This has been a topic of interest since I first started my doctorate in 2006. Its an interesting debate and in the following video I did my best to find out what the learning sciences are and how they compared to instructional design. I wasn’t sure what I would find but I was surprised by what I did. Here are some of my key findings, see the video for all of them:
– There are only a few programs that call themselves learning sciences. Most consider themselves a blend.
– I can’t actually find a difference between the learning sciences and instructional design. I see authors try to distinguish them from one another but its mostly just a lot of word smithing.
– I can’t actually find any jobs in the learning sciences, at all, except for the few learning science programs looking for learning science faculty.
– The jobs learning science programs say their students are getting are instructional design jobs, which was quite unusual. You don’t create a program unless there is a specific demand for a job in that field that is not being met.
I’ve often referred to learning styles as one of the great unicorns in education. If you believe they are real, I challenge you to prove it! We currently have no evidence they exist and we have plenty of learning theories, with tons of evidence, showing how we learn. Those theories are contrary to learning styles. So if you don’t believe what I am telling you, what the research shows, please prove me wrong! I dare you! In fact, this site, worklearning.com will actually pay you $5,000 if you can prove they are real! So let me tell you how to do it if you are inclined to prove me wrong!
How to prove learning styles are real:
1. Select a learning style test. There are 100s so you need to pick one. Each defines learning styles differently (just the start of the nonsense that is learning styles)
2. Show validity and reliability evidence for the test (i describe in the video below how to do this)
3. Give the test to participants and divide them into 2 groups (ie visual vs kinesthetic)
4. Have at least 35 people in each group
5. Develop content for each group. For one group, use only their learning style. For example, for the visual group develop only visual content. Then for the kinesthetic group use both visual and verbal content.
6. Test participants on high (problem solving) and low (factual) content and compare results. You must prove that learning style made a difference. So you would need the visual group to perform best.
What do you think the results will be?
If you believe in learning styles and choose to ignore all research: You would believe that the Kinesthetic group should do terrible. They learn best with hands on activities. The visual group will do better because they are getting visual content.
If you believe is 1000s of research studies we currently have, all data, all evidence: The kinesthetic group will outperform the visual group on factual and problem solving knowledge. Why? Because we know that people learn better from visual and audio vs just visual. Learning style, learning preference, etc. has no bearing on this. You can say you are a visual learner, hands on learner, etc all you want but it doesn’t matter. You will perform well when you have well designed instruction regardless of what you think your learning style is.
And if you think the content was unfair since the kinesthetic group had visual + audio narration, just give both groups the same visual content and guess what, they will both perform the same. The visual group would NOT outperform the other group. Learning styles do NOT matter because they aren’t real. We have countless studies showing this phenomenon.
In this video I review and show you how to use Adobe Captivate’s VR feature. Here is a summary of my findings:
What it is – A very easy to use VR developing environment. You can use both videos and images. Create quizzes. Create hotspots. Have users go through a specific path.
Tech required – 360 Camera. You really need a 360 camera to use this. Fortunately they are inexpensive and adobe gives you a few images and videos to play around with to explore the feature. If you are looking for one, here is the one we use in my technology lab: https://amzn.to/2ZsDGpv
Developing – Really easy. Like super easy. I give Adobe a 5/5 for ease of use. Its not super complicated but that is welcome considering its a up and coming feature that will really get fleshed out over the next few years.
Browser – works awesome! This is where the program shines. Doesn’t require a VR device and anyone can use it on a browser. I tested Chrome and Firefox and both worked perfectly. It was really amazing (tbh)
Mobile – This means you are using Google cardboard to view. I was not impressed. First I should mention I hate viewing VR on a phone. I think its just terrible. But if you don’t have other options then its worth trying. Ok, so it works to view but you can’t actually press any hotspots. So that was a big issue if you need to have a quiz or any interactivity. Just putting someone in a room and letting them look around worked fine.
VR Headset – I tested the latest Oculus Quest headset. So to access the program from a VR headset you need to use a VR browser. I used the default Oculus Browser as well as Firefox. Here was the issue – I could view the program and it worked when I viewed the browser as a flat screen. So in VR you can view a browser as a flat screen (like a monitor) or immerse yourself into it (what VR should be). Unfortunately it did not work when you immersed yourself in. You could look around but it didn’t recognize the hand units to press any hotspots. So quizzes and hotspots were a no no.
Overall – Honestly I love it. Yep it doesn’t work well with the VR headset but the fact that it works with the browser is huge. I think there is a lot of application for it. I do however hope they keep working on the product and get it to work with the hand controllers to it works with VR headsets better.
Yes it happened. My 6 yr old spent $450 on apps by mistake. Well not really by mistake, he just didn’t know he was actually buying them. Considering I teach people how to protect themselves and their children while online, this was quite embarrassing.
How it happened: My wife went to buy an app for him and accidentally turned off parental controls (this is what we think happened).
What he did: He bought several apps as well as in game add ons, like fake money, that could be used for in game purchases. There were several $100 charges for in game cash.
How I found out: Google emailed me thanking me for my purchase and then paypal contacted me telling me there was unusual activity
How did I solve the problem:
1. I checked the tablet and turned parental controls back on (they were off)
2. I contacted google who refunded all of the money within minutes
What did we do to my son: We used this as a learning experience for all of them (I have 3 kids). He was 6 so didn’t quite get what he was doing. My 8 yr old would of known full well what he was doing. So we spent some time going through all of the rules (though we have done this many times)
Here is a video where I explain the whole situation in more detail:
Meetings drive me nuts! Why? Because 90% of the time (made up stat) they are a waste of my time. The information could of been sent in an email that would of taken me 5 minutes to read. That is not to say meetings are bad, there are many times they are needed and the best course of action. As a result, I have put together 7 different tips to run a better, effective, faster, efficient, meeting.
Basic tip that nearly everyone does but make sure you always have one.
2. Time each item
This helps your meeting run on time. Do not spend time on 1 of 5 items. Move on! Especially if that one item only affects 1 of 10 people at the meeting.
Just having an agenda and time will help you facilitate. Make sure everyone can be heard not just the one person that keeps asking questions to take you off topic.
4. No recurring meeting
Have meetings when you actually need to have a meeting. Otherwise its a waste of time.
5. Don’t have a meeting to plan more meetings
Use a calendar. Don’t have a meeting to schedule more.
6. Use email
Have a meeting when you need to have a meeting. Use email or talk 1 on 1 when you can.
7. Stand up
Get rid of chairs. This ensures people will make the meeting fast. This gets rid of those all day meetings that waste everyone’s time. Yea maybe its extreme but I love the idea!
Here is my video which goes into more depth for each tip:
This is a video I have been meaning to create for a very long time. I love games! I have been playing video games since I was 3 yrs old when my dad brought home and Atart 2600 and Magnavox Odyssey 2. I still to this day am not sure why he got a 3 yr old a video game system, let alone 2 of them, but they started me on a long journey. So making this video felt like I was reliving a part of my past to the present day. It was a lot of fun to see it. After the atari/magnavox I upgraded to the turbographix, NES, and sega genesis. All 3 were a blast but nintendo was a clear winner for me with mario, zelda, and many others. Here are all of the systems I owned to present day. The video goes into the actual history but this is mine: Atari 2600, Magnavox Odyssey 2, NES, Sega Master System, Turbographix 16, SNES, Gameboy, N64, Gamecube, PS2, Xbox 360, GameboyAdvance SP, Gameboy DS, Nintendo Wii, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch. This doesn’t include all of the Computers, both Mac and PCs I’ve had and game with! I hope you enjoy:
One question I am consistently asked over and over again on my youtube channel is ‘How did you make this?’. The easy answer – I recorded a video of my screen and myself at the same time! The hard answer – I used specialized software to record my screen, a video camera to record myself, a microphone to record the sound, a green screen in the background, specialized lighting, and then video editing software to edit the video and finally publish it.
So as you can see, streaming and recording a video takes a lot of work. It involves specialized software and hardware. It takes a lot of time. But its fun. I love it. If it wasn’t a passion of mine I would not be doing it.
To learn about the software and how to get set up check out the following video which goes through the entire process:
Here are links to the hardware I recommend for streaming:
My son, 8 yrs old, is begging to play this game (fortnite). Apparently he is the only kid in his class that is not allowed to play it, which is ironic considering I am probably the only parent in the class that plays it! Having said that, he will finally be allowed this Oct when he turns 9. I believe he is finally ready. But no way is my 6 yr old allowed. He is not ready. He is not mature enough.
My biggest suggestion to parents – please monitor each game your child wants to play. It’s a good idea to buy a playpen before your baby’s moving around too much, so she can get used to it. Before you go ahead and buy a playpen, do not forget these playpens for babies reviews to help you make the right choice. Here is my 5 point plan for monitoring a specific game:
Ask your child if its appropriate
Google the game and check out some reviews
Look at the game website and/or app store to read the description
Check out the game rating
Play the game yourself
Honestly, I can do all of this in 20-30 minutes. Yes it takes up my time but its well worth it. I have to block about 20% of games that my son asks to play. I enjoy games so I don’t mind learning about them. Plus I can talk to him about the game and see what it is about it that interests him. Check out the following video where I discuss Fortnite and how it is/is not appropriate for kids:
This is a topic I have had a lot of interest in lately. Text to speech is not really a new technology (I used it in the 80s) but its gotten significantly better. Additionally, people want to use it for professional products (ie elearning). Narration is an expensive cost in an elearning product so a good voice could help to really save a lot of money. So is it good? Well, at this point its OK. There is some software out there that really isn’t terrible and some that hasn’t improved since 1985. Overall I am excited to keep trying it out and see if it gets better over the next few years. Here are a few videos I have created which go through some of the current software on the market today. You can be the judge and jury: Would you use it?
1. Get a student discount. All of the companies offer them. Now is a great time to get back to school deals (for instance they may throw in an ipad in which you, as a student, could read all the clep study guides in it). Be sure to check out the main companies, Dell, ASUS, Apple, etc.
2. Get a minimum of 12GB of Ram. Ram matters. This is the first thing I choose to upgrade on a machine. If you are in a tech field (computer science, instructional technology, video editing, etc) I would really recommend as close to 32GB as you can get.
3. For the normal user, I don’t think you need to upgrade anything else unless you feel inclined to spend more money. Ram is the first thing I upgrade, video card 2nd, processor 3rd. In that order. I don’t worry about hard drive space at all as I use the cloud to store my files. I don’t worry about other features either except for making sure they have enough ports such as an HDMI port. If you are going to major in a tech related field, I would strongly recommend you upgrade the RAM, video card, and then processor.
5. I would get a PC over a Mac. Macs are great and work really well but there are some issues I run into with them in my courses. Either will work though! Chromebook, ipads, etc won’t cut it, you need a real machine. Again, Chromebook, ipads, etc won’t cut it, you need a real machine.
6. As far as brands, they are all fine for the most part. I prefer Alienware and Dell since that is what I have used over the last few years. I currently have an alienware R17 with max upgrades. I like alienware because they already come with upgraded video cards that you won’t even have an option for with a standard machine. A lot of them are VR Ready. In fact, the only machine in the college of education that runs VR is mine. None of the others will do it. But any brand will be ok as long as you (see #7)
7. Get a warranty. Get a warranty for as long as you want to keep the machine. Its worth it. I cannot tell you how many machines I have went through. I have had Macs die. I have had PC die. Many times. Just get the warranty. I think I have a 4 yr warranty on my current machine.
8. Price – Based on the specs I have provided, you can easily find a low end machine for $550. I don’t think you can find a 12GB ram machine for cheaper. I would recommend you spend $700-$1000 if you want this machine to last 4 years. Obviously, if you are going into a tech major you are going to spend more.
9. Size – This is all preference. Please go to a store and try a few different sizes. Common sizes are 13, 15, and 17 inches. I prefer 17 but some thing that is too big. My wife for example, prefers 13, which I think it too small.
If you have other questions, please feel free to ask. – Dr. Pastore