Suzanne Evans told me about this American history/food history blog that she bagan last year while writing a book about the presidents' favorite foods.
As an academic historian, the goal of her blog is to help parents and kids learn how to cook together, learn about history together, and hopefully help them create many great memories and meals together.
But this blog would be enjoyable for anyone - and elegantly presented too
There have been two important blog posts today that are must-reads in my opinion - both of which contain references to the work of Dr Hermann Ebbinghaus, who pioneered the experimental study of memory.
The first is by Charles Jennings - ID - Instructional design or interactivity design in an interconnected world . Charles starts his post in a very powerful way:
Instructional design is not only seen as a core competency for learning and development/training specialists, but it’s a huge industry, too. Most learning vendors tout their ‘expertise in instructional design’ as a key reason as to why we should engage them to produce learning content. If we do so, then almost invariably their approach is around developing content in an ‘instructionally-sound way’ to produce a set of ‘learning interventions’.
I have a real problem with this approach and the thinking behind it.
It simply isn’t appropriate for the needs of the 21st century knowledge industry, and is arguable even more inappropriate for those whose work is carried out with their hands rather than with their minds.
Charles then goes on to explain that the mindset should be about process-based learning and not event-based learning, and how "the vast majority of structured learning is content-rich and interaction-poor".
Charles also reminds us that "knowing something doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve learned it", and states that "Dr Ebbinghaus’ experiment revealed we suffer an exponential ‘forgetting curve’ and that about 50% of context-free information is lost in the first hour after acquisition if there is no opportunity to reinforce it with practice".
But this all leads to the main point that Charles makes ...
"We need designers who understand that learning comes from experience, practice, conversations and reflection, and are prepared to move away from massaging content into what they see as good instructional design. Designers need to get off the content bus and start thinking about, using, designing and exploiting learning environments full of experiences and interactivity."
Donald Clark in his posting,10 techniques to massively increase retention, picks up on "the ‘forgetting curve’ by Ebbinghaus" and states that it is
"a fundamental truth in memory theory, totally ignored by most educators and trainers. Most fixed ’courses’ or ‘lectures’ take no notice of the phenomenon, condemning much of their effort to the world of lost memories".
Donald then provides 10 tips and strategies to enable spaced practice.These are two powerful blog postings that every learning professional should read and digest.
Today is Ada Lovelace Day.
Who was Ada Lovelace?
Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) was one of the world’s first computer programmers, and one of the first people to see computers as more than just a machine for doing sums. She wrote programmes for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, a general-purpose computing machine, despite the fact that it was never built. She also wrote the very first description of a computer and of software.
What is Ada Lovelace Day?
It is an international day of blogging to celebrate the achievements of women in technology and science. My blogging tribute today goes to Mary Somerville.
Who was Mary Somerville?
Mary Fairfax Somerville was born in 1780 in Scotland. She was a science writer and polymath and, as Wikipedia puts it, was working "at a time when women's participation in science was discouraged".
Here is a summary of her life and work using quotes from the Wikipedia entry:
"She studied mathematics and astronomy, and was the second woman scientist to receive recognition in the United Kingdom after Caroline Herschel.
Having been requested by Lord Brougham to translate for the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge the Mécanique Céleste of Laplace, she greatly popularized its form, and its publication in 1831, under the title of The Mechanism of the Heavens, at once made her famous.
Her other works are the On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences (1834), Physical Geography (1848), and Molecular and Microscopic Science (1869). In 1835, she and Caroline Herschel became the first women members of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Much of the popularity of her writings was due to her clear and crisp style and the underlying enthusiasm for her subject which pervaded them.
She also invented the commonly used variables from algebraic maths.
Mary Somerville died in 1872 (in Naples in Italy) at the grand old age of 91, unlike poor Ada who died at 36.
She was an intriguing and inspiring lady; and Somerville College at Oxford University was named after her. As it turns out I have also been surprised to find out that there are some personal connections too!
In an earlier posting on the Edublog Awards I said that I was disappointed to see only a few workplace bloggers shortlisted in the Corporate Education category. I would therefore like to pay my own tribute to the following 20 people, who either in their blogs and/or in their tweets have provided me with inspiration in their thoughts about workplace learning in 2009.
Informal Learning and
improving performance through learning innovation
Learning & Working
on the Web
But also to these other people for their invaluable perspectives on workplace learning ... in alphabetical order ...
|Cammy Bean||eLearning Instructional Designer,
VP of Learning Design for Kineo US
Blog: Learning Visions | Twitter: cammybean
Coordinator, Author of "E-Learning on a shoestring", "Better than Bullet
Blog: bozarthzone | Twitter: JaneBozarth
Researcher in the learning technology space, Brandon
Blogs: Brandon Hall Research blog and Workplace Learning Today | Twitter: jclarey
|Donald Clark||Ex-Epic chairman, now independent
thinker, Brighton, UK
Blog: Donald Clark Plan B | Twitter: donaldclark
Enterprise Social Messaging Strategist for Pistachio Consulting.
Learning Culture Evangelist, Author, US
Blogs: Live Laugh Learn Lead and Fast Company/Learn at all levels | Twitter: marciamarcia
|Michael Hanley||Training & development consultant, Dublin, Ireland.
Blog: E-Learning Curve blog | Twitter: michael_hanley
CEO of TechEmpower, a software,
web and eLearning development firm based in Los
Blog: eLearning Technology | Twitter: tonykarrer | Blog aggregator: eLearningLearning
Anthropologist, Historian, Technologist, Learner, Federal (DOD)
Blog: e-Clippings (learning as art) | Twitter: moehlert
|Barry Sampson||Independent eLearning
and web media consultant by profession, UK
Blogs: Barry Sampson and Onlightenment | Twitter: barrysampson
|Brent Schlenker||New Media & Emerging
Technology Analyst, US
Blog: Corporate elearning strategies and development | Twitter: bschlenker
|B J Schone||Learning Designer from
San Diego, US
Blog: eLearning Weekly | Twitter: bjschone
|Clive Shepherd||Consultant specialising in workplace
e-learning, Chairman of e-Learning Network, UK
Blog: Clive on Learning and Onlightenment | Twitter: cliveshepherd
speaker and consultant, Canada
Blog: elearnspace | Twitter: gsiemens
|Ellen Wagner||Former senior director
of worldwide eLearning, Adobe Systems, Inc.Now
learning industry analyst for Sage Road Solutions and
ED of WCET, US
Blog: eLearning Roadtrip | Twitter: edwsonoma
Online facilitator, visual thinker,
Co-author Digital Habitats stewarding
technology for communities US
Blog: Full Circle Associates | Twitter: NancyWhite
These people all appear in my 100 Learning Professionals to follow in 2009 - bloggers and/or tweeters who I consider provide information, inspiration and/or interaction on a range of educational and workplace learning topics.
If you like Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day (JELPOD), you might like my latest blog - Inspring Iris.
Whilst researching new e-learning tools and resources, I frequently come across other interesting and fascinating resources of more general interest. In the past I have discarded them, but this week I decided to set up a new blog to record them: Inspiring Iris.
There are already 14 postings on it, but resources that I have found particularly interesting are:
I can't promise to post a new resource every day as here at JELPOD, but it will be pretty regularly.
Vaughan and I have just launched our new WHLA - Waller Hart, Learning Architects - blog:
We shall both be posting regularly on a range of topics related to the design, development and delivery of learning projects, for example current issues that are challenging the industry, examples of good practice, and more controversial topics of how the learning business needs to change.
With over 45 years of experience between the two of us and an extensive network of contacts in the UK, Europe, US and in other parts of the world, we bring a broad perspective to our work and one that ensures that new thinking and best practice from around the world can be best be integrated into UK organisational culture.
There is a great posting by Tony Karrer in his eLearning Technology blog. It summarises the responses to the Learning Circuit's Blog Big Question: Should all learning professionals be blogging?
Tony lists th top ten reasons why you should blog and the top ten reasons why you shouldn't or won't blog.
I am not going to list them all again here - but they are fun to read, so do go to the Top ten reasons to blog and top ten not to blog posting and check them out.