Category: Inspiration

Weekly Twitter Chats about learning Thursday 8:30-10pm EST #Lrnchat

Looking for a powerful way to use twitter and learning, check out #lrnchat. A place for people interested in the topic of learning, to learn from one another and discuss how to help other people learn. The online chat happens every Thursday night 8:30-10pm EST / 5:30-7pm PST.

Last nights questions generated over 75 pages of content:

Q0 (our #lrnchat warmup): How???ve you been? What have you been learning?

Q1: Why aren???t ppl using social media & twitter-like tools in training? What myths do they have? Excuses they use? Legit reasons????Addition: My hope with Q1 is to hear both reasons why not using, and how you reply.

Q2 from @kasey428: Have you used (or seen used) social media to push out training reinforcement as follow-up to ILT or elearning?

Q3 inspired by @ichrisbarnes: Do we know of any places SoMe is bad (for learning, in training, for edu)?

Click here for the recap:

Join on Twitter.com/Lrnchat 

E3: Project Natal – First Product that utilizes the technology: Meet Milo

Milo is a new product by Lionhead Studios, using the Natal technology, he can recognize you and your emotions. Notice about 3 minutes in where Clare draws on a paper and waves it in front of the TV and Milo understands what’s on the paper. Just imagine if we get browser and flash support how we can utilize this for learning! If you have not watched the Project Natal video click here: E3: Microsoft Project Natal – Look’s Amazing. Controller free interaction, voice control, 3d imaging and sensing emotions.

Trying to grab a fish

Drawing a picture:

Places paper in front of bar and paper appears on screen and Milo recognizes shape.

Watch the full video:

Learning & Social Media meets at weekly chats – Thursday nights 8.30pm – 10pm. @lrnchat

If you are free on Thursday nights from 8.30 – 10pm eastern, checkout the weekly chat where the moderator posts a question and everyone chimes in with input. The chats have taken place over the past 9 weeks and the logs are posted on their blog at: http://lrnchat.wordpress.com/. Great concept and way to learn from people in the field.

 Learn more at:
http://lrnchat.wordpress.com/about/

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E3: Microsoft Project Natal – Look’s Amazing. Controller free interaction, voice control, 3d imaging and sensing emotions.

Microsoft demonstrates a new piece of hardware, shipping in 2010 (no official shipping date), looks amazing and introduces several innovative technologies to consumers. For a small investment you get a controller-free interface to basically use your body for interacting and diving into game play. You also get 3D imaging and voice control and from the demonstration this will have a incredible impact on game play and interacting with your tv.

Believe it or Not: 

http://www.gametrailers.com/video/e3-09-lionhead-milo/50016

Sony demonstrates the PS3 Motion Controller.

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Games & Simulations in Learning: Some thoughts and a Great Deal on the Wii

During my presentations on Games & Simulations, I encourage the audience to be sure to go out and play and try the different types of games and environments that are out there. This is a key for you to understand the different types of games and options that you can incorporate into the training content that you may be developing. One of the most fun consoles out there is the Wii because of its innovate interaction with the game and the ability to have multiplayers at the same time jumping and moving to achieve a specific goal. This is especially a great console for home’s with families and it gives you an excuse to do your homework and have some fun with the kids or your spouse.

When we think of gaming we typically visualize the gamer below. In fact in the gaming generation (anyone born after 1980) 43% of the gamers are females and 26% continue over the age of 18. By the times these students graduate college they have over 10,000 hours of logged game play.

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In this age of technology, where kids and adults have such easy access to information and technology we need to continue to innovate, capitalize and integrate these concepts into our training in order to deliver training in new ways.

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Those of you that want to do your homework before meeting with me again, you can now get a Wii at Dell for $212.49. A great deal. 

The deal was found via Dealnews.com, a great resource for saving money on technology and other things we need: 
http://dealnews.com/Nintendo-Wii-Game-Console-for-212-free-shipping/298282.html Dell Home has the Nintendo Wii Game Console for $249.99 with free shipping. Apply coupon code “65G7RQ11J?M2LH” and it falls to $212.49. That’s one of the few times we’ve seen the Wii for below list price. Sales tax is added where applicable. It includes the Wii console, Wii Remote Controller, Wii Nunchuk Controller, and Wii Sports. Coupon ends July 31.



WolframAlpha – Making the worlds knowledge computable for everyone – Amazing!

Think about how this can transform your knowledge, training, and provide people with instant access to knowledge. This is something if you have to play and experience, it’s incredible and will get your mind racing. 

First watch the screencast:

Some things I tried:
What is pizza

Find the answer to word patterns: 

Some interesting items from their FAQ’s

How much data is there in Wolfram|Alpha?

Many trillions of elements, continually growing through a large number of feeds.

Does Wolfram|Alpha get its data from the web?

No. It comes from Wolfram|Alpha’s internal knowledge base. Some of the data in that knowledge base is derived from official public or private websites, but most of it is from more systematic primary sources.

Where does Wolfram|Alpha’s data come from?

Many different sources, combined and curated by the Wolfram|Alpha team. At the bottom of each relevant results page there’s a “Source information” button, which provides background sources and references.

Can I find the origin of a particular piece of data?

Most of the data in Wolfram|Alpha is derived by computations, often based on multiple sources. A list of background sources and references is available via the “Source information” button at the bottom of relevant Wolfram|Alpha results pages.

What is the closest precursor to Wolfram|Alpha?

In concept, perhaps Leibniz’s characteristica universalis from the late 1600s???or the science-fiction computers of the 1960s. Technologically, many pieces of Wolfram|Alpha have precursors, but the ambitious scope of the whole project is believed to be unique.

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From Stephen Wolfram’s Blog

And this is what inspired me to believe that building Wolfram|Alpha might be possible.
As a practical matter, many algorithms in Wolfram|Alpha were found by NKS methods???by searching the computational universe for programs that achieve particular purposes.

And there is a curious sense in which the discoveries of NKS about computational irreducibility are what make Wolfram|Alpha possible.
For one of the crucial features of Wolfram|Alpha is its ability to take free-form linguistic input, and to map it onto its precise symbolic representations of computations.

Yet if these computations could be of any form whatsoever, it would be very difficult to recognize the linguistic inputs that represent them.
But from NKS we know that computations fall into two classes: computationally reducible and computationally irreducible.
NKS shows that in the abstract space of all possible computations the computationally irreducible are much the most common.
But here is the crucial point: because those computations are not part of what we have historically studied or discussed, no systematic tradition of human language exists to describe them.

So when we use natural human language as input to Wolfram|Alpha, we are inevitably going to be describing that thin set of computations that have long linguistic traditions, and are computationally reducible.

Those computations cover the traditional sciences. But in a sense it is the very ubiquity of computational irreducibility that forces there to be only small islands of computational reducibility???which can readily be identified even from quite vague linguistic input.

If one looks at Wolfram|Alpha today, much of what it computes is firmly based on OKS (the ???Old Kind of Science???), and in this sense Wolfram|Alpha can be viewed as a shining example of what can be achieved with pre-NKS mathematical science.

Great Example of Learning and building Tutorials

Guy Kawasaki posted The Art of the Tutorial, an article for his American Express Blog . In his article, he discusses how companies, or any web site should be able to explain their business in under 2 minutes to a new client, customer or visitor. He show cases some examples for his newer startup AllTop, which I’ve posted about before as well as the production company who designed the tutorials and has produced all 3 examples he demonstrates.

They do a great job of showing, in this case, how to cook something using still shots/photography, a voiceover and simple directions. It’s a great example of how designers, instructors and everyone involved in e-learning should take into account on how to teach our audiences. I love the treatment and its effective. This technique can be applied to any business, idea, or training, think about it when you start your next production. Would love to hear your thoughts. Web Link: http://www.startcooking.com

Have you seen the great content on TED? http://www.ted.com/

I was first introduced to the TED talks, about 2.5 years ago, when Al Gore created his documentary An Inconvenient Truth.TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds.  The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes). One of the greatest assets for web users is they have moved more and more of their content to the web for everyone to see. There’s a lot to learn, some fun, some serious and inspiring content. If you are not familiar with the content, I would recommend checking out a clip at least once a week. http://www.ted.com/


Stories your parents told you…

Remember that classic story that you parents told you everytime you complained, asked for something or misbehaved? Mine was always the “classic” myth about having to go to school everyday in the blizzard with a foot of snow, walking uphill both ways. 

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I was thinking about this recently while prepping for a Design session I presented at Training Magazine’s 2009 Conference. I came with the following stories that I will start to share with my little one:

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Creating a Drop Shadow for Text
When I started using Photoshop, we had to buy a special Wow book in order to follow 3 pages of steps which involved, creating your text, selecting the text with the magic wand, inverse selection,   creating an alpha channel, dropping the selection, reselecting the alpha channel, offset, applying the treatment and then the client would ask you to tweak it. I didn’t have access to the book while writing this so it may be a little off but I think the longer the better for the story.
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Today, you are lucky, in just about every program, you can just select a piece of text and click shadow.

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I didn’t get my first cellphone until I was in my mid-20’s. They didn’t really exist prior and it was expensive but I had to have it. Today all the kids have one. 

When we were growing up there was no web. 

We had to use a single button mouse to work with our computer, at least if you were a mac user during the first 15 years.

Lastly, the iPhone, the ultimate interface for interacting with content. More about this in a future post.