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

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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

I'm not even exaggerating. This blows my mind. There are certainly cakes that are unbelievably beautiful (and this is not one of them), but the level of detail on thisThe best cake I've ever seen

This post is all about me feeling better about myself and bragging a little. If you can't handle that, well, sorry. I promise the next post will get back toStatistics and Ego Stroking

Monkey Bites The post is missing a few details (perhaps because they aren't available), but it looks like the popular Eudora email client from Qualcomm is being completely re-written, using theEudora goes Open Source

Today we're having an installation of "What to do, What not to do" for percussionists. What to do Back in college I had the privilege of seeing a percussion group called NexusPercussionists: Object lesson for today

When this movie came out I saw it in the theater and was blown away. I still remember the feeling of exhilaration I had during the launch sequence, and theReview: Apollo 13

New York Times columnist David Pogue has had two extremely good posts lately. One is aimed squarely at general computer users, and both are of great use to technical writers. InTechnical writers, pay attention

Given my erratic posting schedule lately no one would probably notice the hole, but I'm going where the internet doesn't reach for a few days so there won't be anyThe Sounds of Silence

"Can you tie this to my eyebrow?" [referring to a balloon] After throwing a blanket over her own head: "POOF! She was gone." 3-yr old: "You can't tell me that!" 2-yr old: "Why?" 3-yrThings overheard in my house lately

No, I haven't read the entire series in the last 12 hours. I have, however, read an excellent article that explains how much of my disappointment in the finale ofReview Addendum: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, pt 2 - book comparison

Well, this week was the one to launch three shows I'll be following this year (Heroes, FlashForward, and Smallville) and close out the opening season for a summer series IPremieres/Finales Fall 2009

[This post was scheduled to go up last week, and I just realized it never posted. Anyone know how that could happen with WordPress' schedule function? I'm not waiting anotherMake a silent noise unto the Lord - Tuesday TubeWatch

(Okay, there is a lot of YouTube in this post. I got a little carried away. If you're not seeing it 'cause your IT department is lame, come back whenMTV Yearbook - where does it take you?

There was a time when I was really into The Planet of the Apes series. I watched all the movies and the TV show, multiple times. I still enjoy theReview: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

This excites me on many levels. It's so simple, and yet so cool. It's not at all new either. In fact, there's a multi-award winning film that uses something very similarA colorful cavalcade of classical coolness

Where are the humans?

To continue in the vein of dissatisfaction with training, let’s take a look at the experience this high school student in Singapore is having with e-Learning (found via Corporate eLearning Strategies and Development):

But what was most disappointing was that they expected us to learn fresh, new topics like Maxima and Minima on the dot, and the lessons weren’t even constructed by our teachers, but by this Dr. Brain series that was created by some polytechnic whose name I have completely forgotton.

I mean, COME ON! You’re expecting us to complete an entire assesment (or more) just by being educated by a talking flash movie?? What if we have a question to ask?

Now, there could be a whole host of reasons why this experience was difficult for this kid, but who can blame him for wanting to ask questions? It is frustrating to try to learn new concepts, skills, and tools with no interaction. To be effective, self-paced training has to be designed exceedingly well, and even then there still needs to be the option to follow-up with a subject matter expert, because it’s impossible to accurately predict everyone’s questions.

For all I know, this “e-learning day” experience had all sorts of support – chat rooms, email, discussion boards, phone mentoring, whatever. Maybe this guy just didn’t take advantage of it. Or maybe it wasn’t there, but the teachers figured they’d provide that support the next day when they returned to their classrooms. Whatever the case here, the reality in the corporate world is that frequently employees are sent to take online training with little to no human support from a subject matter expert. And that’s a shame. With the tools I mentioned above, there’s no reason to leave someone hanging and alone. We need to do a better job.

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