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I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

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J. Michael Straczynski - B5:TLT Pre-Production - Babylon5scripts.com Babylon 5: The Lost Tales, Disc 1 has now finished principle photography. B5:TLT is a series of Direct-to-DVD stories that focus on aNew Babylon 5 finishes principle photography

GateWorld - News: Devlin optimistic about 'Stargate' sequels Dean Devlin, producer of the original 1994 movie Stargate, seems to be moving forward with two sequels to the film, which was apparently'Stargate' sequels (Note: NOT SG-1)

Vanguard − The "Dilbert" guide to personal finance This list from Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, is about 2 years old, but I just saw it for the first time,Personal Finance advice from "Dilbert"

FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH | Bryce Zabel: Spaced Out: Hawking Colonies & Re-Booting Star Trek Bryce Zabel (Dark Skies, Lois & Clark) and J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, Crusade, Jeremiah) wereStar Trek, Babylon 5 style: Concept pitch revealed

Well, we finally got 10 votes on the first poll, and after a close race between "Good" and "For the sake of Humanity, make it stop!" it looks like thePoll: The Fifth Cylon

To review: I'm talking about an article on ZDNet that tries to make the case for streaming first-run movies to a home theater. In the first part, I laid outMovie Theater vs. Home Theater (part 2)

It's very simple, really. They brought me this: I make jokes about awesomeness all the time. That is truly awesome. The dad in that video is a friend of mine from college.Why Facebook and YouTube are cool

As I mentioned in my last post, I've recently reconnected with a lot of friends from my high school youth group through the wonders of Facebook. It's been a lotFacebook points to the past, and I consider the future

So we've got a new look here at the old blog. Not too drastic, but updated. I'm not finished tinkering, so things might change again soon. See if you canCh-ch-ch-ch-changes...

Where do you fit? [caption id="attachment_1210" align="aligncenter" width="410" caption="Do you hit the tri-fecta?"][/caption] Come on, if you read this blog it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that you're at least a geek.Geeknerddorkdweeb

For simplicity's sake, I'm combining the statements of both daughters (currently 4 and 3). Kids: I don't like much boys. Me: Why don't you like boys? Kids: I don't know. Me: Oh. Kids: You're aBest conversation I've ever had with my kids

Hey... just a quick note to anyone following this blog in a feedreader or email that if you don't get any more posts from me by Tuesday, you might wantMigrating feeds

The Complete Guide to Free Music Online Legal Edition Especially if you're looking for new artists, this list will help you out. Everybody likes free music, right? [tags]free stuff, music, download, mp3[/tags]Free legal music downloads

There are some out there who would call this "weak 3" of the show. This is definitely the slowest pacing of a Stargate series yet. The premiere was good, butStargate Universe, week 3, Darkness

Yesterday I read an article in the ZDNet Tech Broiler attempting to make the case for the studios to release first-run movies direct to streaming options (specifically Netflix and iTunes).Movie Theater vs. Home Theater (part 1)

Instructional Design reminders

I think it’s official: I’m addicted to Kathy Sierra’s blog.

Yesterday she made a great (if a tad long) summary of some pretty basic points she made earlier in the year that apply to learning.

Here’s a bulleted list of her main points:

  • Get past the brain’s “crap filter” [i.e., point out why it's important]
  • Learning is not a one-way “push” model
  • Use visuals to improve (and speed up) understanding, retention, and recall
  • Use redundancy to improve (and speed up) understanding, retention, and recall. Say the same thing in a different way.
  • Use conversational language
  • Maintain interest with variety and surprise
  • Use mistakes, failures, and counter-intuitive examples
  • Show, don’t tell.
  • Use chunking to reduce cognitive overload [nice graphic example on this one]
  • Help the learner relax and feel confident
  • Build curiousity
  • Use “spiral experience model” to keep engagement
  • Use a gaming concept of “next level”
  • Allow the learner to think
  • Use the 80/20 principle – know what to leave out
  • Use emotions to increase attention and memory
  • Use timing and pacing
  • Never understimate the power of fun

Each of those are expanded upon in the post – some more than others.

In the comments, she lists some of her references (quoted below). I didn’t have time to follow all the links, but I’m going to try to find time to look at anything I don’t have to buy.

* Cognitive Scientist, early AI guru Roger Schank

* Designing World Class E-Learning (by Roger Schank)

* E-Learning and the Science of Instruction (by Ruth Colvin Clark, Richard Mayer)
(The book summarizes much of the research that’s spread out elsewhere)

* The Media Equation (Clifford Nass, Byron Reeves)
(OK, yes, these ARE the guys who gave us Microsoft Bob — but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some of the best research out there about human/computer interaction ; )

* Flow (by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)

* The art of human-computer interface design (edited by Brenda Laurel)
(Check out her book — “Computers as Theatre”, too)

* Mind Hacks
(You can get to the book from their blog)

And while I’m here, another great reference for all this is the Cognitive Daily blog

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