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

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Yesterday (well, technically today) I posted that The Avengers was one of three movies that I would see even if I had to sell my mother to the Russians, withReview: The Avengers (2012) (no spoilers)

My kids have been watching Signing Time on our local PBS station here for over a year now. They love the show so much that we got them one ofTuesday TubeWatch: Signing Time

[caption id="attachment_747" align="alignright" width="400" caption="Cruisin' to the pit"][/caption] Traffic got you down? Neighborhood bully getting on your nerves? Terrorist cell in your back yard? Need something to get you to theThe JL241 Badonkadonk Land Crusier/Tank - Order yours today!

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

Lots of series finales showed up this year. Some of them were only supposed to be season finales, but the shows were cancelled. Most of the time, they didn't knowSuper-Review: Cancelled shows

Watchmen broke ground as a comic book/graphic novel. The movie was extremely faithful, with few exceptions, to the book. Is that a good thing? Going in to this film, I thought,Review: Watchmen

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?

Set up your own free storefront (referral included) It seems like there has to be a catch to this, but I haven't found it yet. Zlio.com is a service that allowsMoney for nothing, and discounts on online purchases - Zlio.com

free wi-fi hotspots wifi cafes coffee shops hotels airports RV Parks (Okay, so I'm slipping in one more post before the new year...) If you're looking for free wi-fi connection anywhere inFree wi-fi hotspots

Wow! I'm geeking out! This guy managed to mix computer laptop maintenance and an Ultraman-like tribute into a catchy, funny song! He even got a Queen tribute in! Hats off toClean the fan, with Ultraman

Got caught up on some stuff tonight: Chuck: Entertaining. Pretty light. I'll see if it pulls me in more, but it seems like one of those shows that I'll catch ifInitial thoughts - Premiere week pt 2

In Minority Report, Tom Cruise's character was able to interact with a very cool looking computer desktop that he could manipulate with special gloves just by waving his hands around. [captionTuesday TubeWatch: Minority Report to Sixth Sense to PHUD - Interface Advancement and Integration

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

I heard about a Tron sequel a long time ago, but haven't heard much about it since and forgot that it was in the works. I'm not sure how ITron: Legacy trailer from Comic-Con - Tuesday TubeWatch

TheGoldenParachute.com: Think Dual Incomes is a Great Thing? Not Always We've had discussions periodically in my house about my wife going back to work part-time. There are a variety of reasonsIs a dual income worth it in a marriage?

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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