Youtube, Kids, Creativity

I’m completely grateful to TED for having put Sir Ken Robinson’s talk online line, because it provides me with the perfect intellectual framework to wrap up this completely wonderful video, the PS 22 Chorus sings “Landslide”, which should need no excuse for sharing.

It is not that I am afraid of visiting YouTube for fun and confessing to it. Here’s my confession: I collect my favorite videos (stuff like “Ha, Ha, Ha”, “Wing Suit Flying”, “What Is Art?”, “Perdizione”, etc.) on http://berlinphotog.tumblr.com/,

But maybe …

it took this PS 22 video to get me to post the link to the Sir Ken Robinson video, because the PS 22 video is Robinson’s perfect illustration — especially for those of us who don’t have children, or don’t regularly rent them from our friends and neighbors, and so aren’t reminded daily of their creative genius and the miracle and necessity of play.

Or maybe it is the wonderful vitality of the PS 22 that I would wish for everyone and everything that led me back to as why all that presentation design in TED was so wonderful and wishing had more of it in blogging.

Now I really must confess something else, which is that like most everyone else I’m completely guilty of a lifetime of committing classroom “death by Powerpoint” and only began to learn this when preparing to teach”selbstmanagement”.  That title: “self-management” … it really does sound  like something you don’t do in polite company, doesn’t it?

Well, I’ve gone ahead and renamed my class and class blog  Study, Show & Tell, because it sounds better and because the whole point of “self-management” is to get us to the point of creativity — something often best done with others and for others.  Anyway, I’m excited about it and am trying to infect my students with this excitement.

And anyway, the TED talks are conferences where 18 minute presentations are given to  some very privileged people in California, they feature some truly extraordinary people giving some truly extraordinary talks, and many reflect state-of-the-art presentation design — which these days features almost no text on the slides, but effective storytelling, and the use of slides and beamers to show images that support the storytelling, instead.

By the way, to test whether you might need this training, and tonic, you might watch this two minute video by Guy Kawasaki and see if you violate his 10-20-30 rule.

My discovery is this: for as long as I’ve been blogging I’ve been looking for good advice, and while Kawasaki offers a succinct definition of what to avoid, we learn from Nancy Duarte and colleagues in the field of presentation what to aim for — clarity, beauty, insight, inspiration, communication, and persuasion — in some wonderfully systematic and illuminating ways that bloggers and others would sure learn to great advantage.

To be sure, there’s lots of great stuff on blogging, such as the Commoncraft videos, but I’ve not found systematic, empirically-based studies on the art as I am now finding in the books and websites of Duarte, the author of “Presentology: the art and science of presenting”, and others I’ve linked to on my presentology course bookmarking site.

I think the difference has to do with business models.  Bloggers do it for free, are self-employed squawkers, or when they get real jobs they go on staff, but the business model for presentation design is competitive, high-stakes corporate consulting, and so there is a big market for good advice, and people like Duarte, Reynolds, and Abela are serving it magnificently.

But then again, the presentation designers creating communication miracles with small groups using post-it notes do not have on their side the extraordinary collective dimension that Chris Anderson describes in an interview tellingly subtitled, “Blogging is a way to make myself smarter.”

Anyway, I hope you will enjoy at least the kids of PS 22 turning that otherwise schmalzy Stevie Nicks song into something truly wonderful — and enjoy it without any need of apologizing for it!

Bruce

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