Making Learning Fun, Zombie Style

If you missed out on being selected for the Hyperlinked Library MOOC with Michael Stephens, here’s an alternative. At first I thought this was a joke–a MOOC about zombies. But it’s real and even has course objectives listed! If you look at the objectives you’ll see that this class is not about zombies at all. They are teaching real stuff about public health, survival, and disease. Who in their right mind would take a course billed as: Infectious Disease and Public Health. Not many. However thousands are registering for this class based on the title and premise–you can make learning about infections diseases fun.

Is there a way you can apply this idea to your training? Absolutely! There are great films with good and bad examples of customer service. Clerks is the first that comes to mind. When we put ourselves in the role as the learner and think about how we would like to experience learning, we can find ways to make learning engaging and fun. No doubt this course will boost the ratings of The Walking Dead, but it’s a great example of adding a creative twist to what could be a boring subject. Let me know if you enroll. I’d love to have a trainers discussion group to talk about what we learn from the actual class as a trainer.

Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s The Walking Dead

Course description

From understanding social identities to modeling the spread of disease, this eight-week course will span key science and survival themes using AMC’s The Walking Dead as its basis. Four faculty members from the University of California, Irvine will take you on an inter-disciplinary academic journey deep into the world of AMC’s The Walking Dead, exploring the following topics:

  •  Maslow’s hierarchy of needs—is survival just about being alive?
  • Social order and structures—from the farm and the prison to Woodbury
  • Social identity, roles, and stereotyping—as shown through leaders like Rick and the Governor
  • The role of public health in society—from the CDC to local community organizations
  • The spread of infectious disease and population modeling—swarm!
  • The role of energy and momentum in damage control—how can you best protect yourself?
  • Nutrition in a post-apocalyptic world—are squirrels really good for you?
  • Managing stress in disaster situations—what’s the long-term effect of always sleeping with one eye open?

Each week we’ll watch engaging lectures, listen to expert interviews, watch exclusive interviews with cast members talking about their characters, use key scenes from the show to illustrate course learning, read interesting articles, review academic resources, participate in large and small group discussions, and—of course—test our learning with quizzes. We recommend that you plan on spending about two (2) to four (4) hours per week on this course, though we believe the course is compelling enough you’ll want to spend more time.

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe how infectious diseases—like a zombie epidemic—spread and are managed
  • Apply various models of society and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to existing and emerging societies as a means for understanding human behavior
  • Analyze existing social roles and stereotypes as they exist today and in an emerging world
  • Debate the role of public health organizations in society
  • Describe how mathematical equations for population dynamics can be used to study disease spread and interventions
  • Apply concepts of energy and momentum appropriately when analyzing collisions and other activities that either inflict or prevent damage
  • Summarize multiple methods for managing stress in disaster situations

To register go to:

For all my Tweeps

If you haven’t heard of Geek and Poke take a look! Hilarious cartoons about Web 2.0 and technology and best of all they are Creative Commons licensed!

This one is for all my tweeps out there.

Go Wayback – The Ultimate Online Library

Ever wondered what a site looked like way back…say 5 or 10 years ago?

Take a look at a snapshot of your favorite site via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. If your site is not archived you can submit it for archival, or you if your site is archived and you’d rather it not be you can request to have it removed.

Here’s a bit of info from the site:

The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library, with the purpose of offering permanent access for researchers, historians, and scholars to historical collections that exist in digital format. Founded in 1996 and located in the Presidio of San Francisco, the Archive has been receiving data donations from Alexa Internet and others. In late 1999, the organization started to grow to include more well-rounded collections. Now the Internet Archive includes texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages in our collections.

How cool is that! The really great thing about this is anyone can submit digital information for archiving. It doesn’t matter how well you sing, write, draw or anything else. Just create an account and start uploading files or linking to your site.

If you are a geek like me be sure to check out the hardware page that shows pictures of and explains how all this data, 2 petabytes, is stored. By the way, if you wanted to back up all that data you’d need close to 3 million CD-Rs!

Take a look at Michael Stephen’s Tame the Web in 2000 and in 2008.
Tame The Web 2000

Tame the Web 2008

Wow, we’ve come a long way!

Now take a look at AOL in 1996 and 2008. What’s really funny is the little box on AOL that says, “the future–personal chat.”
AOL 1996

AOL 2008

What do you think these sites will look like in another 10 years?

Who wants to play Libraryopoly?

This is how we spend our days at PLCMC! LOL!

Got Game? Now I Do!

My husband is a gamer. I was a gamer back in the days of Pac Man, Space Invaders, and Mario Brothers. The new games just don’t do it for me. Maybe it’s because I have not found the right kind of game. Or maybe it’s because the gaming market has not reached out to my demographic.

That’s about to change!

Those desperate housewives from Wisteria Lane are coming to a PC near you.

According to the game will be “lifestyle simulation putting players in the role of a new housewife who has just moved onto Wisteria Lane where scandal abounds beneath its bucolic surface.”

The game was released in early October and has gotten great reviews from fans of the show.

How could libraries use this? Why not have this as something for moms to do while their kids are at game night or while their kids are in a program. Not only does this give parents something else to do at the library but it gives them another way to connect and relate to their kids.