Checking in and going back

Good ways to learn stuff, Interactvity tips and ideas, Mmm...nice., What I do

This, apparently is a “Happy businesswoman”…

Yeah…so, about a week after I wrote that last blogpost, I had an interview with my old mates at Thomson Reuters. There was an opening for a role that was fairly similar to my old role from years ago, but with a new boss, new structure, and working on a knotty project that would require me to come up with some really creative learning solutions.


Oh, and a bit more money.

It turned out that I had missed the old place; the temperamental kettle taps, the meetings about meetings, the orange…so much orange… So, I’ve been back at Thomson Reuters for several months now. I’ve got more creative freedom and a bit less responsibility – in fact I’ve been told to be less intense.

So there you go, that’s the career update. But I wanted to show this:

It’s a video showing how to create an origami flower. I like origami. But I really just wanted to note how they use overlays and non-verbal cues to instruct the user on creating a very complicated paper flower.  The music is… reminds you that you’ve still got a video running.

It made me think, how could you do it better?

Could you, say, add a menu, so you can go back to cue points and re-run sections on folds. Perhaps a bit of navigation? Does it really need that music?




Well, hello there! A quickie from Brightwave

Good ways to learn stuff, Mmm...nice.

No, I haven’t been around for a while. In fact, my personal blog is even more shamefully out of date. I hope to get back into the swing of blogging soon, but I’ve just started a new job with a huge training company, and I need to get myself settled in. The role offers lots of opportunity to get very creative with different types and styles of learning.

So, today’s link is from Brightwave. They discussed how they’ve been using interactive video in their learning, particularly in getting users engaged and up and running.

iBooks authoring tool

Interactvity tips and ideas, Mmm...nice.

This iBooks authoring tool looks like a typical Apple product to me: lovely to look at, easy to use.  However, I started looking at the specs and the review in more detail. I’m not a Mac user, so I can’t comment on its performance, but the scope is rather limited. You don’t seem to be able to edit the file once you have uploaded it to the tool. You can add interactivity and polls, but how do you record the results?

Still, this tool, and the process for publishing to iTunes university look interesting. I need to investigate further.

Qualia Soup

Interactvity tips and ideas, Mmm...nice.

I really really like this You Tube channel run by an artist and secular humanist who uses animation and graphics to explain controversial scientific issues clearly and unambiguously.

I particularly like this overview of Evolution that demolishes many creationist arguments in under 10 minutes.

Qualia Soup has a lovely, slightly sardonic tone that manages not to tip over into sarcasm. His essay on the problems of “proving” paranormal activity with anecdotal evidence is a masterpiece.

Sew Mama Sew

Good ways to learn stuff, Interactvity tips and ideas, Mmm...nice.

From Sew Mama Sew website

One of my (recently taken up) hobbies is sewing. My mother’s family are all sewing demons, and I resisted the bug as long as possible.

I’ve never been able to learn from my mother (too impatient), so  I’m very interested in how people teach sewing skills without shouting.

The trouble with teaching sewing remotely is that you can’t get your hands on the fabric;  you can’t hold the fabric in your hands, try something, demonstrate a screw-up, show people where you went wrong, and how to get out of it.

Video tutorials are one way of working, but they go too fast, and it’s hard to pause and go  back over things you don’t understand.

So far, the best thing I have found have been illustrated tutorials like this one.

The tutor goes through every stage, with illustrations.

More importantly, she uses high-contrast fabrics, simple shapes, and clear photographs. Now…where can I find me some fusible webbing?

The next step, I suppose, would be an interactive session, where you post your efforts and ask questions…

RSA Animate – Changing Education Paradigms « RSA Comment

Good ways to learn stuff, Mmm...nice.


I absolutely love these.

The Royal Society of Arts is an education charity, best known by people of a certain age for running typing and shorthand qualifications (I have an RSA Stage II in Typing, don’t you know).

They also run a series of free lectures and seminars on various cultural issues. The speakers are usually prominent in their fields: the likes of Slavoj Zizek and Sir Ken Robinson have all delivered lectures in the past few months.

The RSA blog also has a series of ten minute animations based on their lectures. The method is deceptively simple stop-frame animation of somebody drawing an…hmmm…I don’t know…infographic? as the lecturer speaks.  The combination of text, audio and images complements the lecture beautifully, and really keeps you engaged with the arguments.

All done with a microphone, a camera and a couple of felt-tips.