While at DevLearn this past November my friend Jay Cross asked me to participate in a video interview. Jay is maniacal in his devotion to "walking the talk", using new media and pushing people out of their comfort zone. I love that about him. Even though my appreciation means that I have to be okay with the occasional video conversation.
Jay asked me where I though elearning was going (based on DevLearn presentation I had just completed) and I responded with some highlights from the preso. A few days later I saw a discussion of the interview between two people I follow on Twitter, suggesting that I only talked about the "what" of the future, not the "how". Well, of COURSE I jumped in and asked if they really expected that one should take on a problem/solution answer with elearning people in less than 5 minutes - in some circles we would still be defining this thing that we do! Well, not too surprisingly both jumped in almost immediately, saying "yes!, underscoring the value in getting to the point. And in that instant I uttered something to the effect that "well, then maybe it's time for a pecha kucha ID video smackdown".
According to Wikipedia, Pecha Kucha (ペチャクチャ), usually pronounced in three syllables as "pe-chak-cha", is the onomatopoeic Japanese word for the sound of conversation. The equivalent term in English is "chit-chat". Pecha Kucha events were originally conceived as a venue through which young designers could meet, show their work, exchange ideas, and network. They usually consist of around a dozen presentations, each presenter having 20 slides, each shown for 20 seconds. Each presenter has just 6 minutes 40 seconds to explain their ideas before the next presenter takes the stage. The format keeps presentations concise, fast-paced and entertaining. In 2004 PK events began running in a few cities in Europe, and has since spread virally since has become a worldwide phenomenon, now running in more than 260 cities all over the world.
Young designers? Well, why not young INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGNERS?? Or old instructional designers who still have a few tricks up their sleeves? Why NOT encourage big thinkers to capture the essence of a position, a platform, a solution, whatever, in 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide, timed. 6 minutes, 40 seconds to share.
Maybe it was Jane Bozarth who mentioned "smackdown". Or maybe Janet Clarey. In any event, next thing I knew we had a pecha kucha ID video smackdown tweetstream going on. All kinds of (instructional design people who use Twitter) people wanting to get in on the fun.
Several suggested refinements involving kimchi, mudwrestling, jello, tequilia and a few other suggestions best left alone. I was also getting a few direct messages from people saying "you know, I don't really know what you are talking about, but as long as I don't have to wear liederhosen and a beanie in public I'll be okay with whatever it is."
Something uttered in the tw-heat of the moment should not constitute a binding agreement, so I wasn't planning to hold anybody to doing anything...nevertheless, I'm thinking that maybe its time to introduce The Pecha Kucha Instructional Design Smackdown Challenge. Still not sure what the Challenge part of this is, yet - except to challenge you all to think about how you might describe your ID work and what you love about it in 20 slides, 20 second per slide.
Cammy Bean and Koreen Olbrish and I are doing a presentation at the upcoming Learning Solutions conference; I have included a pecha kucha component to our session. I have no doubt we will be exceptional.
I am working with Megan Raymond to host a pecha kucha activity at the upcoming WCET Annual Conference in beeeeyoutiful La Jolla, CA. Nov 10 - 13. (I will be doing a separate blog post about the WCET Call for Proposals in the next day or so, so stay tuned!!) We're looking for big thinkers who have something to say about accelerating the adoption of learning technology innovation in post-secondary education settings. in 6 minutes, 40 seconds!!
We have challenged Brent Schlenker from the eLearning Guild to bring his bongos and triangle to San Francisco for DevLearn 2010 to get us started with DevLearn pecha kucha. Actually, it wasn't much of a challenge - he VOLUNTEERED to bring the bongos and triangle.
So. Who's else is in?