TedTalks for #mLearning: Use what’s available today!
Back in my early consulting days. I worked at a Xerox Retail store before PCs existed. My manager, Malcolm was a very savvy retailer. His prime motto for the sales team was SWAT! (Sell What’s Available Today). Currently, there is a lot of churn in the mobile and mLearning marketplaces with new hardware and software coming online all the time. At the same time, there are some very good resources already online that IDs and training developers can use easily. All we need is some creative restructuring or repurposing of that content.
I’m a subscriber to Ted.com and more recently to its TedTalks part. Ted has a very futuristic orientation with live conferences featuring talks by futurists and others working on cutting edge ideas. Over the weekend I listened to three interesting topical talks:
1) JP Rangaswami: Information is food – Excellent for understanding filtering
2) Rory Sutherland: Perspective is everything – Importance of context (has 1 F-bomb but in context)
3) Atul Gawande: How do we heal medicine? – Honest view of “medical cowboy” mentality
As it turns out there are over 1200 talks covering many topic in both science and culture Click here for full list in a spread sheet format. Talks run from 3-20+ min. or so. Note also that the TedTalks app is available for both Android and iPhone handsets.
I prefer to work incrementally on any development projects. My last post started to describe using EverNote as a tool for the development of mobile friendly Mini-Lessons. So, let’s extend the EN-Mini Lesson concept to include some supplemental audio via Ted Talks.
Supports Discovery Learning
Since TedTalks cover new concepts and ideas in development, using them to support discovery learning via learner research seems a “no brainer”. A mini lesson with the instructor’s intro EN still seems a logical starting point. The lesson text in the rest of the EN can contain:
- Links to the TedTalks part of the lesson
- Study questions for discussion
- Research direction suggestions (key words, venues besides Google etc.)
- Knowledge checks to reinforce the TedTalks main theme.
Learners can create EN notebooks with their results and the best research for sharing with the class via a shared notebook containing the learners’ results.
Learners who complain about their dry and boring eLearning and mLearning should be pleasantly surprised with this activity based approach to learning. More actions during the learning process result in more reinforcement and thus better retention.
How to build an EN-Mini?
Although the audio note is the first part of the EN-Mini, my best practice is to write it last as one would with any technical document. Here is a sketch of the development process as I see it:
- Define an objective for the lesson and select the TedTalk (TT).
- Listen carefully to the TT, taking notes as needed for 4 & 5 below.
- Research for content that both supports and refutes the TT.
- Create thought questions for discussion.
- Create knowledge checks covering the TT main points for learner reinforcement
- Outline the audio note intro
- Record the audio Intro
- Merge the intro into the text part of the EN
- Move the EN-Mini to a shared EN Notebook
- Send the learners the URL to the note
For the next posts in this series I will build several sample EN-Mini lessons using the three talks linked to above. I will include the EN-Mini URLs with the posts so folks can see and use the work products. All EN info will be available via CC license for ease of use.