navigating learnzillion

Posted on April 4, 2013

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Okay, I decided to try a couple of videos on Learnzillion — and just ignore the practice.  Welp, it’s trying to make life difficult for me.  I “assigned” five videos, but now I cannot change the order or edit them.   I get the edit *screen* but… it simply won’t take my edits and I don’t get any clues as to why.

It is, of course, all Bill Gates’ fault.   Back when Windows 3.1 was shoved out there bugs and all, the culture bought into the “it doesn’t matter whether it’s ready or not, it’s NEW!” way of doing things.

Found two fascinating articles about online education, critiquing codecademy. Both seem to be from, essentially, competitors.  http://www.attendly.com/why-codecademy-is-overrated-and-missing-its-target-audience/ is especially useful because it targets the precise reasons that this blogger finds it lacking, and they are rather painfully like the issues with learning math, too:  that things are supposed to be “obvious” and aren’t mentioned.   Its example is the coding principle that if you have an opening tag, you need a closing tag and that if you spell something wrong it won’t work; that’s a lot like the math stuff that assumes you know that 4(-3) means to multiply but 4-(-3) doesn’t, and that “parentheses come first” doesn’t always mean you actually **do** anything that has anything to do with parentheses, but that you just need to *check* and see.    It also had a link to a rather funny video about somebody not knowing what a browser is, and now I’m going to be checking those out… She had some other really specific comments that I need to note (such as “if you’re already a ‘member,’ you shouldn’t start with the ‘start learning!’ screen that the non-member gets with your name tucked up in a corner, and I remember that confusing me).

The other was more esoteric and jargonized, but had some essential online-education tips such as noting that even wildly successful ventures such as lynda.com are usually free to the actual end user b/c a school or business has an account.

The other issue both articles noted that make for a huge challenge is the “what do you do when you don’t get it?” thing, which tells me I really do need to put effort into my “hints and choices” ideas (where when you apply a misconception, that tired Miss Conception staggers out and tells you just how to put her to rest, and/or you get to identify the misconception answer first and toss it into the trash can…)   I like that learnzillion includes “common errors” in their videos, obviously with the same concern.

Back to the coding board 😉

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