Evolution Revolution * How Blogging Changed My Life

September 29, 2008

Technology can be used to amplify, enhance and extend how we share information. We can engage in one-to-many conversations using mobile devices and share real-time video using tools like Qik. Not since the invention of the printing press, has the world seen such a revolutionary shift in communication.

While reading Problogger, I found this inspirational video showing how Glenda Watson Hyatt uses blogging to connect with people in a very revolutionary way. Glenda is a web accessibility consultant who was tasked to investigate the accessiblity of the blogging platform WordPress. She describes the evolution her written word from email to “hitting the publish button” for her first blog post.

Film School for Video Podcasters * Keepin’ it reel

September 17, 2008

I will be attending the I wish I was going to the K12 Online Conference to check out Mathew Needleman’s Film School for Video Podcasters presentation. It looks very hands on, practical and what is the f-word…oh yeah, FUN! As with any craft, film theory can make a world of difference when it comes to the final reel. Whether it be tips like the 180 rule, shot selection or using a well executed montage, technique can enhance the experience, or (if used incorrectly) distract from it.

If you are into eLearning and are planning to attend the next eLearning Guild DevLearn08 in San Jose this November, come by a presentation/workshop that I am presenting with collegue, George Aston, called “Getting Hi-fi with Low-fi!”, in which we will cover using simple and cheap video props with solid film theory to create effective video learning experiences.

The writing is on the wall, regular people are getting their hands on easy to use tools to create and deliver video…aka user generated video content. Besides marketing specialists and social media enthusiasts, eLearning professionals can also benefit from not only harnessing the (video) power of their organization, but also getting their return on investiment from rapidly developed content.

Here is a presentation video preview from Mathew’s blog:

A few sections in Mathew’s presentation video preview totally remind of the movie Be Kind Rewind, which has a bunch of movie remake gems with Jack Black and Mos Def.

Do learning styles exist? * Brain Rules

September 4, 2008

Do learning styles exist?


Dr. Willingham, Cognitive Psychologist posted a video, which shares his thoughts on how learning styles don’t exist. I discovered it from Brent S. who discovered it from Clive Shepherd who discovered it from Stephen Downes.

I am certainly on board with challenging the existence of learning styles and am very interesting in finding out more information about what “something close to the theory” is. Please forward resources my way!

“Good teaching is good teaching…teachers do not have to adjust their learning styles.” Dr. Willingham says. I agree on the strength of good analogies and stories, whether auditory, visual or kinesthetic. Although, teachers will obviously need to consider adjustment for special needs.

Browsing through Dr. Willingham’s articles, I wanted to share a Q & A related to the use of stories.

Question: I have read that the mind treats stories differently than other types of information. It seems obvious that people like listening to stories, but it’s not obvious how to use that in the classroom. Is it really true that stories are somehow “special” and, if so, how can teachers capitalize on that fact?

Answer: Research from the last 30 years shows that stories are indeed special. Stories are easy to comprehend and easy to remember, and that’s true not just because people pay close attention to stories; there is something inherent in the story format that makes them easy to understand and remember. Teachers can consider using the basic elements of story structure to organize lessons and introduce complicated material, even if they don’t plan to tell a story in class.

Brain Rules Rocks

I agree with Brent about John Medina’s Brain Rules, which I am listening to as I write this. I am excited to check out his keynote at DevLearn08. Check out his Rules tutorials.

EXERCISE | Rule #1: Exercise boosts brain power.
SURVIVAL | Rule #2: The human brain evolved, too.
WIRING | Rule #3: Every brain is wired differently.
ATTENTION | Rule #4: We don’t pay attention to boring things.
SHORT-TERM MEMORY | Rule #5: Repeat to remember.
LONG-TERM MEMORY | Rule #6: Remember to repeat.
SLEEP | Rule #7: Sleep well, think well.
STRESS | Rule #8: Stressed brains don’t learn the same way.
SENSORY INTEGRATION | Rule #9: Stimulate more of the senses.
VISION | Rule #10: Vision trumps all other senses.
GENDER | Rule #11: Male and female brains are different.
EXPLORATION | Rule #12: We are powerful and natural explorers.