December 14, 2009

Value added lectures

Morphological Freedom in Second LifeTwo lectures from here: Future of Humanity Institute - Global Catastrophic Risks with Nick Bostrom and Human Enhancement: Bioliberation or Biothreat? with Julian Savulescu.

The interesting thing is the flash-based lecture player, which has a few cool features. Besides showing the slides and lecturer at the same time, it allows showing sectioning of the talk and links to extra references.

Giving good lectures is an art (and no player can ever make a bad talk good), but it is interesting to consider how we can use this kind of recording to improve talks. Good props clearly help a talk, like seen in Gerald Sussman's enjoyable talk about the electrical engineering view of a mechanical watch (real clockwork, model clockwork, an oscilloscope connected to a circuit). One could easily imagine this talk enhanced by links to something like Mathematica where one could play around with the blackboard equations, a simulator of the mechanical or electronic systems and of course links to further papers or pages. On the other hand, this is divergent information - a good talk is usually convergent, bringing attention and understanding to a few key points. The extra stuff is useful for testing or making this understanding intuitive, or diverging to related things - but only once the basic ideas have been conveyed.

Posted by Anders3 at December 14, 2009 06:23 PM