Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Wednesday inbox tidbits

There are two interesting tidbits in my email inbox I'd like to share with readers.

--Generational Media Study. The report from this study was recently released by the Online Publishers Association. Granted, they have an inherent bias as they report which media are preferred, but the results are still worth noting.

The main headline? The Internet has taken the lead over television as the medium preferred by 18- to 54-year-olds. More than 45 percent of respondents said the Internet was their top media choice, while 35 percent chose television. Books were chosen 7 percent of the time; radios, newspapers, and videos/DVDs each 3 percent.

The figure for the Internet was even higher among 18 to 24-year-olds, with 51 percent choosing that medium. And the Internet is the only medium that showed a growth in time spent on it--across all ages. Almost half of the respondents said they spent more time using it than a year ago.

Keep these figures in mind when you're designing training, especially for young workers coming up in the ranks. They are digital natives and are extremely comfortable online. But even their more-experienced colleagues are showing a preference for the Internet in getting news and entertainment. That preference could translate over for learning--but only if the learning keeps them engaged the same way news and entertainment online does.

Read the press release or the full report.

--Shakespeare e-learning. Behar Marketing Ltd, a company describing themselves as "E-Learning Web Publishers," has published a set of 200 PowerPoint slides on Shakespeare's Hamlet. The slides are described as a storyboard of the play (including setting, characters, themes, the complete story, conclusions, and famous quotations).

The press release continues, "Each PowerPoint slide is captioned and illustrated in order to render it interesting and memorable." Hmm...I tend to think that Shakespeare's Hamlet itself is interesting and memorable. But then again, I was an English major.

The press release said that the e-learning tool will help students reduce study time, teachers communicate complicated concepts, and playgoers appreciate their viewing by being informed before watching the play or movie.

I predict many students (and perhaps others) not feeling the need to read the play. I guess this isn't much different than Cliff Notes, but just in a richer media. Still, I tend to think, et tu PowerPoint?

There's just something really wrong about a work of great literature being reduced to an illustrated PowerPoint presentation.

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