Inside Learning

This post is cross posted at the Tech Learning blog.

In the 2000 United States Open at Pebble Beach, Tiger Woods stood on the 18th tee in the second round and had just hit his tee shot into the Pacific Ocean. The TV cameras showed a disgusted Woods slam his club to the ground and reach out his hand to caddie Steve Williams to request another ball. Woods then proceeded to hit a perfect and went on to win the tournament and broke a scoring record in the process. What you didn’t know was because of a number of circumstances, that was the last ball in Woods’ bag. If he had hit that ball into the water, he would have been disqualified. Knowing the inside scoop adds intrigue and context to already exciting event.

With the opening of baseball season just around the corner I was thinking back to one of my favorite shows as a child, Inside Baseball. As much as I loved to watch the games themselves, I was fascinated by the stories and that took me inside the locker room and practice field to learn more about my heroes. Hearing Rod Carew talk about how he … Read the rest

Multi-tasking and the Backchannel: Powerful learning or more noise

Doug Johnson’s been thinking again,

I thought of this yesterday when attending a presentation by Michael Wesch of The Machine is Using Us fame. (Great presenter and message, BTW). At the end of the keynote, I had an entire page of handwritten notes, which has become unusual for me. Why?

My laptop’s battery was dead and the lecture hall had zero electrical outlets. I could not do my usual thing of checking e-mail, reading rss feeds, or Twittering and half attending to the lecture. Now Wesch’s talk was probably interesting enough to suck my eyeballs away from the computer screen, but then again, maybe not.

One of the things that I seriously question is the conversation about “enhancing” presentations with live blogging, back-channel discussions, streaming on-screen chat, and other noxious goings-on. Are these things actually valuable or are we doing them because we’re nerds and we can?

I already responded a bit but want to flesh out the thinking a bit more. First of all, I think the term “multi-tasking” gets used to describe a number of things and I’m somewhat unclear of the definition. Without addressing Dr. Medina’s research specifically, I want to focus the discussion more directly around … Read the rest