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

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Just a couple of examples of life with Little Mommy... Sometimes I don't give my kids enough credit Recently Little Mommy and I were putting together a puzzle on the living roomLittle Mommy moments

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

The Learning Circuits Blog: Homeschooling and the Creative Class Hm... Until a few years ago, I didn't know much about homeschooling. Then I met my wife. Her brother and sister wereHomeschooling and education

First, sorry about the absence of new posts lately. Plenty has been going on, I've just been too tired to write about it. Anyway... on to the review! The Rocky seriesReview: Rocky II

It's a popular debate lately: are these social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.) bad for us? Recently an Oxford professor, Baroness Susan Greenfield, made some rather provocative speculations aboutTuesday TubeWatch: Social networking will eat your brain!

Created on Toonlet.comCartoon Caddick

In my last post, I mentioned a definition of e-Learning I wrote a few years ago. For the record, this is what I said: How do you define e-learning? What areDefining e-Learning

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

To review: I’m talking about an article on ZDNet that tries to make the case for streaming first-run movies to a home theater. In the first part, I laid out the argument theyMovie Theater vs. Home Theater (part 3)

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

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

The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Book Contest ∞ Get Rich Slowly Get Rich Slowly is running a contest for a free copy of the Ultimate Cheapskate book. You have to enter a trueFrugality gone wild!

It's time for my annual(ish) list of movies I want to catch this year. Strap in and let the trailers wash over you like pure adrenalin. (Not that I know whatMovieWatch 2013

Let's face it... some stereotypes exist for a reason. Even among native English speakers, in general, programmers are not known for their English skills. I know a few who buckProgrammer English

I was giving Heroes the benefit of the doubt. Sure, they'd stumbled. The brother/sister Mexican road trip last season was a big mistake. This season was an improvement for a"Heroes" hits bottom and grabs for the shovel

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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