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

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15 Minute Lunch: Strap in, shut up and hold on. We're going back. It's almost shocking anyone survived the 1970s. There should have been some kind of ritual suicide for lookingGrab your Hardy Boys lunch box - here come the '70s

Jim Mirkalami - the actual story revealed - Quit Your Day Job A while ago, I deleted a comment left on an old post. I thought it was Spam, but IJim Mirkalami - the actual story revealed - Quit Your Day Job

Two years ago we caught my then 2-year old daughter slathering herself (and the rug, and the covers, and the bed) with Desitin cream. My resulting distress was recorded inWhat is it with this kid?

To continue with the theme of my last post... Clark Aldrich talked about the similarities of video games and training simulations in one of his blogs for ASTD's Learning Circuits: Computer gamesVideo games and simulations

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

I find a lot of stuff that I want to share, but that doesn't make it into a blog post of its own, for whatever reason (usually a lack ofLinkList: Sci-fi edition

The last couple of nights I've been catching up on the new A&E show, "Teach: Tony Danza." "Teach" was filmed in Northeast High School in Philadelphia, not far from whereTeach

It's hard to do better than the Bible for your source material, so this movie had an edge already. In some ways it lived up to (and exceeded) expectations; inReview: The Prince of Egypt

There is a lot going on in the world these days. The pace of life is increasing at an amazing rate. The progress we are making is incredible, and thereStop everything

I just got a comment on an old post here that is obviously from a person desperate to find a close friend. Unfortunately, it seems he forgot his friend's email address,In Search Of.... Mike Mossberg

It's time to reconsider Google | News.blog | CNET News.com It really might be time for some people to reconsider Google - at least Google's search and Google Maps. They areAre Google's day's numbered?

I don't know about the girls out there, but I know every teenage boy has wondered what it would be like to have super-powers. What would you really do with them?Review: Chronicle (2012)

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

Corporate Training & e-Learning Blog: BIG for 2006: LCMSs, Podcasting, and Outsourcing I ran across this quote while looking for something totally unrelated - examples of podcasts as currently in useCEOs - taking more than their share?

H&R Block - Top 10 Overlooked Credits & Deductions Here's a good list to keep in mind as we get ready to pony up for Uncle Sam's benificence. [tags]US taxes, april 15th,H&R Block - Top 10 Overlooked Credits & Deductions

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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