Monthly Archives: November 2012

Learning Live Yet From Afar

I participated in a web-conference at work today with a potential new email service provider (ESP).  The ESP company provided a live demonstration of their software online via  The technology they used is not new to me as I have participated in live webinars and online software demonstrations before.  What was new, though, was my appreciation for the preparation the presenter must have gone through leading up to our meeting today.  I couldn’t help but wonder if the presenter had read Lori Reed’s blog post 10 Lessons I Learned From Delivering My First Synchronous Learning Session.

Lesson #1 – Plan, develop, practice, then plan some more.  It was apparent that our presenter had done all of these in advance of our meeting.  Well, maybe not for our exact meeting, per se, as this training is something she provides to any company who is evaluating their service.  She had obviously done some work to tailor the presentation for us by having our logo image available to drop into her demonstration of creating an email template. She also had multiple browser windows open to allow for easy movement from one to another as she showed us different features of the product, including how easy it is to bring in copy we have on our website.

Lesson #3 – Silence is not golden!  Our presenter may have taken this one a bit too far, as it was sometimes hard to “cut her off” when we had a question.

Lesson #5 – Have a producer.  It wasn’t exactly a producer, but she did have a colleague on the conference who was able to answer more sales-related (vs. product-related) questions.

Lesson #8 – No one knows when you make a mistake, so don’t call attention to it.  Actually, I could tell when she made a few mistakes, such as when she highlighted our logo and replaced it with our website’s url instead of embedding the link in the image, but if that was the biggest mistake she made all day, she was way ahead of me.  As Reed suggested a presenter should do, our presenter just rolled right on with her next point as if there had been no hiccup at all.

Lesson #10 – Have fun!  It’s always an added bonus when the presenter gets you as excited about the software as she is.

In Reed’s post she writes, “It’s about the people and the learning and not the technology.”  In the case of our web-conference today, it really WAS about the technology, but considering I will be the main point of contact for our company with any new ESP, establishing a relationship with the people and knowing they understand how to guide you through the learning of their product is key to having them get my recommendation.


Posted by on November 13, 2012 in ADLT 641


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Neuroplasticity, Lifelong Learning, and Meditation

Just a quick follow up to my post from Sunday and the reference to neuroplasticity.  I created a playlist on YouTube to show you how neuroplasticity can lead to lifelong learning as well as how neuroplasticity can be enhanced through meditation.

The first video in the playlist (after my fun little intro slide which is, I guess you could say, my first original posting on YouTube!) is the one I stumbled across during my exploration of YouTube that got me thinking about neuroplasticity, a topic we’ve discussed in my meditation class.  That led me to wonder if there were any TED Talks about the topic, which of course there are.  Sara Lazar is a neuroscientist who discusses studies about exercising your brain and how meditation can slow down the natural loss of cognitive ability caused by aging. These studies are also referenced in the third video with Rick Hanson, also a neuroscientist and author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom.  The foreword to Buddha’s Brain was written by Dan Siegel, M.D., and in the next video in my playlist, Dr. Siegel gives a technical description of how the brain can rewire itself through experience.  He goes on to introduce his concept of mindsight, which is “focusing attention… harnessing the power of the mind… to change synaptic connections and… stimulate the growth of new neurons.”  The next video in my playlist offers a more detailed description of mindsight by Dr. Siegel.  And finally, the last video is… well no, I don’t want to spoil the ending for you.  Enjoy!


Posted by on November 6, 2012 in ADLT 641


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DistribYOUTUBEd Learning

Everybody knows what YouTube is, right?  It’s where you watch those crazy cat videos (or in my case dog videos), video replays of awesome sports clips, or videos of an artist you like.  But this past week, I learned a few things about YouTube that I never knew or even thought about.

While I was exploring areas of YouTube whose links they keep tucked away at the bottom of the page, I discovered:

  • CitizenTube — YouTube’s News & Politics blog.  I’m not sure this would be the best place to stay up on current events since the last post here is from May 2012.  There has been a bit of political news since then, right?
  • TestTube — YouTube’s Idea Incubator where they try out new ideas before deciding whether to make them a standard feature on the site.

So, there’s no question that there is a LOT of content on YouTube, a fair amount of which you can use for educational purposes.  If all this information is out there for the taking, who really owns the content? Enter Margaret Gould Stewart, former head of user experience at YouTube (now head of product design for Facebook).  She gave a Ted Talk (one of her “bucket list” items) in 2010 about what she calls “the digital rights ecosystem” and specifically the Content ID system at YouTube.

As an original content owner, you can register your material with YouTube in their Content ID system.  As the owner of the rights, you can also determine what policy you want YouTube to apply if and when someone tries to upload the same content. Surprisingly, or maybe not, Stewart says most rights owners allow copies to be uploaded because they “then benefit through the exposure, advertising, and linked sales.”  The example Stewart gives of why an artist, for example, might be okay with his work being used by someone else is the video of the wedding party making their entrance to Chris Brown’s song “Forever,” which had come and gone from the charts 18 months before the wedding.  Not only did this “little wedding video” get over 40 million views, but Chris Brown’s old song went back up to #4 on the iTunes chart.

You can search for copycat videos and spoofs of the wedding party entrance, and even NBC “borrowed” the idea from the video for an episode of “The Office.”  (I was going to link to a video of that, but that WAS copyright protected.)  NBC’s high-profile takeoff on the amateur wedding video proves Stewart’s point about digital rights being an ecosystem because “it’s not just amateurs borrowing from big studios, but sometimes big studios borrowing back.”

Stewart’s advice to content owners is simple.  “If you have content that others are uploading to YouTube, you should register it in the Content ID system, and then you’ll have the choice about how your content is used.”  She goes on to say that by allowing your work to be reused, you’re opening it up to all sorts of new possibilities, including new audiences and new distribution channels.  And isn’t that what distributed learning is all about?


Posted by on November 4, 2012 in ADLT 641


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