Friday, January 29, 2010

Will iPad Revolutionize e-Learning?

I know all the recent headlines have been about Apple's new iPad and there is probably no way that you could have missed the news, but I wanted to share Mashable's post entitled, "Apple iPad: A Comprehensive Guide." I also found an article by Bill Brandon in Learning Solutions Magazine entitled, "Apple's iPad: What does it offer for e-Learning?" Apple also states that they already have 1,400+ apps developed for it.  Check out Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveil the revolutionary new iPad here.

Do you think iPad will revolutionize e-learning or how do you feel it will affect education?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Who Knows What in Your Organization? Try Dekks!

"The most important aspect of any enterprise is the employees and what they know."
John Tomizuka, CEO Dekks

I have to agree with John and Dekks provides an interesting twist on social media. I think this could be a great mapping tool to find out who knows what within your organization. In other words, map what exists in the organization in terms of knowledge and how the knowledge and people are interconnected. Dekks could help you answer:

"Who are my key players in key areas?"
"In a specific area, who is my top person?"
"Who are the gatekeepers?"
"How are issues related to one another?"
"Where am I missing possible synergies between teams and people?"
"Who should I give a bonus to?"
"Who makes the best cup of coffee?"
"Who can help with my iPhone?"

We sometimes, unintentionally, corner ourselves into different silos within an organization, but I think this could help break down those barriers. It's more of an informal network that provides notice of updates, new messages, polls, and tasks will be highlighted that show the hot topics in your company. Employees can build their profile and list skills or teams, etc. that can be tagged and mapped. Have you ever been in a meeting and have someone ask a question that you can't answer so you call the person that you know has the knowledge, but they aren't answering? Deks could help you map to other people that would have the same knowledge that you weren't even aware of and you can get your question answered then and not have to wait.

It also makes me wonder if you could scale it down to the classroom level and map the skills of your students? It might be a way to select members for team projects as well. Dekks offers a 30-day free trial and after that it costs $2.00 per user per month.  Take a look a their homepage to see a different demo or take a tour.

Monday, January 25, 2010

MIT OpenCourseWare: Highlights for High School

I have posted a few times about open source instruction, but I wanted to let you know about MIT's OpenCourseWare for High Schools.

The Massachusetts Institute for Technology's site has developed high school courses in the areas of science, mathematics, and humanities. They have also created resources for AP Biology, AP Calculus and AP Physics.

I'm also fond of the hands-on learning areas such as labs, competitions, and demonstrations on video.  If you like those, then you will absolutely like the "Knowledge in Action" area (this includes "Build Stuff," "Save the World," and "Write Better.") The "Build Stuff" area has courses on Toy Product Design, Furniture Making, Practical Electronics, Water Jet Technologies, Introduction to Robotics, Mechanical Engineering Tools, Architecture Studio: Building in Landscapes, and others.

Also, if you want to get a glimpse of college courses at MIT, take a look at all 1,900 courses on MIT OpenCourseWare or the MIT YouTube channel.

I think this is another great way to "extend" your education and I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm looking forward to some high school remediation! J.T.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

140 University: Providing Classes in the Form of Knowledge Nuggets and Related Links

Intelligence and creativity absolutely amaze me. I have to admit that every person that I meet seems to be a genious in some way. I don't know if that makes it seem like I don't know anything myself, but people really do amaze me! Each individual human brain and the experiences that shapes it over the course of a lifetime provides such unique perspective.

Take today's post for example. Everyone knows how much I like technology (this is where you can fill in the blank with anything you like... educational technology, home theater, pc's, keep going...and going), but sometimes I can't fathom the purpose for a particular technology. It intrigues me, but what do I really need it for? Do you ever get that feeling?

Twitter was one of those technologies that intrigues me and I can absolutely see some business applications, but do I really care how many times a friend of mine takes his bulldog for a walk in Central Park or the exact time twenty people leave work for the day? Not really. No, not at all.  And the same could be said for that aspect of Facebook or MySpace (however, I could always see more applications for these forms of social media).

I have been told a few times that people are beginning to use Twitter in the development of skills standards, but I still have some reservations about that. If you Tweet every 20 or 30 minutes about what task you are performing, won't Tweeting become one of your tasks or skill sets? OK, I know I'm taking that a little far, but you know what I mean.

Today I have found a place where creativity and intelligence have met to create an interesting educational approach for the use of Twitter (it can also be used on Facebook). The Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies launched 140 University on January 18, 2010.

140 University has 19 departments (archived classes) and I think this is a great way that you can extend your educational learning by discovering and sharing new information. This site provides "classes in the form of knowledge nuggets and related links to web pages, videos, etc - in less than 140 characters (of course). Explore the classes that you are interested in!"

Take a look at the last posts in Engineering:
21 Jan 2010
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan had the Taj Mahal constructed in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal

20 Jan 2010
Journey thru the Panama Canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific takes 8-10 hrs or 1.52 mins with time-lapse photography

19 Jan 2010
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a British engineer, was the creator of the Great Western Railway and numerous bridges

I also like the thought that learning can be shared in "real time" and not just from a static piece of information. As Thomas Jefferson stated, "He who knows best knows how little he knows" or as Seargent Schultz from "Hogan's Heroes" stated, "I know nothing."  I'm not sure which quote I belong under, but individual intelligence and creativity truly do amaze me!  J.T.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Advanced Pastry Arts Completes MAVCC’s Culinary Series

I previously made a post about MAVCC's Culinary Techniques curriculum and I wanted to make sure you know about their latest product. Take a look and place your order today! J.T.

Advanced Pastry Arts, the fourth and concluding volume in MAVCC’s Culinary Arts Series, has gone to press and will be available in early 2010. Enhancing and extending the material learned in Culinary Concepts and Culinary Techniques, the Advanced Pastry Arts curriculum provides students with advanced knowledge and specialized skills applicable to a career in baking, pastry, and dessert preparation.

Topics covered in the publication include a review of baking basics, advanced breads and baking, chocolate and candies, decorative cakes, pastries and confections, and advanced desserts. Relevant concepts, such as plating and decoration, special nutritional concerns, and attention to cultural considerations are introduced where appropriate and reinforced throughout.

Advanced Pastry Arts is a competency-based integrated curriculum; the contents of MAVCC’s instructional materials are tied to measureable and observable learning outcomes that align with American Culinary Federation (ACF) Knowledge and Skills Competencies. These materials are structured so that instructors and students have a clear understanding of what will be covered and how students will be evaluated as they move through each unit of instruction. Advanced Pastry Arts aligns with ODCTE certification exams in the Hospitality Career Cluster: Bakery Cook, Cold Food/Prep Cook, Hot Food Cook and Food Handler.

The new curriculum includes numerous features, including:
  • A Student Workbook on CD, with 65 assignment and job sheets which may be completed on the computer, saved and e-mailed to instructor, or printed when finished and submitted to the instructor for evaluation
  • Interactive student review and testing materials for each unit of instruction
  • Student supplements and enrichment resources, which broaden the curriculum through research and independent study opportunities
  • PowerPoint© presentations for each unit, permitting instructors to customize content to suit individual program requirements and local resources
  • Instructional/Task Analysis, identifying the cognitive skills (what the student should know) and psychomotor skills (what the student should be able to do) for each unit of instruction
  • Crosswalk to National Standards, identifying the national skill standards covered in the publication and listing specifically where unit number and objective or assignment and/or job sheet locate these skills
The Advanced Pastry Arts curriculum consists of a Teacher CD, and a Student Edition including a printed Student Guide and a Student Workbook on CD, which features fillable assignment and job sheets and an interactive student review.

For more information about this or other books in the Culinary Arts Series, go to the MAVCC online catalog or contact their customer service department at 1-800-654-3988 or (405) 743-5579, or e-mail them at

Friday, January 15, 2010

You Don't Have to Be an Einstein to Learn the Periodic Table of Elements

Where were these guys when I was in high school and college? The University of Nottingham has created a couple of resources that will help any STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) instructor.

First, The Periodic Table of Videos  is definitely a modern version of the table as they provide a short video about all 118 elements. They also state that this is just the beginning as they are updating all the videos with new stories, better samples and bigger experiments. They are also making additional films that involve other areas of chemistry as well as being a source of news involving chemistry and adventures away from their lab. I really enjoyed watching the extra videos and they are a great way to learn about science.

If the Periodic Table of Videos weren't enough, they have also created Sixty Symbols, which are videos about the symbols used in physics and astronomy. They also have a link at the bottom of the page where they are in the process of adding sixty more symbols.

You might also check out TestTube by Nottingham Science City. They provide videos that gives you a behind the scenes look into the world of science.
Like I said...WHERE WERE THESE GUYS WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE? I will guarantee that you can NOT watch just ONE video! Also, thanks to JLa for letting me know about The Periodic Table of Videos! A very cool site indeed!!!  J.T.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Financial Literacy Update: New Credit Card Rules Starting in February 2010

In the summer of 2009, Congress passed the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, which puts new rules in place to benefit the consumer.

Some of the highlights of the Act include:

Bans Unfair Rate Increases: Financial institutions will no longer raise rates unfairly, and consumers will have confidence that the interest rates on their existing balances will not be hiked.

Bans Retroactive Rate Increases: Bans rate increases on existing balances due to "any time, any reason" or "universal default" and severely restricts retroactive rate increases due to late payment.

 First Year Protection: Contract terms must be clearly spelled out and stable for the entirety of the first year. Firms may continue to offer promotional rates with new accounts or during the life of an account, but these rates must be clearly disclosed and last at least 6 months.

 Bans Unfair Fee Traps:
  • Ends Late Fee Traps: Institutions will have to give card holders a reasonable time to pay the monthly bill – at least 21 calendar days from time of mailing. The act also ends late fee traps such as weekend deadlines, due dates that change each month, and deadlines that fall in the middle of the day.
  • Enforces Fair Interest Calculation: Credit card companies will be required to apply excess payments to the highest interest balance first, as consumers expect them to do. The act also ends the confusing and unfair practice by which issuers use the balance in a previous month to calculate interest charges on the current month, so called "double-cycle" billing.
  • Requires Opt-In to Over-Limit Fees: Consumers will find it easier to avoid over-limit fees because institutions will have to obtain a consumer’s permission to process transactions that would place the account over the limit.
  • Restrains Unfair Sub-Prime Fees: Fees on subprime, low-limit credit cards will be substantially restricted.
  • Limits Fees on Gift and Stored Value Cards: The act enhances disclosure on fees for gift and stored value cards and restricts inactivity fees unless the card has been inactive for at least 12 months. All gift cards must have at least a five-year life.
Plain Sight /Plain Language Disclosures: Credit card contract terms will be disclosed in language that consumers can see and understand so they can avoid unnecessary costs and manage their finances.
  • Plain Language in Plain Sight: Creditors will give consumers clear disclosures of account terms before consumers open an account, and clear statements of the activity on consumers’ accounts afterwards. For example, pre-opening disclosures will highlight fees consumers may be charged and periodic statements will conspicuously display fees they have paid in the current month and the year to date as well as the reasons for those fees. These disclosures will help consumers make informed choices about using the right financial products and managing their own financial needs. Model disclosures will be updated regularly based on reviews of the market, empirical research, and testing with consumers to ensure that disclosures remain clear, useful, and relevant.
  • Real Information about the Financial Consequences of Decisions: Issuers will be required to show the consequences to consumers of their credit decisions.
               *Issuers will need to display on periodic statements how long it would take to pay off the existing
                 balance – and the total interest cost – if the consumer paid only the minimum due.
               *Issuers will also have to display the payment amount and total interest cost to pay off the existing
                 balance in 36 months.

 Cleans Up Credit Card Practices For Young People at Universities. The act contains new protections for college students and young adults, including a requirement that card issuers and universities disclose agreements with respect to the marketing or distribution of credit cards to students.Stay ConnectedFacebook Twitter Flickr MySpaceYouTube Vimeo iTunes LinkedIn Latest News and Updates

Another aspect of this law is that it promotes FINANCIAL LITERACY. It requires a comprehensive summary of existing financial literacy programs and development of a strategic plan to improve financial literacy education. This is exactly where the CareerTech Testing Center (CTTC) and CIMC can help you.

The CTTC has developed skills standards and a test that address these requirements and CIMC (Curriculum and Instructional Materials Center) now offers "Life Skills: Financial Literacy Skills."

Please contact us and let us know how we can assist you in all of your Financial Literacy training needs! (Thanks LL for the idea for the post!) 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Newseum....Whoever Came Up With This is Really Good!

Just put your mouse on a city anywhere in the world and the newspaper headlines pop up...
The Newseum displays these daily newspaper front pages in their original, unedited form. Just double click and the page gets can read the entire paper on some if you click on the right place. You can spend forever here.

This site changes every day with the publication of new editions of each paper. For example, today's Newseum includes 777 front pages from 77 countries. If you look at the European papers, the far left side of Germany will pop up as The Stars & Stripes (European edition, of course). (Some front pages may contain material that is objectionable to some visitors. Viewer discretion is advised.)

Something else I didn't know, even though I have been to Washington, D.C. a few times, is that there is actually a museum called, "The Newseum" which is located at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Sixth Street, N.W.

The Newseum is a 250,000-square-foot museum of news and offers visitors an experience that blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits. According to the site, "The Newseum features seven levels of galleries, theaters, retail spaces and visitor services. It offers a unique environment that takes museumgoers behind the scenes to experience how and why news is made."

And if all of this wasn't enough, Elvis is coming to The Newseum on March 12, 2010.

I hope you enjoy the site as much as I have and a special thanks to RD for the letting me know about The Newseum! J.T.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Free Skills Standards!

I wanted to let you know that the CareerTech Testing Center is now offering our skills standards for FREE!

We have been developing skills standards and online tests since 1980 as we work closely with instructors, program administrators, industry representatives, and credentialing entities to ensure that our 100+ skills standards and assessments reflect national standards and local industry needs.

These skills standards provide the foundation for competency-based instruction as they outline the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform related jobs within an industry. All of our assessments determine occupational readiness by testing the student over material outlined in the skills standards.

So What are the Uses of Skills Standards?
Skill Standards provide direction for students, instructors and program administrators in the journey towards workplace readiness.

Specifically, skills standards help instructors:
 improve program planning,
 track individualized instruction,
 facilitate discussion with local advisory committees,
 perform self-evaluations, and
 evaluate curriculum and instruction.

Skills standards also help program administrators:
 identify current job descriptions,
 document industry standards,
 guide program evaluations, and
 anticipate program growth and future challenges.

I's hard to believe that the CareerTech Testing Center can offer something so valuable for FREE.  Take a look at the standards and please use them to help develop your programs. Please contact us if you have any questions and let us know how we can help you with your online testing needs!  J.T.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Guidebook to Internet Searching

Besides losing weight, I think one of my top New Year's resolutions is to work more efficiently. Does anybody else have that same goal???

Just in case, I found the Guidebook to Internet Searching created by the Dean Sherwin at This is a great resource that will help you conduct better internet searches and it will also introduce you to some of the great new search engines that are out there.

Besides how to conduct a search, you will find categories on the major search engines, people searches, searching for products and details, image and video searches, searching for files, real-time searches, and smart searches.

Take a look and hopefully you will find something new. In other words, keep that New Year's resolution going for at least a couple of weeks! J.T.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...