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

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This is a great idea. Eddie Izzard's Dressed to Kill stand-up routine is hilarious (though profanity laced). Matching the bits with Lego stop-motion animation turns out to be really funnyTuesday TubeWatch: Lego Izzard - Cake or Death?

Slice of Scifi - Science Fiction TV & Movie News, Interviews & more » SCI-FI to SCI-FACT: Plasma Converter Sometimes I wonder where all the really good inventions are. Breakthroughs likePlasma Converter - the ultimate waste disposal

National Sex Offender Registry Familywatchdog.us is a pretty impressive site. Not only does it provide an extremely important service, but it is a great use of technology. It also shows howDoes a sex offender live near you?

There really isn't much I can say about this... it's one of those painful things that happens at sci-fi conventions. But you gotta see the third act. [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/UkTQwP2gFxU" width="425" height="350"Vader is thrilling

Like The Matrix, you cannot be told what this is. Words cannot describe it. It must be experienced. You must immerse yourself in it to feel the awesomeness. Soak it in: Seriously,The most awesome thing to come out of India - ever

LiveDigital: NBC's Heroes pilot I don't know how this got there, but if you want to watch the Heroes pilot episode in a really bad, small, flash video format, there youNBC's Heroes pilot online

Stardust looked great from the trailers. Some really big names added to the attraction (Claire Danes, Robert DeNiro, Michelle Pfieffer, Peter O'Toole, Ricky Gervais). Neil Gaiman as the writer ofReview: Stardust

I'll be jotting down my initial thoughts of the shows I watch that premiere this week. Tonight, I intended to watch the NBC shows Chuck, Heroes, and Journeyman. I missed Chuck,Initial thoughts - Premiere week pt 1

John Williams is probably the most well known film composer in history. He owes much of that success to the Star Wars series, but Jaws, Superman, Close Encounters of thePre-prequel-era Star Wars music tribute

In the 7 day challenge, today’s topic is: Write a blog post on the same topic as one of my most popular posts. By far, in both page views and comments, myHow to get Silly Putty out of clothes - 7 day challenge

Free Royalty Free Music Loops, Free Royalty Free Sound Effects A couple months ago we completed the first four podcasts our company has produced, for internal training purposes. I've mentioned previouslyFree Music & sound effects for podcasts

We've got a firm street date for the new Babylon 5 movie! In fact, you can start ordering now!! As a reminder, here's the early description from JMS, as I reportedBabylon 5: The Lost Tales pre-ordering

[Note: recent events in my life have conspired to prevent me from putting together the vote scheduled for this week. I'll get back to it. It's not like you allTuesday TubeWatch: MacGyvering Star Wars

I'm looking to start a new blogging project online. Hopefully it'll come together soon. I'm just in the planning stages now, but one of the things I'm considering is whatThe Atahualpa Whallop

The Wachowski brothers have a firm grasp of visuals and a healthy respect for graphic novels. They also know how to write a script that challenges the viewer's perceptions ofReview: V for Vendetta

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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