Great Day Clamming At the Beach

Great Day Clamming At the Beach
Just Like Daddy

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Strange locations, can't blog

I am discovering, painfully, that technology has not reached a uniform distribution across the globe. I have been having great difficulty accessing the website as I travel so I have been unable to make posts.

I know this is probably of no consequence to anyone, I just thought it was interesting.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Learning improvement technique #1: Get Enough Sleep!

As I sit here in my hotel room in Wuxi, China I am struggling to stay awake and do my homework. I have been in China less than 24 hours and I have not yet adjusted to the new schedule so I am exhausted. My eyes are watering, I am having a hard time focusing, and I am basically just tired. It is somewhat ironic, then, that I found two different articles that deal with the apparent importance of sleep and how it affects memory. Both articles are written by Matthew Walker, Ph.D. and both articles support his view that sleep plays an important role in learning and memory functions.

The first article from Neurological Review (2010) presents research that suggests that a midday nap allows a person to learn better. Walker sites a research experiment that tested the subject's ability to learn after a nap and found they had improved learning abilities compared to a control group who did not nap. Apparently the part of the brain called the hippocampus can basically become full of information and needs to be emptied before more learning can take place. The nap allows the hippocampus to be emptied as long as the correct stage of sleep is reached during the nap.

The second article is more technical in nature and presents findings that support the notion that sleep not only helps learning it also helps memory. In fact, in the article from the Harvard Review of Psychiatry (2008) Walker presents research that sleep improves memories that were starting to decay, in effect repairing memories that might otherwise be lost. The article provides research that also states that sleep is important before and after learning is taking place to ensure that the brain is ready to learn and that once learning occurs the memories are properly stored.

I feel these two articles are particularly useful considering how easy it could be to improve learning just by getting enough sleep. According to the articles the affect of sleep on our ability to learn and remember correctly is rather dramatic. This week I have been learning about how the brain works in order to create better educational materials, but maybe the best training material I could ever create is simply a lesson on how to get the right amount of sleep.

All this talk about sleep is reminding me that I am really tired. I think I will stop typing and just go to bed.

Walker, Matthew P., A Midday Nap Markedly Boosts the Brain's Learning Capacity, Neurology Reviews, Apr 2010, Vol. 18 Issue 4, p12-12
ISSN: 10754598 Accession Number: 49221677

Walker, Matthew P., Sleep Dependent Memory Processing, Harvard Review of Psychiatry; Sep/Oct2008, Vol. 16 Issue 5, p287-298, 12p
ISSN: 10673229 Accession Number: 34399585

Saturday, July 9, 2011 I am in China

Nin Hao! (Hello in Mandarin Chinese)

I have been in China less than 24 hours, and so far I love it. This place is crazy! There are thousands of mopeds and bicycles going everywhere and the cars are doing everything they can not to kill them all. Wow!

I saw stuff at breakfast that was absolutely horrible looking, and other items were quite nice.

There is a strange mixture of old third world buildings and brand new 20 story apartment buildings. China is building thousands and thousands of new apartment buildings and I can see some right our my window. In fact I can see about 30 of those super cranes that they use to build skyscrapers (no kidding!)

It is hard to focus on homework with so much happening outside, but I must get back to work.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Would you really read 500 words online??

Hello All,

The blogging thing is really going to take some adjustment for me. Its not that I can't write incessantly, but I don't really like to read online for long periods of time and that is what it takes to be a successful blogger.

You actually have to go read other folks' blogs!! You build a little community of bloggers and you all check out what everyone is saying. It's a little bit like Twitter except your not limited to enough letters to fill a fortune cookie note, and Ashton Kutcher is probably not going to join the gang...probably.

I am interested in learning how a blog could be used to advance education and train people, but that is going to be a HUGE leap for this pseudo-redneck, so it may take some time.

Keep coming back, I may get funny.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

July 3rd, Educational Blogs

Hi All,

Well, now that I have a new blog all set up I guess I should do something productive. Hey, I have an idea. Why don't I post some information related to some other blogs in which I am interested. I am going back to school to learn how to create educational curriculum and these blogs provide information relevant to creating curriculum, so its a perfect we go!

The first blog is from by Ferdinand Krauss. His blog provides information about elearning strategies and instructional design. It appears to be rather useful for this field of study, however I did find links that were no longer active or led to pages that were unavailable.

The next blog is from Jay Cross at In this blog Cross, an educator who worked for University of Phoenix to create online learnining, shares ways to improve online education.

Another blog is actually a collection of blogs from At this website there are links to many other blogs that are related to Instructional Design, which is another way to curriculum design.

If you are a student of Instructional Design you may find these blogs very intersting. If you are not a student of Instructinal Design you might find it interesting to read some of these blogs to learn what it takes to create curriculum to help people learn.

Who knows, maybe someday you will decide to pursue a career in Instructional Design and you can say it all started when you read this blog!


Blog I go!!

Hi...I guess that is really all I need to say, right?

Are you still here?


Wow, you're still reading so I guess my first attempt at creating a blog was not a total failure. Maybe this blogging thing is not how I imagined it would be. You know what I mean, sitting around pontificating about some completely irrelavent topic of which I have no idea what I am talking about. But maybe that is not really what blogging is about. Maybe there is more to do here, and maybe it could be much more useful than I imagined...maybe.

I hope you check in now and then and see how I am doing. Maybe I will say something that makes you mad. Or perhaps I will say something that makes you think, or remember, or dream. Whatever happens your escape is only just one click away, so what do you have to lose?

Blog ya later.