I’m changing my title for more clout

This is just a funny thing that I came accross today…

“The name of the Physical Education Department [at BYU] has changed to Exercise Sciences. Courses previously found in the class schedule under Physical Education will now be found under Exercise Sciences.”

It reminded me of the “Learning Science” vs. “Instructional Design” debate. It seems like people will do anything to get “Science” in their title. Instead of “graduate student”, please refer to me as “learner scientist” from now on. Thanks.

Can cheaper PCs connect the world?

This week AMD is expected to announce its Personal Internet Computer (PIC) for $249 (with monitor). The computer is part of AMD’s “50×15” plan where they propose to have 50% of the world connected to the internet by 2015. This has a lot of implications for instructional designers nad educators alike.
For more information, check out their article on InfoWorld. www.infoworld.com/article/04/10/21/HNamdlocost_1.html

Link from Charles’ Blog

This is a message to anyone who followed the link from charles’ blog to my presentation and got an error message. The link is www.WideOpenDoors.net/get_involved.html. I’ve also placed a re-direct page on the link that Charles’ blog goes to, so both work now. I’d love to hear anyone’s comments on the presentation.
Thanks!

Communication Tools

When working on a project, there is nothing more frustrating then having progress held up because you can’t get a hold of a key person (SME, designer, etc). Because of that, I’ve found several tools that I use with my teams whenever we start on a project. The first one is a cell phone, but that’s obvious so I won’t go into detail – except to mention that that I keep my work phone forwarded to my cell phone so I can work wherever and whenever I want to (and people who haven’t perfected the idea of a “virtual office” can still contact me). Now, let me mention some other tools.
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LinkedIn :: Useful Tool

I’ve decided to start a new category called “useful tools” blog about tools that I’ve found to be helpful for… whatever. Anyway, one such tool is LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com).
By connecting to other people that you know, LinkedIn’s free service allows you to build a huge network of “links”. Then, when you need advice, or a reference, or a job (to give a couple of examples), you can contact key people through your friends. It eliminates the need to “cold call” anyone. Networks build quickly (I have over 200,000 people in mine). So if you haven’t signed up for LinkedIn yet, do it – then link to me!

Evaluation in Instructional Design

Evaluation in instructional design is very important. Unfortunately I learned this the hard way awhile ago (see Why are they clicking there?). Since then I’ve struggled to try to figure out why evaluation is so often put off to the last minute with whatever resources are left. I think the reason comes down to pride and naevity. As a designer I just assume that whatever materials I’m creating are good and that if they work with my learning style they will work with my users style too. Perhaps there is an issue of difficult at play here too. Evaluation is more work. Well, I’ve found that by evaluating often it is actually much less work.
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Methods for Delivering Learning

When it comes to delivering instruction, there are many methods that come to mind (web sites, DVDs, interactive CD-ROMs, printed materials, live presentations, etc.) Each of these methods have their strengths and weaknesses, both for the learner and the creator. However, I think the strength in delivering instruction is in combining delivery formats. This idea is commonly known as Blended Learning.
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Proposal Reflections :: IP&T 564

This semester I’m taking an Instructional Design class at BYU. As part of the class we had to create a proposal for an ID project and write a reflection on the process. Even though I still have a lot to learn about creating proposals, the following are some reflections I’ve had about the process…
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Educational Technology :: Past and Future

An article from the Journal of Interactive Media in Education provides some useful information about the history of Educational Technology. That article quotes Allan Collins in saying,

“Technology provides us with powerful tools to try out different designs, so that instead of theories of education, we may begin to develop a science of education.”

Now before anyone gets bent out of shape about education being turned into science, Collins goes on to say,

“But it cannot be an analytic science like physics or psychology; rather it must be a design science more like aeronautics or artificial intelligence. For example, in aeronautics the goal is to elucidate how different designs contribute to lift, drag manoeuvrability, etc. Similarly, a design science of education must determine how different designs of learning environments contribute to learning, cooperation, motivation, etc.” (Collins 1993, p. 24)
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Quote from Curt Allen (CEO of Agilix)

After describing some work that he had done to help a school in Ndengele Villege, Tanzania, Curt said that at first it can seem like a daunting task to help improve education around the world. On his trip, Curt brought solar powered calculators, coloring books, and chalk to the schools in Ndengele.
“Once you’ve done it,” said Allen, “you think ‘why can’t everyone in the world do it – it’s not that hard'”