I have been learning XHTML and CSS . Learning the two of them at the same time has been a challenge. I was able to get a background image to not only show in the correct place, but to not repeat itself all over the page in IE and I was so proud that I had to show my teenage daughter. She took a look at my CSS file and then she said “oh yeah, you have to say no repeat” I stared at her in disbelief. She told me she had been working on her Xanga theme the other day and figured that out when she couldn’t get her page to look right. I have a little bit different view of Xanga and my daughter now.
After spending hours searching out blogs on the sxsw conference, I have some different views on learning too. I was fascinated by notes on the presentation by Kathy Sierra “How to Create Passionate Users” It impressed me most because it seemed universal. People learn when they are excited or passionate about something. The question then becomes how to get them excited. How do we maintain that level of passion to keep learning. I’ve now added the book “Headfirst Design Patterns” to my wishlist at Amazon. Some of the ideas that have caught my mind are showing a picture of what success looks like and then providing a series of steps to get there. I know that when I am trying to complete a task that involves something I am new and unsure about, it helps to have an attainable goal in sight and to know I have the tools I need to get there. The phrase “being in the flow” was mentioned as well. We all have that one thing we do that causes us to completely lose track of time and the rest of the world. According to these “patterns” gradual growth is better than a big payoff. We need to see that while we still have further to go we have gone from point a to b and each level thereafter and we need to have that sense of achieving progress at each level. “Give users an I rule experience” I have definitely become a “passionate user” What could happen if we applied these principles to staff development? To raising and educating our kids?