Learning has gone to the Birds

eagleSince I was a kid I have been into birds. When I was about 12 my family lived on a small farm in central Washington. A friend of the family gave me some Pigeons. It was a great experiance for me taking care of them and learning about them. I could put them in a crate and take them anywhere to release them and they would be at home waiting when I got back. These birds where amazing creatures. I dreamed of learning how to raise falcons or hawks. I really developed a love for all birds. These days I love shooting photos of them and look for opportunities to do so. I love that I can mix two of my passions together photography and birds.

As a family we regularly vacation in Central Oregon. One of our favorite activities is going to the Nature Center. The have some amazing birds there, some of which they are rehabilitating. On one visit staff Naturalist Cody Osborn used an iPad to assist in his presentation and nature walk outside the center. He used a really cool app called iBird. The app is fantastic for identifying birds. It is a rich multimedia app. IMG_3740-150x150One of my favorite features is the ability to upload photos I have taken into the app. I can then play a slideshow and the app will cycle through the photo I have taken and play the corresponding bird songs with my photo. I think that is pretty awesome! The app has a tremendous amount of information about birds. I can see the value of this as not only a tool for in the field as they used it at the Sunriver Nature Center but also as a great tool for the classroom. Even better if the students can use the app as a foundational tool inside then move outside and further explore in the field.

Ijay spent this past Memorial Day weekend at my in-laws cabin as we normally do. One of the   simple little fun traditions in putting peanuts out for the Jays. We put them just outside on the deck so we can sit watch them swoop down and grab them. It is fun to watch. My dog Toby can do this all day!This time I happen to have my Canon XA10 with my so I strategically set in out with the peanuts just in front of it. I hope you enjoy the footage as much as I do.

 

 

2014 Mobile Behavior Report

mobile behaviorOne might say you’ve been acting a lot different since you got that new phone.  As a matter of fact we’ve all been acting a lot different in the past decade because of our mobile devices. There is very little about our lives that mobile hasn’t touched. It’s changed our social behaviors is changed how we get our news and entertainment. And of course something I like to talk about it’s changed how we learn and how we get information.

Here is the article that inspired this post

The Exact Target Blog New Mobile Tracking & Survey Data: 2014 Mobile Behavior Report

Here is another great article on mobility behavior

Mobility: It’s About Behavior, Not Devices

 

 

Self Directed Learning on The Fly

The Kalama River with my Dad, Bother and my friend Steve

The Kalama River with my Dad, Bother and my friend Steve

I have been a Fly Fisherman for several years now. I hesitate to say I am self taught but you could say my learning was self directed. I used a combination of informal, social, short format content and good research or reference. Now I know this method is not something all that special or even new. I do believe that there are a lot more resources available to us today that make this method much easier. I would like to offer my approach and technique as an example of how someone can learn any new skill. These techniques will work for professional development within an organization as well as for personal interest skills development. The keys for success are first identifying the skills you want to learn, set some goals and structure to keep you on track and to assure you are moving forward.

I recently discovered that I had a Hernia and needed to have surgery. Ouch! I pause for a short pity party. 😉 The main point here is that I knew I would have some down time. This is something I am normally not too good at. I knew I needed to plan something to do so I would not go stir crazy or even worse drive my family crazy. I was looking at several days of very minimal activity then light activity as I could handle but no working out for about a month. Basically I would be putzing around the house days for weeks. That said, I am not a big TV person. I do like movies but I usually can’t even make it through most movies without having to go to the kitchen or something. I am just not great at passive entertainment, I need to be doing something. I decided that this would be a good time to start learning to tie my own flies.

Where to start? Where else? For me most things start with a Google search. Research is the most important step in self directed learning. You know the old saying you don’t know what you don’t know. You need to build a foundation of understanding so you can put together plan. Fist I would need to know what equipment is needed. I found several Fly Tying kits. By looking at the kits I knew what the basic tools I would need. Further research on YouTube would give me some reviews on the tools and how to use them. There where lots of places to buy online but I decided that finding someone at local Fly Fishing shop to help me make the right purchases would be more valuable than saving a few dollars.

I jumped in the Jeep and headed down to my favorite local fly show Pacific Fly Fishers. I asked owner Michael Bennett help me pick out the basic tools I needed to get started. I then asked him to help me choose two of the most common flies that would work well for the areas I like to fish and the materials I would need to tie them.

My Workstation with Fly Tying setup

My Workstation with Fly Tying setup

My next step was to get my brain around some of the basic techniques so I went on a YouTube marathon. There are many videos on how to use the tools and the various techniques to uses them. I then picked some common flies I have used and watched those videos. I must have watched dozens of them before I tried any myself. I also had been given a book several years back call Beginner’s Guide to Fly-tying and I also spent a great deal of time piling through it.

Ok I was ready to take the plunge. I decided it was time to tye my first fly. I choose the Black Wooly Bugger. It is a fly I have fished many a times so I was excited to have an endless supply. The YouTube video below walked be through the steps to tying the fly and because I had spent so much time researching and studying other videos it was a breeze. I have since then tied several of the same flies and each time I tie it the fly looks better.

In summery I think this is the new model for learning. Even formal education can borrow form this approach. Especially when you consider the flipped classroom. The amount of information and instructional content that is available to us these days I unbelievable. There are so many things I have turned to YouTube videos to learn how to do. From fixing something around the house, installing a part on my Jeep or learning a new software. Now just don’t take my word for it. If you are like most people there is something that you have always wanted to know how to do. Go ahead, do it! Take advantage of the resources available to you and learn that new skill.

Steps:

  • Research
  • Talk to people who have the skill
  • Understand and get the tools needed
  • Review demonstrations
  • Follow step by step videos/instructions
  • Repeat or practice, practice, practice
  • Get feedback and test

Considering Online Course Delivery: A Graduate Learning Technology Student Perspective

Some great thoughts here on Online Course Delivery. This is looking at online courses beyond the corporate Learning Management System model.

Jennifer Horner Miller, PhD.

Why have we moved so many courses online?

Mobile platforms provide flexibility to a growing global market of adults seeking to improve skill sets needed within a 21st century workforce. Cellular applications used to access online learning content, along with the deliver of MOOCS, offer students convenient approaches to learning online. Globalization combined with an emerging demand from a previously absent third world population within the post secondary market will continue to push for increased access to online learning. Improvements in communication technologies along with increased access in rural environments allow for new markets and platforms to fulfill an ever increasing demand to online education.

Online learning platforms include the following choices to training and higher ed institutions.

Canvas is a free, very sleek and is attractive to users.  It is a very user friendly, providing simplicity.  Social media can be integrated within the system, which is very appealing…

View original post 435 more words

23 Pictures That Prove Society Is Doomed

I just love this. I am sure you have seen these situations. Is this a problem for society? Do we need to rethink our dependency on mobile devices? Should we make an effort to unplug sometimes and “be here now” as we would say when I was at T-Mobile. We do this in my family sometimes when we are going to spend time together like going out to dinner as a family for instance. We all leave our devices at home so we can focus on conversation.

Check out these fun photos in this article from Buzzfeed.com

http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/pictures-that-prove-society-is-doomed

10 quirky-but-awesome photo accessories you never knew you needed

I love this stuff. I just cant get enough. There are some things you just NEED. Like the iPhone lens adapter. I just got to have it. Photojojo is an iPhone mount for SLR lenses.

Check the rest of these cool accessories in the full article below.

10 quirky-but-awesome photo accessories you never knew you needed | Digital Trends.

mLearnCon & mLearning DevCon 2013 Program Chair Announcment

I am so honored to be part of such a fantastic conference and to work with such a great group of people at the Guild. As Program Chair it is my job to take a look at what is needed to design, develop and deploy learning content in today’s mobile landscape. The Guild team and I have been working hard over the past few months to build a great program for mLearnCon 2013. With the addition of mLearning DevCon to the conference it allows us to focus in the “how to” side of the conference. DevCon will focus on building the technical skills and learning the tools needed for developing & deploying learning via mobile devices. Today’s technology options are requiring us to acquire new skills, tools  and approaches. As learning and development professionals we need to be ready and this conference is designed to get you there.

Hope you will join us this year!

~jeff

Extreme mobile learning?

Mobile learning for the guitar?

There are more and more gadgets popping up that pair with your mobile devices. There is an ultra sound attachment for the iPhone. Just think of the possibilities there.  There are also some not so disruptive examples,  I have this adapter that I plug into the iPhone called iRig that along with app allow you to add effects to the guitar even emulate different guitar amps. I think this is pretty cool playing my guitar though my iPhone. Pretty geeky. But what I really need is this next one.

This is example is like extreme mobile learning! It is being touted as an Educational Instrument. You dock your iPhone to a specially made guitar. This combination of technologies assist in teaching you how to play the guitar.

gTar iPhone guitar hands-on — Engadget.