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Posts Tagged ‘youtube

I LOL’d when I watched Shmoyoho’s latest songify, Pokémon Power. It was a mockery of a minister’s fearmongering of pocket monsters.


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Laughter aside, the video illustrated how anyone can demonise anything. Rationality and evidence be damned!

The ridiculousness of the minister’s sermon is probably obvious to most. But there are more insidious sins when gamification (e.g., Pokémon Go badges) and game-based learning (playing Pokémon Go in general) are applied in schooling.

For example, there is the practice of blind gamification with badges. The badges in the current version of Pokémon Go add little tangible value to the player. This is like awarding stars for reading books or giving students stickers to BYO, but the lessons for doing these are lost. This is because the motivation is decoupled from learning and its outcomes.

In game-based learning, earnest but uncritical teachers might have justified their use of Pokémon Go to promote exercise or to teach content. There is little evidence that PoGo does both effectively. But again, rationality and evidence be damned.

The lesson that is hidden deep in any game worth playing is this: The motivation to play is linked tightly to the learning of skills (e.g., negotiation, strategic thinking, planning) and/or the adoption of values (e.g., persistence, patience, fair play). These aspects may be so insidious that they are difficult to describe or quantify. But this does not mean that they are less valuable than what lies on the surface.

Observe, listen to, and play with any child enthralled with Minecraft. You can do the same with a persistent neighbourhood auntie or uncle with Pokémon Go. They will teach you a thing or two. Rationality and evidence be embraced!
 

Today I highlight two videos that provide insights into current issues.


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The first is about what some workers are worried about — robots taking over their jobs. This is an issue made real by what people can already see happening around them.

It seems to be a relatively immediate threat, so policymakers and workers alike spread and share the worry.


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The second is about the harm that Facebook has brought. Facebook ostensibly wanted to do good, but in reaching almost everyone on this planet, did not regulate its own ambition.

This issue is less obvious to most people than the previous one. However, I think that it is as big a threat, if not bigger, than robots taking over jobs. Robotisation is a result of many agencies and stakeholders that are subject to rules and standards; Facebook is one mega corporation that makes its own rules and standards.

The irony is that laypeople has little say in robotisation. But we make Facebook what it is and we empower — and possibly embolden — it by using it indiscriminately or not objecting to its poor practices.

How more myopic can we get?


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It is easy to tweet the essence of the advice that Alan Alda shared about public speaking: Share just three ideas, said three different ways, and iterated three times each.

But that distilled wisdom becomes a meaningless tip if you do not adopt the same value system of wanting to create an authentic connection.

Alda took time and care to bracket his three tips with the need to make that human connection. Public speakers and teachers might take that advice as a golden reminder that delivering messages and running the curricular race come a distant second behind making that connection.

If you cannot reach them, you cannot teach them.

I love YouTube videos that shed light on the processes behind a product. The video below was one of the better ones because it was about the most recent episode of Game of Thrones (GoT).


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Some say that the last 15 minutes of the episode were among the most epic of the entire series. If you watched the episode, it might be easy to see why.

It is just as easy to stop at this level of appreciation. You are entertained, but you do not really know why.

The behind-the-scenes (BTS) videos provided insights into the many processes that resulted in the product. The BTS view showcased the effort, talent, organisation, courage, and creativity of the people involved in the production.

Creating the episode was difficult. Documenting it and deciding what to highlight was not easy too. However, taking the trouble to showcase and reflect on the processes provides depth to the product.

The same could be said about academic endeavours. Most papers and projects have an audience of only one — the teacher. However, e-portfolios like blogs and personal websites have potentially larger audiences. Engage them and the audiences become participants who provide even more feedback.

This is how focusing on the processes provides richer and more meaningful learning experiences than just grading final products. I welcome the day when e-portfolios are not just good-to-have add-ons, but are default platforms and strategies for assessment and evaluation.

Reality. Facts. Are there objective truths or are things subjectively negotiated? Most people experience the law of gravity. Others believe the Earth just sucks.

In the hard sciences, laws are like reality, facts, or truths that are not negotiable. Education, on the other hand, is a social science, and it is littered with theories. Ideas and results can change with perspective and context.

Here is a simplification of this complex phenomenon. Let’s say you wanted to record a tranquil video of a tourist hotspot. How would you do it?


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One way would be to give up and say this was an impossible task. Another might be to wake up really early and try to get footage. Still another way might be to visit when the place was closed.

The maker of the video above shared several strategies for being in the crowd, but not of it. These included taking low angles, selecting areas of focus, grabbing opportunities as they emerged, and relying on good timing.

The same strategies could be translated when implementing change in schooling and educational contexts. It becomes about taking different perspectives and using novel strategies in order to redefine reality.

Schools that use the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) for career guidance and other programmes need to learn what a sham and scam it is.

The MBTI is not scientifically-based, and yet companies make a healthy profit off the tests they offer to schools and workplaces. But I fear that this important message falls on deaf ears.

If you cannot reach them, you cannot teach them.

One of my teaching mantras is that if you cannot reach them, you cannot teach them. Since scientific thinking and hard facts about the fallacy of the Myers-Briggs personality test might be too boring and dry, here is something to whet the appetite.


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For a fuller and more satisfying meal, try this menu item.


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Videos are not teaching material miracles in themselves. If I recorded myself just stating the facts, I would create a video-based lecture. Then not only would I have deaf ears, I would also get closed eyes.

The two videos above are spiced with a bit of drama and simplification, but they stay true to the story and facts. They are designed to disarm the learner and elicit emotions. Only then might they inform.

This reverses the order of traditional teaching, which seeks to inform first and perhaps does not even disarm and elicit. This is one way effective videos level up in order to reach before they teach.

This is an unplanned part 3 of my notes and reflection on a talk on gamification. [Part 1] [Part 2]

In the two previous parts, I noted and critiqued the narrative element. Narratives in games, game-based learning, and gamification are driven by stories. Good stories depend on skilled storytelling.

So what does such storytelling look like?

I have shared the work of brilliant storytellers on Vimeo and YouTube many times before. Earlier this week I found a story told by British Airways (BA).


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BA obviously wanted to sell its planes, service, and people. It did so with a story that focused on the relationship between the two main characters in the video.

Despite being a made up story, it was believable because the characters looked real. They were not movie stars and could pass for an actual flight attendant and passenger. The focus on the relationship between the two characters created an emotional link between the two.

The strong storytelling elements were believability and emotions. The same two elements could also be part of the narratives of qualitative reports, educational videos, or conference presentations.

A research study or lesson example could be contrived, but it must be real to the participants. To be effective, the intervention needs to elicit the emotions of the participants. Fail to do these and you succeed only in disconnecting with your learners.


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