Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Public Domain Images on Flickr

For some it will be old news, but Flickr has a section called The Commons, filled with photos believed to be in the public domain. Here's one of the repository's most recent additions, a 1952 photo of "Santa Claus handing out treats to nine young women on the beach."

Santa Claus handing out treats to nine young women on the beach: Saint Petersburg, Florida

Holiday hijinks aside, the repository boasts the participation of a wide assortment of international libraries, museums, and institutions, all attempting to make photos believed to be in the public domain available to the public. The Flickr community is asked to help tag photos with information so that it becomes a usefully searchable archive. If you're looking for photos for an online course or other project it would be worth a closer look.

Here's a sampling of the sorts of images available, any of which can be clicked to visit the image's page on Flickr:

USS West Virginia BB48 1934UntitledMembers of the Beth Elkhorn Coal Company Begin Donning Their Equipment to Prepare for the Kentucky State Mine Safety Contest at Benham, near Cumberland 10/1974[PARENTS MAGAZINE, GIRL WITH CAT]Photograph of President William J. Clinton Addressing the Citizens of Charleston, West Virginia , 08/09/1993

Scott's Run, West Virginia. Miner's child - Miller Hill Camp., 03/19/1937Fireworks on [Sydney?] harbourFarmer and sons walking in the face of a dust storm. Cimarron County, Oklahoma (LOC)Binding arteries of Hindoo twins after operation (LOC)Closeup of Doren Bishop, Robin Mines Superintendent for the Alma Coal Corporation, Ponders the Work That Must Be Done to Start a New Mine near Clothier and Madison, West Virginia 04/1974

Egypt: GizehFlower meadow in Llano, TexasA cat on HMAS EncounterYoungster Unknowingly Shares an Ice Cream Stick with a Dog as She Watches Judging During the Kiddies Parade in Johnson Park in New Ulm, Minnesota...Home life in Japan.

Gerty Theresa Radnitz Cori (1896-1957) and Carl Ferdinand Cori (1896-1984)911: President George W. Bush at Islamic Center, 09/17/2001."Top Women" at U.S. Steel's Gary, Indiana, Works, 1940-1945Sky Pirates!Monkeys on a Limb--17th Century Painting by Sosen

[Bob Burman, race car driver] (LOC)First African American All woman crew![George Baumgardner, St. Louis, AL (baseball)] (LOC)Martin Rubenstein and Kathleen Gorham, dancers in the J.C. Williamson production of Gay Rosalinda, 1946 / photographer Hal WilliamsCarmelite Book of Hours, f.16v-17, (157 x 110 mm), 16th century, Alexander Turnbull Library, MSR-11.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Scenario Based Learning

Many would love to instantly know
Kung Fu
“I know Kung Fu!”  I love that line from the movie The Matrix.  This is the movie where the protagonist- Neo – gets plugged into a computer and instantly gets knowledge uploaded to his brain.  This for me is a dream come true.  I would love to be “plugged in” and learn all sorts of things.  Then I would have no anxiety about dinner with the in-laws and that “know it all” Uncle Chris.  Chris knows everything about everything and he lets you know that your brain capacity is inferior to his.

However, there is a new fad in eLearning that claims to be accelerated learning.  According to an article by Ruth Clark, scenario based learning is able to accelerate learning.  Sighting research from the University of Pittsburgh and the U.S. Air Force Clark notes: “Imagine accelerating the know-how of two-year electronics technicians to the level of 10-year veterans with just 25 hours of training!” Wow!  No swallowing a red pill involved. 

What is Scenario Based Learning?

Scenario Based Learning (SBL) is a carefully constructed lesson that involves “real world” tasks and problems.  Clark compares Scenario Based Learning to “problem-based learning” or “case based learning”.  From my research, there may be some slight differences, but the concepts are very similar – practicing newly acquired knowledge to solve real life problems.

I went on a brief quest to find out more about SBL.  Here are some basic characteristics that I have found.
  1. Scenarios site prerequisite knowledge or the basic heuristics of the subject matter previously learned.
  2. Most scenarios had a character involved.
  3. It told a story or involve the problem with a story.
  4. The learner was given a chance to use the pre-requisite knowledge, and then given feedback about the choices made.
Some of the experts seemed to disagree with the degree of feedback that the learner received.  It is important to note that all do agree that you can over-do the feedback.  According to Ray Jiménez PhD,  you can´t pontificate or give away the answers.  “When was the last time you watched a really good movie, enjoyed it, and at the end, someone came out of the big screen and interpreted the moved for you?”   I agree.  Part of good learning transfer is about being actively engaged in finding the answers.  Making it too easy by giving away the answers would be inappropriate.  Feedback is necessary of course.  Where you draw the line for the feedback is up to you. 

Works Cited

Clark, Ruth. "Accelerating Expertixe With Scenario-Based Learning." Training + Development (2009): 84-85.
Jimenez, Ray Ph.D. Scenario-Based Learning. Los Angeles: Monogatari Press, 2009.