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

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...there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying... Glory to God - Merry Christmas to everyone! (I've sung Handel's Messiah a few times,And suddenly...

Murder in the First, based on a true story, tells the tale of Henry Young (Kevin Bacon) and his attorney (Christian Slater) as they expose the brutality of the AlcatrazReview: Murder in the First

WOODTV.com & WOOD TV8 - Grand Rapids news, weather, sports and video - Man in wheelchair takes ride on semi's grill A man in a wheelchair was struck by a semi,Buckle up!!!

The truth, it is said, is a three-edged sword: your side, their side, and reality - and it cuts in all directions. Lately the education system is in the news aEverybody's right, everybody's wrong

Michael Rosenbaum Talks Smallville — A JewReview.net Exclusive - Slice of Scifi Michael Rosenbaum, Lex Luthor on Smallville, gave an interview that reveals that next year's seventh season will be hisLex Luthor teases Smallville's final season

[caption id="attachment_803" align="alignright" width="405" caption="Green Lantern - First Flight"][/caption] With characters that have as huge of an existing storyline as Green Lantern, it'd be easy for a movie like Green Lantern:Review: Green Lantern: First Flight

March was a weird month. I actually got outside and did exercise. That's how weird it was. Doesn't sound weird to you? Talk to my doctor. (Actually, if you do talkMarch out

Obviously the European fascists are being hurt by the global economic problems. In an effort save money, they've apparently let their entire marketing department go. While I applaud their frugality,Slow economy affects European fascist marketing

Why Collaborative Storyboard Technology Is Mission Critical This is an excellent article extolling the virtues of collaboration for storyboarding your courses (and a little push for storyboarding itself). It doesn't specificallyCollaborative Storyboarding

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

Internet Time Blog » Blog Archive » Jaron Lanier When Jaron was speaking at the dedication of the Gates Computer Center at Stanford, he said "Naming a computer science building afterInternet Time Blog » Blog Archive » Jaron Lanier

After a troubled history with Disney, 20th Century Fox has picked up the Narnia series and is moving forward. This December we'll be treated to the next installment in theBack to Narnia with a new trailer, and a 2010 movie update

Trailer for 11 Minutes Ago The first thing that impressed me about this movie was that it was shot, in it's entirety, in a single day. For a feature length film11 Minutes Ago

I've got a problem. There are multiple layers to this thing. And it's all George Lucas' fault. Well, maybe I have some part to play in it as well. But it'sThe Star Wars Conundrum

Well, another year has come and gone. In just a few hours it'll be 2009. Lots of people all around the planet are gearing up for some serious, I-can't-remember-what-I-did-last-night celebrations.Mundane New Year's Eve

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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