Serious Games Summit – Game Developers Conference 09

The 2009 Game Developers Conference (GD09) in San Fransisco is happening as I write this post.  I’m intrigued by the conference web site, and encourage folks interested in gaming and learning to check it out.

The conference includes as one of its focus areas the Serious Games Summit, which provides a “forum for game developers and industry professionals to examine the future course of serious games development in areas such as education, government, health, military, science, corporate training, first responders, and social change.”

Even a brief review of the presenters and topics at the Serious Games Summit indicates that there are plenty of folks “serious” about doing gaming in areas outside of entertainment. Imagine building an elearning experience where the learner actually wanted to complete the training? What would such an “elearning course” look like? What would it take to design and build it?

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Webcasts vs Webinars

I attended a great presentation today by April Broussard at the ASTD Northeast Florida chapter meeting on tools and approaches to using virtual elements in training. She covered an interesting distinction between webcasting and webinars, with each having similar elements, but also differences.

While some might lump both into the same category, there are differences. Webinars and webcast sessions both involve use of tools to broadcast presentations, including audio/video, over the Internet. But webinars, using common virtual conference platforms like WebEx or GoToMeeting, emphasize more audience interaction. Webcasts, on the other hand, capture and display a presentation and, while they can enable audience participation to some degree, are more intended for larger scale one-way broadcasts.

When looking at virtual conference solutions for training, it helps to understand the differences between these approaches and to target the appropriate vendors for platform solutions depending on your goals. Here’s a helpful article on further comparing web conferencing, web casting, and webinars.

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KidsHealth – informative and fun

Here’s a plug for KidsHealth.org, that provides interactive health-related education online, free, for kids, teens and parents. It could be a great resource for educating your child about allergies or any number of other maladies. The award-winning site is divided into sections designed for specific audience types, and for kids there’s a wealth of flash interactive activities and games.

The site includes articles in Spanish, and even a section for using KidsHealth lesson guides for teachers in the classroom.

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Who Wants a Knowledge Dump?

Here’s a presentation that provides a straightforward design approach for addressing actual performance objectives, rather than “what does the learner need to know.” Beg’s the question, why do we so often opt for simply doing knowledge dumps on our learners?


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Learning Forward – Beginnings

This blog is about learning trends, technologies, and strategies, from the perspective of an elearning and training development professional who faces the day to day challenges of implementing learning solutions within an organization.

I’m an Instructional Designer with an interest in learning, technology, and workplace performance improvement, along with a desire to explore ways that learning and technology can support the greater good. I think the possibilities are exciting, and look forward to exploring these and other topics along the way.

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