Social inclusion videos

New Year’s resolution: Update the blog more often (gee, that’s original). To start the year off on that note, here are some videos that I produced for Macquarie University back in 2012 which I have been meaning to post:


A healthy market opportunity

I was interviewed recently on the latest developments in digital pharma marketing. Here’s an excerpt of the story from the HotHouse blog:

The rise of digital in all its forms – Internet, mobile, social media, online video – has fuelled the shift from selling and marketing products to selling and marketing services, as consumers have replaced manufacturers at the centre of the marketing universe.

Everything from product development to promotion to post-purchase evaluation is today built around understanding and meeting customer needs.”

This is abundantly apparent in an area like healthcare. From a product-focused sector based solely on convincing doctors to prescribe medications based on scientific evidence (and a few educational dinners), drugmakers are building portfolios of services aimed at patients and doctors around their brands, helping healthcare professionals tackle issues like patient compliance and health education as direct promotion takes a back seat.

Big numbers

I discussed the implications of these trends with healthcare digital strategist (and HotHouse content producer) Ray Welling in this month’sHotHouse podcast. And while the growth of online generally as a medium and a marketing tool has been impressive, the numbers for healthcare are truly staggering.

Read the full story

An Apple for teacher?

To those of us who remember school as a distinctly low-tech experience, it may come as some surprise that teachers are turning increasingly toward digital content to make education more engaging and effective.

A report on THE Journal highlights a recently-released study showing that more than 75% of K-12 teachers were using digital tools in the classroom last year, up from 69% in 2008. Meanwhile, 72% of teachers reported they stream or download content from the Internet, up from 65% in 2008.

According to the study, “A majority of preK-12 teachers indicated they strongly agree that TV and video content is more effective when it is integrated with other instructional resources in the classroom. A majority of teachers are more likely to use five- to 10-minute video segments rather than entire programs. This is one indication that teachers are becoming more strategic in their selections and targeting use for specific purposes.” Or it could just mean that they are reacting to the fact that attention spans are getting shorter and shorter.

This means that companies will need to rely on digital content more and more as the next generation graduates into the workforce.

Reprinted from the Zazoo blog

I don’t need no steenkin’ map

This is off-topic, but as an expatriate American this struck a chord with me. Here’s hoping that Barack Obama initiates an education revolution in the US, similar to what Kevin Rudd has promised in Australia. A recent Gallup/Harris poll has said that 37% of Americans can’t find the US on a map! What’s worse is some of the quotes from typical Americans about the survey, as reported by the Huffington Post.  

“Stuart Weiss, senior sociology professor at Boston College, said although these findings may be surprising to some, they’re by no means atypical.

“‘The sentiment of many Americans is that there’s little intrinsic value in studying a map of a place you’re already at,’ noted Weiss. ‘It’d be like driving to Graceland and then asking for directions once you’ve arrived. Not much point.’

“Shirley Matheson, a part-time Arby’s employee residing in Dayton, Ohio, agreed with Weiss’s assessment. ‘I live in the U.S.A., so why would I need to know where America is? Or the United States for that matter?’

“Added Matheson: ‘As long as there’s still room on that map for all three of those countries, I’m sure everyone will keep getting along just fine.'”

Ooooh boy… but wait, there’s more:

“Of the respondents actually capable of pinpointing America on the map of America, their accuracy decreased considerably with each additional query about the country. Asked for the name of the U.S. capital, those polled placed Washington, D.C., fifth behind ‘Minneapolis-St. Paul,’ ‘Mount Rushmore,’ ‘America City,’ and ‘Whitewater.’

“Despite Americans’ seemingly underdeveloped sense of their own geography, history and domestic policy, they did score high points on the issue of patriotism, calling America ‘the greatest country in the world’ (47 percent), ‘the best state of all the Unites States’ (31 percent), and ‘a place to definitely explore when I finally get my passport’ (22 percent).”

No comment. No comment at all. No, really, I mean no comment at all…

Thumbs up for online medical education

From today’s Australian Doctor:
“Online medical education is as effective as traditional methods, a meta-analysis suggests.

“Internet-based education had become an increasingly popular approach to medical education, the authors said, but concerns about the effectiveness of online learning had stimulated a growing body of research.

“The meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (10 September) found internet-based learning was associated with large positive effects compared with no intervention and had a similar effectiveness to traditional methods.

“’Internet-based education permits learners to participate at a time and place convenient to them, facilitates instructional methods that might be difficult in other formats, and has the potential to tailor instruction to individual learners’ needs,’ the authors said.

“Professor Ian Wilson, professor of medical education, University of Western Sydney, said the internet was an effective teaching tool, but the medium worked best when used in conjunction with face-to-face teaching.

“Although the online environment had improved markedly over the past five years to play an increasingly important training role, he said the quality of the education provided on the internet was sometimes inadequate.

“’Sometimes people get so enamoured with the technology that they forget about the underlying education principles,’ he said.

“Internet learning was more suited to some areas than others, Professor Wilson said.

“’Certainly online learning packages that work in isolation work much better for knowledge-based material,’ he said.”

Journalists: Business is not a dirty word

At the Future of Journalism Conference at Harvard last week, 100 journalism researchers and professors heard repeated messages that the mainstream media must embrace, not fight, the blogosphere and that serious reporting can survive by catering to niche audiences. Here is a summary of a report on the conference from the journalism institute (the full report is here).

Carl Sessions Stepp, a University of Maryland journalism professor, said journalists should consider themselves entrepreneurs and find ways to make more money from existing news services like archives. From Gutenberg to Google, he added, “Young marginal upstarts with great ideas is a journalistic tradition.”

Robert G. Picard from Sweden’s Jonkoping University, said that although journalists hate the words “business” and “money,” they must develop new revenue streams. He said news organizations should abandon their “all you can eat buffet” offerings of mediocre coverage of all subjects. Instead, Picard said, they should provide higher quality news for smaller audiences, present information in various media, and reuse and reconfigure existing content.

Clyde Bentley, a Missouri School of Journalism professor, said, “we’ve had our head in the sand” about the blogosphere’s impact.

The debate over bloggers’ influence “is over,” he said. “Blogging is a numbers game. It’s there and we’ll just have to deal with it.” Noting that 120,000 new blogs a day dwarf the country’s 1,427 dailies, he said editors should treat the blogosphere like a giant wire service.

Bentley said that while consumer demand for content decreases, their demand for content navigation increases. “There will always be a place for the journalist who can craft a story better than anyone else, but there will be a bigger place for the journalist who can help media consumers find the information they want.”

And now for something completely different…

Online education at the moment is dominated by what I call ‘PowerPoint on steroids’. Out-of-the-box solutions such as Pointecast and Articulate and many bespoke systems are based on turning PowerPoint slides into Flash. Sure, you can embed video, add voiceovers and conduct interactive quizzes, but the learning is still based on reading bullet points on screen.

Is this the best method for continuing professional development? With video getting easier and cheaper to produce online, surely there’s a way to use it more creatively than sticking talking heads in the middle of a presentation, or placing them next to scrolling bullet points (particularly when the presentation goes on for 45 minutes or more). Panel discussions, particularly if the speakers don’t all agree with each other, are one way this can be handled creatively. The Rural Health Education Foundation’s video education program is one of the very few examples of this. I wonder what the relative percentages are for people who respond best to reading off a screen vs. listening to someone talk via video?