Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Things Worth Reading

Currently, I have a mess of half-formed ideas, a couple of ugly projects, and more than a little activity in my personal life. I suspect when this phase finishes, I will have another batch of blog posts.

In the meantime, I found these in my Google Reader:

From Cognitive Edge - a discussion on working together and sharing information across "silos".

The mistake a lot of people make is to assume that people want a lot of messy experiential data synthesized into best practice documents and doctrine. As previously mentioned the Iraq war showed the power of fragmented, experience based blogging without synthesis to communicate knowledge literally in the field under fire. People spend hours on the internet, reading blogs and surfing in part because the material is fragmented, unstructured and encourages serendipitous discovery.
- Dave Snowden

No wonder people like my blog. It's about as messy and experiential as one gets while still being under the guise of "professional."


From The Rapid eLearning Blog - the 3 essential questions every learner wants answered.

- Make the course relevant to the learner.
- Help the learner understand how they’ll use the information.
- Create a way for the learner to prove they understand it. The closer you can get to how they would apply the information in the real world, the better the learning experience.

Quiz questions are fine, but the reality is that we rarely have to make multiple choice decisions outside of elearning courses and the occasional Cosmopolitan survey. Ideally we design a way to measure the learners understanding that is more than selecting correct answers. - Tom Kuhlmann

And if you don't expect them to USE it, don't try to develop a course around it!!!!


Some of the issues we run into as educators as we redefine our professional identity is also felt in other fields.

At the moment, DIY Crafters tend to clamor for "theory". Theory is sexy. There are some insanely smart and savvy people in the craft community, and many seem to be waiting for the next Foucault or Baudrillard to create a unification theory of craft to move everyone forward. Theory has its place, but I would counter that Craft needs to embrace Art History as never before. Craft history tends to exist in a "decorative arts" ghetto that I think will look increasingly irrelevant in ten or fifteen years. When Craft artists broaden their knowledge of the past (which is only natural), their work becomes deeper, weaving itself into the continuum of craft history. - Garth Johnson, Extreme Craft

BTW - due to the Soft Porn Latch rug, the link is not entirely safe for work.

Though Garth tackles this from the Arts and Crafts perspective, I think it applies to us as well. Theory does have its place, but, in my mind, determining what REALLY works with all of the information we have at our disposal (both contemporary and historical) will be critical.

We talk a lot about assessment. The how-tos, whys and wherefores.

What are we actually going to do with the results?

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