Founders Blog

INTERESTING/INFORMATIVE READS

May 23, 2018

A few times each year this blog is used to introduce you to a variety of interesting/informative articles I’ve recently encountered and that you might like to read.  Since we’re now close to the Memorial Day weekend, it seems like a good time to do just that. “BETSY IS AT IT AGAIN” :  (“Betsy DeVos knows little about public education. And she doesn’t want to learn” by Helaine Olen, The Washington Post)...

AESTHETICS FOR BETTER LEARNING

May 21, 2018

A leading e-Learning authoring system provider lists four reasons for using their authoring tool.  Here are three of those reasons:  “Save time creating courses” – “Scale your learning program quickly” – “Everybody can create e-Learning now (this one makes me cringe).” Did you notice?  None of the three have anything to do with learning! All three have to do only with time and money.  Shame! There are, however, many important factors that...

THE “IF” IS BIG

May 17, 2018

So, why do you invest time in training your company’s workforce?   And, for that matter, why does your organization commit dollars to training initiatives? Those answers seem obvious, don’t they?   “Our workers will acquire the skills necessary for improved performance and that will result in a better bottom line for our company?’ In a perfect world, those answers are completely valid.   ‘nuff said. But, it’s not a perfect world and...

REDEFINING INDUSTRIAL SKILLS TRAINING

May 14, 2018

In case one hasn’t been paying attention, there are big changes taking place in industrial skills training today.   One significant trend is toward competency and accountability.  Clearly competency-based courseware with integrated measuring capabilities will be recognized and used as tools for reaching those goals. Another change is the impending fall of the wall between business and education. That wall has separated the two sectors for many years, but the pressure of...

OTJ & UNDERLYING KNOWLEDGE

May 9, 2018

Some time ago, I received two newsletters advocating the same thing:  On-The-Job (OTJ) Training. One newsletter pointed out, “. . . you can learn about forklift safety, but eventually learners will need to drive one before true learning takes place.”  The other observed, “. . . when you ask a dozen workers in almost any organization about how they learned their job – most will point to On The Job Training.” I...

THE TIME IS NOW!

May 7, 2018

Now is the time to recognize all the many advantages media-based online learning offers you, your trainees and your organization! Yes! We’ve come a long way down the technology trail in the past four decades.  The training challenges for our industrial workforce have been immense.  And, the trade-offs involving instructional design and production values, combined with cost and efficiency issues, have complicated the entire process. Maintenance and Operations training for our workforce...

THE E-LEARNING THAT DOESN’T WORK

May 2, 2018

The majority of your workforce learns very little from reading the printed words.  They are part of the growing majority that learns best from the multiple media they engage every day on their smart phones, tablets and computers.  And PowerPoint is a prime contributor to their disconnect. “ .  .  .  Funny enough, it seems like most elearning courses can be traced back to PowerPoint in some capacity. Heck, most of them...

WE’RE LOSING EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

April 30, 2018

Growing up in a small South Dakota prairie town and with sparse financial means (my mother was left in significant debt after my father died), for me, equality-of-opportunity in education was not a major challenge.  (Regretfully, at that time, my friends and I were all ignorant of the education inequalities faced by African Americans and Native Americans.)  We all believed that if you “worked hard” and applied yourself, all possibilities were open...

LEARNING ADVANCES FOR THE COMMUNITY

April 25, 2018

For a change of pace, I’m going to shift the focus away from formal education and training.  Through a single example, I want to describe how technology learning can be made successfully available for “the family,” and can help liberate the adult members from poverty while increasing parent/child involvement in the school setting (the single most important determinant in a child’s educational progression). While I am sure there are hundreds of similarly...

INVEST IN OUR CHILDREN

April 18, 2018

‘TEACHERS STRIKE IN WEST VIRGINIA!” “TEACHERS STRIKE IN OKLAHOMA!” “TEACHERS STRIKE IN KENTUCKY!” “ARIZONA TEACHERS CALL FOR STRIKE VOTE!” “COLORADO TEACHERS STAGE ‘DAY OF ACTION!’” And so it goes — slowly, but surely, spreading throughout many parts of the nation. Growing up in a small South Dakota town, the culture I encountered valued certain professions above others:  doctors and nurses, police, firefighters and teachers.  Those were considered the noble professions — individuals...

ANSWER THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

April 16, 2018

I cannot begin to enumerate the number of great concepts and brilliant adaptations of technology that I have seen fail.  For example, someone discovers how to use state-of-the-art technology in new and exciting ways.  That excitement is quickly picked up by co-workers and friends. “Isn’t this just the neatest thing ever!”  “What learning challenges can be successfully addressed with my idea!”  “Just wait ‘til they see this!” With all this cheer leading...

TRADITIONAL HIGHER EDUCATION

April 2, 2018

Last week, we examined several issues relating to the education and training associated with the traditional vocational/technical post-secondary schools. Today, we’ll focus on two ultra-important issues that are beginning to infect some of our traditional colleges and universities as politicians are attempting to change the focus of higher education and limit access at the same time. “For the first time, students in more than half of all U.S. states are paying more...

SEPARATE TRACKS

March 29, 2018

Today and on Monday we’re going to examine issues surrounding the two major tracks for a post-high school education.  Each is important and both are vital to our country but each has a different overriding purpose.  One is focused on skills development (and, in our case, that means industrial skills) while the other should be focused on the historically proven goals associated with a liberal arts education. We’ll start with issues relating...

ADAPTING TO CHANGE

March 26, 2018

Several years ago, along with then-ITC’s Adam Kovic, I had the privilege of co-presenting at a SALT (Society of Applied Learning Technology) Conference in Orlando.  The title of our presentation was “Instructional Designers Have Failed E-Learning.” In sum, too many of our current e-Learning courses are being designed by individuals who apparently have forgotten the keys to successful learning.  Instead, the e-Learning courseware world is populated by far too many re-purposed PowerPoint...