Monday, January 27, 2014

How much do you know about immersive learning? Take the quiz!

I just presented a session on immersive learning at TechKnowledge in Las Vegas last week, and created this quiz as a companion piece.

How much do YOU know about immersive learning?

Note: I'm beta-testing a new quiz tool, so if you notice any bugs, drop me a note! I already notice that sometimes my feedback on each question isn't showing up... :)

Can't wait to see the results! If you like the quiz, buy the book!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Top # of reasons you should buy my new book, Immersive Learning

It's official! The book is out!

(Ok, technically you could have already pre-ordered it, but today was the official announcement from my publisher, ASTD)

Having stole my own thunder yesterday, I'd like to celebrate the official release by listing the top # of reasons to buy Immersive Learning. I don't know how many reasons I'll come up with, and I titled this blog first, so the exact number of top reasons is a mystery even to me until this post is published. Actually, I'm not even going to count :)

Here we go! Reasons to buy Immersive Learning:
  • You believe that learning is better when it's not passive. 
  • You've ever said "Practice makes perfect," or quoted that "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" quote. 
  • You think performance objectives are more meaningful than learning objectives.
  • You've ever created an avatar. 
  • You think there must be a better way to assess learning than multiple choice questions. 
  • You have a smartphone. 
  • You've ever played house, army, or, if you were like me, "store."
  • You prefer green apples.
  • You're related to me. 
  • You've played one of my ARGs.  
  • You want to know what an ARG is. 
  • You know who the Underpants Gnomes are. 
  • You work in corporate learning and want to learn a new design skill to add to your designer toolbox. 
  • You work in higher education and want to engage your students in meaningful practice.
  • You work as a K12 teacher and you're looking for ways to transition your classroom to Common Core.
  • You want to flip your classroom or training and want to create amazing application activities with  all that time you used to spend lecturing. 
  • You have a favorite character from a movie or tv show that you quote. 
  • You made a resolution with me and my book can help. 
  • I used you as an example in it.
  • I used someone you know as an example in it. 
  • You are looking for a book to give a great Amazon review. 
  • You haven't spent all of your holiday money on Candy Crush yet. 
  • You believe knowing something and doing it are two totally different things.
  • You heard me speak at a conference and I made some sense.
  • You want to design meaningful and effective learning experiences.  
I'm sure there are more! If you think of any, please add them in the comments. And thank you, THANK YOU, for all of your support!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Book release eve! Immersive Learning has left the building

Well, it's finally here. My book release.

It's been 2 1/2 years and tomorrow, ASTD Publishing will officially announce the release of my first book, Immersive Learning. While I haven't seen the actual physical copy of the book yet, I hear that it is currently on it's way. Last week, in a book marketing call, I had this surreal moment of "OMG MY BOOK IS DONE." Which is true, and has been true for awhile, but there is something pretty amazing about knowing that all of the work that went into it is now, finally, realized in an actual book that you can buy on Amazon.

My kids also think that is pretty cool.

You're going to hear a lot about my book and about immersive learning this year. I'll be speaking and blogging and organizing book clubs and collecting case studies and in general, happily talking about how to design for practice. I am thrilled to have an actual artifact that encapsulates my research, experience and design practices. I'm excited to share it with you, to talk and discuss and debate and to learn.

I thought I would be terrified, putting something so personal out there for the world to critique. But as we're on the cusp of the book launch, all I feel is joy.

So, pick up a copy of my book if you're so inclined and join in the conversation this year about immersive learning. You can even get a free chapter to see what it's all about. Or just make a training resolution with me and commit to making this year a better year for design and learning (or both).

Happy 2014 everyone and thanks for your support!

Koreen Pagano, Author :) 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Everybody loves a parade

Happy new year, everyone!

Yesterday, the first day of 2014, we woke up at 4 am and made our way to Pasadena to watch the Rose  Bowl Parade. My very own Michigan State Spartans had made it to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 26 years, and while tickets were outside of my price range, I was not going to miss the parade.

I even had green boots!
I've watched the Rose Bowl Parade every year of my life. I've marveled at how the floats could be made out of all organic material. I wondered how a band actually got to march in the parade (yeah, well...I'm a bandsie, what can I say?). And I wanted so badly to be there, to see it in person. Yesterday was the realization of a dream that was made even sweeter because I was surrounded by my fellow Spartans who, like me, were decked out in their finest green and white.

There were some really emotional moments, like when the Spartan band marched past and they played the MSU fight song while the crowd sang along. I swear it was like I was back in college.

Or when the float passed by with WWII women pilots. Just wow.

There were some joyous moments, like the float where a gay couple had just gotten married and were waving enthusiastically at the cheering crowd,

or when KC and the Sunshine Band played "Get Down Tonight" and there were a crowd of dancing grapes around them (ok, that was actually kinda weird).

Or when a friend from high school and I met up briefly before the parade for the first time in over 20 years (great to see you, Sara!).

There was tension when the Sea World float passed by, surrounded by armed guards because of the protesters who were following alongside on the sidewalk. Note: must see Blackfish.

There were some funny moments, like a little dog doing a handstand on his trainer's palm on one of the floats, or the marching band that broke rank to take a picture with a bunch of kids when the parade stopped due to a float that broke down, or how badly Darryl Hall was lip synching.

There was that awful moment when the Stanford band passed by. Ugh.

There was the awesome moment when a protester with a giant paper mache Bible tried to start moralizing to the crowd when John jumped up and shouted "Go Green!" and the bleacher section across from us shouted back "Go White!" and they all kept it up, back and forth, until the preacher/protester got so frustrated that no one could hear him over the Michigan State fans that he gave up and ran off.
My husband is great at creative problem solving ;)

The designer in me couldn't help but consider how the parade differed in person than all of those years on tv. It was really like a different parade. We got to see the high school kids marching up close and marvel at their uniforms. We got to hear Natalie Cole exclaim to the crowd, "I've never had to wave so much in all my life!" We got to see the excitement and antics of the horse cleanup crews who followed behind every horse entry (there were a lot)...they were adorable and got more cheers than some of the floats. We got to see the crowds on the sidewalks who had been sleeping in impromptu camps all night, go from air mattresses and fire pits to cheering fans full of wonder. We didn't get the color commentary from the television announcers; we got the parade experience, with all of it's realness and imperfections and context.

That's what immersion is all about. As I prepare to launch my book on Immersive Learning, the Rose Bowl parade was the perfect way to remind me of the difference between curated, packaged content and learning through practice, failure, context and experience.

It was a great way to start the year. Also, the Spartans won! Want to sing along with me? :)