Monthly Archives: August 2010

What Is Social?

A short slideshare presentation that nails it with a capital ‘N’… MUST VIEW…

How Can We Teach Someone If We Do Not Know How They Learn?

The reportLearning styles and pedagogy in post-16 learning: A systematic and critical review‘ starts by asking the following questions, all of which seem more than valid today. Incidentally, this report was compiled in 2004, it’s interesting to consider how things have changed with the explosion on ‘social’ learning.

How can we teach students if we do not know how they learn? How can we improve the performance of our employees if we do not know how we ourselves learn or how to enhance their learning? Are the learning difficulties of so many students/employees better understood as the teaching problems of tutors/workplace training managers? How can wepretend any longer that we are serious about creating a learning society if we have no satisfactory response to the questions: what model of learning do we operate with and how do we use it to improve our practice and that of our students/staff/organisation?

Below I’ve extracted the 13 models from the PDF and provided a link for each one to further information available on the net. The entire report can be read here..

1. Gregorc’s Mind Styles Model and Style Delineator

2. The Dunn and Dunn model and instruments of learning styles

3. Riding’s model of cognitive style

4. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

5. Apter’s reversal theory of motivational styles

6. Jackson’s Learning Styles Profiler

7. Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory

8. Honey and Mumford’s Learning Styles Questionnaire

9. The Herrmann ‘whole brain’ model

10. Allinson and Hayes’ Cognitive Style Index

11. Entwistle’s Approaches and Study Skills Inventory

12. Vermunt’s framework for classifying learning styles

13. Sternberg’s theory of thinking styles


The final thoughts in the report lead nicely into yesterday’s post about designing learning environments

Finally, we want to ask: why should politicians, policy-makers, senior managers and practitioners in post-16 learning concern themselves with learning styles, when the really big issues concern the large percentages of students within the sector who either drop out or end up without any qualifications?

Should not the focus of our collective attention be on asking and answering the following questions?

Are the institutions in further, adult and community education in reality centres of learning for all their staff and students?

Do some institutions constitute in themselves barriers to learning for certain groups of staff and students?

In Lili Holt’s ‘Educating the Net Generation‘ the differences between previous students and the millennial students include:

They are intuitive visual communicators.

They are better able to integrate visual spatial skills (possibly because of computer games)

They learn better by discovery than being told

They can shift their attention easily from one thing to another

They have a fast response time and demand fast turnaround time as well.

These differences as described become important to facilitation as they impact the learning styles of the millennials. Some of the important learning styles presented are:

They prefer to work in teams

They are achievement oriented and like structure as opposed ambiguity

They like interactivity and a rapid pace. They may need to encouraged to stop and reflect

They are more comfortable with visuals than with text

They like to be involved in community activities and believe they can make a difference, especially using science and technology

Net Generation want professors knowledgeable in their field, that can use technology to communicate, and adapt information to student needs.

Who Else Wants to Take Training

An excellent article (interview) that I highly recommended reading for those trying to change workplace learning. Thumbs up Team Bloomfire 

And The Winner Is: Results of Amplify in 6 words

First Place with 15 Votes – Congratulations to Pat Germelman for coming up with a great description. I’ll send this over to Jane shortly so she can update the list.

“A Content Sharing and Conversation Platform”

Second Place with 11 Votes – It was close @Morgaine ;-)

“Backbone of your personal learning environment”

A huge thanks for the community support everyone; it’s a testament to the real power of Amplify. As a small reward, take a couple of minutes from your hectic schedules and enjoy this short video, it’s just for you (all :) – Ampster’s ROCK!

PS. Don’t forget to cast your votes on Jane’s list, after-all, that was really the whole reason behind this (long) conversation!

The final result list can be seen here…

Learning About Amplify by Amanda Fenton

Today I gave Amanda a virtual tour of Amplify after she showed interest on #Lrnchat. Her follow-up blog post is well worth a read.

Follow Amanda on Amplify at

Learning about Amplify

Immediately after today’s #lrnchat, I connect with learnscape architect Paul Simbeck-Hampson who graciously took an hour of his time to orient me to Amplify. I had seen Paul tweet about it earlier in the week but wasn’t too sure how it would integrate with my PKM. After seeing him evangelize about it during #lrnchat, I decided to find out more. Thanks to screen sharing in Skype and my hastily scribbled mindmap notes, here are some of my main take-aways:Read more at

Describe Amplify in less then six words.

I wrote a post recently ‘Amplify rising the charts‘ in relation to Jane Hart’s The Emerging List of Top 100 Tools for Learning 2010 - Today I revisited the site to see how Amplify was fairing in the list and was a little disappointed to see that it had dropped down to place number 64. While looking at the list I realised that the description “Conversations around news etc‘ didn’t really do Amplify full justice.

I contacted Jane this afternoon and she asked me to provide a better version in less than six words; it needs to fit into the space above with a maximum of 5 or 6 words. While thinking of a few strap-lines myself, it occurred to me that perhaps it would be better to open up suggestions to the talented Amplify community.

So here’s the challenge Ampsters’ – come up with a new strap-line that better describes what Amplify is. I’d suggest that we add a time restraint of 24 hours for ideas, after which time I’ll create a new polling post with the responses. The voting will be open for another 24 hours and on Friday I’ll send the most popular entry over to replace the existing one in the list.

So get your thinking caps on peeps and leave your ideas in the comments.

John Cleese on Creativity

Here are the notes I took while watching this video…

1) Creativity block? Sleep on it and take a fresh look in the morning.

2) After writing the first draft, put it away, wait a period a time and then re-write it from memory… surprising how the second draft is better than the original. Your unconscious will continue to work on it and actually improve it.

3) The most dangerous thing that can occur when writing is to be interrupted.

4) Where do I ideas come from? “…we get our ideas from our unconscious”

5) Being busy with lists, and phone calls and multiple activities is not the environment creativity needs…

6) Create an oasis in your life where creativity can flourish…you have to to create boundaries of space (with no interruptions) and time (give yourself a starting time and finishing time)

7) Be doing this you create an environment that is different from normal life, a place where you can truly play…

8 ) To know how good you are at something requires the same skills that are required to be good at that thing.

9) If the people in charge are very egotistical they want to take credit for everything that happens and they want to feel that they are in control of everything that happens and that means that consciously or unconsciously they will discourage creativity in other people.

10) Love this… “People who have no idea what they’re doing, have absolutely no idea that they have no idea what they are doing.”

I’m a huge fan of Mr Cleese, he is a true genius of verse with a wicked sense of humour!

10 Levels of Intimacy in Todays Communication

As this was compiled in 2009 perhaps the designer had not heard of Amplify? Anyway, if he had, box no.1 would read Twitter, Box 2 Facebook, Box No. 3 Amplify with the rest remaining the same… be nice if it could be updated ;o)

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