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Founders Blog

VOCABULARY IN LIFE & IN TRAINING

March 6, 2019

When I entered grade school (grades one through eight) in South Dakota there was a large emphasis on vocabulary learning.  And, this focus continued during my high school years in Nebraska.  In fact, one of my high school teachers was proud to say that “the larger your vocabulary, the more advanced your thinking ability.” So several years ago, when I first encountered an article by E. D. Hirsch, Jr., “A Wealth of...

BLENDED LEARNING EVOLVES

March 4, 2019

The concept of Blended Learning has changed.  A very few years ago, Wikipedia had the following definition:  “Blended learning is a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online delivery of content and instruction with some element of student control over time, place, path or pace.  While still attending a “brick-and-mortar” school structure, face-to-face classroom methods are combined with computer-mediated activities.” But, the term has been...

DEFINING SUCCESS

February 25, 2019

A few years ago, the “Harvard Alumni Magazine” published information on their graduates that call into question some of the values we are teaching our kids. “Among those who graduated around 1970, 22 percent of the men were in finance or management 15 years later.  Among those who graduated around 1990, the figure was 38 percent.  The proportion of male graduates working in finance alone increased from 5 percent to 15 percent...

PREPARATION FOR SUCCESS

February 20, 2019

Today, many would-be instructional designers attend colleges and universities in order to attain their Bachelors and/or Masters degrees in that field. Of course, higher education has a place in preparing our next generation of trainers and instructional designers.  Theoretical understanding is important.  However, when it comes to teaching “templates of learning design,” higher education seriously misdirects the student. Cookie-cutter solutions are never the answer.  Every training initiative undertaken has specific — not,...

IT’S SOCIAL SCIENCES & HUMANITIES

February 13, 2019

“In “The Future Computed: Artificial Intelligence and its Role in Society,” Microsoft president Brad Smith argues that “as computers behave more like humans, the social sciences and humanities will become even more important. Languages, art, history, economics, ethics, philosophy, psychology and human development courses can teach critical, philosophical and ethics-based skills that will be instrumental in the development and management of AI solutions.” Likewise, arts and humanities students who can effectively marshal data...

CHOOSE THE SMART WAY

February 11, 2019

Making your training choices should be a careful process.  If you’re going to reach all of your trainees, you know by now that the training choices you make must be multi-sensory in design.  We have discussed many times the absolute necessity for full-motion video, graphic animations, and or gaming plus optional word-for-word audio if you hope to train the 40% of your workforce who do not assimilate anything written beyond a 4th...

ITS THE QUESTIONS!

February 6, 2019

It seems fitting, once again, to reflect on the educational differences between testing and the SOLs held in the one hand while the other hand holds out the promises of questioning and learning. The “Great Books of the Western World” and its companion collection, “The Great Ideas Today,” were published more than a half-century ago.  Their introduction was designed to stimulate thinking and their publication was an attempt to bring the best...

YOUR BEST LONG TERM INVESTMENT

February 4, 2019

There are a plethora of training delivery choices available to you today.  In addition to the print and lecture choices you can make, several technology choices are available.  It’s the technology choices that make the most sense since we know, without argument, two big things today:  1) more than 40% of our workforce does not assimilate what they read if the material has been written at a greater than 4th grade reading...

BRING CIVICS BACK — NOW!

January 30, 2019

An important issue surfaced (or re-surfaced) last weekend to help put the spotlight back onto a subject that should affect us all. The light shown on a subject I’ve posted on several times: “The demise of Civics in our schools and the resultant disconnect that has now plagued our national discourse for several decades.” While watching Bill Maher last weekend, his opening monologue ended with his recognition of a few Rhode Island...

EMBRACING CHANGE

January 28, 2019

“He who rejects change is the architect of decay.  The only human institution which re-jects progress is the cemetery.”   (Harold Wilson, former British prime minister) “Successful businesses have always adapted readily to change, but at no time in living memory — and likely at no point in history — has adaptability been a more desirable business trait than it is today. Given our recent economic difficulties, in combination with accelerating technological sophistication,...

PURCHASING VALUE

January 23, 2019

Price — not, Value — is what’s driving far too many e-Learning purchases today. That’s backwards! Ultimately, that will cost your organization significantly more money in the long run. Why? Because if your trainees do not retain the information you’re trying to teach, the reasons they’re being trained in the first place will not be satisfactorily addressed.  And, those reasons include such items as routine maintenance, scrap and plant efficiencies. You need...

TROUBLESHOOTING IS KING

January 14, 2019

Several times in the past eight years I’ve posted about the importance of troubleshooting skills, the key attribute that separates the good from the mediocre with all your plant maintenance personnel.  The most succinct definition of “troubleshooting” that I’ve ever read comes from an article by Stephanie Krieger, “Troubleshooting 201: Ask the Right Questions,” which was published in TechNet Magazine: “There are two rules that always apply, whether you’re troubleshooting hardware or...

TIRED OF THE LIARS

January 9, 2019

The current political discourse troubles me.  In some ways, it brought back the ironic echoes in “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost, a poem I first encountered many, many decades ago. This blog has concentrated on issues relating to training and education.  Today’s post will be short as I feel, when listening to our nation’s current political leaders speak, “education” is disrespected.  And, my education holds the highest place in my life experiences...

INDUSTRIAL TRAINING TODAY

January 7, 2019

Working in industry in 2019, in addition to job specific requirements, calls for a solid background in learning fundamentals such as safety, work practice, tool use, computer familiarity, mathematics, plus reading and writing.  These are all important elements in any modern industrial training program and particularly for those employees working in electrical maintenance, mechanical maintenance, operations, and instrumentation.  And, while the number of industrial workers has declined, the United States will continue...