Founders Blog

SIZER’S IDEAS LIVE ON

December 10, 2018

With American education policy being dissected, kicked and abused on an almost-daily basis, we need to look, once again, at the giant who left us almost a decade ago.  Theodore Sizer’s influence lives on — but, obviously not in the halls of Congress nor in the Betsy DeVos Department of Education. Dr. Sizer’s view of education reform — “with a premium on classroom creativity, bottom-up innovation and multiple measures of student learning”...

THE ‘OLD’ TRAINING WAS BETTER

December 5, 2018

In the case of skills training, many of the current e-Learning offerings do not begin to compare with the learning values designed into the older technologies:  interactive laser videodisc (IVD) and CD-ROM training.  Moreover, e-Learning courseware will need to embrace those media-rich values if it ever hopes to attain the same, or better, results. And, with that thought in mind, what I mean by “media-rich” is courseware that is designed for today’s...

SUPPORT THE NON-COLLEGE BOUND

December 3, 2018

“Not everyone is academically inclined — and there’s nothing wrong with that. Preparing your kids for whatever their future brings is an act of mutuality, and one of the ways we look out for those we love. Maybe that will be college, but maybe it will be something less traditional. More than two-thirds of high school graduates go on to college , and a lot of financial resources and planning go into preparing...

BETSY IS AT IT AGAIN!

November 28, 2018

While the Constitution does not directly address education and implies that it be left to the States — it also calls for equal treatment under the law.  At best, when it comes to education, it’s ambiguous. However, the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, which mandated the desegregation of public schools, gave the executive branch a legal precedent for enforcing equal access to education.  And, we have moved on...

TECHNOLOGY: MAKING A DIFFERENCE

November 26, 2018

Ever newer technology is changing the way we live in so many ways.  We all sense these rapidly increasing changes and we all profit from it in ways unimagined mere decades ago.  Automation and instrumentation control of processes has taken over many of our industries.  Social media, tablets, computers and smart phones are just a few examples of the inroads made by technology into our daily lives. My emphasis, however, continues to...

SKILLS ASSESSMENT COMES FIRST

November 14, 2018

Far too often, trainers “put the cart before the horse.” By that I mean they, mistakenly, jump into a new training initiative without, first, determining the skills gaps that may — or, may not — exist between the trainees and the objectives to-be-taught by the new learning initiative. And, that’s the wrong way to go! Money and time will be squandered if you don’t first measure skills gaps.  For example, some people...

TRAINING PURCHASING & YOU

November 12, 2018

Years ago, I was invited by the then-President of one of the Big Three auto manufacturers to visit him in his office to discuss a problem he was having.  It seems that he had engaged a consortium of some 30+ college and university Deans and Math Professors throughout his state in order to come up with a print solution for his UAW math training needs.  The initial product was completed and, when...

BETTER RETENTION & INCREASED SKILLS

November 7, 2018

I thought I had stumbled into a time machine! Imagine my surprise when I read a long-established training vendor’s recent press release.  Omitting the organization’s name, I’m going to quote from it: “(Company X) conducted a survey of its clients to determine the effectiveness of online training.  Comparing over 100,000 pre- and post-test scores, (Company X) found that clients using (Company X’s) courses significantly increased their trainees’ technical and safety knowledge. After...

TWO WAYS TO GO

November 5, 2018

Last month, I was excited to read that many of America’s leading companies are wising up to the fact that good employee candidates don’t have to come with a college degree: “Today’s tight labor market continues to be a promising landscape for job seekers, with economists even predicting more opportunities for professionals without a degree. Job-search site Glassdoor compiled a list of top employers who are expanding their talent options by no...

HOW VITAL IS TRAINING?

October 31, 2018

How important is training investment to manufacturing companies? An international study conducted by Bo Hansson of Malardalen University suggests that, “the single most important factor associated with profitability is how much is invested in training .  .  .” Moreover, a recent U.S. Department of Education study found that by increasing an individual’s training by 10%, productivity is increased by 10%.  Compare that to only a 6% productivity increase when adding 10% to...

EDUCATION & FAIRNESS PLAY THEIR PARTS

October 29, 2018

When I was in public school “Civics” was a required course while American History courses accompanied that requirement.  I still remember the major point my Civics teacher emphasized over and over again:  “Vote for the man (sic) and not the party!”  (As a point of interest, in the first twelve Presidential elections in which I was eligible to vote, I voted six times for a Republican and six times for a Democrat. ...

LET’S GET IT RIGHT!

October 24, 2018

My career in visual-media training goes back a long way — to the earliest days of videotape instruction (the “black and white days”).  In addition, back then there was no profession called “Instructional Design.”  Rather an SME prepared the content (all factual with only the uniqueness of the camera work and rudimentary hand-drawn graphics to provide the motivational elements) and, then, the SME became the on-screen talent. Later, the beginnings of Instructional...

THE AYES HAVE IT!

October 22, 2018

I’ve posted countless times extolling the near-necessity of using full-motion video, graphic animations and, where appropriate, gaming for the bulk of your training initiatives. Why?!? It’s the learning culture of the vast majority of your trainees!  Plus, it gives them a near-simulation experience (as close to hands-on training as one can get — at a fraction of the cost)! In addition, long-term retention is significantly increased and a more productive transition from...

PHONICS IS STILL THE ANSWER

October 8, 2018

When I entered the first grade in 1939, learning to read had its bedrock based in phonics.  Skip forward to the early 1990s when ITC decided to produce an interactive reading/writing series of Interactive Laser Videodisc instruction.  We surveyed a number of universities that were actively involved with teacher training and quickly discovered that “Phonics” had become a “dirty word” and that “Whole Language Learning” and “Balanced Literacy” were now the new...