Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Brain and Learning

What a fun (?) totally confusing week it has been for me as I continue my adventures of becoming an Instructional Designer.  For this post I have been asked to find at least two articles/post that I can continue my studies on the brain and learning, information processing theory, and problem-solving methods during the learning process. (Wow, I sound smart) However, as mentioned above, I am frustrated.  It seems as if there is too much information and not enough time. 

As I started to look for some articles I struggled to find ones that made sense to me at the level I was at.  I spent 3- 4 hours of heavy searching and finally settled on these. 

Take a look at this.
This is my kind of website/blog.  An interactive website about the Human Brain and Behavior. 

I believe this site is short of amazing.  Unfortunately, I can not find an author, however, I can tell you that it is funded by stitute of Neurosciences, Mental Health, and Addiction (INMHA), one of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).  I enjoyed the way it was layed out that it was easy for a beginner and there was more then enough information for advanced users.  
When you click on the site manual, you will see the site map.  If we are not careful,  we will get distracted with all of the goodies found there like, pleasure seeking behavior or pleasure and drugs.  However, what is most interesting is the Memory and the Brain section.  This section is broken down into two sections, How Memory Works, and Forgetting and Amnesia.  This site would be a valuable site for students of any level who wish to go a bit deeper into the study of the brain and learning.  

I also found an article titled Learn something new-your brain will thank you by Gary Marcus

As an online learner in Instructional Design we should directly related to Gary Marcus’ post on why learning something new is good for my brain! He explains that “…hearing something new is a signal that the brain is learning something…” (Marcus, 2012, para. 4). G. Marcus goes on to discuss myths related to learning or if you will non-learning in that generally people do not enjoy learning new tasks. I found this article interesting and relevant because we generally might not “having” to learn new things, but if we are able to seek out and learn topics of interest, learning becomes more enjoyable!

Isn't that the key to becoming a good  great Instructional Designer?  My goal is that they will absolutely forget they are "learning" something new.  I want them to enjoy the experience so much that they immerse themselves so deeply that they want to keep going deeper without directions from me.

Dubuc, B. (n.d.). The brain from top to bottom. Retrieved from
Marcus, G. (May, 2012 10). Learn something new your brain will thank you. Retrieved from

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Doorway to Professional Learning Communities

It is with great enthusiasm I am announcing to the world that I am beginning my journey to become the best Instructional Designer this world has seen! (applause please) I believe that I have the skills needed to offer this exciting job market and that by  obtaining this certification I will get the guidance needed to apply these skills in an organized manner.  Watch out world, here I come!

I have been considered this job opportunity for several years and follow many blogs about Instructional Design.  My number one favorite blog is The Rapid E-Learning Blog.  This blog features colorful graphics and frequent updates. The site shares practical tips to help you understand all things eLearning. Tom Kuhlmann, a veteran in the training industry, hosts the site. One of the reasons I am so attracted to this site is the way that Mr. Kuhlmann can get his readers motivated to want to succeed and grow. I am constantly amazed at the things he can get powerpoint to do; things I'm not sure that the creators even imaged it could do. In my book, Tom Kluhmann is the rock star of elearning.

I often look at the blog, The eLearning Coach written by Connie Malamed.  I am amazed at the content located on this site.  Ms. Malamen features eLearning Design, eLeaning 2.0, Cognition, Media, Reviews, Mobile, Business, and just a few Podcast.  The eLearning Coach should come with a warning label: Enter at your own risk, you will lose hours of time. Her posts are all interesting, well written and relevant to online learners, instructional designers, teachers, and learners. 

Finally, let's take a look at this refreshing blog Cathy Moore, Let's Save the World from Boring Elearning. Now, I don't know about you, but this sounds like my type of blog.  If I am going to be staring at my computer screen for hours at a time I enjoy a bit of humor. The first thing I read is that Ms. Moore claims to have "ideas that will help me develop action-packed learning materials for working adults." In one sentence she has me excited to read on!  I hope you will take notice of this blog, how well written it is and how visually appealing.  

So many blogs, so little time!  What's a learner to do? Three little letters.....RSS!