Saturday, December 19, 2009

Beer Fail

Here's a funny end-of-the-week FAIL image for you all :-)

And for those of you who are wondering what the Beer-Lambert Law is, our friends at Wikipedia say:

In optics, the Beer–Lambert law, also known as Beer's law or the Lambert–Beer law or the Beer–Lambert–Bouguer law (in fact, most of the permutations of these three names appear somewhere in literature) relates the absorption of light to the properties of the material through which the light is traveling.

It sure makes me happy that I wasn't a physics major :-)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

From e-learning to We-learning

OK, this one goes back a while (back to September as a matter of fact!)

It's been sitting in my RSS starred items folder for a while waiting for me to do something with it. For the longest period of time I did not know what to do with it. The reason for this is that what the author writes seems so bleeping obvious (with the exception of the made up term "we-learning").

I remember back in the day, when I was a wee MBA student taking a course in Knowledge Management (sidebar: just looked at my transcript - wow, that was Spring of 2006! it seems so long ago), we spoke of these issues of capturing knowledge within the company and how we can capitalize on it, either through formal or informal means. The books and cases we used were anywhere from less than a year old to things that went back a decade (or more). The key thing here is that the idea of using informal learning, looking to your fellow coworker for knowledge, is an old thing and I am surprised that learning specialists took this long to start looking at it.

In management we called informal knowledge "water cooler knowledge". You go to the water cooler, someone happens to have a question, you may have an answer or know someone who has an answer and you use your social network to find answers (and heck sometimes learn). I think the only thing that is different today is the proliferation of additional pieces of software that allow us to do more and in different ways than before. Does this mean that it's a paradigm changing model? Perhaps....then again perhaps not. Just because you use some new tech doesn't mean that you have a completely different paradigm - the underlying theory may still be the same.

Is this line of thought going anywhere? Well, perhaps not. Maybe this is why it took me such a long time to write this. Then again, this isn't new - it's just a new name for something that existed and apparently we've ignored.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The is near (today actually!)

This is it! The end of the semester!
All papers are in, all projects are in, classes are no longer in session, and I have no finals! My obligations (academic ones anyway) are over for the semester!

I have to say that this was one challenging semester, and I am quite happy it's done! Next semester I am finishing off my MEd in Instructional Design, and with a little luck (and possibly lots of studying) in one year's time I will be done with my MA in Applied Linguistics as well.

I've started to slowly read my materials for next semester - yeah I know! The semester is barely over and I am already starting up again? Well, I learned long ago that in Grad School (this may apply to undergrads as well), that the old Greek proverb "Των φρονίμων τα παιδιά πριν πεινάσουν μαγειρεύουν" is very true. The proverb, loosely translated, says "Kids of proper parents cook before they are hungry" - I guess it's sort of like the boy-scout motto "always be prepared".

The stuff I am reading now is for sociolinguistics. I guess in January I can put the finishing touches on my capstone for Instructional Design and prepare my presentation for this year's CIT conference (oh yeah, did I mention? My proposal for engaging students outside of the classroom was accepted, and I am presenting! Woohoo!)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Down to the wire

OK, this is it!

All hands on deck (I guess that gives me a grand total of two hands) - projects are due on Tuesday!

No commentary for the next week or so on Instructional Design, Linguistics or Academia because research papers are due - but thanks to Steve Kaufman, Cammy Bean and Karl Kapp (and many others!) I have a ton to write about once I am done with my school work.

OK, no more messing around - now back to research...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Ok, Ok...
I was going to start the month off with something more serious (that response to SK for example), but the semester is almost over, my brain power is taken up with more homework/paper related things (i.e. getting them done on time), and it's December first! So here's another little humorous start to your academic month :-)

I wonder if Google has indexed all academic articles going back like they've done with books. Perhaps a google trends on articles would be a fun thing to do on spare time...