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

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I'm going to revisit a couple of topics discussed here recently and then we'll hit some new topics. Well, after my last post I finished watching The Event. I stick withRevisitation and new worlds

Star Wars: Gaming | Swords and Lightsabers Clash in Soulcalibur IV (Wow, that's a weak post title ... sorry) Go to the link above for a news release and trailer for aWhat calibur is your lightsaber?

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

So I've been using the same laptop at work for years. It's actually not a bad laptop for basic business needs - a Latitude D620 - but given that IThe Good, The Bad, and The Desks

Those of you who have read my last post know that there were some issues surrounding my trip to see Inception last weekend. If you haven't read my last post,Avoiding the Inception doghouse

I'm pretty sure my wife will have no problem confirming this: I'm addicted to The Sing-Off.  Last year's show blew my mind with the talent involved. This year matches thatThe Sing-Off: recap and predictions

I thought I'd give the site a new look, so I went searching for a new theme. I'm not entirely sold on this one yet, but I'm giving it aNew theme

... and then nothing but disappointment. That pretty much describes this podcast. Really there is some interesting stuff discussed somewhere in there, but to get to it, you have toGrand opening...

The Simple Dollar » An Introduction To Compound Interest With Spreadsheets, Part 2: Monthly Compound Interest, APRs, and APYs I was never really clear on the difference between Annual Percentage RateAPRs and APYs - What's the difference?

Slideshow: Vampire for Minn. Governor I don't even know what to say about this. It's simultaneously hilarious, alarming, depressing, and sick.WGAL.com - Slideshow

Vanguard − The "Dilbert" guide to personal finance This list from Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, is about 2 years old, but I just saw it for the first time,Personal Finance advice from "Dilbert"

(I'm pretty much stealing this post from Walt. I didn't ask him. Is that a breach of civility?) So the Today show is doing a series called "Is Civility Dead?" BelowDeath of Civility

Well, I had planned on another retrospective post to celebrate 5 years of typing random things into this blog, but the day passed a few days ago and it doesn't5th Blogiversary

Interviews & Features - NBC's Heroes: The Show's Secrets Unmasked! | TVGuide.com The show finally premieres tonight at 9pm! I just ran across this TVGuide.com article with some interesting news. ForHeroes: Last minute notes!

Through watching the Randy Pausch lecture (mentioned in my previous post) I discovered a great free tool for learning how to program, called Alice. What's different about Alice is thatAlice: Through the Monitor (or Creating new worlds for Novices)

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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