The legendary Disney animator Ruben A. Aquino has created a great video lesson on Taught By A Pro (.com) about “Center of Gravity”.  This is powerful stuff, beginners will learn basics, but even more for intermediate and pros to learn from!  Tons of great drawings to illustrate his points and even new animation by Ruben!  This is a “must-buy” lesson!

The sequence of healing events after grafting

  • Lining up of vascular cambia
    • the cambium layers of scion and stock must be lined up
  • Formation of necrotic material from cells on the wound site
    • healing response
  • Callus bridge formation
    • parenchymacell mass produced from the cambial layers fills up the spaces between scion and stock

  • Cambium formation
    • certain cells of the callus line up forming a cambium layer connecting the cambiums of both the scion and the stock
  • Vascular tissue formation
    • xylem inside
    • phloem outside 

PLSC 368 - PLANT PROPAGATION - North Dakota State University

5 Strategies for Delivering Readable eLearning Content

  1. Use Contrast
    The most readable text is simple – it’s black text on a white background. Don’t try to re-invent the wheel. Black on white has worked for centuries as body text, and with good reason.
  2. Break It Up
    Any huge block of text is difficult to read. Simply stated, text is easiest to read when you deliver it in short paragraphs – ideally, no more than four sentences each. You can also toss in a graphic or two to add visual interest, but make sure that it relates to the content.
  3. Use White Space
    If your eLearning design consists of wall-to-wall text, no one is going to want to read. Use margins around your text blocks, and additional spacing between lines so that people know where one paragraph ends and the next begins.
  4. Alignment
    Type that is left-aligned is easier to read than type that is right-aligned. You can use right alignment occasionally, like when you’re wrapping text around photos, but in general, lean to the left. Justified type doesn’t work well on web pages, because the text blocks are usually narrow and justification results in huge gutters of white space.
  5. Use Font Sizes Judiciously
    Your body text should always be in one size, and one size only. Go larger on subheads, and larger still in headers. This alerts the learner to when a new topic or subtopic is being developed. Ideal sizes for effective eLearning courses are 18 point for headers, 14 for subheads, and 11 or 12 for body text.
To all professors, with love

If you are a professor and undergo the immense apathy of your students quite often, stop complaining about it. The solution could be right at your fingertips. The world has changed and so have the students. However, professors insist on staying in the late Antiquity.Renovation of university faculty is a fundamental condition to build the university that will fit into the educational model described by the Delors Report (UNESCO, 1998).

A renowned Calculus professor with 30 years of experience and abundant academic publications might fail about 70% of his students every term. If that number shocks, you must know, dear reader, that this professor brags about these results, as he firmly believes that his job is being done remarkably well. Clearly, something is not right in this picture.

The average student of this hypothetical professor does not go to class. It is uninteresting to see the professor showing off solving much simpler exercises than the ones they will have to figure out in the next evaluation. Just in YouTube, students have access to hundreds of courses, which can be accessed whenever, wherever and how many times he wants and needs. Why this student does have to go to class? A few years ago, students had to sit down at their desks and listen to the professor. Today it is not necessary. However, professors do not understand this new situation and keep thinking students’ bad performance is due to their inconsistent attendance.

YouTubeiTunes UniversityCoursera, MiriadaxTeachlr are just a few of the many places where students of virtually every area have access to resources that not so long ago, only a professor in a classroom could offer. The dynamic of “attending class” has a different connotation than the one it had 10 or 20 years back. Professors must understand and accept that they are no longer the exclusive source of knowledge – that they are progressively less needed by their students. However, too many professors insist on maintaining the same evaluation methods of more privileged times for them. Assessments continue to be centered on the professor’s actions.

This is the key point to understand why 70% of the students of our hypothetical Calculus professor keep failing the course. As long as we don’t realize that students – who, by the way, do not need the professor’s explanation on functional derivatives – should be the center of education, these will be the outcomes. Since the publication of the Delors Report, the message to academic institutions (universities included) has been to boost an education process that is collaborative, interactive and student-centered – a process that inspires them to learn autonomously for life.

Universities should not be the aim of every high-schooled. Universities must be the platform where our students find the tools to develop their full potential in an open and responsible way. This is impossible to achieve as long as the professor continues to be the star, while the classroom fails to be an interactive space where every student’s potential is propelled and not plummeted. Calculus students that take the subject up to three times in order to pass it, end up hating the possibilities derived from the knowledge the course has to offer. The opportunity to innovate, think critically, work in teams and handle new technologies is simply tossed aside.

If you are a university professor and wish your students to be the stars, let them have the spotlight. The world has changed and so should we all. We need to adjust, take advantage of the new, while saving the valuable legacy tradition has left us – a legacy pivotal in maintaining our identity. The Roman Empire fell, but the Roman Law prevailed.

Don’t be that professor that makes students allergic to class. Become the bridge that allows them to cross from yesterday towards tomorrow, to new better times. Help them enhance their abilities and personal talents. I am on this journey and trust me; you’ll learn what you thought you already knew.


Maria Magdalena Ziegler

Professor of the Universidad Metropolitana (Caracas)


10 Things That Learners Pay Attention To (And How to Use Them in eLearning)

Here’s one of them:

Comparisons. Studies reveal the brain pays more attention to what’s new or different. It’s natural for people to get curious about something new, foreign, weird, unpredictable or different. When eLearning content is surprising or unexpected, ignoring it become impossible. According to Carmine Gallo’s blog “Why TED Talks Are Impossible to Resist”, experts in the subject explained that “Our brains are trained to look for something brilliant and new, something that stands out, something that looks delicious.” To get your learners to pay attention for a long time, you need to keep giving them new things to think about, but obviously you don’t want to stray too far from the topic. Making a comparison, simile, or metaphor helps focus attention. Plus, if you refer to a familiar aspect of the learner’s life, they may find it easier to grasp your point.

Ethiopia will host this year’s eLearning Africa which is also the tenth anniversary edition and which will be held under the patronage of the Ethiopian government.

The conference, which is the largest international event in Africa on ICT for education, training and development, will be held in Addis Ababa from May 20th – 22nd, under the patronage of the Ethiopian Government. Speaking of Ethiopia’s decision to host the event, Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Dr Debretsion Gebremichael said, “My government is pleased to host eLearning Africa as this is a conference returning to Ethiopia, where my government joined arms with ICWE in conceiving and launching the first eLearning Africa platform on African soil.”

“ eLearning Africa 2015 will create an opportunity to reflect on the 10 year journey traversed by eLearning Africa since its first conference in Addis Ababa. Furthermore, Ethiopia, as the seat of the African Union, welcomes conferences that bring together African policy makers and experts once more back to their home,” he added.

The Science of Attention in eLearning

Attention and the Brain
Attention lies in two areas of the brain:

  • The prefrontal cortex, located behind the forehead and spanning to the left and right sides of the brain, handles willful concentration. Part of the motivational system, it helps a person focus attention on a goal.
  • The parietal cortex, behind the ear, is for sudden events that require action.

Attention is largely a function of the Reticular Activating System (RAS), which includes a number of nerve fibers such as the thalamus, hypothalamus, brain stem, and cerebral cortex. The RAS accounts for shifts in levels of involvement in surroundings.

Watch out: The less engaging the course the more difficult is for students to hold their attention.

Implications for eLearning Professionals
It is important for eLearning developers to remember that they are competing for their learners’ attention and to bear the following in mind:

  • People do not pay attention when information is boring or presented in an uninteresting way.
  • Attention begins to wander after 10 minutes if the brain is not engaged.
  • People are unable to multitask — it is only possible to focus on one thing at a time.
  • The brain pays attention to people better than things.
  • Most people have similar rhythmic patterns

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Curious much? This eLearning Site May Have The Answer

Ever wanted to learn how to cook paella, wrangle HTML code or play the ukulele?’s mission is to become the go-to site for that.

It’s surprisingly easy to dislocate a man’s shoulder. Using a move known in Japanese as Oogyaku, or “great reversal,” you just have to get him facedown, pull his arm backward and apply pressure to his shoulder with your hand, foot or knee. A small amount of…

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Why It Pays to Write Tutorials
by Sharon Milne, Tuts+ Vector & Drawing Editor

I’ve been obsessed with vector art for over 10 years now. When I say obsessed, I mean that I have sat with nothing on my mind, scanning the room for objects which would be interesting to render in vector. I’ve had dreams where I’m a tool in Adobe Illustrator. I’ve often stared at people in public thinking, “Damn, they’d make an awesome subject for a vector portrait.” There’s nothing I find more relaxing than to vector a complex illustration.

If we rewind back to four years ago, I wasn’t in the line of work I am now. I was in a government job, doing monotonous tasks I had no passion for. I would have loved to make a career out of my passion—I just lacked confidence. I was confident enough to post my illustrations online in the usual art communities out there and had even built up a following of thousands, but when it came to the idea of people paying for my work, I didn’t think I was good enough. I had an interest in writing tutorials and, within the communities I was a part of, I used to share the odd trick or tip for others. I got a kick out of helping people learn.

When I first started looking at becoming a freelancer, I looked at the paths of others in my field. I asked questions about how they got started, and many came back saying they entered the freelance world by writing tutorials. It seemed natural for me to take a similar path.

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A great marriage: Technology and Education

“Through the power of self-education you can be anything you want to be or do anything you want to do. Self-education power does not require money, fixed time or fixed life style. Options are extremely flexible. Rewards are unlimited. You can control your destiny.” – Bob Webb  

Inequality is a problem that haunts the Latin American region. Although approximately 90 million people have left poverty in the last decade -according to the World Bank-, and even though the area has experienced an economic growth of 5% during the last few years, the income of the richest 10% is 27 times the income of the poorest 10% -as Arif Naqvi, founder of The Abraaj Group, reports.

Socioeconomic inequality brings grave consequences: increase of the informal workforce, inability of saving, deterioration of quality of life standards, including the impossibility of having access to good living conditions, effective healthcare and high quality education. These structural problems will ultimately lead to a dearth of national unity, which hinders the social cohesion needed to advance measures with results.

What can be done?

Inequality is without a doubt a multi-factorial problem that requires comprehensive policies, but we need to start somewhere. While the unequal distribution of high quality education is one of the manifestations, its solution holds the potential of alleviating the plight altogether.

Education provides us with the knowledge and the tools to be functional members of society. During our education, we acquire skills that allow us to contribute to the productivity, success and progress of organizations that produce the goods and services we require to have ideal living standards. Society is a big wide web that needs the work of everyone to maintain itself.

Moreover, education is also a process in which we not only absorb valuable information, but also develop our own personalities.Education empowers us when it gives us the opportunity to conceive our own ideas, exercise our judgement, engage in reflection, and debate with others. It doesn’t dictate us what to do, it shows us how to observe, research, evaluate, reason and think critically by ourselves -skills that are fundamental in any democratic society.

However, the infrastructure to offer this kind of high quality education is lacking in Latin America and here is where technology could make its valuable contribution.

Elearning allows people from all places to learn through any device with an Internet connection. A smartphone is enough of a tool to get free and low-cost online courses from teachers and institutions from all over the world. Education is no longer constrained to fixed schedules and physical spaces.

Our societies should move towards the democratization of high quality education, as it offers equal opportunities for everyone to thrive and realize their life goals. Thus, it qualifies as one of the measures that can be adopted to alleviate social inequality.

Technology has the power to connect us. Everyone has something to teach and much to learn. Elearning entails great possibilities and hope.

Image by André Cypriano. Extracted from