Archive | September 2009

Adobe Cookbooks

Adobe’s Developer Connection has added Adobe Cookbookshttp://cookbooks.adobe.com/home.

Members can post Adobe code for Flash, Flex, Air, ColdFusion, Dreamweaver, and other Adobe products. At this point the majority of the code shared is ActionScript and Flex code. Anyone interested can browse the cookbooks and no registration required. If you are interested in contributing code and interacting with other members, then registration is required or log-in with your Adobe account if you already have one. The site has community moderators, who monitor and facilitate discussions and also have the ability to improve the content.

Adobe Cookbooks at http://cookbooks.adobe.com/home

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Video – A Vision of K-12 Students Today

Here is a video created to inspire teachers to use technology to engage our “digital natives.”

Created by B. Nesbitt

Learning Executives Discuss Social Learning

Tonight I was lucky enough to attend a Tony Bingham (ASTD’s CEO) presentation at University of MD, Baltimore County (UMBC). A very engaging presentation about maximizing learning in the workplace and informal learning. He also shared several videos including the one below that I would like to share here.

The executives in the video are Mike McDermott (T Rowe Price), Karie Willyerd (Sun Microsystems), and Walt McFarland (Booz Allen Hamilton).

Ordering Training is Not Like Ordering Pizza

All too often people request training and have already determined the delivery medium they want. Their decision is usually for various reasons, such as convenience or cost, but not because it is the most effective way to teach the content.

To borrow a phrase from a former boss,  “ordering training is not like ordering pizza.” It is crucial to step back and begin with a need analysis, identifying the audience, their training need(s),  the learning objectives, etc. We must also conduct a content analysis. Only then can the best medium(s) of delivery be determined with confidence.  It may be e-learning, classroom training or blended learning.

In regards to using content analysis to make this determination, here is a very helpful article by Seung Youn Chyung and Armi Stephanie Treñas, published in Learning Solutions e-Magazine – Content Design for Performance-Oriented Reusable Blended Learning. You will need to log-in to access it. If you are not a member,  joining as an associate member is free.

The authors provide a practical approach to analyzing instructional content with the purpose of determining the best media to deliver the content. They focus on teaching content in the cognitive domain. Here is a rule of thumb they provide that I agree with “As a rule of thumb, it would be cost-effective to use self-paced e-Learning for delivering declarative knowledge and some of procedural knowledge that can be codified fairly easily. On the other hand, it may prove rather difficult, although not impossible, to facilitate the development of situated knowledge via e-Learning alone.”

If you want to get a better handle on determining what is best taught online, in the classroom or blended, this article is a great start. If clients are telling you the delivery medium instead of asking what the best delivery medium will be, follow the article’s advice and you will save yourself a lot of time and trouble. And don’t forget to tell them “ordering training is not like ordering pizza.”

A Lot of Ingenuity and $148

Project Icarus photo near spaceTwo MIT students were able to accomplish a near space flight, capture images at 93,000 feet, track it with a GPS, and recover the equipment upon its return to Earth. You would think this would involve very high tech, expensive equipment. It did not. They did it with a weather balloon, cooler, a used digital camera, GPS enabled cell phone, and open source software. A total cost of $148.

I think this is very inspiring for those of us who may not have access to  high end technology and large budgets. These students truly demonstrate that with ingenuity and “can do” attitude a lot is possible in spite of limited budgets.

FYI: The time lapse video is shaky because the cooler that held the camera was not stabilized.

Go to their website to read the details of the Icarus Project and find links to pictures and interviews – http://space.1337arts.com. I am sure we will be hearing a lot more from these MIT students.

Feds on the Cloud

U.S. Federal agencies are utilizing cloud computing and now have an app store, Apps.gov, which provides federal agencies and their staff with cloud computing applications. This includes business apps, productivity apps, social media apps, and cloud IT services.

Here is the video Apps.gov provides as an introduction to cloud computing.

https://www.apps.gov/images/cloud/swf/cloud_flash.swf

Many corporations, and individuals, are still very hesitant to use the cloud, but hopefully the government’s move to using the cloud will encourage others to use it. Especially if the government’s use results in efficiencies, cost cutting, and being environment friendly.

How will cloud computing affect education? The Don’t Waste Your Time blog just added a post on this very question. And he gives the “good” and the “bad.”

You can also read how Google is playing a role in this.

The Free e-Learning Page Hits 100

The Free e-Learning Page just reached 100 e-learning courses/tutorials. Here are the categories that have been established thus far:

  • Archaeology, Anthropology and Paleontology
  • Art
  • Compliance
  • Computer
  • Finance
  • Flash (Adobe Flash tutorials)
  • Instructional Design
  • K-12  (fun for adults too)
  • Public Health and Safety
  • Science
  • Sports
  • Wacom (graphics tablet)
  • Misc.

I continually added course as I find them. New categories are also added, as needed. The page contains plenty of great examples of e-learning and all are absolutely free, take a look. And if you have an e-learning course that allows open access, please let me me know and I will be happy to add it to the list.