So, I picked up a few things from my conference. I got about 20 hotel pens, some note pads, 4 canvas bags... But a few thoughts, as well.
I was listening to one person talk about how they do their distance education. They mentioned that in each of their locations, the students have several controls, but chief among those were two buttons. One was a "I'm Lost" button, the other was a "I have a question" button.
At first this confused me. Aren't those basically the same thing? Don't you ask questions when you are lost?
But upon further reflection, I came to the conclusion that my first assumption was wrong. And I think the two button are a good thing. Sometimes when you are in a learning situation, you are so lost you don't even understand enough to formulate a question (other than, "why am I here?" Or, "What are you talking about?") But we don't ask these types of questions because that would make us look stupid, and with the exception of maybe Larry, Moe and Curly, we don't like looking stupid (though face it, we all like to say nyuk, nyuk, nyuk, when we are in the privacy of our own home).
With the "I'm Lost" button, you can just press it, and leave it up to the instructor to ask the questions. Leave it up to them to figure out where they have gone wrong. They must figure out where they lost us...
Also, with the "I have a question" button, it may be an "I'm getting this, this is making sense, let me just double check" type of question. Maybe the instructor has told me something, and I'm going to apply it to a new type of situation, thus verifying my understanding.
Anyway, I thought that both of those buttons should be used in any type of instruction. And if the instructor is using a powerpoint slide there should be a "Please dear God, blow up the bulb in the projector so I am not subjected to any more of these animations and poor visuals" button.
That would be very cool.