Managing the mind

“The circuitry for paying attention is identical to the circuits for managing distressing emotion.”

-Daniel Goleman

I find this to be though-provoking and compelling. Now I wonder if practicing one aptitude automatically reinforces the other.

Schwartz, Katrina. December 5, 2013. Age of Distraction: Why It’s Crucial for Students to Learn to Focus. Accessed from Mindshift

Dylsexia and Literacy

As an instructional technologist and adult educator, I rarely hear about dyslexia. But as a parent, school volunteer and remedial science teacher, I would hear about it all the time.

This dichotomy / paradox is difficult to explain since all dyslexic schoolchildren will eventually be in the work force. These adult learners will partake in corporate training at some point in their careers.

The brain has a remarkable ability to change and this has incredible implications for adult learners and little brains alike.

If I had any lingering doubts last week (which I didn’t), they were quashed after I attended a Cellfield program launch in Montreal.  I was pleased to be asked to deliver an opening address and honored to be in the company of such professionals as Dr. Rina Gupta, Mme Michelle Vaudrin and Mr. Dimitri Caplygen.

Erin at Cellfield note2014-08-22 cellfield talk2014-09-30 20.44.282014-09-30 19.11.44

A filmmaker is an educator…

Medical Communication and Education

“A filmmaker is an educator. And a good film make can take people where they have never been”.

I captured this quote from an audience member at a film screening that I just attended for my digital media class. The quote provides an à-propos description of my experience of viewing a documentary called, “When I Walk” by Jason DaSilva.

Whether your interest be in storytelling, cinematography, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, multiple sclerosis or just a love for all documentaries, this film is definitely worthwhile.

Featured on PBS, Oprah, the Meredith Viera Show and the U.S. Netflix site, the production chronicles the onset and evolution of multiple sclerosis in a 25-year old New York City film student with connections to Canada.

The trailer can be viewed here. http://www.pbs.org/pov/wheniwalk/

2014-09-22 21.01.13

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Using Second-Life for On-line Mediation

I was speaking to my cousin recently about her law degree from an American University.

As an educational technologist, I was intrigued when she explained how one of her classes had used “Second Life” as a virtual space for student lawyers to develop their mediation skills.

Within the game, the law students had their own meeting area in a virtual building with different break-away rooms. My cousin says, “Online mediation is an actual discipline. The course was a 4-day primer to professional online mediation. We learned that actual disputes can arise in a virtual world. Overall a great experience.”

All I can say to all this is…wow.

I need to find out more about different ways Second Life is used. The only other professional learning example I have is from a fantastic Coursera MOOC called Learning to Teach Online (LTTO) with course Instructors Simon McIntyre and Negin Mirriahi of UNSW Australia.

The course was extremely well designed and offered very rich learning experiences. In one video lesson, I was able to see an example of a training program for oil rig workers, launched in Second Life.

Nifty and cool, to say the least.

What’s a Soft Phone?

Whether we are teachers, trainers or tutors, it’s important to keep up with the ever-changing world of technology and the key terminology that goes along with all that.

While it’s impossible to know everything, it is possible to learn a little something about most things. And in our quest to know more about technology each day, we can sometimes encounter an unfamiliar term used to describe a topic about which we may actually know quite a bit.

This just happened to me with the term “soft phone” which I came across in an article. I was stumped. And I was more than a little surprised that I had never heard that term before.

A soft phone is basically any device that uses software or an app to make voice phone calls over WiFi or landed internet connection. Ahhh… well why didn’t they just say so? For some people, the term “voice over IP” may come to mind as they think about soft phones. Months ago, I tested a soft phone app on my kid’s iPod just for fun. Mine are still too young for a smart phone but I have nothing against turning an iPod into a soft phone over WiFi.

I had better look up the French term for “soft phone” (logiciel téléphonique?) just in case it should come up in my work for my Quebec clientele.

It’s a wonderful time to be alive, I often say. We can watch movies and take online courses from a little smart phone or place outbound phone calls and video conferences from a large living room TV…