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Friday, October 01, 2010


I've been blogging at Blogger since 2006, it is hard to believe that I have been blogging for so long. I've met great people through blogging, increased my own personal learning tenfold, stirred up some controversy a few times and enjoyed sharing some of my knowledge with others. of Monday, October 4th, I will be moving to a new location. I have been asked by Kaplan-EduNeering to blog on their site. After some discussion and soul searching about autonomy vs. resources to re-do the site and to subsidize my efforts, I have decided to blog at a new Kapp Notes location which is

It is going to be AWESOME! Kaplan-EduNeering has been doing some great work in the area of e-learning related to compliance training and is constantly pushing in new directions like social networking, game-based learning and some other innovative ideas.

I am going to continue to blog just the way I have always been blogging on just the topics and subjects I want to blog about. In fact, Kaplan-EduNeering moved all four years of my blog posts to the new site so all the information is in a single location and created category titles on the top of the page for easy and quick searching...we'll be refining as we go along.

Occasionally, I'll let me readers know about some of the things happening in with Kaplan-EduNeering but primarily I will be doing the same thing...just at a better designed site with more resources.

So, starting on MONDAY change your bookmarks, links and RSS feed to my new virtual address

We are still doing some work on the new site but it promises to provide more information at your finger tips and is a little easier to navigate and they are even making me a "Kapp Notes" icon/button.

Please join me over at the new Kapp Notes over at Kaplan-EduNeering.

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Presentations in Atlanta and Finland

Later this week, I will be presenting at the Southern Interactive Entertainment and Game Exposition better known as SIEGE.

Here is a description of my presentation:
Why 3D Matters for Learning and Collaboration?

Do 3D graphics and interactions really make a difference in how a learner interacts with content or other learners? Is a 2D environment as effective for serious games as a 3D environment? Studies are beginning to reveal the elements that make 3d characters more engaging and intriguing to learners. Additionally, research has indicated that the interactions learners have with 3D characters have an impact on learners behavior both within the 3D environment and for some time after the learner leaves that 3D environment. It turns out that 3D does make a difference in terms of learning, motivation and impact on behavior. This session will discuss research that supports the argument that 3D learning environments add additional cues and inputs that make them ideal for teaching certain types of content.

It promises to be an interesting conference with lots of good information on "serious games" and game design and development in general. I hope to come home with some great ideas from the game developers for elearning and instructional games.

Also, later this month, I am travelling to Finland to speak at the Learning in Different Worlds Conference, October 7-8, Lahti, Finland. Along with Ken Hudson, I am a keynote speaker at the event.

I will be speaking on the topic of Learning in 3D: How Immersive Virtual Environments are being leveraged to add value to enterprise learning and collaboration

I am looking forward to the trip and will be sending back reports as the conference unfolds. I have a great dinner planned with some of the other presenters and will be taking notes as the topic of virtual worlds is explored at an international level.
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Student Bloggers Earn $10,000 Scholarship

Just announced: The 4th annual Blogging Scholarship worth up to $10,000 for a student scholarship. Here are some details.

College is giving away $10,000 this year to a college student who blogs. The Blogging Scholarship is awarded annually.

Scholarship Requirements:
  • Your blog must contain unique and interesting information about you and/or things you are passionate about. No spam bloggers.
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
  • Currently attending full-time in post-secondary education in the United States; and
  • If you win, you must be willing to allow us to list your name and blog on this page. We want to be able to say we knew you before you became a well educated, rich, and famous blogging legend.
Important Dates: the 2010 submission application date is October 21, 2010. the winner will be announced on November 2, 2010 at 6pm Pacific.

Why a Blogging Scholarship?
At College we believe that everyone deserves a shot at a decent education. And we love bloggers. Not for the least of reasons, because we blog, and the founders of this site makes a living as bloggers. :) 
We believe passion is important. As the world gets more competitive, those who are passionate about what they do, and work close to their passions, will be able to become and stay successful even as technology and automation eat away at many business models. Those who are willing to share their experiences with the world help make the world a better place, even if most bloggers only consider blogging a hobby. 
We believe those who freely express themselves are far more likely to find their true passions and connect with people to bring on large scale social change.
Get more details here and enter today.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What to Wear to a Virtual World Job Interview

Perhaps a little too over
the top for a job interview.
You have probably been wondering what you should wear in case you ever went on a virtual world job interview. I know its been keeping me awake at night.

 In fact, I once went to a virtual interview to talk about the Learning in 3D book and was told to "put some shoes on" apparently even in the virtual world, "no shoes, no shirt--no service still applies."

Here is an interesting and thought provoking article by Maria Korolov over at Hybergrid Business which provides some ideas on dressing for success...virtually.

1. A suit and tie is appropriate (always) but Maria also indicates that sometimes casual slacks and shirts, or skirts and blouses, are fine. And, please don't show up in a character costume!

2. Try to dress for your target audience, research the company a little bit before you decide what to wear.It is a casual company, then slacks (and, apparently, shoes).

A little more traditional
dress for the critical interview.
3. Your avatar doesn't have to look exactly like you in terms of age, weight, hair. As stated in the article "virtual worlds are very lacking in bald, old, overweight avatars. So we all have to suffer with looking young and attractive." So it is ok to be a leaner, better looking version of yourself.

4.Bring props. Maria suggests you bring a "presentation stand, and upload images of your resume, photographs you've taken, copies of marketing materials you've produced, or recent articles." In other words have a virtual portfolio ready to show.

Check out the entire article for youself at What to wear to a virtual job interview
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Monday, September 27, 2010

Are we taking into account the culture surrounding our students?

Historical periods are often named for the influence of technology on the period. The Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Industrial Revolution and Information Age are all closely related to the influence of a particular technology or group of technologies had on livelihood, people and governments during that period in history. As technology evolves and changes over time, a culture will either change with the technology or disappear or, in some rare cases, the culture will shun the technology and remain isolated from the rest of the world.

As educators, we cannot afford to allow our students to become isolated from the technologies used in our field nor can we isolate ourselves from the technology used daily by the third millennials (gamers).

Understanding the intricate relationship between culture and technology is critical in understanding how culture and technology support each other in the education of the youth of a culture. In Nieto’s book ( 2004) Affirming Diversity, the author describes culture as “The ever-changing values, tradition, social and political relationships and worldview created and shared by a group of people bound together by a combination of factors that can include a common history, geographic location, langaugae, social class, and/or religion, and how these are transformed by those who share them.”

To foster learning in the context of culture, we must understand that culture changes as the values, social relationships and worldviews of individuals change and part of that change is a direct result of the influence of technology. Where is the change in a society more rapid or far reaching than in the realm of technology? When groups fail to change their culture with the technology, they risk isolation.

Therefore, when examining how to foster human development through education, the cultural influnces of teachers, administators and students must all be considered with a special emphais on the culture surrounding the students. We know from a variety of research (Delpit, 1995; Gay, 2000; Nieto, 2004: Villegas & Lucas, 2002) that successful schools place their students' cultures at the center of their missions and curriculum. For education to be successful, elements of the culture surronding the third millienials (gamer generation) must be carefully considered and integrated into our curriculum.


Delpit, L. (1995). Other people's children: Cultural conflict in the classroom. New York:
The New Press.

Gay, G. (2000). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research and practice. New York: Teachers College Press.
Grossman, L. (2006). Person of the Year. Time Magazine. Retrieved August 10, 2010 here.

Nieto, S. (2004). Affirming diversity: The sociopolitical context of multicultural education. New York: Longman.

Villegas. A. M.. & Lucas. T. (2002). Educating culturally responsive teachers: A coherent approach. New York: SUNY Press.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Different Types of Educational Simulations and What They Teach

Here is a table from Gadgets, Games and Gizmos for Learning (shown below) that describes several different types of simulations, provides examples and indicates the type of knowledge generally taught with that type of simulation.

Knowledge Taught
Physical Procedures Simulator
A simulated object, piece of equipment or machine. It works and functions like the actual physical device.
Procedural, operation of equipment or machinery
Software Emulation
Simulated software that works and function in a fashion similar to the software that it is teaching or emulating.
Procedural, software features and functionality.
Operational Simulator
Simulates common procedures used within an organization that are to software or object based or that contains some elements of both.
Procedural, proper steps for completing a desired task.
Principle-based Simulator (Social Simulator)
Situation in which the learner is placed into an environment in which he or she must interact. Environment changes based on learners actions.
Principles, soft skills, skills used when interacting with people
                                                  Problem-Solving Simulator
Learner is presented with a new problem he or she must solve. There is not a single method or process for solving the problem confronting the learner, multiple avenues are available for solving the problem.
Problem-solving., confronted with a new problem you must solve
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Aligning Training Efforts with Strategic Organizational Goals

 In order to align training efforts with the strategic goals of an enterprise and create effective instruction, organizations need to link strategic goals with training delivery goals and methods. 

One way to accomplish this is to conduct an analysis or audit of the existing training program to highlight possible mis-alignments and to identify opportunities for improvement. If done properly, audit and recommendation process provides a methodology for moving from“learning as an event focus” to a “learning as a process” focus which will increase employee learning and retention.

Step One: Define Strategic Knowledge Objectives.
What do the learners need to know to support the goals of the organization? These are often pre-defined objectives but sometimes these strategic knowledge objectives must be defined within the audit process. If they need to be defined, usually a Senior Learning Council, consisting of key people within the organization, is formed to examine organizational learning priorities.

Step Two: Identify Courses and Material that Support Strategic Knowledge Objectives
The next step is to determine how much current curriculum and materials exist to support each Strategic Knowledge Objective and what learning gaps need to be filled. This will be done through a Knowledge Audit.

The Knowledge Audit is a comprehensive review process in which and organization will review the existing curriculum and determine the areas of the existing curriculum that map to the Strategic Knowledge Objectives. The audit is be centered on Strategic Knowledge Objectives.

This can be an in-depth analysis and process or an abbreviated version can be conducted by an expert in the field of instructional design.

Step Three: Evaluation of Current Delivery Structure (Technology Infrastructure and Learning Outcomes)
This area of the audit determines how courses are being delivered and identifies opportunities for alternative delivery methods such as e-learning or video-based instruction. The goal of this step is to match the learning objectives with the best method for delivering content.

This step also includes interviews with current learners and with current trainees as well as supervisors of the employees to determine perceived effectiveness of the instruction and opportunities to strengthen the delivery and content of the instruction. This can also be done qualitatively if the data exists to measure the impact of the training being delivered within the organization.

Step Four: Recommendations and Strategy Development
This step involves a written document describing recommended steps and providing input on the steps that need to be taken to proper align curriculum.

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