Friday, 10 October 2008

Google Goggles - targeted performance support

At last - I return. To many of you I may have appeared to have taken a previous post on sleep and memory a little too literally. While I now consider myself fully consolidated, what with holidays and a surge in demand for my e-learning services to contend with, it's proven difficult to post at the frequency I intended. So I figure I'm in need of some performance support...

On that note, I picked up this great Google Labs feature - Mail Goggles:

When you enable Mail Goggles, it will check that you're really sure you want to send that late night Friday email. And what better way to check than by making you solve a few simple math problems after you click send to verify you're in the right state of mind?

By default, Mail Goggles is only active late night on the weekend as that is the time you're most likely to need it.

I like this, and not just because it's clearly aimed at night owls like me. There is a lot to be said for preparing ourselves for performing a task, getting into the right frame of mind to execute as effectively as possible. The simple technique here of being asked to complete some mental arithmetic helps focus the mind. I like also the use of time pressure.

We need to apply thinking and concepts like this to learning and training activities to actively improve their efficiency and effectiveness. Tools that will help us ensure we are in an appropriate state of mind to begin and complete a learning task. Tools that will help learning professionals provide support and guidance to their learning communities before, during and after the learning experiences they design and deliver.

P.S. There's another great little tool - the Forgotten Attachment Detector - which prevents you sending an email without an attachment if you mention it in the body of the email. How many times have you done that? Simple, yet effective.

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