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

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Lots of movies are coming out this year that I would love to see in a theater, rather than waiting for DVD. Here's the list, in order of release, with releaseWhat I'm going to do with my summer

In any Highlander movie, it's expected: heads will roll. In this case, though, it should have been heads of the film's creators. Why would you go and make a movie, probablyReview: Highlander: The Source

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I can't wait until next Tuesday to share this one. Does anyone else remember this Saturday morning cartoon from the late '80s? The best episode was the cross-over with "Josie and theTubeWatch extra: Watchmen cartoon

FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH: Famous Last Words I've seen this referenced many times since it was first released, but I never watched it until recently, figuring it would be depressing (plusHow to leave a lasting legacy

I thought I was done with posting about Watchmen. But then I found this: There are a huge number of these Marvel vs. DC clips, and a lot of them areTuesday TubeWatch: the final Watchmen-related post

Generally speaking, women are nuts for Valentines Day. Generally speaking, men don't get it. We participate, frequently against our will, but we don't really get it. Why is there a specificValentines Day!

“Journeyman” Will Get Its 12 Episodes - Slice of SciFi Well, it sounds like saner heads have prevailed... for now. NBC has given the green light to the final two produced“Journeyman” Will Get Its 12 Episodes - Slice of SciFi

Set in the 12th century Crusades and the defense of Jerusalem, this movie should have been one I loved. The crew took pains to ensure an accurate portrayal of theReview: Kingdom of Heaven

Back in 2004 we were awaiting the birth of our first daughter. I was also beginning to teach myself how to write music around then. And I did a lot"This Child" isn't who you think

I'm willing to bet that you've heard of Jon and Kate Plus 8, even if you don't watch the TLC program yourself. It's getting a lot of publicity lately, ledJon and Kate Plus 8... plus 10 million... minus one

Battlestar Galactica is returning for the second half of its fourth and final season tonight (NOTE for those recording... the first new episode is extended and will go about 4Battlestar blitz - be prepared

This show, loved by millions, and seen every year since it originally aired in 1965, would never be produced today in our politically correct world. It's just too controversial. This showA show too controversial to make it to production today...

How do you get Desitin diaper rash cream out of carpets, sheets, clothes, blankets, or any other cloth item? If my experience so far is accurate, you can't. Somebody please, proveHow to get Desitin cream out of... well... everything

Creating Passionate Users: Re-igniting passion We can't expect passionate users, if we ourselves can't hold (or rediscover) the passion we felt for the work we chose. That is an excellent point. WhenRe-igniting passion

America’s schools ineffective? Challenges for corporate learning

Parkin’s Lot: Stupid in America

Godfrey Parkin takes the notion (supported by a study) that America’s public schools, on average, produce substandard education, and applies it to corporate environments.

As he says, the condemnation of America’s school system is nothing new. I’ve heard it all my life. In fact, my friends even joke about understanding things “despite our public school education.” The study lists the usual reasons: lack of funding, teacher-student ratios, lack of teacher effectiveness measurement, etc.

One interesting point he makes about funding that I hadn’t heard before:

. . . there is evidence to show that more money often leads to poorer performance – schools tend to spend budget increases on offices, sports facilities, computers, security systems and so on, rather than on better teachers and better educational processes. By contrast, smaller low-budget schools led by passionate educators who have no computers, gyms, or even janitors are producing exceptional results.

Though sad, that makes sense to me. When you don’t have money for the bells and whistles, you focus on the essentials.

Here’s the best part of his post, though:

I don’t buy the argument that the blame for the dumbing-down of America’s youth falls exclusively on the educational system. It seems clear to me that culture, particularly the culture in the family, has failed to instill a strong enough veneration for learning and corresponding intellectual curiosity. Parents abdicate responsibility for educating their kids, particularly when they get a little difficult in their early teens. It is easier to concoct a host of external reasons for a child’s learning problems than to acknowledge personal failure. But learning takes place within an evolving ecosystem, not in isolated instances.

Companies make the same mistake – they think that performance problems should be solved by training, and if that doesn’t work, training gets the blame. How many times do we hear trainers bemoan the fact that the environment to which trainees return almost guarantees that what was learned will never be reinforced or applied? It was only after I left school that I understood the real purpose of homework was not to keep me from going fishing, but to get my parents engaged in the education process. We should do more to integrate learning with the workplace and engage managers and the immediate “work family” in supporting the ongoing development of new skills. Blended learning should blend what happens in class or online with what happens back at work, and that means getting the learners’ immediate colleagues engaged as a support network.

Corporate training departments need to find ways to get more informal learning happening in their organizations. The biggest problem with that, though, is measuring it so they can justify their existence (and I firmly believe they do need to exist). Tough to pull off.

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