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Dave Ferguson
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Dave Ferguson

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Inge, I think it's terrific that you're thinking out loud like this. I am interested in hearing what your next step will be with Pearltrees -- do you see this as a more visual version of a mindmapping tool, or do you have some other idea in mind?

(I'm not making any assumptions, just wondering out loud.)
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Dave Ferguson

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How EdX Plans to Make Money (from Chron of Higher Ed)

(Off-topic for the course, but likely of interest to some participants. Link via +George Siemens )
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Twitter is one of the best research tools out there, but eventually the irrelevant noise got to me. I've had an 18 month break, Maybe it is time to go back
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Dave Ferguson

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I'm an independent consultant in the corporate learning field, a title we use when we don't want to say "training." So I'm something of an outlier in this MIT LCL -- I don't think it will have much direct connection to how adults learn in the workplace (by which I mean adults who aren't involved in formal education). I'm going along for the ride, and seeing what I might pick up.

I have a blog that deals with topics like workplace learning, improving on-the-job performance, the brain: Dave's Whiteboard. I have another, Dave's Ensampler, which I recently began so I could share examples of job aids.  I'm a big advocate of job aids, which I think are sadly neglected in the workplace. (There's a line to www.ensampler.com at the top of Dave's Whiteboard.)

I have yet another blog where I sometimes write in French. It has nothing to do with learning (except for me), but it does have a lot of songs on it. I sometimes write my own English translation of French songs like those of Georges Brassens. I later wandered into translating a few English-language songs into French.

And then I started writing French translations of the English translation of songs in Scottish Gaelic, like this one for Oran na Cloiche (The Song of the Stone, about how a handful of young Scots liberated the fabled Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey and returned it to Scotland):
http://charrette.strathlorne.com/archives/554
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Dave Ferguson
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The sound of a box snapping shut, part of +Maria Marshall's childhood-gear sharing, prompted a post on my blog:

http://www.daveswhiteboard.com/archives/5402
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LCL - 392 - This is my contribution for the LCL week 2 challenge on Papert's essay: "Gears of my childhood". I explain it better (in portuguese) on my blog http://tempodeteia.blogspot.pt/2013/02/the-gears-of-my-childhood-words-engineer.html It was hard to find the object... because I was looking for a physical 3D one. And then... there it was in front of my eyes...   (thank you for this challenge... it made me discover things about me, I had never thought about before). Corrected version here http://youtu.be/mi9UHj-_Tu0
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I love your commentary, Teresa.  I can really relate to this.  Have a similar memory of the moment when "meaning" is created (through words).  It is still the play I prefer!  
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Dave Ferguson

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Welcome to the newcomers -- I'm trying to avoid too much distraction this morning, but I think it's a good sign to see people looking for the connections that work for them.
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This week's forecast: fewer tangents, more Canada

I'm a member of three LCL discussion groups; this one is by far the most active and has the most diverse membership.

My own activity level may drop, and I wanted to note that so you wouldn't think it was due to lack of interest.

For some time my wife and I have discussed the possibility of moving from the U.S. to Canada. I grew up in the States and am an American citizen, but I was born in Canada and am a Canadian citizen as well.  

This  week we consulted a Canadian immigration attorney and now know the process required for her to apply for permanent resident status. In practice, the first step in that process will be for me to find a job in Canada.
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Good luck Dave, it has been fantastic meeting you! But hope we see you around!
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Another one of those things I wouldn't have thought of on my own.
 
Joi Ito's Video-- Stock or not to stock? 

The video is very interesting to watch. He is a great speaker. One point I have been reflecting on is about stock. He stated that we shall not stock things or knowledge. learn it when we need to. 

I tend to stock. That's the reason I take this class. The stocked knowledge may catch new opportunities. Stock can be explorations of new territories.

What do you think? Stock or not to stock?
  
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The knowledge/information split is a variation on "memorize/reference." I go on about job aids a lot; there are only two places to store knowledge: inside your head, or outside. Inside is far more expensive.

So from a workplace point of view, even when you have a skill/knowledge gap (people can't do X if their life depended on it), you haven't yet found out whether they need to learn (memorize) these things.  It's possible that the nature of the knowledge or procedure is such that it's well-suited to a job aid, in which case you develop that and then have more time to train what ought to be learned (memorized).

Another dimension, one I think I've gone on about before, is the difference between procedural or declarative knowledge (facts, steps, specifics -- the 'what') and tacit knowledge (the 'how'). We tend to talk about "learning" as if we do it the same all the time. It's one thing to study how to conjugate connaître in French -- the answer for third person, singular, conditional is always the same.  It's another thing in conversation to determine whether you should use connaître or savoir in place of "know," and to set it in the context of your conversation.

In fact, all the conjugation study in the world is unlikely to help you crack a joke in a foreign language, although the ability to do that in certain situations would be a highly useful skill.
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Dave Ferguson

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Nice place ya got here. Be a shame if something happened to it...
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For me, it's a hybrid. You can't reasonably interact with 9,000 people (meaning, of course, I can't). It's not a bad idea to cruise the general posts in hopes of coming across something of interest, but at the same time the connections are far too loose to treat this as though it were just an extra-large lecture hall.
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I'm having fun seeing what people have written for the "gears of my childhood" reflection. This is another in a series that I wanted to share with my group.
 
Session 2 Activity: The Gears of My Childhood: 

In 1970 I begged my parents to buy me the child-sized typewriter I’d seen in the Sears Christmas catalog. They decided against such an extravagant gift for a 2nd grader who didn’t know how to type and didn’t have a single correspondent with whom to exchange letters. My mother finally grew tired of my pestering and said to me, “why don’t you make your own?” And so I did.

Strictly speaking, my typewriter didn’t work; it was, after all just an egg carton and a paper towel tube. I couldn't fit in the entire alphabet but I was able to include letters enough to spell my full name. Other details that, today, strike me as noteworthy: each egg-cup was partially cut (with snub-nosed scissors) so that the keys would move up and down; there was a shift key and a period key, there was a carriage return handle (though it didn't actually move the platen). Best of all (though it is hard to detect in the photo) I used a sheet of graph paper so that all of my "pretend typing" would be aligned in uniform rows across the page. 

43 years later, I am a professional paper engineer, making all manner of objects out of the most humble of materials. The prototyping skills I learned on this, my very first project, are the same skills I employ daily in creating and constructing objects for my clients.

Below is the picture my mother took of my very first paper project (photographed -- at my insistence apparently --  against an old tablecloth to make it look professional).
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I had a typewriter when I was maybe 12, which may be why I instantly decided the semicircle of lines, above the keys, represents the individual letters of the typewriter, poised to strike the platen.
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I help organizations solve on-the-job performance problems -- gaps between the results they have, and the results they want, in the workplace. Twenty years ago, I'd have said I work in training and development. Many of my projects start with a client's perceived training need. Often, though, what's hindering performance is not (or not only) a lack of skill and knowledge. People may need better ongoing support. Systems and tools may not suit the task. People may not know what's expected, may not get feedback, may not be able to connect their results with the bigger picture. Those other factors aren't training problems -- though if that's the way your organization labels them, we can go with that.
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