Sunday, October 26, 2008

10 Commandments of Social Media

Sonia Simone has a funny way of listing 10 'commandments' relating to Web 2.0 and how we 'shalt' live within it:
Commandment #1: Thou Shalt Participate in the Conversation. The conversation is going to take place with you or without you. The 21st century has no patience with cowards. Opting out is not an option, so get in there and participate.

Commandment #2: Thou Shalt Not Lie. Nothing will sink you faster in the wired world than lying and all its variants. It’s too easy to compare stories, and too easy for your attempted coverups to get leaked. Don’t tell two conflicting stories in two different media. Don’t say you’re one thing when you know that your actions tell an entirely different story. Don’t tell lies of omission. And...

Commandment #3: Thou Shalt Not Astroturf. See Commandment #2. Don’t try to engineer conversation or use fake characters to advocate for you. I guarantee you will get caught, and your credibility will take a beating you may never get over. Creating a space for conversation is good. Creating sock puppets is bad.

Commandment # 4: Thou Shalt Talk Like a Human Being. Corporations don’t hold conversations. Enterprises don’t hold conversations. Entities don’t hold conversations. Conversations take place among people. Be a person.

Commandment #5: Remember Thy Community and Keep It Holy. It’s not an audience of passive recipients of your message. It’s a community made up of a complicated mix of personalities. The community has its own needs and its own imperatives. Take care of your community.

Commandment #6: Thou Shalt Not Be a Wimp. Bullies have been a factor in every social group that has ever existed. The anonymity of the Internet gives bullies an extra measure of courage. You must face bullies down every time you encounter them, clearly and forcefully.
Don’t let bully-wrangling turn you into an aggressive butthead yourself. And don’t be a hall monitor, waggling your finger and quoting rules. (Or commandments!) Instead, see #5: be a citizen who values civility and defends it on behalf of your community.

Commandment #7: Thou Shalt Not Snivel. You’re going to get beat up every once in awhile. Never, ever whine about it.

Commandment #8: Thou Shalt Write What Is Worth Reading. Typos aren’t necessarily a big problem, although you notice you never see one on Copyblogger, Problogger or Seth’s Blog. Vague, weak, insipid or meaningless writing are a big problem. Write clearly and with vigor. Cut out every line of corporate doublespeak. If you don’t know how to do that, subscribe to Copyblogger, read it faithfully, and put their advice into practice daily.

Commandment #9: Thou Shalt Not Pontificate About Shit Thou Knowest Nothing About. You will get caught and mocked and that’s just embarrassing.

Commandment #10: Thou Shalt Have a Sense of Humor. It’s just people, and people are pretty much the funniest thing ever. Nothing will serve you online as well as a sense of humor, especially about yourself.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Flow of Skills

Clark Aldrich has an interesting chart on the 'flow of skills':

Here are some of the flows:

1. Instructors might learn from experts, format the information for students, who then become informed practitioners.

2. Experts might mentor practitioners.

3. Practitioners might get promoted to expert.

4. Students might work to get into a class, and get credit for successfully completing it.

5. Peer to peer communities might chew on problems and come to a solution.

What is obvious is the recent focus on eliminating or at least dramatically reducing the entire right side of the chart, the role of instructor and the role of student, while dramatically increasing the areas of overlap between expert and novice (middle left), such as peer-to-peer work and social networking.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Nurturing Intrinsic Motivation in the Classroom

“You can motivate by fear. And you can motivate by reward. But both of these methods are only temporary. The only lasting thing is self-motivation." (Homer Rice)

Read the full piece by Elona Hartjes which includes the below seven observations:

1. When I develop a positive relationship with my students, most students want to co-operate and do well.

2. When I focus on the positive and catch my students “doing good” and comment about it, then they do more of the same and other students follow suite.

3. When I greet my students at the classroom door with smile and a puzzle of some sort for them to do, they settled down more quickly and are ready for the day’s lesson.

4. When I have those students who can’t sit still for very long and lose focus easily, I get them to do their math questions on the board, they are more likely to stay focused and learn.

5. When I ask my students to volunteer to be "teachers for a minute" and explain how they did a particular question, more learning seems to go on than if I do all the talking myself. What a wonderfully positive way to meet a student’s need to be a leader.

6. When my classroom is a safe place to make a mistake, then reluctant students are more willing to take risks.

7. When my students interfere with my teaching or another student’s learning , I say “I don’t understand why you are being disrespectful to me when I’m not being disrespectful to you”, they stop the behaviour without threats or bribes. Honestly, most of the time they don’t realize that their behaviour is disrespectful. They’re just doing whatever. This approach works because they know I respect them, and in turn they want to respect me. Everyone wants respect.

Stephen Covey's 8th Habit (Exec Summary)

Thirst (Winner of World's Best Presentation Contest 2008)

This presentation won SlideShare's World's Best Presentation Contest 2008:
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: design crisis)

Good Power-Point

From Seth Godin's Really Bad Powerpoint:

Here are the five rules you need to remember to create amazing PowerPoint presentations:

1. No more than six words on a slide. EVER. (check out some ideas on presenting with text)

2. No cheesy images. Use professional images from instead. They cost $3 each, or a little more if they’re for ‘professional use’. (alternatively, Google Images and Flickr might suffice)

3. No dissolves, spins or other transitions. None.

4. Sound effects can be used a few times per presentation, but never (ever) use the sound effects that are built in to the program. Instead, rip sounds and music from CDs and leverage the Proustian effect this can have.

5. Don’t give hand-outs of your slides. They’re emotional, and they won’t work without you there. If someone wants your slides to show “the boss,” tell them that the slides go if you go.

You put up a slide. It triggers an emotional reaction in the audience. They sit up and want to know what you’re going to say that fits in with that image. Then, if you do it right, every time they think of what you said, they’ll see the image (and vice versa).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Music and Optimism in the Classroom

As a follow-up post from the ones showing off our SLATT participants' impressive classroom diagrams, here's one about how listening to music in the class can increase optimism.

Elona Hartjes shares some research she found which showed that:

"Music with a prominent beat stimulates an increased arousal in students which overrides the effect of environmental distractors…repetitive beat produces a reduction in muscle tension, thus reducing hyperactivity… (there was) significant reduction in distractability among students after being exposed to music. Short term memory was also beneficially affected by having to listened to music."

Read the full article.

Anger Management

"The goal of anger management is to reduce both your emotional feelings and the physiological arousal that anger causes. You can't get rid of, or avoid, the things or the people that enrage you, nor can you change them, but you can learn to control your reactions."

1. Breathe deeply, from your diaphragm; breathing from your chest won't relax you. Picture your breath coming up from your "gut."

2. Slowly repeat a calm word or phrase such as "relax," "take it easy." Repeat it to yourself while breathing deeply.

3 Use imagery; visualize a relaxing experience, from either your memory or your imagination. Nonstrenuous, slow yoga-like exercises can relax your muscles and make you feel much calmer.

Steve Jobs and the iPhone

Steve Jobs launches the iPhone 3G at the WorldWide Developers Conference 2008.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Steve Jobs at WWDC 2008

"As you know there are three parts to Apple -- the first part is Mac, second part is our music business (iPod and iTunes), and the third part is the iPhone."

For a good write-up on Jobs' presentation at the WorldWide Developers' Conference 2008, check out Ryan Block's post.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Green Economy?

Given the recent upheavel in financial markets, analysts are asking if a green economy is the way to go. Thomas Friedman, author of the best-seller The World Is Flat, writes:

"The exciting thing about the energy technology revolution is that it spans the whole economy — from green-collar construction jobs to high-tech solar panel designing jobs. It could lift so many boats.

"You can't base a national economy on credit cards. But you can base it on solar panels, wind turbines, smart biofuels and a massive program to weatherize every building and home in America."

Blueprint for High-Tech Classrooms

Some creative diagrams from the recent SLATT class on an 'ideal' (and obviously future-oriented) classroom.

Come to TLC1 to see the diagrams up-close.

And feel free to ask (via a comment) what they all represent!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Gagne by Thomas

Robert Gagne’s proposition of the nine-step process-event can be considered as helpful for successful classroom instruction. This was the topic of discussion for last week’s SLATT training.

Allow me to delve a little on the first part of Gagne’s offering, that is “Gaining Attention”. It is very true that students focused attention is mandatory in accomplishing effective learning. There are indeed many ways of gaining the attention of the student. The participants, proposed the following - music, multimedia presentation, a warm-up talk, an interesting anecdote as some of the ways we can achieve this. And once we set this atmosphere or tone of the class , the proceeding events become better manageable.

A note of caution though.

Today, the ‘gaining attention’ sequence of teaching a class can be a questionable endeavour. There are no instruments of measure to ascertain that attention has been gained. This part is determined by the behavioural observation of the teacher. Can the teacher be sure that attention has been gained? Have we not heard of students who are physically in the classroom yet they are not: mentally speaking. This is another problem area that educators need to contend with. Thus, this, is yet another challenge to be borne in mind.

What suggestion can we offer? Students should come to class with an anticipation to learn, because motivated students fulfill this requirement. Motivation is the key determinant that acts as a denominator for all aspects of learning in a student. A motivated mind is clear and focused. Such a conditioning must take place even before the student reaches class. Can we be certain that all students who get to our class are in such a mental state? Gagne’s pointers then, should also be examined in the light of such constraints. What kind or prior preparation, on the part of students and those around him, ( who are likewise concerned with his academic attainment ), can do, on an on-going basis to attain this level of anticipation and attention.

Parents should pay careful attention in preparing their children for school as well. Perhaps counselors should help educators by having a dynamic and on-going relationship with the students, to offer the kind of surrogate parental care from a social, spiritual, personal and mental point of view, so that the child is constantly tuned to be ready for class, to be really ready when the teacher calls to gain his attention. Such actions can eliminate students especially college going ones coming to class with lovelorn and broken hearted relationship before them, social deprivation, stress and feelings of inadequacy from negative peer pressure, broken homes and a host of others that deprive these students from engaging truly in the class instruction process, so that Gagne’s proposition can be given a chance to work. If we fail in this then we will continue to get students who are low performers inspite of our excellent instruction.

George Thomas

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

From Web 1.0 to Web 3.0

Not the easiest presentation in the (cyber)world to grasp, but certainly worth looking through:
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: creativecommons opensource)

Distractions & Creativity

"How many times have you spent hours slaving over an impossible problem, only to take a break and then easily solve the problem, sometimes within minutes of looking at it again?

"According to Galinsky and fellow psychologists Chen-Bo Zhong from the University of Toronto and Ap Dijkstererhuis of Radboud University Nijmegen, distractions may be helpful in coming up with creative solutions to a certain problem, but must be followed by a period of conscious thought to ensure that we are aware of those solutions and can apply them.

"Likewise, while distractions are more useful in solving difficult problems, it may be better to stay focused on finding the solution when confronted with easier problems."

Read full article here.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Nobel Prize (Literature) for Jean-Marie Le Clézio

Adam Roberts of the Valve writes about this relatively unknown laureate:
"...until the mid-1970s, Le Clézio’s novels were formally experimental examples of the nouveau roman but that subsequently ‘he abandoned experimentation, and the mood of his novels became less tormented as he broached themes like childhood, adolescence, and traveling, which attracted a broader, more popular audience’.

Actually, his later books mostly seem to be versions of the lives of his family: La Quarantaine (1995) is about his grandfather; L’Africain (2004) about his own boyhood in Niger where his rather severe-sounding father worked as a doctor; Ritournelle de la faim (2008) is based on the life of his own mother, and so on.

Throughout his career he has demonstrated a thoroughly commendable interest in the dispossessed, the marginalised, the racially and economically displaced and oppressed. There are novels about indigenous mesoamerican culture, which he apparently admires greatly; there are are a good number about North and Central Africa; and there are novels from other sites of human suffering and endurance. In Etoile errante (1992) Esther, a Jewish survivor of the Nazis, treks arduously towards postwar Jerusalem to start a new life, passing, coming the other way, ‘a stream of equally despairing, newly displaced refugees, among them Nejma, a Palestinian girl. Nejma then chronicles the misery of a gravely ill-provisioned camp and her heroic escape.’
Which sounds like a bag of laughs. More to the point, the Nobel citation praises Le Clézio as ‘author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization,’ which sounds good."

Gagne's 9

The recent SLATT class covered the Robert Gagne's famous 9 events of instruction. The below is from yet another link on the methodology:

1. Gain attention
In order for any learning to take place, you must first capture the attention of the student. A multimedia program that begins with an animated title screen sequence accompanied by sound effects or music startles the senses with auditory or visual stimuli. An even better way to capture students' attention is to start each lesson with a thought-provoking question or interesting fact. Curiosity motivates students to learn.

2. Inform learners of objectives
Early in each lesson students should encounter a list of learning objectives. This initiates the internal process of expectancy and helps motivate the learner to complete the lesson. These objectives should form the basis for assessment and possible certification as well. Typically, learning objectives are presented in the form of "Upon completing this lesson you will be able to. . . ." The phrasing of the objectives themselves will be covered under Robert Mager's contributions later in this chapter.

3. Stimulate recall of prior learning
Associating new information with prior knowledge can facilitate the learning process. It is easier for learners to encode and store information in long-term memory when there are links to personal experience and knowledge. A simple way to stimulate recall is to ask questions about previous experiences, an understanding of previous concepts, or a body of content.

4. Present the content
This event of instruction is where the new content is actually presented to the learner. Content should be chunked and organized meaningfully, and typically is explained and then demonstrated. To appeal to different learning modalities, a variety of media should be used if possible, including text, graphics, audio narration, and video.

5. Provide "learning guidance"
To help learners encode information for long-term storage, additional guidance should be provided along with the presentation of new content. Guidance strategies include the use of examples, non-examples, case studies, graphical representations, mnemonics, and analogies.

6. Elicit performance (practice)
In this event of instruction, the learner is required to practice the new skill or behavior. Eliciting performance provides an opportunity for learners to confirm their correct understanding, and the repetition further increases the likelihood of retention.

7. Provide feedback
As learners practice new behavior it is important to provide specific and immediate feedback of their performance. Unlike questions in a post-test, exercises within tutorials should be used for comprehension and encoding purposes, not for formal scoring. Additional guidance and answers provided at this stage are called formative feedback.

8. Assess performance
Upon completing instructional modules, students should be given the opportunity to take (or be required to take) a post-test or final assessment. This assessment should be completed without the ability to receive additional coaching, feedback, or hints. Mastery of material, or certification, is typically granted after achieving a certain score or percent correct. A commonly accepted level of mastery is 80% to 90% correct.

9. Enhance retention and transfer (to the job)
Determining whether or not the skills learned from a training program are ever applied back on the job often remains a mystery to training managers - and a source of consternation for senior executives. Effective training programs have a "performance" focus, incorporating design and media that facilitate retention and transfer to the job. The repetition of learned concepts is a tried and true means of aiding retention, although often disliked by students. (There was a reason for writing spelling words ten times as grade school student.) Creating electronic or online job-aids, references, templates, and wizards are other ways of aiding performance

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Public Speaking (Braveheart & ID4)

Public Speaking (Tony Robbins)

Here's Tony Robbins again, whose was the 'model' for the Public Speaking class held yesterday. More videos coming soon.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Art of Negotiation

Our final instalment in the workshop series conducted by Mr. Nelson Allan:
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: negotiation skills)

Flow-Chart on Influencing Techniques

Clark Aldrich runs an interesting blog on gaming and simulation. The above is a diagram illustrating a simulation system for influencing people.

Read more.