Danielle Villegas: Design of Learning

Danielle Villegas

Danielle Villegas

This is a great blog post by Clark Quinn, e-learning guru whom I think highly of. His post talks about whether there is a science to learning (spoiler: there is) and how e-learning professionals should frame it as learning engineers. It got me wondering how content engineers and other technical communicators beyond those in the e-learning field approach this.

Design like a pro

In other fields of endeavors, there is a science behind the approaches.  In civil engineering, it’s the properties of materials.  In aviation, it’s aeronautical engineering.  In medicine, it’s medical science.  If you’re going to be a professional in your field, you have to know the science.  So, two questions: is there a science of learning, and is it used.  The answers appear to be yes and no.  And yet, if you’re going to be a learning designer or engineer, you should know the science and be using it.

There is a science of learning, and it’s increasingly easy to find.  That’s the premise behind the Serious eLearning Manifesto, for instance (read it, sign it, use it!).  You could read Julie Dirksen’s Design for How People Learn as a very good interpretation of the science.  The Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center is compiling research to provide guidance about learning if you want a fuller scientific treatment.  Or read Bransford, et al’s summary of the science of How People Learna very rich overview.  And Hess & Saxberg’s recent Breakthrough Leadership in the Digital Age: Using Learning Science to Reboot Schooling is both a call for why and some guidance on how.

Among the things we know are that rote and abstract information isn’t retained, knowledge test doesn’t mean ability to do, getting it right once doesn’t mean it’s known, the list goes on.  Yet, somehow, we see elearning tools like ‘click to learn more’ (er, less), tarted up quiz show templates to drill knowledge, easy ways to take content and add quizzes to them, and more.  We see elearning that’s arbitrary info dump and simplistic knowledge test.  Which will have a negligible impact on anything meaningful.

We’re focused on speed and cost efficiencies, not on learning outcomes, and that’s not professional.  Look, if you’re going to do design, do it right.   Anything less is really malpractice!

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Sep 25

Worth a Look: Buycott – Stop Funding Evil

logo buycottHave you ever wondered whether the money you spend ends up funding causes you oppose?

Buycott helps you to organize your everyday consumer spending so you can fund causes you support and avoid funding those you disagree with.

Example: During the SOPA/PIPA debate in 2012, a number of companies pushed to pass legislation that reduced online freedom of expression, while other companies fought hard to oppose the legislation. With Buycott, a campaign can be quickly created around a cause, with the goal of targeting companies with a boycott unless they change their position, or buycotting a company to show your support.

When you use Buycott to scan a product, it will look up the product, determine what brand it belongs to, and figure out what company owns that brand (and who owns that company, ad infinitum). It will then cross-check the product owners against the companies and brands included in the campaigns you’ve joined, in order to tell you if the scanned product conflicts with one of your campaign commitments.

Learn more.

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Sep 25

SchwartzReport: No one Cares About Climate Change

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

Did you notice as well? The paucity of coverage about the climate change rallies on the major cable and broadcast channels. Occasional mentions, but nothing sustained. You could see it on the Weather Channel, but not MSNBC. I have been really struck by this. As well as the lack of discussion about what has happened. Here is one of the best accounts of the experience I have seen.

Re: No one Cares About Climate Change
JOHN D. SUTTER – CNN

NEW YORK — You could be forgiven for thinking no one cares — or even should care, right now — about climate change.

For starters, there’s all that other terrifying stuff competing for attention: President Barack Obama’s war with ISIS; the Ebola outbreak, which recently put Sierra Leone on national lockdown; Ukraine; Scotland; wife-beating athletes. That scary guy in Pennsylvania.

The world seems like a pretty big mess right now.

The climate? Not top of the agenda.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Sep 23

Yoda: Uruguay in the Lead – Jose Mujica, the World’s Most Radically Well-Intentioned President?

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

José Mujica: is this the world’s most radical president?

Uruguay’s José Mujica lives in a tiny house rather than the presidential palace, and gives away 90% of his salary. He’s legalised marijuana and gay marriage. But his greatest legacy is governing without giving up his revolutionary ideals

EXTRACT

A bust of Che Guevara peers down from a bookshelf in Mujica’s farmhouse. “He was unforgettable, a mould-breaker,” the president said. “He marked our entire youth.” Yet the man who, inspired by Guevara, once blew up factories owned by foreigners now offers them tax breaks. “I need capitalism to work, because I have to levy taxes to attend to the serious problems we have. Trying to overcome it all too abruptly condemns the people you are fighting for to suffering, so that instead of more bread, you have less bread,” he said. Not all Tupamaros have accompanied Mujica on his journey to soft, pragmatic socialism. “They left their ideals in their prison cells,” the former hostage Jorge Zabalza proclaimed recently. “Some old compañeros won’t understand,” Mujica said. “They don’t see our battle against people’s everyday problems, that life is not a utopia.”

Read full article.

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Sep 22

Jean Lievens: Michigan Outlaws Personal Gardens — Is Michigan Stupid? Or Just Corrupt? Localities Need to NULLIFY!

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Personal Gardening and Farming Are Becoming Illegal

There once was a time when vegetable gardening and backyard farming were not endangered; these activities were a way of life. However, with booming big agriculture business comes the need for monetary and job security, which means that threatening the productivity of big agriculture will not be tolerated. With Michigan’s recent ban on backyard farming, along with many states regulating the amount of garden space individuals may have in their yard, the ability for Americans to grow their own food and feed themselves is becoming a thing of the past. The future of personal gardening and farming is in danger and may become illegal altogether.

Michigan recently announced that it has made changes to its Right to Farm Act, which allowed home owners to keep a small amount of livestock on their property without being considered a nuisance, as long as the rules of the Act were followed. Chickens, beehives and goats will officially no longer be tolerated on the properties of urban and suburban farmers, due to the protection of the Right to Farm Act being lifted from small home farmers. Some Michigan farmers believe this new ruling is in place because large producers do not want individuals to provide for themselves or their families; the believed goal is to ensure all are dependent on grocers and mass producers.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Sep 22

SchwartzReport: Wind/Solar Surpass Oil as Investment

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

We have reached the tipping point in the transition out of carbon, and the momentum of this historic change is just beginning to gather speed. This is profoundly good news. Click through to see the charts and tables.

$100B in Wind or Solar Will Now Produce More Energy Than the Same Investment in Oil
Impact Lab/Reader Supported News

Kepler Chevreux, a French investment bank, has produced a fascinating analysis that has dramatic implications for the global oil industry. The investment bank estimates that $100 billion invested in either wind energy or solar energy – and deployed as energy for light and commercial vehicles – will produce significantly more energy than that same $100 billion invested in oil.

The implications, needless to say, are dramatic. It would signal the end of Big Oil, and the demise of an industry that has dominated the global economy and geo-politics, for the last few decades. And the need for it to reshape its business model around renewables, as we discuss here.

Read full article.

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Sep 21

SchwartzReport: Localism Accelerating — Virtual Secession

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

Here is some excellent news about the Localism Trend. I am beginning to see in many trends a meta-trend emerging. The shift of power to the local level. It is, I think, a response to the perceived corruption of all branches of the Federal government to the service of the uber-rich. Power then began moving to the states but, even there this same corruption is at work, and so it ! steps down to the local level.

Beyond the CSA: Four Ways Communities Support Everything From Books to Beer
DANA DRUGMAND – Yes!

Since the first community supported agriculture program was established in western Massachusetts in the 1980s, the concept of buying food directly from local farms has taken off. There are now thousands of CSAs across the country. It’s a simple enough model-consumers purchase a share of the season’s harvest upfront, and they get a box or bag of fresh, locally grown produce each week from the farm.

And this model is not restricted to farming. In recent years, people have applied the CSA idea to other types of goods and services such as dining out, microbrews, and even fish. It’s a system that works for both producers and consumers. Here are some of our favorite examples.

Read full article.

See Also:

Secession @ Phi Beta Iota

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Sep 21

Anthony Judge: Reimagining Tesla’s Creativity through Technomimicry – Psychosocial empowerment by imagining charged conditions otherwise

Anthony Judge

Anthony Judge

Reimagining Tesla’s Creativity through Technomimicry

Psychosocial empowerment by imagining charged conditions otherwise

Introduction
Fulsome appreciation of the problem-filled life of an eccentric genius
Creative insight into handling duality
Progressive engagement of the gifted with reality
Visual thinking as indicated by Tesla and by consideration thereof
Psychosocial relevance of Tesla’s creative process
Imagining a method for adapting Tesla’s insights to a psychosocial context
Detecting a meta-pattern of connectivity amongst Tesla’s insights
Patterns of patterns: towards dynamic integrative mapping of inventions
Potential implications of alternation and rotation in psychosocial fields
Psychosocial insights from the electrical War of Currents — AC versus DC
Tesla as an extraordinarily instructive experimental failure
Encycling positive and negative for future sustainability
References

See Also:

Anthony Judge @ Phi Beta Iota

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Sep 20

Berto Jongman: US in 5-134 Wars (Right Now)

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

The US is now involved in 134 wars or none, depending on your definition of ‘war’

The White House spent much of last week trying to figure out if the word “war” was the right one to describe its military actions against the Islamic State.

US Secretary of State John Kerry was at first reluctant:

“We’re engaged in a major counterterrorism operation,” he told CBS News on Sept. 11. “I think war is the wrong terminology and analogy but the fact is that we are engaged in a very significant global effort to curb terrorist activity… I don’t think people need to get into war fever on this. I think they have to view it as a heightened level of counter terrorist activity.”

Kerry said similarly hedgy things during interviews on CNN and ABC.

By the next day, the Obama administration appeared more comfortable with the word war, yet hardly offered any more clarity. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters, “The United States is at war with ISIL in the same way we are at war with Al Qaeda and its affiliates.”

The problem is that our traditional definition of “war” is outdated, and so is our imagination of what war means.

Read full article.

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Sep 20

Chuck Spinney: Uri Avnery on the Obsolescence of the Nation-State

Chuck Spinney

Chuck Spinney

Scotland on the Euphrates

The Obsolescence of the Nation-State

by URI AVNERY

Counterpunch, WEEKEND EDITION SEPTEMBER 19-21, 2014

[This essay originally appeared at http://www.avnery-news.co.il/english/index.html ]

TWO COUNTRIES competed this week for first place in news programs all over the world: Scotland and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

There could not be a greater difference than between these two countries. Scotland is damp and cold, Iraq is hot and dry. Scotland is called after its whisky (or the other way round), while for ISIS fighters, drinking alcohol is the mark of unbelievers, who should lose their head (literally).

However, there is one common denominator of both crises: they mark the approaching demise of the nation-state.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Sep 20