How many uses can you think of a paper clip?

Since Ken Robinson, the presenter of this intriguing lecture, believes that “collaboration is the stuff of growth” I wonder if we could surprise him by coming up with dozens of answers if we were to work question collaboratively!

If you have time this 11 minute YouTube video entitled Changing Education Paradigms packs a punch. It focusses on the present education system and its limitations in that he believes it is conceived and designed for a different age and consequently we are letting down a whole generation. I have an interest in what he says, not because I am involved in education but also because I am a mum with a young son in primary school.

If you don’t have time to watch the whole video start it at 4:36 when he discusses the amount of stimulus our younger generation are confronted with (this no doubt includes Web 2.0). He makes a tenuous link between this “stimulus” and the supposed epidemic of ADHD in the future.

I look at this YouTube clip from 4 different angles:

  • Firstly I find the topic itself is interesting and I wonder how we could apply our knowledge of eLearning and technology to facilitate the paradigm shift he proposes.
  • Secondly, I would like to explore this as an interactive resource: is there too much cognitive overload here taking into account what we know about multimedia design (Mayer, Clark and Lyons) or is it a really clever piece of design that employs the contiguity effect and personalization effect so effectively. Note Robinson’s use of questioning to draw the listener in. Ostensibly this is a lecture that has been adapted for online consumption. How successful is this adaption?
  • Thirdly, is this a useful resource to showcase that YouTube does have some educational stuff once you’ve sifted through all the narcissitic, promotional, weird and wacky rubbish? Is this the 0.1% that Wesch suggests is interesting amongst the 99.9%  that isn’t?
  • Fourthly, is this resource at all relevant to our discussion around YouTube and will it stimulate discussion?

I have been tasked to facilitate a discussion with HE tutors on how to design eLearning systems that enable learners to work independently – in particular when a tutor is absent and other colleagues have to “stand in”. Since some of the subjects are so specialist colleagues must rely on showing learners content from the VLE. Could the promotion of social constructivism help here? If experts can be found out there on the world wide web why not integrate such resources into the curriculum and allow learners to raise their own ideas and construct some answers collectively as part of a blended learning approach?

I will only speculate on these questions as the time frame restricts the opportunity to explore such questions in any depth but they are in the back of my mind…to mull over.

I think if there were more nuggets like this in YouTube we would struggle less to encourage our tutors to take a peek and think about using it to leverage dialogue and learning.

1 thought on “How many uses can you think of a paper clip?

  1. Hi Beth

    Oops tt’s Ken Robinson not Kevin and if you go on Ted Talks you will be able to see the full oration from 2006 and another one he did in 2010. He also has a number of books out, one of these is called ‘Finding Your Element’ which I think you would enjoy.


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