Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Scary looking guy - right?
Well he's one of the most important marketing people on the planet. Read on.

Why does videocasting matter in learning? Education and training, by and large, delivers second-rate content using second-rate techniques at top-dollar rates. But why settle for second best when you can have the best content using great teachers for free?

I’ve spent some time recently on YouTube, Google Video, Revver etc. and boy, even though it’s in its infancy, it’s getting good. I’ve seen the best speakers in the world deliver fantastic talks on the subjects I love. I can pause, fast forward, repeat and take notes. It’s been a series of intense learning experiences.

(They also made me reflect on why Gagne and his crew are so wrong on the creation of educational content. These short talks are very powerful yet don’t conform to any over-engineered idea of ‘9 steps of instruction’. The internet, thankfully, is killing Gagne, and outmoded instructional design, stone dead.)

The TED talks are among the best. Every year some of the best brains in the world get together in Monterey in the US. These are fantastic.

Here’s a couple of my favourites:

Marketing at Google by Soth Godin (an insider talk at Google – fascinating)


Education doesn’t work by Ken Robinson


It cost $4000 to go to a TED conference – these are free.


Michelle Gallen said...

I've been loving the learn aspect of youtube as well...there's so much serious content in there that I'm not tuning into the tv anymore - I'm online. But youtube's like TV...there's lots of different genres of content out there - comedy/drama/education etc.

What's really grabbing my attention about youtube is the audience's ability to respond to the content that's been posted. And that's not just in the text comments you can leave - the video responses to youtube content are a new thing. Some videos invite audience participation, starting a video conversation, while other videos are simply there to be watched passively. Watching youtube and discovering which clips are traditional passive video content and which are a new breed of interactive video is intriguing.

How people are responding to video content interests me from a learning POV. Take language learning...instead of student being given a stranger penpal in the South of France who is sent the standard letter the teacher made the whole class write, I'd love to see students picking a videopal anywhere in the world, chatting to them on youtube, then getting a video response.

The replay/pause functionality means the student has control over how they experience the conversation. Using this model, maybe we could see learning conversations open up across the world?

Donald Clark said...

Excellent points. The fact that the original delivery is linear video doesn't mean that the learning need be passive. The discussions, [posts and ability to stop and relay are when the real learning takes place. I've also found it useful to atke notes while watching the videos.

I also hadn't though of the language learning possibilities.

pegj said...

The Sir Ken Robinson speech is brilliant (in fact the whole TEDTalks series looks pretty impressive).

It's great material upon which to base conversations, make connections to ideas and identify areas for change.

Damien DeBarra said...

I have to say I find it slightly amusing that you're declaring Gagne 'dead' - considering you ran a company which prided itself on using Gagne as one of the cornerstones of it's ID Framework and which published white papers extolling it's virtues. I believe that it still has a place for certain audiences - in certain traditional courseware. But that's a whole other can of worms.

Anyway, to piggyback on to what Michelle was saying, the joy of youtube (apart from being able to lift video content straight off of there and in to a post elsewhere) is the manner in which the metadata usage is acting as a filter to draw people with similar interests into the same space.

It's far from perfect (the suggested 'more video links' can often be way off the mark - although that's as much to do with shabby tagging as anything else) but it creates unofficial 'learning pools' where people get to chuck ideas and content at each other with an ease that you don't actually get in a traditional classroom - because citations, sources and ideas are a keystroke away.

I can imagine learning spaces designed around a video piece - with an accompanying wiki for citations and materials open to edit by a group and tutor. The core of all this could be the metadata: the very building blocks that strap loose pieces of content together in a dedicated learning space.

Anonymous said...

H Damien
I was not one who 'prided' themsleves on Gagne. The White paper on design was written by someone else, who then left the company. I didn't censor his work, neither did I agree with his solidly traditional views. I think the best work at the company in question largely ignored the Gagne model. However, I do agree that it has a place when you want solid and not particularly inspiring courseware. As you say - another can of worms!

Your idea of an outstanding video piece as the initial core experience is very strong. As a catalyst medium, it has strong impressionistic and motivational qualities. What would be useful would be a text transcript from which we could link (from words/phrases), so that points and themes could be identified and expanded. Interesting line of thought.

Damien DeBarra said...

well, that text string you mention could be the tag cloud, no? that's straightforward enough with most blog templates (not claiming I know how to build one myself) but the tags themselves are easy enough to enter - a basic movable type template leaves a large, prominent space for them. i assume the blogger templates have something similar.

so you could post in a video, place a tag cloud alongside it (linking to other articles on your site or even on delicious) and then place some elicitation questions below that to spark off some debate.

might be hard to thread those discussion below the entry, so perhaps one question would help keep the discussion on track.

hell, if you were feeling wild you could chuck up a link inviting others to a synchronous chat in msn or skype - which might help get past some of the isolation issues that prevent full-blooded debate. you could even record and post the synchronous chat text later.

not all of us have access to adobe breeze (or whatever the hell they're calling it now) so blog spaces (with a little bit of know how and some template trickery) could eveolve into cheap alternatives...

Damien DeBarra said...

By the by, I also, like Michelle, find myself almost ignoring the TV most evenings and watching youtube instead.

I can watch what I want, when I want and at the pace that I want. Sure, the picture quality is a load of pants, but I've never gotten horny over frame rates and am usually just happy to find the stuff for free.

Here's a simple example of how YouTube can turn your blog into a TV channel. this could, of course, be enhanced considerably...

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