Sunday, December 23, 2007

Privacy and Accuracy

Seems like just the time I settle in on a service of choice (for me it is my LinkedIn page), I receive a new request to join another colleague's network, which of course is based on their preference.

BusinessWeek reports an interested trend as more professionals create their online presence using these tools. A growing number of statups are aggregating information from various online sites like FaceBook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Plaxo and others to "track people and their reputations" as well as provide a single source for editing and maintaining their online profiles.

The challenge is around privacy and accuracy. For example, I recently received a request to join a colleagues network on Spock. When I arrived, I found several threads from other profiles I had created online, but also threads for others with my name, but who are clearly not me.

For the record, while these are real facts for others that share my name, they should not be showing up on my page on the Spock site:

  • Senior Project Manager at Northrop Grumman

  • Member of the State of New York Legislature in 1788


  • These can be confirmed by voting on or off one's profile, but the individual must go to the trouble to do this on a regular basis.

    From a workplace perspective, what should be taken into consideration when creating online profiles and how can you protect not only your privacy but also your credibility as those who do not know you may become confused as they are unable to distinguish names and who they belong to?

    SOURCE: Stead, Deborah, ed. (2007, September 24). It Isn't Just YourSpace Anymore. BusinessWeek, 13

    Tuesday, December 18, 2007

    "Professional" Social Networking

    Many professionals are warming up to the idea of using social networking tools to help extend their professional networks--especially those finding themselves in a job search. Popular tools are LinkedIn and Plaxo, but now that FaceBook has opened up to non-students, this is also emerging with some.

  • What concerns should professionals have when using these tools?

  • Should professionals keep separation between their "professional" and "personal" networks?

  • Should employers search these or other internet sources as they recruit or qualify candidates?
  • Saturday, December 15, 2007

    Virtually Everywhere

    Semper International, along with many other organizations are turning to Web 2.0 technologies for social networking, blogs and other technologies to play a key role in it's recruiting initiatives. Read more in the December 10, 2007 issue of Workforce Management .

    How does your organization use MySpace, LinkedIn, Second Life or Facebook for HR-related activities?

    Wednesday, December 12, 2007

    Unintended Broadcasting

    One of the features of many social networking sites like LinkedIn, FaceBook, MySpace and others is the ability to control the connections between family, friends, and colleagues and share information with them that others outside the network cannot see.

    Whether it is contact information, lists of favorites, or other bits of information, this feature is in large part one of the strengths of these tools which draw people together because of some shared interest or experience.

    Many of these sites are seeking ways to make a buck. The most common way to do this is either to provide features that are only available by agreeing to pay a subscription to access these features and the other way is to incorporate advertising.

    Steven Levy asks an interesting question about FaceBooks move to integrate "social advertising" into its site. This feature essentially generates an "ad" based on products or services used by its members. The problem Levy identifies is that these ads are not controlled by the members but are rather auto-generated by the site.

    There are numerous issues raised with this type of approach ranging from member privacy, control of information to unintended "sponsorship" of products and services used by members.

    From a workplace perspective, what issues are raised as members make personal choices for products which may be from competitors? Should employees fear retaliation from their employer as this information is "broadcast" to their community (which may contain co-workers) without their knowledge or permission?

    Levy, Steven (2007, December 10). Do Real Friends Share Ads? Newsweek, 30.

    Saturday, December 08, 2007

    Social Networking Site Review

  • Confused by the many social networking sites available?

  • Are you thinking social networking is only for those under 30?


  • Check out reviews of feature/capabilities of the leading social networking sites, and find one that fits your needs.

    Thursday, November 01, 2007

    Google Phones?

    I like Google. And I love my iPhone because of the way this changes the way we think about this "mobile communications device." Apparently Google is looking at ways to enter the cell-phone business and take their business model of ad-based service to a new level.

    Would you use a Google Phone? Would you want ads on your cell phone?

    SOURCE: Crockett, R.O. (2007, October 8). Will a Google Phone Change the Game? Businessweek, p. 38.

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    Social Pressure

    I agree with Jon Fine that there is an overwhelming sense that Facebook is a "must have" for everyone, whether or not you fully understand what it is or how you would use it. The once "for students only" social networking network utility, the recent purchase of MySpace by Rupert Murdoch has promted Facebook to shift into hyper-gear in an attempt to win not only market share but market hype and heart as well. Like Mr. Fine, I too have succumbed and have my own Facebook site which you can find by the proverbial link below:
    Stephen B. Carman's Facebook profile

    Of course, like many, I am awaiting the mashup that will allow me to update one site and publish to the many (many) sites that are springing up.

    Source: Fine, Jon (2007, September 17). O.K. (Sigh), I'll Join Facebook. BusinessWeek, 24

    Saturday, August 04, 2007

    Mobile Wave or Fad?


    So I took the plunge and jumped into the latest wave. Some question whether this is more like a fad.

    With the integration of video as well as the other expected features of phone, e-mail and web, the question is how can this device be leveraged for performance support with a geographically disperse workforce?

    Time will tell...for now, it's not only a cool device that works, it is also a great conversation starter.

    Friday, May 25, 2007

    MIM

    I have never really connected with the idea of Instant Messaging. Not sure if it was the crazy abbreviations, being in a mobile job, or not being fond of interruptions. So, needless-to-say, I was not really surprised when I read the Steven Levy story about Jack Dorsey's new startup Twitter which is a service that allows you to update all your friends and family what you are doing, even when you are mobile (MIM=Mobile Instant Messaging). Not sure I want people to know where I am or what I am doing 24x7, and I would have concerns for my daughters or anyone who may turn from friend to stalker. Like any new technology, there will be flashes in the pan, evolutions and innovations that will find their way into our behavior as second nature.

    Source: Levy, Steven (2007, April 9). Twitter: Is Brevity The Next Big Thing? Newsweek, 26

    Network (really) TV

    Funny how words have a way of evolving. We have all understood "network" television to mean the major networks delivered over satellite or cable to our homes. With the many innovations happening on the internet, Steven Levy with Emily Flynn Vencat have introduced us to a new idea in Network TV: Joost which turns your computer into the delivery device which threatens the future of the traditional TV set. Joost does for copyrighted content what YouTube has done for individual/amateur content: provided a mechanism for people to tailor content to their needs. Considered "peer-to-peer" and "on-demand" this technology adds rich content to our social networks and provides another way for people to connect around shared interests.

    Source: Levy, Steven (2007, May 14). Trashing the Tube. Newsweek, 48

    Sunday, April 29, 2007

    Producer Principles

    We heard in the period of the mid-eighties and nineties that "content was king" in the e-learning space. And yet, what the learning industry seems to continue to focus on is the delivery modality and instructional design methodology.

    As we look at other creative industries, it is interesitng to note their focus. John J. Lee, Jr. says the number one principle for producers is:

    Discovering, developing, and producing quality stories is the central focus. Story is the single most essential, important, and powerful asset.

    I would say that rather than "content being king" it is context, that is to say "the set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event or situation" that give it it's meaning. Without context or "story" you don't have much more than facts on pages--electronic pages maybe, but pages none-the-less.

    Reactions? Thoughts?

    Learn more about this resource at:

    Tuesday, April 24, 2007

    Tasty Training or Cheesy Training?

    This is cheesy on many levels, but does make me wonder about the entertainment value. Check it out:



    Would you consider this creative? Effective? Worth it?

    Thursday, April 19, 2007

    MySpace or OurSpace?

    Most are now agreeing that social networking has taken the Internet by storm. This "storm" is due in part to the maturity of technical infrastructures and the explosion of self-publishing and social networking applications, but mostly because that is where individuals in mass are gathering.

    The real challenge/question for organizations is should they offer similar tools in their corporate communities?

    Read the following Talent Management article by associate editor Tegan Jones and join in with your thoughts.

    QUESTIONS
  • What are the corporate fears?

  • Why the corporate hesitation?

  • What are the benefits?

  • How should it be/not be managed?
  • Wednesday, April 18, 2007

    20 Things You Learn from Video Games

    #1

    There is no problem that cannot be overcome by force.

    SOURCE: Unknown

    Tuesday, April 17, 2007

    Monday, April 16, 2007

    20 Things You Learn from Video Games

    #4

    One lone "good guy" can defeat an infinite number of "bad guys."

    SOURCE: Unknown

    20 Things You Learn from Video Games

    #5

    Make sure you eat all food lying on the ground.

    SOURCE: Unknown

    Saturday, April 14, 2007

    Friday, April 13, 2007

    Socialite.com

    Socialight is a fun, new community that lets you connect in totally new ways - by creating, sharing, and discovering virtual Sticky Notes placed at specific locations using your mobile phone or the web.

    Socialight is a location-based information service. Geeks call it "geo-tagging". With this service, you can create Stickies anywhere in the world for your friends, for everyone, or just for yourself. They can now contain text and photos, and soon you'll be able to add sound clips and video.

    Watch this video to learn more:


    The company claims benefits like:

  • Looking for restaurant reviews from friends whose opinions you trust? Use your cell phone to access their creative take on the food and service…before you’re led to your table.

  • Want the inside scoop on the coolest, hard-to-find shops in London? Use your mobile phone to see what your fashion-forward friends have tagged in a particular shopping district.


  • There are obvious concerns and critics with anything new, especially as it relates to security. Not that I believe anyone will be stalking me, there are some who this may be an issue.

    QUESTIONS:
  • What are your thoughts about how employees may use this service on business trips?

  • What policies (if any) do you feel the organization should put in place to protect their people and/or themselves?
  • 20 Things You Learn from Video Games

    #9

    If you get mad enough, you can fight even better.

    SOURCE: Unknown

    20 Things You Learn from Video Games

    #10

    You can overcome most adversaries simply by having enough quarters.

    SOURCE: Unknown

    Thursday, April 12, 2007

    20 Things You Learn from Video Games

    #11

    You can operate all weapons without training.

    SOURCE: Unknown

    20 Things You Learn from Video Games

    #12

    No matter how long you fight, you can always fight again.

    SOURCE: Unknown

    Tuesday, April 10, 2007

    Monday, April 09, 2007

    20 Things You Learn from Video Games

    #15

    Whenever big fat mean guys are about to croak, they begin flashing red or yellow.

    SOURCE: Unknown

    20 Things You Learn from Video Games

    #16

    You never run out of ammunition, just grenades.

    SOURCE: Unknown

    20 Things You Learn from Video Games

    #17

    All women wear revealing clothes and have great bodies.

    SOURCE: Unknown

    Sunday, April 08, 2007

    20 Things You Learn from Video Games

    #18

    Shoot everything. If it blows up or dies, it was bad.

    SOURCE: Unknown

    Saturday, April 07, 2007

    20 Things You Learn from Video Games

    #19

    Don't worry if your vehicle crashes and explodes. A new vehicle will appear in its place.

    SOURCE: Unknown

    Friday, April 06, 2007

    20 Things You Learn from Video Games

    #20

    A thousand-to-one odds against you is NOT a problem.

    SOURCE: Unknown

    Tuesday, April 03, 2007

    Insider Principle

    The learner is an "insider," "teacher," and "producer" (not just a "consumer") able to customize the learning experience and domain/game from the beginning and throughout the experience.

    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Affinity Group Principle

    Learners constitute an "affinity group," that is, a group that is bonded primarily through shared endeavors, goals, and practices and not shared race, gender, nation, ethnicity, or culture.

    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Dispersed Principle

    Meaning/knowledge is dispersed in the sense that the learner shares it with others outside the domain/game, some of whom the learner may rarely or never see face-to-face.

    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Distributed Principle

    Meaning/knowledge is distributed across the learner, objects, tools, symbols, technologies, and the environment.

    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Saturday, March 31, 2007

    Cultural Models about Semiotic Domains Principle

    Learning is set up in such a way that learners come to think consciously and reflectively about their cultural models about a particular semiotic domain they are learning, without denigration of their identities, abilities, or social affiliations, and juxtapose them to new models about this domain.


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Cultural Models about Learning Principle

    Learning is set up in such a way that learners come to think consciously and reflectively about their cultural models of learning and themselves as learners, without denigration of their identities, abilities, or social affiliations, and juxtapose them to new models of learning and themselves as learners.


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Cultural Models about the World Principle

    Learning is set up in such a way that learners come to think consciously and reflectively about some of their cultural models regarding the world, without denigration of their identities, abilities, or social affiliations, and juxtapose them to new models that may conflict with or otherwise relate to them in various ways.


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007

    Learning Dilemma

    James Paul Gee makes an interesting observation in his book What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003):

    Humans need overt information, but they have a hard time handling it. They also need immersion in actual contexts of practice, but they can find such contexts confusing without overt information and guidance.


    Questions:
  • Is content really king?

  • What needs to happen with today's training, regardless of modality, to ensure it is relevant and contextualized for our target audience?


  • For more information or your own copy, click the link below:

    Transfer Principle

    Learners are given ample opportunity to practice, and support for, transferring what they have learned earlier to later problems, including problems that require adapting and transforming that earlier learning.

    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Discovery Principle

    Overt telling is kept to a well-thought-out minimum, allowing ample opportunity for the learner to experiment and make discoveries.

    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Explicit Information On-Demand and Just-in-Time Principle

    The learner is given explicit information both on-demand and just-in-time, when the learner needs it or just at the point where the information can best be understood and used in practice.

    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Bottom-up Basic Skills Principle

    Basic skills are not learned in isolation or out of context; rather, what counts as a basic skill is discovered bottom up by engaging in more and more of the game/domain or game/domains like it. Basic skills are genre elements of a given type of dame/domain.


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Concentrated Sample Principle

    The learner sees, especially early on, many more instances of fundamental signs and actions than would be the case in a less controlled sample. Fundamental signs and actions are concentrated in the early stages so that learners get to practice them often and learn them well.

    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Incremental Principle

    Learning situations are ordered in the early stages so that earlier cases lead to generalizations that are fruitful for later cases. When learners face more complex cases later, the learning space (the number and type of guesses the learner can make) is constrained by the sorts of fruitful patterns or generalizations the learner has found earlier.

    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Subset Principle

    Learning even at its start takes place in a (simplified) subset of the real domain.

    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Monday, March 26, 2007

    Adjusting to Generation Y

    Barbara Rose reported in an article in Hartford Courant (CT) (03/19/07) recently that:
    Employers adopt high-tech training strategies to engage the growing number of Generation Y employees, according to experts. Generation Y is the most rapidly-growing workforce segment, currently making up 20 percent of the private sector. To entertain, teach, and impress those who grew up in the era of gaming and instant messaging, employers are now using computer games and simulations, animated training modules, and video blogs instead of traditional recruitment and training methods. These approaches help new employees memorize job details; the online games and quizzes also weed out those who are adverse to putting in time and effort. The new techniques--used by companies such as Nike, Cisco Systems, and Cold Stone Creamery--accommodate Generation Y's preference for short spurts of information rather than long explanations. Employers are also aware that Generation Y workers typically expect involved managers, rewards, and validation, which forces firms to reform their training strategies to accommodate those expectations. Nike credits its interactive "Sports Knowledge Underground" program with a 5 percent to 6 percent increase in sales. Cisco program manager Jerry Bush points out that after five minutes playing Cisco's binary math computer game, the employee solves 50 problems and is "highly engaged and having a good time."


    Questions:
  • It seems possible that some content may be necessary but unavailable in the higher production values this audience seems to demand. How do you manage the expectations of these learners?

  • How do you ensure the "short spurts of information" do not lead the learner down an unproductive path or leave out critical information?
  • Community of Practice

    James Paul Gee makes an interesting observation in his book What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003):

    It is common today for research on modern workplaces to point out that in today's high-tech and fast-changing world, the most valuable knowledge a business has is the tacit knowledge its workers gain through continually working with others in a 'community of practice' that adapts to specific situations and changes 'on the ground' as they happen. Such knowledge cannot always be verbalized. Even when it can be verbalized and placed in a training manual, by that time it is often out of date.


    Questions:
  • What does this say about the role of social networking in the workplace?

  • What does this say about the nature of "formal" training versus "informal training in the workplace?


  • For more information or your own copy, click the link below:

    Intuitive Knowledge Principle

    Intuitive or tacit knowledge built up in repeated practice and experience, often in association with an affinity group, counts a great deal and is honored. Not just verbal and conscious knowledge is rewarded.

    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    "Material Intelligence" Principle

    Thinking, problem solving and knowledge are "stored" in material objects and the environment. This frees learners to engage their minds with other things while combining the results of their own thinking with the knowledge stored in material objects and the environment to achieve yet more powerful effects.


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Multimodal Principle

    Meaning and knowledge are built up through various modalities (images, texts, symbols, interactions, abstract design, sound, etc.), not just words.

    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Intertextual Principle

    The learner understands texts as a family ("genre") of related texts and understands any one such text in relation to others in the family, but only after having embodied understandings of some texts. Understanding a group of texts as a family (genre) of texts is a large part of what helps the learner make sense of such texts.


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Text Principle

    Texts are not understood purely verbally (i.e., only in terms of the definitions of the words in the text and their text-internal relationships to each other) but are understood in terms of embodied experiences. Learners move back and forth between texts and embodied experiences. More purely verbal understanding (reading texts apart from embodied action) comes only when learners have had enough embodied experience in the domain and ample experiences with similar texts.


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Situated Meaning Principle

    The meanings of signs (words, actions, objects, artifacts, symbols, texts, etc.) are situated in embodied experience. Meanings are not general or decontextualized. Whatever generality meanings come to have is discovered bottom up via embodied experiences.


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Multiple Routes Principle

    There are multiple ways to make progress or move ahead. This allows learners to make choices, rely on their strengths and styles of learning and problem solving, while also exploring alternative styles.

    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Probing Principle

    Learning is a cycle of probing the world (doing something); reflecting in and on this action and, on this basis, forming a hypothesis; reprobing the world to test this hypothesis; and then accepting or rethinking the hypothesis.

    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Sunday, March 25, 2007

    Revolution or Redundancy

    Steven Levy interviewed Marc Andreesen (co-founder of Netscape) about how he envisions the emergence of social networking. Andreesen suggests "there are going to be social networks around every conceivable category" and is now co-founder of Ning which let's users set up their own social-networking sites.

    The business model is one we have seen before, supported by advertising, and confirms that while social networking may be mainstream as a way of interacting on the internet, it remains a convoluted mishmash of sites and services that will eventually converge into a few dominant providers. Eventually.

    Source: Levy, Steven (2007, March 19). The Internet Kid Grows Up. Newsweek, E6

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    Predictive Marketplaces

    The Masie Center is conducting an experiment using a new online tool for "Predictive Marketplace" forcasting. The link below is a marketplace where hundreds of learning colleagues can place "play" bets on this question:

    "What will employees, in 2009, use as their PRIMARY tools for everyday learning in the workplace?"

    Go to this free site, register and you will be given $5,000 play dollars to buy stocks for answers such as Classes, PodCasts, Classroom, Video Conferencing and others.

    The theory is to use a Predictive Marketplace as a tool for gathering the wisdom of the crowds. This marketplace will remain open until April 1st.

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    "Regime of Competence" Principle

    The learner gets ample opportunity to operate within, but at the outer edge of, his or her resources, so that at those points things are felt as challenging but not "undoable."


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Ongoing Learning Principle

    The distinction between learner and master is vague, since learners, thanks to the operation of the "regime of competence" principle, must, at higher and higher levels, undo their routinized mastery to adapt to new or changed conditions. There are cycles of new learning, automatization, undoing automatization, and new reorganized automatization.


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Practice Principle

    Learners get lots and lots of practice in context where the practice is not boring (i.e., in a virtual world that is compelling to learners on their own terms and where the learners experience ongoing success). They spend lots of time on task.


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Achievement Principle

    For learners of all levels of skill there are intrinsic rewards from the beginning, customized to each learner's level, effort, and growing mastery and signaling the learner's ongoing achievements.


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Amplification of Input Principle

    For a little input, learners get a lot of output.


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Self-Knowledge Principle

    The virtual world is constructed in such a way that learners learn not only about the domain but about themselves and their current and potential capacities.


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Identity Principle

    Learning involves taking on and playing with identities in such a way that the learner has real choices (in developing the virtual identity) and ample opportunity to meditate on the relationship between new identities and old ones. There is a tripartite play of identities as learners relate, and reflect on, their multiple real-world identities, a virtual identity, and a projective identity.


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Committed Learning Principle

    Learners participate in an extended engagement (loss of effort and practice) as extensions of their real-world identities in relation to a virtual identity to which they feel some commitment and a virtual world that they find compelling.


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    "Psychosocial Moratorium" Principle

    Learners can take risks in a space where real-world consequences are lowered.


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Metalevel Thinking about Semiotic Domains Principle

    Learning involves active and critical thinking about the relationships of the semiotic domain being learned to other semiotic domains.


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Semiotic Domains Principle

    Learning involves mastering, at some level, semiotic domains, and being able to participate, at some level, in the affinity groups connected to them.


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Semiotic Principle

    Learning about and coming to appreciate interrelations within and across multiple sign systems (images, words, actions, symbols, artifacts, etc.) as a complex system is core to the learning experience.


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Design Principle

    Learning about and coming to appreciate design and design principles is core to the learning experience.


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Active, Critical Learning Principle

    All aspects of the learning environment are set up to encourage active and critical, not passive, learning.


    For more details, see James Paul Gee. What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

    Thirty-Six Learning Principles

    The next several posts will be taken from the thirty-six learning principles gleaned from James Paul Gee, What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).



    In this work, Gee advocates active learning over passive noting four characteristics which must be present:

  • Experience: we learn to experience (see, feel, and operate on) the world in new ways.

  • Affiliation: we gain the potential to join a social group, to become affiliated with like-minded people.

  • Preparation: we gain resources that prepare us for future learning and problem solving.

  • Innovation: we learn how to innovate or synthesize the knowledge, skills or attitudes in unique ways.
  • Information Crisis

    A colleague recently shared an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education (Source: Section: Information Technology. Volume 53, Issue 27, Page A38).

    Information Navigation 101 by Andrea L. Foster explores new programs aimed at teaching undergraduates how to use the Internet and the online card catalog in search of the best sources.

    The article expresses the lament from many in academia that "students rely on Google or Wikipedia as sources, as if oblivious to peer-reviewed scholarship."

    It reminds me of the often quoted "if you build it they will come" which for the information age may be modified to express what many seem to believe:

    If it's published anywhere it is true.

    Patricia Senn Breivik and E. Gordon Gee, in their work, Information Literacy: Revolution in the Library (American Council on Education, Macmillan, 1989), effectively express the challenge many are feeling:
    "'information explosion' [is] fueling a crisis in the ability of people to solve problems and make decisions."

    Question
    How do we make advances in technology without negatively impacting critical skills needed in the workplace?

    Wednesday, February 28, 2007

    Tuesday, February 27, 2007

    Creative Instructional Design

    In a recent article by Tom Sehmel in eLearning Guild's Learning Solutions Magazine, Sehmel describes a growing disatisfaction with the design and development of many learning projects.

    The rethorical questions he asks in the abstract highlight the frustrations felt by many:

  • Do standard templates and rigid development processes have you feeling like you are stamping out identical parts instead of creative instructional solutions?

  • Do you worry that your learners are going to find content and treatment repetitive and boring after the second course?


  • In part one of his article, Creative Design Solutions for Three Training Projects, Sehemel overlays the ADDIE Process (Fig. 1)

    with what he calls the Document Flow Process (Fig. 2)

    to illustrate how these compliment one another to produce more creative training solutions.

    What do you do to ensure more creativity in the courses you develop?

    Saturday, February 17, 2007

    Learning by Doing

    aka How to develop engaging, interactive learning experiences

    I recently finished the second book by Clark Aldrich on educational simulations. Learning by Doing: A Comprehensive Guide to Simulations, Computer Games, and Pedagogy in e-Learning and Other Educational Experiences (Pfeiffer, 2005) is a good primer and foundational piece for anyone interested in educational simulations, which Aldrich defines as:

    "A variety of selectively interactive, selectively representational environments that can provide highly effective learning experiences. They do this in part by teaching cyclical and systems as well as linear content.

    At the same time they include not only the pure modeling elements of simulations but two other elements:

  • Game elements, to make the experience more enjoyable (or at least less tedious or frustrating)

  • Pedagogical elements, to set up the experience by explaining the critical elements, to help during the simulation, and then at the end to explain what happened and how it ties back to real life.


  • Aldrich goes on to explain this definition as one "only an analyst could love" recalling his background with Garnter. My experience with corporations and vendors working on projects would prove there are many who share this sentiment as we pursue a different way of learning that is more relevant and engaging.

    The first Aldrich book on this topic was Simulations and the Future of Learning: An Innovative (and Perhaps Revolutionary) Approach to e-Learning (Pfeiffer, 2004). This was an excellent case study in how the simulation VirtualLeader was developed.

    Want to purchase your own copies? Click on the links below:

    Wednesday, January 31, 2007

    Implementation Challenge

    In Neil Rackham's work Major Account Sales Strategy (New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1989), he talks about the three stages of implementation:

    1. “New Toy” Stage - a few simple successes with little effort.
    2. Learning Stage - hard work but not much to show for it.
    3. Effectiveness Stage - full results achieved with much less effort.

    Below is an illustrated view of this idea.



    We're all familiar with the "change curve" which is basically an inverted bell curve any time we experience something new or unfamiliar. Rackham characterizes this as levels of motivation over time (see graph below). At some point during the “Learning Stage” depicted above, motivation begins to decline. This is critical to implementation success because lack of intervention may risk program derailment.



    When you overlay these two charts together you clearly see what many of us experience on a daily basis when it comes to our learning programs and the deployment challenges faced at a micro/macro level--whether it is the culture, GUI, standards, or other technical challenges.



    Understanding this dynamic may help the organization understands the critical areas to focus an insure long-term success.

    Saturday, January 27, 2007

    Cool List Feature and other Resources

    I recently ran across a cool feature on Amazon.com called Listmania, which lets you include products you find interesting. Lists can have up to 40 items and include a short commentary.

    I created on for my book reading list. But you can create these for just about anything listed on Amazon's site.

    Looking for more information and resources on social networking? Check out the following:

    Monday, January 08, 2007

    How the Gamer Generation is Reshaping Learning

    In an intriguing work by John C. Beck and Mitchell Wade (Harvard Business School Press, 2004), the authors describe the "basic principles" guiding a new generation of workers:

  • If you get there first, you win.

  • There's a limited set of tools, and it is certain that some combination will work. If you choose the right combination, the game will reward you.

  • Trial and error is the best strategy and the fastest way to learn.

  • Elders and their received wisdom can't help; they don't understand even the basics of this new world.

  • You will confront surprises and difficulties that you are not prepared for. But the sum of those risks and dangers, by definition, cannot make the quest foolish.

  • Once you collect the right "objects" (business plan, prototype, customers, maybe even profits), you'll get an infusion of gold to tide you over.

  • While there may be momentary setbacks, overall the trend will be up.


  • And the most basic rule: If you bump into a "game over," no problem. You can always either hit reset and play again just one more time, or turn off the machine and pick up normal life where you left off.


    Is this what you see in the workplace? If yes, how is it impacting training programs?