Archives For Video – Wednesday Watchlist
When I first say this list I was surprised that I had only missed a couple of the top 20. There is no denying that TED, Youtube and video in general are changing the way that we think and learn.
#1 – Sir Ken Robinson says that schools are educating us out of our creativity
#2 – Jill Bolte Taylor demonstrates what a stroke does to the brain
#3 – Pranav Mistry uses the SixthSense to reveal a paper laptop
#4 – David Gallo reveals the mystery behind the sea creatures of the deep
#5 – Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry show how the real world and infinite world of data interact
#6 – Tony Robbins says that an ‘invisible force’ is what motivates us
#7 – Simon Sinek discusses how and why great leaders inspire action
#8 – Steve Jobs told Stanford grads how to live life before you die
#9 – Hans Rosling argues why the U.S. is not the most powerful nation in the world
#10 – Brené Brown discusses the power of vulnerability, courage, authenticity and shame
#11 – Dan Pink delves into the science behind motivation
#12 – Arthur Benjamin shares the power of understanding mathematics
#13 – Elizabeth Gilbert says everyone is a genius
#14 – Dan Gilbert reveals the science behind happiness
#15 – Stephen Hawking ponders the deepest questions about the universe
#16 – Jeff Han shows why computer mouses will soon become obsolete
#17 – Johnny Lee transforms the Wii remote into fascinating objects
#18 – Keith Barry hacks the most complex thing in nature, the human brain
#19 – Mary Roach reveals the most surprising facts about orgasm
#20 – Vijay Kumar demos robots that fly like birds
Please note the links to the above TED talks to go Youtube. If you wish to view the talk on the TED site and have access to the transcript then refer to the original Business Insider post.
How many of the top 20 TED talks have you watched?
This infographic clearly demonstrates that many people are using the Internet to watch television and videos in general. Perhaps the most interesting number is that 25% of video viewers in households with high speed internet watch those videos on a device other than a television.
When we were living in the US we didn’t have a full cable package because we could watch most television shows on our computers through Hulu, directly from shows website our through a Usenet download. This is not only more convenient it eliminates most commercials. Unfortunately, media services like Hulu, Pandora or Spotify are not available in Canada so one has to rely on the Usenet and the NZB process of searching, downloading and recompiling media. It is not nearly as slick as the full streaming that you would get from Hulu but it works and it is free and the best part is that it is commercial free. A typical 60 minute show runs between 38-42 minutes without the commercial breaks. A 30 minutes show runs 19-21 minutes.
Depending on the time zone you live in you can even get access to a show through the Usenet earlier then when it runs in your local. We currently live in MST and can download a show from the Usenet within minutes of it running in EST. This is dependent on the popularity of the show but for a major hits like Grimm or Burn Notice you can download the current episode before it is scheduled to run here in the west. Another advantage to using the Usenet is that you can download the files in formats that are either fully compatible with mobile devices or that can easily be converted to a mobile format. The internet and mobility is changing everything.
I have spent the past 7 days at Silverstar Mountain on a downhill biking trip with my boys and I am always amazed at just how much we learn while working on our bikes after a hard day of downhill riding. Perhaps more important, is that the learning that is happening would fall under the category of informal learning–which is learning that occurs in a variety of places, such as at home, work, and through daily interactions and shared relationships among members of society (Wikipedia, 2012).
The notion of shared relationships is key to learning in the Downhill biking community. One of the most important Downhill Biking community access points is a website called PinkBike.com. A novice or hardcore rider will not only find the latest Downhill biking news or the latest Downhill video they can also find out how to repair their expensive rides and even find their next ride in the sites Buy & Sell section.
The Tech Tuesday section of Pinkbike has been used very frequently by my boys over the past few weeks as we prepared our bikes for our trip and, now that we are on the mountain the site, helps us with our daily maintenance. We have learned how to bleed our Avid brakes, setup our SRAM derailleurs, determine the best handlebar length, rebuild front and rear hubs, setup our suspension and much more.
The Tech Tuesday section includes a detailed video that walks you through the procedure and is then followed by a step by step description of the procedure with detailed pictures that allows you to focus on specific details that you want to review without having to rewind the video.
It is an excellent combination. The video sets the context and provides the overview and then the step by step provides the full details. An iPad rounds out this combination by giving you the ability to use these resources when you are working on the bike.
An objector could easily state that media may be useful for something as simple as bike repair but it may not be useful for something more complex. Most people do not realize that Downhill mountain biking is an extreme sport that requires great skill and amazing equipment. Since I have been dealing with the bike repair topic I will address this part first. Entry level bikes start at $4000 and if you want reliability and quality you are paying over $6000. These are finely tuned machines that require continual maintenance–remember downhill mountain biking is all about riding a bike down a mountain over cliffs, rocks, roots and trees at breakneck speeds. Just keeping the bikes functional on a daily basis requires significant knowledge and effort.
My younger son, Caleb, spent this past week in a Bike Camp put on by 3 Professional Downhill riders and he didn’t miss a single run because he maintained his bike each night after the hard day of riding and when something did break, like a spoke or shifter cable, we were able to replace the part in a matter of minutes. Part of the nightly maintenance revealed excessive slack in the rear hub which meant that it needed to be rebuilt. This requires a complete disassembly and reassembly of all the components of hub and was something that happened twice. In order to determine the type of sealed bearing that needed to be replaced, the hub had to be fully disassembled. Since we didn’t have these bearings on hand they had to be ordered so the hub components were fully cleaned, greased and reassembled so that the bike could be used the next day. Fortunately, the local bike shop happened to stock the bearings so the next day we picked up the parts and that night did a complete disassembly and reassembly of the hub one more time. This time we replaced the worn bearings.
While rebuilding the hub, my son and I had a discussion about radial and lateral forces on the bearings and he very quickly realized that the next time we do this we may want to see if we can get better bearings that will handle the lateral forces that are such a big part of downhill riding. We also recorded the bearing type and added it to our growing biking parts database so that we wouldn’t have to pull apart the hub again just to find out the type of bearing we would need the next time we need to do the rebuild–which would more than likely be in the next 4-6 weeks. Whatever we need to do, maintain or repair on our bikes there will either be a video on Pinkbike or Youtube to which we can refer.
The videos on Pinkbike and Youtube not only cover bike repair they deal with all aspects of Downhill riding from racing to slopestyle to freeride. My boys spend several hours a day reviewing new videos as well as some of their favorites. The 3 professional riders putting on the bike camp are well known to my boys because they have been watching their videos for many years. My boys don’t just watch the videos for their entertainment value but they use them to learn how to ride better and to perform stunts like “poping off the lip of a jump” in just the right way to be able to do a tailwhip or table. They also watch these videos to get a better sense of what line should be taken on specific runs. They not only watch other’s videos, they watch their own. Both of my boys use GoPro cameras that they mount on their helmets or chest that allow them to record each run. They go through videos at the end of the day to see what worked and perhaps what didn’t. It is interesting to watch the two of them critique each other’s runs and grown empathetically at each other’s crashes.
Professional athletes have been using video for many years to improve their game so it is not surprising to see how video can help aspiring athletes grow their own game to the level of the pros. But video and media in general in downhill mountain biking is used for much more than improving one’s riding. It is used to make a living. The 3 professional riders putting on the bike camp are examples of how one can leverage video to get paid to ride. Each of these riders no longer competes at the same level they did when they were younger. They now spend most of their time shooting and creating video. Sponsors are recognizing that young aspiring riders will spend hundreds of hours watching pro riders videos so their brands can be promoted as well on Youtube as they are on the race or slopestyle circuit. These videos not only show up on Youtube and Facebook but on sites like Pinkbike that bring this unique biking community together. If you we recall informal learning happens through daily interactions and shared relationships among members of society.
While it is clear that the nature of extreme sports or sports in general and the vocational aspects of learning how to repair and maintain sophisticated equipment can be augmented by media, one may still question whether media plays a role in informal learning in disciplines like the natural sciences. I will once again return to my boys experiences in this past week and point to my older son Levi’s decision to not take a Advil to help him deal with his sore hands because of the adverse affect it could have on judging just how far to push his riding with his slightly healed broken collarbone.
The first 2-3 days of riding results in VERY sore hands. Even though my boys ride often there is nothing like the actually riding down the mountain to remind one of just how hard this sport is and how much of an impact there is on the human body. Fortunately, my boys seldom rely on medication and will often suffer a bit of pain rather than take a pill but you really want to use some Advil the first few days of riding in the mountains. It helps take some of the edge off the pain in your hands and allows you to ride a bit more. Unfortunately, Levi broke his collarbone a couple weeks before we left for the mountains and the doctors have cautioned him to give the bone at least 4-6 weeks to heal. He has been riding long enough to know that pain is a good indicator that you need to take a break and pain in his collarbone is going to be a good indicator that he may be pushing things a bit and he needs to ride smoother and not push his body too far. Levi asked if he could take some Advil to help with his hands. Rather then try to explain how Advil or other pain relievers work I simply sent him the link to the following Ted Ed video:
After watching the video he understood that pain relievers don’t know where the pain is and that they simply dull the pain everywhere which could prevent him from telling just how far to push his riding and not adversely impact his healing collarbone. Rather than take a pill he knew that he would have to take a break and rest his body. It generally takes 4-6 weeks for a bone to set and a good 8 weeks to be pain free so at 2 1/2 weeks he is pushing the limits of his body and pain is a good thing that he needs to listen to in order to not set his riding back any further.
Once again a 4 minute video provided not only the context for why one should or shouldn’t do something it provide a learning opportunity that my son will never forget. Learning through experience and through the combined knowledge of a group is central to downhill mountain biking which means this discipline relies on informal learning. Media in also central to downhill mountain biking and when you add this to the informal learning environment you have an wonderful opportunity for growth and innovation.