A Bullet Point Mentality

Every day, there is a school somewhere in which the pupils are instructed to create a PowerPoint presentation on a particular topic, or to create a three minute video on a topic.

Now, I'd be the first to say that if you can express a complex or complicated idea in a three minute video, you really understand the issue. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that if you CAN'T do that then you really DON'T understand the issue.

However, the bullet points or the short video have to come at the end of the learning process, not the beginning. Bullet points at the beginning are a substitute for understanding rather than an expression of it.

In any learning process you have to start large. Gather as much data and information as you can. Make plenty of notes and/or take plenty of photos. Shoot hours of video or, at least, write a script which covers all the points before worrying about whether the script is longer than three minutes. Only then can you start to consider which are the most important aspects, and from there distill them into bullet points or a short video.

Then the presentation, list of points or short video becomes a summary and a memory-trigger. The process takes longer, but not only does better learning result, you also convey a very important point: that the learning process should dictate how you use the technology, not the other way round.

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