Things Half Right Gives You the Best Results - Harvard Business

There are times in life when I expect something to be perfect. When I open the box of my new Macbook Air, for example. Or when I take money out of the ATM.

In most cases though, I expect imperfect. And in organizations, I think that's a good thing -- but not in the if-I-expect-imperfect-I-won't-be-disappointed sense.

Visual Memory and Sentences - Science Daily

In How We Think Before We Speak: Making Sense Of Sentences the author writes:
But how does the language brain act so fast? Recent findings suggest that, as we read or have a conversation, our brains are continuously trying to predict upcoming information. Van Berkum suggests that this anticipation is a combination of a detailed analysis about what has been said before with taking 'quick-and-dirty' shortcuts to figure out what, most likely, the next bit of information will be.
In How We Keep Visual Details In Short-term Memory the author writes:
Another interesting thing was that if subjects were remembering orientation, then that pattern of activity during the delay period had no information about color, even though they were staring at a colored-oriented stimulus," said Edward Awh, a UO professor of psychology. "Likewise, if they chose to remember color we were able to decode which color they remembered, but orientation information was completely missing.

This voluntary control in memory selection, Awh said, falls in line with previous research, including that done by Awh and co-author Edward K. Vogel, also of the UO, that there is limited capacity for what can be stored at one time. People choose what is important and relevant to them.

Information Architecture for Audio: Doing It Right

The principles of information architecture are exactly what you need to create usable audio. Your approach to creating audio should be similar to developing a large website. In both scenarios you don't want the user to get lost or overwhelmed by content. For any informational audio that is longer than a few minutes, follow these guidelines:
  • State the Length
  • Give an Overview of the Structure
  • Introduce the Topic
  • Provide Orientation from Time to Time


Pressure, Linkedin, Communities, Twitter, & Impromptu Learning

The Economy Slowdowns

How to Avoid Choking under Pressure - Scientific American

If you scrutinize your performance too much-trying to control, for example, the natural inflections in your voice as you present an important finding to your office mates - you will be priming your cerebral cortex to trip over your cerebellum, leaving yourself at a loss for words. But if you focus on a single word or idea that sums up your entire presentation ("smooth" or "forceful," for instance), you will be best equipped to prevent your brain from getting in its own way.

LinkedIn traffic grows - cnet

Market researcher ComScore reported that LinkedIn's unique visitors rose to 7.7 million, a 22 percent increase over December, TechCrunch reported Saturday. And not only are more people visiting LinkedIn, but they're hanging around longer as well. Total minutes spent on the site last month more than doubled from December to 96.8 million, according to TechCrunch.

Communities and Networks Connection - Tony Karrer

This is a great week for content communities. And there's a very interesting effect and a realization (aha moment) I've had about all of this that I describe near the bottom.

Yesterday, I was able to announce that I've been working with Judy Brown to launch the Mobile Learning Content Community.

A few other communities Tony has helped build:

Twitter: What is it good for? - 60 Second Science

Many Twitter users embrace the technology as a way of feeling "ambient intimacy, just as people share the details of their lives with those far away via the telephone, email and blogging. "What's new about it is the ability to communicate with so many people at once. What's not new about it is you can create niche audiences just like we've been able to with blogs, with listserves back in the day. Twitter and status updating in general is another link in the chain of what we've been seeing the last 10 years.

Impromtu Learning - Fire on the Mountain - Guy Wallace

Great story and pictures (click to enlarge) — go read it.


Training in a Recession, Memory, & Pacing

Watching the Ducks

The Crystal Ball: Predicting Stock Prices - McBassi & Company

Over the years, we have consistently found strong evidence that training expenditures are a predictor of future stock market returns for publicly-traded companies. (See, for example, "How's Your Return on People?", Harvard Business Review, March 2004.)
Note that McBassi found in the original study that a series of portfolios of firms that made the largest per capita investments in training subsequently returned 16.3% per year, compared with 10.7% for the S&P 500 index. As to causality, McBassi noted, ""While the performance controls in the regression above should prevent a spurious correlation between training and stock returns, we also show that training expenditures are not driven by past returns. This supports the thesis that training investments help to determine stock price performance, and not the opposite."
Following the financial cataclysm of 2008, we explored how well the relationship between training investments and stock market performance had held up. Did the relationship still exist or had it even vanished entirely, swamped by larger forces at play in the financial world? The Answer? Yes, the relationship still exists.

Progression in recession: why training is still crucial in a slump - The Guardian

If a recession does not mean an end to staff development, it does mean changes. Hyde Housing has begun to bring more training and education in-house rather than use outside contractors. Olsen-Haveland is moving Hyde towards what she calls the 70/20/10 model in which 70% of learning takes place on the job, 20% in coaching and 10% in the classroom or through e-learning.

Improving Brain Processing Speed Helps Memory - Science Daily

Results indicate that aging adults may be able to make better-informed decisions about ways to improve memory. "Brain processing speed slows as we age," says Dr. Smith. "The study indicates that choosing a memory-enhancing approach that focuses on improving brain processing speed and accuracy, rather than memory retention, may be helpful."

Pacing - Clark Quinn in Learnlets

I've gone off before about slow learning, and I think this is another facet. Not only are we're rushing too much in our performance, our development processes, and the amount of time we devote to learning, we're not properly setting the stage. I've been quick myself, but some of the best speakers seem to take their time getting to the point.
For another view on pacing see the first two book reviews on Leaving Microsoft to Change the World and Biography of a Bird Dog.

Training is still happening during the recession & Emphasizing listening skills - The Boggs e-Learning Chronicle

Few companies have dropped programs completely, but many are delaying custom program enrollment by six months or so as they watch expenses. But leadership coaches say they're still in demand. Author and consultant Paul Hellman has been expecting a slowdown, but says December was his busiest December ever. Mr. Hellman, president of Express Potential, says employers know employees are less likely to jump ship during the recession, and are exhibiting a "let's make sure people are developed" mentality. He says he sees companies cutting costs by using more Web training than in past years.


Twitter, Learning Styles, Elements, & Wii

Snowy Bamboo

Why newspapers should manage more like Twitter and less like GM - Nieman Journalism Lab

Twitter had its origins a few years ago at a company called Odeo, a Silicon Valley startup that focused on podcasting. You could use Odeo to find podcasts; you could use it to listen to podcasts; and you could use it to make podcasts. Unfortunately for Odeo, two things happened. First, podcasting didn't take off as much as some had hoped; it was then (and remains) a niche interest. And second, in 2005, the biggest player in digital audio - Apple - added podcasting support to iTunes, which was already installed on the computers of every single human being who knew what a "podcast" was. So things were not looking good for Odeo.

So what was Odeo's response?

Our board was not feeling optimistic, and we were forced to reinvent ourselves.

Note: "Reinvent ourselves." Not: "Cut back on our staff a bit more every few months and hope the current business model can survive." Not: "Maintain a belief that we had a good product, damn it, a valuable product, and there will always be someone who wants it." "Reinvent ourselves."

Learning Styles

Discussion on 'Learning Styles" via TRDEV-L. The original post is here, while my response is here. All of the posts on learning styles can be found here.

Note that I belive anyone can read the messages in that you do not have to be a subscriber. If the site blocks you, please let me know.

Elements: A Flickr, Twitter and Tumblr Hybrid? - Mashable

Elements feels like a cross between Flickr's interestingness, Twitter's follow features and Tumblr's content submission, with a focus on sharing inspirational content. Users can explore Elements' recommended content, tell the system that they "like" items in order to view similar content, follow other users, upload or clip images and quotes, and see which other members like the same stuff.

Follow me on elements

Police use Wii to create wanted poster - cnet

There is no word that this avatar has been re-created on many thousands of Kanegawa Wiis and is trouncing untold numbers of Roger Federer lookalikes. But it's lovely to think that such frivolous games are now being used in the serious cause of truth and justice on the Miin Streets of Kanegawa.

What uses could the Will play in some of your learning processes?


Readers, Education vs. Training, & Leaders

The Flower

Readers Build Vivid Mental Simulations Of Narrative Situations - Science Daily

Readers create vivid mental simulations of the sounds, sights, tastes and movements described in a textual narrative while simultaneously activating brain regions used to process similar experiences in real life.

Education is a River, Training is a Boat - Gary Woodill

An experiment in how Twitter could be used as a research tool, in terms of conducting a poll. I was impressed at how many people posted thoughtful responses.

Why Can't We Figure Out How to Select Leaders? - Harvard Business School

Comment on learning:
Learning is more strongly influenced by individual teachers, for example, than any other factor, including class size and quality of the facilities. In various studies, the truly great teachers do things like giving good, individualized feedback while remaining sensitive and responding to interactions going on around them that might indicate needs of other students.



4 multimedia learning principles that will improve your slides - Slideshare

Instructional design helps people learn. It does this by taking into account how people learn from different media. This is called the cognitive theory of multimedia learning. One of the key ideas of this theory is that we have separate channels for processing verbal material and visual material. Each channel is limited in the amount it can process.

Six Don'ts for the End of Your Presentations - Decker

Even strong speakers can undercut a whole presentation with multiple endings, or a few seconds of wobbly indecision at the end. Those last few seconds amount to the last important picture people remember of you.

9 ways to edit your presentation - Speaking about Presenting

I ask people who download my presentation planning guide what they find hardest about presenting. Here are some of the answers:
  • Being concise
  • Finishing on time
  • Fitting everything into the allotted time
  • Finding a balance between presenting too much and too little
  • Not giving too much info.

Interacting with Slides - Slide:ology

Whenever you introduce a new slide, stop talking, turn to the screen and look at it. If the slide is animated, allow the animation to complete its full course of action. (For more about PowerPoint animation, please see my blog, "Animation and the Presenter.") During your pause, look at the image as if you have never seen it, giving your audience time to see it, because they most certainly never have. At that moment, you and your audience fall into lock step.

Presentation Tips

Presentations and reports are ways of communicating ideas and information to a group. But unlike a report, a presentation carries the speaker's personality better and allows immediate interaction between all the participants.


Digital, Rapid eLearning, & Social Media Conversations


From Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom - Innovate

Digital wisdom is a twofold concept, referring both to wisdom arising from the use of digital technology to access cognitive power beyond our innate capacity and to wisdom in the prudent use of technology to enhance our capabilities.

It Only Took HOW Long? -Duthie earning

We've ended up with 78 minutes of what could be argued is elearning content for doctors. Total production time? 11.9 hours. Run the math and it comes to 9.15 hours' development time per hour of finished 'seat time,' roughly 9:1. Compare this to high production value, interactive elearning, which generally takes 200-300 hours per hour (200:1 to 300:1).

The trouble is that the doctors each spent (in my estimate) 5-10 hours apiece preparing their slides and narrations.


Listen in on the social media conversations of any topic you're interested in. The above link will take you to the latest converstaions on eLearning. Don't like that one -- try this one.

Two Strands of Connectionism - The Technium

One strand of massive connectionism is currently called social media. The other strand of massive connectionism relies on a massive number of machines. This new territory can best be illustrated by the far-right top extreme where both sides meet in the center - the area where we have maximum machine connection and maximum human connection. This overlap or convergence space would be the emerging global superorganism.