Friday, May 18, 2007 Calling / ICT

I just received the latest parcel from The SingPost Speedpost guy carried the small box inside this huge USPS bag. I asked could I have it? He said sure! So cool... I like postmen stuff... ;)
Rod Machado's beginner's pilot bible was so thick and heavy. If I could name a few teachers who inspire me, Rod would certainly be one. (Another would be physicist Dick Feynman). These two folks are funny guys and they just love learning and evangelising their subject matter. Rod, whose flight lessons are found in many editions of Microsoft Flight Sim, explains the most complex concepts in ways that make people want to learn. Here's an interesting video from him. The other book i got was MS Flight Sim As A Training Aid. I felt it's time to get a little more serious with my computer flying.

The second book is essentially an ICT book, how to make the best use of a computer 'game' to do realistic flight training. When I'm not flying, my other hobby also involves doing ICT for long periods of time each day. (ICT generally refers to using technology to help folks learn better.) But recently, halfway into my internship doing 'reading, 'righting and 'rithmatic ICT, I actually dumped PowerPoint, and reverted to drawing words on the white board. (Technically, PowerPoint isn't necessarily ICT, but still...) Bill Gates phoned me the other day and asked me how come I wasn't using Microsoft PowerPoint anymore, and I told him, 'I'm not sure, I believe I got bored. My kids all walked out of their classroom.' OK, I made up the last part.

Anyway, Heavenly Sword has an article on just this issue. I've seen ICT work wonders when the stars align, it just blows my mind. I've also seen it not work, like in my own practice; not all the time, but sometimes. The problem is two-fold (well, maybe more than two), the lack of resources for every learner, and the pedagogy that the ICT designer employs into the learning package. If the killer app isn't present, then it doesn't make sense to do the ICT in the first place.

I bought Microsoft FSX many months after it was released. Yesterday, the new Service Pack was released, improving performance greatly. I'm not sure it's legal to do this flightplan over New York. Maybe Rod has something to say about that...

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