About me

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

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This is my favorite way to listen to music now.

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Around the site

So I've been on Google+ (Google Plus) for a little while now. For those who don't know, it's another social media platform, like Facebook. You make a profile, then youGoogle+ is open - is it a better Facebook?

Nothing mind blowing today. This is pretty much going to be a stream of conciousness post. We'll see if it's even vaguely interesting by the time it's over. Just found Grooveshark.Utter randomness

Out of the ashes of our future destruction, a new hero has been born. Gabriel Bright. Beacon of hope. Defender of justice. Burdened, as are we all, with the knowledgeThe Birth of Gabriel Bright - DC Universe

Applications are open until October 11th. Sadly, my henchmen - Butterball and The Human Chihuahua - are on vacation, and training temps at this late hour is just not a headacheAre you E.L.E. material?

I don't have a pet. Dog, cat, fish, bird, rock... nothing. That's not likely to change in the next 5-7 years, if ever. There are lots of reasons, actually, butWhy I don't have a dog

Don't be alarmed if this page looks horrible. I'm currently learning how to create my own theme, and I'm too lazy to create a development site for myself, so this isCaddickisms undergoing theme testing

In the 7 day challenge, today’s topic is: Share a photo I took this week and tell you about it. This is actually getting out of hand. It's a little embarrassing. [caption id="attachment_1463"What I see every day - 7 day challenge

Okay, yeah, the day's almost over, but you know how it is... things got away from me. The dog ate my homework. And then he did this: So there you haveBetter late than never (maybe): Tuesday TubeWatch

I just saved myself 12% in interest fees in a 10 minute conversation. I've been working in earnest to get myself out of credit card debt for a few years now.Saving 12% in interest in 10 minutes

It's over. For four years of my life (which, oddly enough, took six years), I've been watching Battlestar Galactica weekly. This redesigned joy from my childhood became an engaging, exciting, andReview: Battlestar Galactica finale

YouTube - Torchwood - First proper trailer Someone has posted a preview trailer for Torchwood, the Dr. Who spinoff series. It's basically a character list and some special effects, but ITorchwood trailer

Michael Bay takes his crash, slam, bang frenzied filmmaking and applies it to Logan's Run. Okay, it's not quite that useless, but if I'm falling asleep during action sequences you knowReview: The Island

In my last post I asked for some help coming up with films for my annual New Years Eve triple feature. I got some great responses (though very few actuallyReview: New Years Eve triple feature

This is quite simply one of the best Star Wars trailers I've seen. The problem is that it's the cinematics associated with the game, and no in-game footage, so the actualIf only the Star Wars films were like this...

Free business cards! That's pretty cool. Via the excellent Parent Hacks site (see below) I've now found two online printing companies that will print business cards for free. You have"Free" business cards

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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