Monday, February 25, 2008

Great E-Learning Tip 1: Develop a good treatment

Want to make e-learning "better than bullet points"? Start by finding a way out of the static-content box and into an engaging treatment that invites application rather than regurgitation. Here, for example, are two ways of approaching an art history lesson. The first is the typical bullet-points approach; the second, an interactive mystery about a painting found in an attic. "A. Pintura: Art Detective" from Eduweb asks learners to evaluate, synthesize, and apply information rather than just memorize.

See the bozarthzone main site for more examples-- and please send links to any you happen to run across!

Composite image from "Better than Bullet Points". Image from A.Pintura: Art Detective used with permission of Eduweb.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

For my "E-learning Solutions on a Shoestring" readers

I have been accused of neglect! Mea culpa! Readers of my "E-Learning Solutions on a Shoestring" can check the bozarthzone for updates on e-learning addons, tools, and a recording of my presentation "Collaboration on a Shoestring: Using Web 2.0 technologies in Training". Don't own "Shoestring"? Amazon will gladly send a copy your way...

And while we're discussing mistreatment, let me also direct you to one of my favorite sites, Sue Palmer's Home for Abused Apostrophes.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

FREE! Online course: "ID for the SME"

I've been toying with the idea of developing an asynchronous "ID basics" course, and here Clive Shepherd has gone and created this, a gift for us all. It's a FREE online program, "The 60-Minute Masters: ID for the SME". Quick, clean, commonsense, and targeted correctly at the SMEs with whom many of us work.

It's available at

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Virtual Worlds and Grammar Girl

The Illinois online conference was chock-full of interesting sessions and much fun, including "cocktail hours" in Second Life (on Squirrel Island, where my avatar got herself in trouble, as usual...) and a great keynote from Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty. This was an excellent way to attend good informational sessions, many on cutting-edge technologies, as well as meet and network with new colleagues.

Here's a question I asked during Grammar Girl's session, when the participant talked turned to concerns about text messaging bringing about the downfall of good writing, spelling, civilization...:
Is text messaging meant to replace writing, or conversation?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Blog by Any Other Name

I just did my "Collaboration on a Shoestring" session for the Illinois Online Conference, where we talked about using Web 2.0 technologies for training purposes. I'm always interested in seeing how people repurpose these technologies in interesting ways and to suit varying needs. A local restaurant, Piedmont, is using a blog as a quick, easy-to-edit, free way of updating its daily menu. (The restaurant's good, too!)

What other unusual uses are out there for blogs, wikis, and other Web 2.0 tools?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Proposal for Banning.... Pencils

I heard Anders Gronstedt speak at Training 2008. After a great presentation on Web 2.0 technologies, including a nice visit to Second Life, he wrapped up with a reference to "the Bureacrat Class". You know 'em: the ones in the organization who try to block anything marginally innovative. Finance says everything is "expensive", Legal says it's "too open", and of course IT says it's "too dangerous". (PS: Raise your hand if your organization is being held hostage by its own IT department.)

Meantime this week, in keeping with the same theme, I see that Karl Kapp has comments on schools disabling the very technologies students use most (to discuss education, even).

So for all of you who share the concern and pain of this, check out Doug Johnson's A Proposal for Banning Pencils .

Sunday, February 10, 2008

When is design done?

This month's Big Question on the Learning Circuits blog is: "If, When, How Much?". To follow up on a follow-up question from Jay Cross, "When to stop designing?"

I'll add:
Design is done when there's nothing left to take out.

Illinois Online Conference on Teaching & Learning

I hope to see you at the Illinois Online conference. There are lots of sessions on using Web 2.0 and virtual worlds for training and education, a whole track called "using cool tools", and even some on-demand and virtual poster sessions. And no trips to the airport!