Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Changing Challenges in Education: Early Signs of Autism

Anyone who deals with children knows about the epidemic in autism and its lesser form Asberger's Syndrome. For reasons that are unclear, the number of cases have exploded in recent years, so much so that some school districts are developing special programs to deal with these children who are often exceptionally gifted, but socially challenged.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Professional Influences

Professionally, I've been greatly influenced by greatly influenced by David Jonassen's work on problem solving, creating constructivist learning environments, and the technology of text.

I recently joined the eLearning Guild because it seems to provide the best forum for reasearch and discussion that I've found since the demise of IICS. The online blogging world itself actually provides the most dynamic source of inspiration to me through the blogs of Stephen Downey and David Pogue.

What do I think the blogging world has to contribute to my personal evolution as an instructional and hypertext developer? All of these people seem to have more time to surf the web than I do, better access to beta versions of the latest technology, and a verbosity that I seldom allow myself.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Links & Reflections for HerDomain
real women. virtual community

A long time ago, girl geeks dreamed of a world where they could go and not be hit on, or sent for coffee. Herdomain provides such a place. Women can ask questions without anybody trying to get in an argument about which platform she should be using or why her choice was inferior to someone elses.

This is a community where women share tech problems, ask questions, and offer their expertise, in a supportive, non-judgemental environment. When we started as mere novices in the virtual world, we talked about avatars, newgroups, deja vu, html, photoshop, ways in which print design differed from the dynamics of the web, and how to find a good car mechanic.

Now we talk about PHP, Dreamweaver, content management, ISP issues, client/SME relations, and good car mechanics. Some things never change.

Personally, I'm a designer who used to program. I'm a teacher who loves to learn. And I'm a geek who wants to play with the latest technogadget. I hope to always stay current by listening, learning, and sharing what I know. And making money along the way helps me keep score.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Talent Vs. Practice

The importance of deliberate practice to enhance performance.Talent Vs. Practice

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Learning by Design

Learning by Design back when webgrrls were novel. My sister did the graphics for this. I've always loved her style even though she is not a techie graphics artist. Our styles are very different, but I've always admired her aesthetic.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Learning and UN-learning: Skills vs. Patterns

So often learning is not that difficult. Fortunately there are many tasks (at least here in the our country) that involve little more than keyboarding. But vocabularies are always specialized, and most cons and just general BS'ers often can master at least a smattering of whatever lingo they need to superficially impress their audience.

I believe we have payed too little attention to neuroscience in teaching AND learning. From my Ed Psych days, I remember that creating schema and forming patterns of thought and behavior are essential to learning. But we also discovered that problem-solving itself can become rote, and often a problem that requires a different strategy than one routinely practiced, can pose a stumbling block to less-skilled or less-informed learners -- those novices we are always trying to teach.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Instruction as Punishment

A prime example:

Defensive Driving Classes, Online, in person, comedic, whatever . . . These are rarely fun, rarely interactive (except perhaps, in a classroom with a teacher with passion for the subject matter and an intereactive pedagogy).

But of course, the purpose is not instruction. It's punishment under the guise of instruction.

Made me think of the bumper sticker I almost bought for myself today:

OH NO! Not another Learning Experience!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Sixth & Seventh Grade Girls' Class Rules

1. Respect everyone's opinion.
2. Listen when somebody's talking.
3. Pay attention.
4. Be nice.
5. Say hi.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


One of the queries of logic used most frequently on IQ and personality test is the analogy. In Italy, this is often how our written assignments or in-class essays were given to us. For Example:

Discuss the following:

Holy is to Sacred as Truth is to Reality.

Now that would set your mind working.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Crisis in the Schools

Every child can learn. And our schools in the U.S. are broken. I've always believed that democracy cannot function without public education. This show highlights the problems and some of the varied solutions.

One of the solutions

Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Can a white board interact? Why don't we teach by asking more questions, challenging students, instead of just presenting information?

It's not knowing the answers. It's asking the right questions.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Technology and Teaching

Too often we get caught up in the latest whizbangs that technology has to offer, and forget the basics. Unless the content is appropriate for the learner's needs, it doesn't matter whether you project, animate, whiteboard, elicit, or model.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

New Job

As part of my ongoing research into life-long learning, hehe, I started a new job.

Training to do a new job is a very good way to flex your learning muscles. Having work free-lance in eLearning development for the last oh so many years, I decided it was time to take a break from self-employment and settle into a steady, predictable paycheck, more or less ;-)

As though anything were predictable these days.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Instructional Design Models

I thot I'd post this link here, just because it's one of my favorites when I want to refer to the various models proposed for developing curriculum.

Friday, January 27, 2006

SxSW Interactive

Most people have heard of SXSW! It's been going on since I was free & footloose (many yrs ago). Fewer outside of Austin, Texas know of the Interactive portion of the festival. Its popularity has waxed and waned along with the dot com economy in Austin, but if you're in the field of multimedia development, it's the place to be in March! Especially if you also like live music and film.

Check it out at

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Informed Learning

Informed Learning

Reading / Listening to On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins.

How do you know what needs to be taught?

One of the other problems with being an instructional designer is you are a conduit of information among varied constituencies.


Knowing how you learn, learning what you need to know.