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

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(Originally posted Jul 31, 2005 on my older blog) I've been watching Justice League and Justice League Unlimited lately. This is good stuff. Mike got me hooked. I'd caught it while flippingReview: Justice League

Note: Link contains profanity - Mel Gibson clears up that mystery about whether he's an anti-Semite. By Timothy Noah Well, this is really disappointing on a few levels. Gibson made someMel Gibson: man vs. movie star

The time is shortly upon us. The wait is nearly over. Let the glorious holiday IMAX season BEGIN!!! Wait... let me get my oxygen... Okay. I feel better now. Got a little giddy thereHoliday trailers - Tron: Legacy, Narnia 3, and HP:TDH

GateWorld - Cooper: SG-1 will go on On the heels of the long-running series' landmark 200th episode, the Sci-Fi Channel has chosen not to renew Stargate SG-1 for an 11th season.Stargate SG-1: Over and Out?

http://www.chucknorrisfacts.com/ I haven't laughed this hard for a while. I fell off my brother's couch with tears streaming down my face as I tried to read these out loud to myChuck Norris will know if you read this

I was one of the minority who didn't get out to see Night at the Museum in the theaters. I wish I would have. This is one movie I thinkReview: Night at the Museum

A long time ago, before I knew how to embed videos, I linked out to a David Letterman clip showing Steve Martin and Earl Scruggs (and a bunch of otherTuesday TubeWatch: Banjos and Steve Martin (and Star Wars!)

[caption id="attachment_803" align="alignright" width="405" caption="Green Lantern - First Flight"][/caption] With characters that have as huge of an existing storyline as Green Lantern, it'd be easy for a movie like Green Lantern:Review: Green Lantern: First Flight

Learning 2006 - Josh Bersin & Elliott Masie Dialogue Josh and Elliot, two "thought leaders" in the learning industry, get together and talk about the things they're seeing in the learningElliott Masie & Josh Bersin: Learning Trends

The movie lived up to the hype. And that's saying quite a bit. Jamie Foxx did an unbelievably good Ray Charles. By the end there were literally a couple of scenesReview: Ray

The main "event" around here lately is that this website was down for two days while we switched servers. Apparently there were issues with the process. I'm not convinced everythingThe Event

That's not a euphemism. I actually felt the earth move last night. We had an 3.4 earthquake at midnight last night, with an epicenter about 5 miles from my house.I feel the earth move under my feet...

First, the confession: I've been a Doctor Who fan since I was about 8 years old. Sitting and watching those episodes (Tom Baker, at the time) with my Dad isReview: Doctor Who 2005 & 2006 seasons

Why Americans love to shoplift meat. - By Brendan I. Koerner - Slate Magazine Meat is the #1 item shoplifted from grocery stores. That has got to be one of theSwiping a sirloin is certainly stupid

I thought I'd give the site a new look, so I went searching for a new theme. I'm not entirely sold on this one yet, but I'm giving it aNew theme

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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