The triumph of the nerds

If you have a few hours to spare, you could do a lot worse than to spend them watching the three episodes that make up Triumph of the Nerds, a 1995 documentary charting the history of the microcomputer industry.

From the Altair 8800 through the Apple II to IBM’s PC and the dominance of Microsoft, there are tonnes of lessons about what it takes to make technology companies succeed.

As I say, well worth a watch. Just to be helpful, I’ve embedded them below.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Digital learning materials – any point to video?

Here’s one you can all help me with. When putting together learning materials – particularly aimed at a public sector audience – what’s the best format to use?

More specifically – is there any use in using video? Problems with video in the office include:

  • lack of sound cards / speakers / headphones to hear them
  • lack of access to video hosting sites
  • lack of bandwidth to download them
  • …and so on

For a couple of projects I’m looking at putting together learning resources for people about digital “stuff”, and I am leaning towards just writing lots of blog style bits of text with screenshots, rather than going down the screencast or video route.

It makes it chunkable so people can learn in bits if they choose, and of course text and images are a pretty universal, low bandwidth means of content delivery – they will work fine on whatever screen size, and won’t take ages to download.

Plus, by adding a social element, enabling people to talk about the content and discuss it in the context of their own work and projects, that will help embed the learning a little more.

What do people thing?

Link roundup

I find this stuff so you don’t have to:

Ken Robinson: How to escape education’s death valley

Excellent stuff:

Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish — and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational “death valley” we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.