Why Web-Based Restaurant Training Software Is NOT the Perfect Tool

That’s right, you heard it from me, the guy with the Learning Management System company: Web-based restaurant training software is not the perfect tool.  You need more and here’s why. A Hammer...

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5 eLearning Websites to Revisit Before School Year

Top 5 eLearning websites that you should visit before the new school year begins

eLearning websites are a fantastic way to learn new things, and to refresh your skills before the new school year begins. Enjoy being the top of your class with your newly practiced skills. By spending an hour a day for a couple of weeks before school working on your typing, coding, and other skills, you can make your school time so much more enjoyable.

Here are the top 5 eLearning websites that you should visit before the new school year begins.

  1. Spreeder
    Speed reading is a skill that everyone should learn, whether they are in school or not, but if you're having to read textbooks day in and day out, it can be an invaluable skill. Spreeder provides dozens of speed reading lessons to help improve your skills and refresh the speed reading abilities that you may have neglected over the summer. Using the site is simple, all you need to do is copy and paste the section of text that you would like to read into the web site, and click the "Spreed!" button. This well help to determine your base reading speed so the site can create a customized lesson plan based on your current experience.
  2. Microsoft Excel
    Microsoft Excel is one of the most versatile programs in the Office 365 package. Having a working knowledge of this program is often enough to land you an office job once you've graduated high school. In school, it's a fantastic tool for math, project planning, budgeting, and fund raising. Microsoft knows how useful its program is, so they have provided a comprehensive tutorial page which includes everything from the most basic skills, like entering numbers and data, to more advanced skills like budgeting and business payroll and inventory.
  3. Khan Academy
    Refresh all of your class-related skills with Khan Academy. This one of the most comprehensive online learning websites. It provides classes for math, social studies, science, and any other class that you feel you need a little bit of work on. Work at your own pace, and spend as much or as little time as you need to refresh your skills. All of the classes are provided completely free, and can be accessed anywhere that you have internet and a computer or smart device like a tablet or phone. Give yourself a leg-up before the new school year starts, and prove to your instructors that you haven't forgotten everything over the long fun-filled summer.
  4. RataType
    Typing is one of the most vital skills that you can learn, and it will serve you long after you leave school and move out into the working world. If you've spend most of your summer outdoors, like many of us do, then your typing skills have probably suffered as a result. Refresh your skills and start typing like a pro again with the lessons offered on Ratatype.com. This site is also good if you're just starting out, or have spend years relying on hunt and peck typing techniques. The lessons offered at this site are the perfect way to get you back up to fighting strength, so to speak.
  5. Code Academy
    The world runs on computers, and learning how to speak their language can be one of the most lucrative skills you will ever learn. Code Academy offers lessons in a variety of programming languages, including HTML/CSS, Java, Ruby, and Python, just to name a few. The lessons are easy to follow and provide comprehensive step by step instructions to take you through everything you need to know to create a computer program, design a website, or craft a web-based game. If you want any easy way to get a good job right out of high school, then spend some time learning how to code on sites like Code Academy.

Good luck on your new school years and in all of your endeavors!

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Von BYOD, Technologisierung und Videotrainings als Lernpfad: 7 Fragen an Frank Stefan Alì, „Blended Trainer“ bei E-Plus

Frank Stefan Alì ist ein Trainer und Coach, der u.a. für E-Plus arbeitet und auch im Bereich neue Lern- und Lehr-Methoden sehr versiert ist. Wir haben uns mit ihm unterhalten:   Herr Alì, zunächst ein „Elevator-Pitch“: Was ist Ihr Job als Coach und Berater und was ist Ihre Aufgabe bei E-Plus? Ich bin ein im... weiterlesen →

The post Von BYOD, Technologisierung und Videotrainings als Lernpfad: 7 Fragen an Frank Stefan Alì, „Blended Trainer“ bei E-Plus appeared first on Wissen in Bewegung | Blog.

Getting ready for #altc

The 2014 ALT Conference is just around the corner (in more than just time – it’s being held at the University of Warwick, which is where I now work!), and I’m getting ready for it.

The theme for this year (and my first ALTC) is ‘Riding Giants: How to innovate and educate ahead of the wave’ , and the wave I’m trying to crest at the moment is planning the sessions and presentations I want to attend. It’s not helped by the fact so many of them are interesting, and that so many of them occur at the same time as each other.

I’ve added the one’s I really want to attend to my Outlook calendar (sync’d with iOS calendar for alerts) … it looks quite daunting – I think I’ll need some serious downtime after this:

'Riding Giants: How to innovate and educate ahead of the wave'
Click to enlarge

I’m sure I’ve missed a couple of excellent sessions that I know I want to attend, but I’ve tried to balance it out across the whole three day event.

The rest of my ‘getting ready’ preparation is to check I’ve got new gel pens for my sketchnoting, spare cables for various devices, and the all important out-of-office notification set up. Oh, and a map. I may work at Warwick but that doesn’t mean I know my way around yet.

Next week will be good, not only my first ALT conference but also a chance to meet and catch-up with so many real and virtual friends. I’ve set my ALTC profile up so please get in touch, let me know if you’re going, and see if we can meet up.

Header image: freepik.com

Mobile Learning meets E-Memory

Mobile Learning can serve as the bridge between E-Memory and true memory

Pop quiz: You’re trying to remember the name of that new restaurant everyone keeps talking about. It’s on the tip of your tongue, but you just can’t come up with it. Do you:

  1. Sit quietly, close your eyes and engage in quiet reflection
  2. Google it

Chances are, after about two seconds you’re picking up your smartphone or opening your laptop.

Why can’t you remember the name? Maybe you only heard it once. Maybe you’ve mixed it up with the name of that old Italian place down the street. Or maybe it’s a different reason altogether – you don’t need to.

Studies suggest that access to the limitless information on the internet has changed the way our memories work. Researcher Robert Clowes argues that we now have two memory systems: an old system – our brains – and a newer system he calls E-Memory. E-Memory consists of the information available on the devices we use to record, store and search – our smartphones, tablets and computers.

When faced with the flood of information we experience each day, we simply can’t remember it all. Our brains must prioritize information to decide what’s worth remembering and what isn’t. Clowes suggests that E-Memory is now influencing this process. With the availability of internet-enabled devices, we outsource certain memory functions to apps, electronic calendars and search engines.

So, why couldn’t you remember the name of that new restaurant? Because it wasn’t worth the trouble. Deep down your brain knew you could have the answer in no time just by picking up your smartphone.

Mobile Learning provides learners with a similar advantage – they can access professional development tools any time the need arises. This has always seemed like a good thing, but in light of E-Memory, are we doing our learners a disservice? Are we encouraging them to rely on E-Memory by making training so easily accessible? If so, are they actually learning anything?

On the contrary, if E-Memory is indeed the direction in which our memories are evolving, Mobile Learning is critical to effective talent development. Below are a few of the reasons why.

  1. Access to best practices anytime, anywhere.
    It’s hard to argue against providing valuable information whenever learners need it. In the past, if an employee was off-site and couldn’t remember an effective technique, he or she was out of luck. Now, they can access best practices in the moment of need. And that adds value to the employee and the organization. In a recent study of medical students who were provided with a mobile learning program, over a third of them reported watching a refresher module right before they used a technique on a patient. The program was an overwhelming success with the students, and it worked out well for the patients too.
  2. Reinforcement is a key to learning.
    Research has proven time and time again that long-term learning depends on reinforcement. Bite-size modules designed for Mobile Learning are a perfect refresher – quick and focused, with just enough information. With mobile content available in the moment of need, it’s easy for learners to immediately apply their training. And after watching the module a few times and practicing the skill, employees won’t need to rely on their E-Memory any longer – it will be retained in their real memory.
  3. Learners see the value.
    When learners receive training reinforcement just when they need it most, they see the benefits. They continue to utilize mobile and invest in the training program. A 2013 study showed that participation in training can go up as much as 42 percent with the introduction of a mobile program. When professional development works for employees, employees embrace it.

In the conclusion of his research paper, Clowes writes that the longer E-Memory is available to us, the more we will come to rely on it. While this may sound frightening at first, Mobile Learning can serve as the bridge between E-Memory and true memory. It houses the valuable training information for learners until it is reinforced enough to become second nature. Mobile Learning, meet E-Memory. You’ll get along great together.

Sources

Clowes, R. W. (2013). The cognitive integration of e-memory. The Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 4(1), 107-133.

Jang, H. W., and Kim, K. J. (2014). Use of online clinical videos for clinical skills training for medical students: Benefits and challenges. BMC Medical Education, 14:56. doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-56

Towards Maturity. (2013). Mobile learning at work. London, UK: Towards Maturity.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

eLearning Challenges and Opportunities

First of all I would like to clarify some of the main topics related to elearning. The whole concept of elearning, which is relatively new, is based on a much older concept: distance learning. Distance learning consists of a scenario in which the learner is not face to face with the teacher or the trainer.

So basically elearning is the modern - and technologically enhanced way - to approach distance learning. In fact it is now possible to leverage a lot of extremely interesting and useful tools such as Learning Management Systems, online videos, video-conferencing apps, forums, reports and a lot more in order to boost training performance.

As with many things in life, elearning has its benefits and drawbacks, but in this case it’s extremely important to perform a careful analysis as the future of your company or training program and a lot of money is at stake - and will rely on the success, or failure, of your L&D activities. (If you want to know why, you can check this SlideShare on “Why is Learning & Development so important”).

I will now present a few of the challenges that you may face, but remember that all of the following must take into account your company culture or particular audience:

  • Lack of human contact
    The “e” stands for electronic. As you know elearning is delivered through computers, and lately also via mobile devices. Especially if you are not using video-conferencing apps, the learner might find this kind of training alienating. The human being is by nature a social being so taking away all forms of interactions with other people might be a demotivating factor for some users.
  • Boredom
    If you have been in this industry for just some time, you will notice that a lot of articles and discussions are focused on how to engage and motivate students. In fact one of the main problems related to elearning is the high “mortality” of learners as they often seem to lose motivation because online classes are boring.
  • Lack of focus
    When studying in class there’s not much distraction (well… other than each other!). On the other hand when studying at home it’s so much easier to lose focus as no one is actually watching you and you have all your personal items within your reach.

On the other hand Learning Management Systems and elearning can offer a lot of interesting opportunities. Here’s a few:

  • Adaptiveness
    One of the greatest things about elearning is that the software and technology can easily evolve according to new pedagogical theories. Everyone is talking about Gamification and learners are asking for it? - no problem. You just need to develop a new module in your training platform and instantly get all the benefits to all your learners.
  • Mobile Learning
    As I mentioned before, nowadays elearning can be delivered also via mobile devices. This means that people can start learning pretty much everywhere, any time they want. Learners can take courses during their morning commute to their workplace by simply bringing their smartphones along with them!
  • Reporting
    In order to gather useful information, and data you can actually use, you have to be extremely precise while reporting by using standards and a unified approach. Thanks to modern technologies it’s extremely easy to automatically create reports that fit your needs, no matter how many learners you’re trying to evaluate.
  • Management
    Obviously it’s important to get reports right away, but it’s also very important to keep your data and reports in a place where you will be able to retrieve them at any time for future analysis and history tracking. Say no to huge paper folders that can easily get lost or ruined. It’s now time to leverage databases and online storage to keep your learner’s records in a permanent and easy to browse organizational system.

In this blog post I tried to highlight some of the features that I like the least and most about elearning. I believe that this kind of technology enables people to achieve new goals and explore new possibilities (and therefore be their very best) but I do realize that some audiences or corporate cultures may not adapt very well to this approach because of the challenges I mentioned earlier.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Are You Ready for a Hotel LMS?

Like anything in life, it’s generally best to have a plan before you begin a project.  Not too surprisingly, this truism holds for hotel LMS projects as well.  Here are some handy dandy tips you can...

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