Thursday, January 17, 2002

Today's elearningpost Daily links includes a link to The Role of Different Media in Designing Learning Environments.

This article appeals to me because it goes some way toward dispelling the "one size fits all" of technology-based learning strategies. We often hear about "blended" learning which is most often defined as a "blend" of online and "live" or "face to face" components. I've often wondered if it would be possible/beneficial to think about "blending" different types of technology- or online-based training.

The article ends with a comparison of five types of media (i.e., Face to face; Text; Video; Software; Networks) and characteristics and relative merits of each. While there may NOT be a substitute for "face to face" interaction, there must be ways to "blend" different media which begin to address the "isolation" felt by the online learner.

Tuesday, January 15, 2002

Today I attended another online chat hosted by the ASTD--I'll be back with more details.

I also had the good fortune to be able to provide some inservice training for a group of elementary teachers in Calgary, AB. The training delivered was on the SMART BoardTM (model SB 580) which is produced by my employer, SMART Technologies, Inc.

Today's session involved an overview of the SMART Board and SMART Board Software and opportunities for each participant to interact with the SMART Board. Each learner was provided with some exercises and activities and encouraged to practice using the Board and Softeware over the next week.

In a week we'll meet again and work together to develop SMART Board- and SMART Board Software (Mac and PC) -based curricula for this group of elementary school teachers.

Monday, January 14, 2002

Over the past week I've learned a lot about Instructional Design (ID), knowledge and learning objects, online delivery and all manner of things related to the design and delivery of online curricula; however, rather than reflect on the learning I did online over the past week I'd rather reflect on the learning I did onhill.

Every day for the last 8--I've been to the local ski hill to practice my snowboarding.
I've been snowboarding for a few years and recently bought a new 'board. Prior to this most recent purchase, I've been riding a race board I bought 2nd-hand a couple of years ago.

Race boards are unidirectional--designed to be riden in one direction and are typically narrower than freeride boards. Snowboard racers also wear hard boots. This type of snowboard boot is more like a ski-or hard-shell mountaineering-boot than what most people think of when they think of snowboard boots. Using hard boots on my freeride board came about when I found that the soft boots I bought with the board didn't fit.

Anyway, back to what I learned about riding, over the past week I learned that:

  • You can ride a freeride board with hard boots
  • You can make "skidded" turns on a board in hard boots
  • I prefer heelside turns to those on my toeside
  • Body rotation is the key to turning your board
  • Edging--amount and timing--is nearly as important a part of turning
  • Snowboarding is a great way to take your mind off work and school
  • I'd rather be onhill than online

One thing I wonder about...can you teach 'boarding online? Probably
not...but you might be able to present some principles and provide a
background to build on. Maybe approximate the "baseline" or "introductory"
learning advocated by Wendy Collins in her
session on the ASTD site.

What about a software/hardware "simulator" kit for my personal computer?
I plug in my USB-connected "'board cradle"TM into the back of my PC
and I'm "live" onscreen? Why not?
Stranger things have happened in the world of electronics.

Besides, wouldn't it be great to take a virtual ride of a mountain you were planning to visit?