Thursday, May 07, 2009

Exploding goats and e-learning

IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) are a big problem in modern war zones. No sooner has one device method been discovered than another springs up. The dead goat, stuffed with explosives, was one such innovation. Luckily a smart young soldier used his helmet-cam (video camera mounted on helmet) to identify the problem and passed the word on via Youtube.

Commander Chris Edwards describes this to me at a wonderful military conference in Norway, as self-published training, bottom-up and straight from the field. He’s been a champion of this approach to learning for some time and has been using iPhones as learning devices, true to his belief that mobile devices are the way to a soldier’s brain. This guerrilla learning is a million miles away from the top-down, lecture-based, training centre training that is the norm in the military. He will show you his iPhone apps, describe his experience with GPS golf buggies, building model Iraqi village overnight using Google Sketch, to plan and practice operations the next day, and dozens of other examples of training that save lives.

He’s become a little weary of all the high-end, military-industrial complex vendors producing top-end simulations for tens of millions of dollars, when short, sharp sims and experiences, delivered by small, cheap and easy to use devices are available and he has a point.

YouTube is rapid development

Forget all of those rapid tools that just replicate old page-turning e-learning. Short, sharp videos do the job. A process, procedure, person, value, book review, abstract of a paper - record and slam it up there. The good news, from a learning point of view, is that the quality of the video doesn't matter - see Nass and Reeves research in The Media Equation

1 comment:

alex said...


We are going into a north edinburgh area with this type of thing in mind

Will let you know how we get on

Do you have any links to cool Youtube stuff for our kids to watch