Delivering Educational Content to "that Second Screen"

cell phone, interruptedImage by woodleywonderworks via Flickr

I've been reading about the "second screen experience" in mainstream media. This is where one can watch the show on there television and chat or communicate on their handheld device like an iTouch, cell phone, iPad, etc.

I know that I've done this before while watching a voting show like American Idol to "see" what people are saying as I follow the hashtag or search.

But it is moving mainstream with websites like HBO (used a Twitter microsite to connect True Blood fans), the 2009 Miss Universe pageant, and TiVo releasing an app to make the iPad a second screen experience.

In fact, if we look at the teens and what they do EVERY day they are texting and using their cell phones.

With Smartphones front and center in some research (more research needs to be done by NON-cell phone companies one might add) these handhelds are going to be increasingly important.

Companies like Discovery are already syndicating content over iphone / iTouch apps but really the second screen experience needs to be looked at more closely.

Competing Attention
The fact is we can't really pay attention to more than one thing at a time. Right now, our backchannel chat is down for Digiteen and Flat Classroom. We found it was great for getting acquainted with partners, but once we got into the heavy work that it was a distraction.

Augmenting Interest
That being said, there is something for combining immediate assessment while the viewing experience pauses or event to poll students and through electronic wizardry include their answers in the viewing experience and perhaps even let them determine the next segment watched.  What if students could text in their questions to the teacher as they are watching or could also hit a button when they are especially unengaged or confused. What would that do to the experience?

Second Screen
DVD and Video have barely made it into the textbook companies' arsenal of learning experience and we need apps and other innovations as well. What is evident to me is that these innovations will either be made by the textbook companies or the more likely - cell phone companies and other innovators in the mobile device market will create some really cool apps and eventually be purchased by big textbook companies. Maybe one or two lucky ones will become a "content delivery" company of their own.

Evolution of Learning
Warning: Bumpy Roads Ahead!

What happened to the music industry is rapidly gaining on the knowledge industries like publishing companies. It will affect us all. I think it is vital to be part of the innovations, testing, and learning experience as being part of the pilots and innovations is going to be important for our students and their future. I think wise people everywhere are definitely realizing that we can do better than the paper textbooks that hit our dumpsters and recycle bins every three years.

Now with second screen experiences and educational apps become hot topics as well as educational video games gaining traction, we're about to see some really interesting things happen.  After these things happen, I think some amazing augmented reality apps will be close behind.

Just keep an open mind, speak out and let your voice be heard. Teachers and educators have a great opportunity to shape and be part of change. You can be part of change or a victim of change. That is pretty much it.

As for me, I'm learning and listening to all of you out there. There are some amazing innovators in the classroom and on the speaking circuits around the country. 

Times, they are a changing.

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