• Oct 28
    2013
    Writer Karl Taro Greenfield’s article in The Atlantic last month got me thinking about blended learning. Greenfield describes his adventure of doing his daughter’s school homework for a week. The article’s title gives away its perspective: “My Daughter’s Homework Is Killing Me.” He puts in 3-5 hours each night on Algebra, Earth Sciences, and the Humanities and ends up protesting on a parents’ email list about it, whereupon he has ...
  • Oct 21
    2013
    Archaeologists have unearthed clay tablets with drawings on them that show how brick modules were to be used to construct ziggurats in Mesopotamia thousands of years before the Roman Empire. Ziggurats are among the oldest buildings in human history. They predated the pyramids of Egypt. It shouldn’t be surprising that Mesopotamians used building plans, but the discovery of these tablets serves as a reminder that the discipline of design is ...
  • Oct 14
    2013
    I was thinking about mobile learning when I was interviewed for an article on the bring your own device (BYOD) trend for Training magazine. The article appeared on their website last month. The article’s even-handed approach is summarized in this sentence from the second paragraph: “Organizations must balance employees’ preferences with the need to keep confidential company information and strategies secure.” It went on to enumerate some of the risks ...
  • Oct 07
    2013
    When you first hear about it, it sounds like it might be a joke. But the learning curve, so well known in training course development , has a counterpart in experimental psychology. It’s called the forgetting curve. It was discovered by psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, who described it in Memory: A Contribution to Experimental Psychology, which was published in 1885. He also discovered the learning curve, but he never actually used ...
  • Sep 30
    2013
    Loyalty guru Frederick Reichheld once showed that a five percent improvement in customer retention could boost the profits of most companies by 25% to 100%. Most companies understand that it costs far less to keep a customer than to acquire one. Customer loyalty has become a major marketing goal, and loyalty marketing has its own Wikipedia entry. But the Wikipedia entry is mostly about consumer rewards programs. A rewards program ...
  • Sep 23
    2013
    “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.” The man said to be the author of this quote, John Wanamaker, was the founder of Philadelphia’s first department store. He was considered a marketing genius. In 1874, he was the first retailer to buy a half-page newspaper ad. Five years later, he was the first to buy a full page. I wonder ...
  • Sep 16
    2013
    Wikipedia has no entry for job instruction training (JIT). There’s an entry for jit, which is a style of popular Zimbabwean dance music, but there’s nothing for job instruction training. This surprised me, because most modern training, although it looks nothing like JIT, is built on the original JIT model, which was developed during World War II to train industrial workers to produce the weapons and supplies needed to wage ...
  • Sep 09
    2013
    Over the summer, the government of Switzerland issued guidelines to the country’s banks that could indirectly affect how you think about IT training. “The new guidelines”, according to CNNMoney.com, “allow the banks to apply for permission to provide the U.S. with certain information about offshore bank accounts. They're still blocked from revealing information about individual clients, but can share details about employees who worked on the accounts and about accounts ...