The language of learning, or, content with context

I read once that in ancient Greece, the equivalent of “it’s Greek to me” was “it sounds like Hebrew.”  I’ve never found documentation of that, although Mark Liberman at Language Log recently presented a chart showing a complex of “it’s X to me” relationships–e.g., Romanians think it’s Turkish, Turks think it’s French, and lots of […]

Context: a day, or a deal?

When you’re trying to help someone acquire new skills or knowledge, whether through formal training or material they’ll go through independently, it’s hard to beat analogies. The right analogy invites a person to consider a comparison. If someone already knows what HTML tags are, you can compare a CSS to a master switchboard, a place […]

Show and tell and demo: Göransson on alt-text

Thanks to a retweet by Beth Fox, I came across Daniel Göransson‘s 2017 post, Alt-texts: The Ultimate Guide. It’s well worth reading in full, but I want to summarize why I think that. Göransson is visually impaired, and his screen reader comes across lots of what he calls alt-text-fails, like image file names or photographer […]

Cooking up better learning with Jacques Pépin

Recently I dropped into an online discussion of Ten Steps to Complex Learning, about which I wrote a series of posts some years ago. Among the four components of its learning blueprint were: Procedural information, which helps when you’re dealing with skills that you use pretty much the same way each time. You can think of […]

Experience: the outcome of trial

An image I saw on Twitter last week turns out to be the work of Hugh MacLeod, @gapingvoid: Many people have come up with their own take on this, often adding a third panel. I might put one on the right, fewer dots and more motion or flow: knowledge being applied, which is how you build skill. There’s […]