Thursday, May 14

ZaidLearn's Juiciest Bedtime Stories

"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”
Albert Einstein

Again I am trying to suck out the juiciest posts in ZaidLearn and make them easier to access and share. In the last post I focused on the juiciest resource lists on ZaidLearn. This time around, I am focusing on learning stories posted. Here is a collection of my favorite bedtime (learning) stories on ZaidLearn:

"I very much enjoyed this article, a longish description of how the author (Zaid Alsagoff) revamped a critical thinking course. It wasn't so much the content of the article (though as someone who has taught critical thinking dozens of times I had an inherent interest). Rather, what interested me was the storytelling, the way the author let me into his thinking process. This isn't the sort of article that requires you to agree or disagree with it; we are clearly and entertainingly being told what was done, and why. Would he do it differently next time? Still, we can compare the thinking with our own, compare the process with our own - and that's exactly what I did, and why I enjoyed it. Be sure to click on the slide shows in Slideshare, such as this one."
- Stephen Downes

In this 5-part series, I reflect specific teaching habits that inspire students out of learning. Is that possible? Here we go:

  • Part 3 - Is PowerPoint Evil?
    "Of course, PowerPoint is not inherently evil, it is just poorly used. For those who are interested in using PowerPoint well, this article has a lot of material that will be of interest." - Stephen Downes


  • E-Learning 2.0 Workshop (Stephen Downes)
    "It would be pretty hard to write a more comprehensive (and kind) summary of my workshop than this by Zaid Ali Alsagoff, who deserves by thanks for acting as my videographer and assistant during the strenuous two-day event. What I like about this post was that the lessons were 'meta' - not so much the bits about web 2.0 technology discussed during the session, but rather about the attitude and perspective on teaching their deployment represents. In my own mind, what we accomplished was best represented in two photos, this one at the beginning of the first day, where everything was ordered and proper, and this one near the end of the second day, where real learning was happening."
    - Stephen Downes

"In one session, Zaid himself shared that he recorded one session of a professor (if I can remember correctly), just the voice and then he added a PowerPoint presentation of the talk which I thought was brilliant and at no extra cost." - Christopher Chew

"I have a Dream (King)! Go Green (Friedman)! Yes, We Can (Obama)!" -Unknown

  • Warren Buffett's MBA Talk Vs Evolution of Dance
    "Which is the better educational material, a speech by Warren Buffet, one of the richest people in the world, on investing, or a 6 minute video on the evolution of dance? The presumption of this post is that the 'crowd' got it wrong, viewing the dance video 59 million times and watching Buffett only 98,000 times. But I learned more about dance in six minutes than I learned about stocks in 60 - and I trust the dance video a lot more, because you can't fake this stuff. Buffett gives us folksy advice like "you should buy what you know" and questionable bits like "if you learned about Wrigley's 40 years ago, you still know everything you need to know." Um, what? I agree with the author that there are "many excellent free online learning resources out there that are not being fully utilized by the global intelligence learning network." But I don't agree that Buffett's talk is one of them - and this illustrates perfectly the folly of trying to plan this or of depending on presumed authority to make the choices for us (Lesson learned, thanks Stephen!)" - Stephen Downes


  • 69 Learning Adventures in 6 Galaxies (E-book)
    "...Available for free download at, the book brings together key “learning nuggets” as Zaid calls them with the arbitrary number 69 representing what he feels are the best learning chunks to appear over the past year on his blog, ZaidLearn....what has always been critical for this writer is the amount of reflection Zaid puts into the role of teacher. He constantly reviews his own practices to determine the impact he is having on his students making him an outstanding role model for those aspiring to the profession..." - Thomas J. Hanson


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