Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Has "Did You Know?" Gone Viral?

I'm beginning to wonder if the Did You Know? presentation has perhaps gone just a little bit viral. As many of you know, I posted it at the beginning of the school year and it got picked up by various educator blogs in August and September. But in the last few days I'm suddenly getting a whole bunch of emails asking about it, and many of those are from non-educators (a minister, the leader of a political action committee, a retired Naval officer to name a few). I even received a phone call this morning from London (as in England) - the assistant to a CEO of an executive search company.

I'm pretty sure it's not my original presentation, though, I think it's the version that Scott McLeod created that removed the first few slides that were specific to my school (and also improved the look a little bit). Scott says that he's had quite a few contacts regarding this as well. I asked some of the folks that emailed me where they had run across the presentation, and the responses I've received back so far indicate via email. It looks like there might be at least two emails floating around, one with "Did You Know" in the title and one with "Shift Happens" in the title, both of which just contain a link to the Windows Media version that Scott created. If anyone reading this has received an email like that, I'd love to know so we can try to figure out where this is coming from. (Also, if you're stumbling upon this post because of that email, you might be interested in two related presentations - What If? and 2020 Vision.)

Now, I'm not sure it's really "viral" at this point, maybe more like the sniffles, but it's still interesting to observe. Because I posted it in an easily downloadable form, without any kind of tracking statistics, and because it's been remixed and reposted so many places, I really have no idea how many times it's been viewed. But I know it was shown at a whole lot of faculty meetings (K-16), and quite a few conferences, and some Chamber of Commerce's. And apparently now there are emails going around to who knows how many people. So I'm going to estimate that the number of people who've seen it has easily passed the 100,000 mark. Please note that I have nothing to back that up with, just a semi-educated guess - feel free to laugh. (Note to my staff: yes, this will make my already healthy ego even larger. Hard to believe, I know.)

To tie this back to one of the major themes of this blog, it's a different world out there. A world where anyone's ideas can quickly spread if they happen to strike a chord. Where you don't necessarily have to have a large company or a huge public relations effort to make an impact (although that still doesn't hurt). And we need to be preparing our students to participate in such a world, to understand both the positive and the negative sides of that. To help them learn how to live and work in a rapidly changing world, where a fairly simple PowerPoint presentation that I almost didn't even show to my staff has now been seen worldwide.

This is just one of the reasons that I believe our schools need to change. They need to change to reflect this new world, this flatter world, this information-abundant, globally connected, rapidly changing, technology super-charged world that they are going to spend the rest of their lives in. Maybe, just maybe, we need to figure out how to make learning viral.


  1. Of course, Yes!. You must take a look at this :

  2. Yep, I think it totally has. I sent you an e-mail with the version I use at conferences. There are still too many people who haven't seen it. My school has used it in meetings as well. I am so freaked out that I am called an "expert" in technology at my school - I have NO formal training - and cannot imagine how I would feel if one of my presentations made it onto the internet as a viral video. Wow...

  3. Karl,

    I had posted your video on our school's Vision committee blog shortly after you posted it a few months ago.

    Today one of our teachers shared Scott's version with our principal via email, who sent it to the whole faculty.

    So, yes, I think it has definitely gone "viral!"

    I'm going to post both versions on my own blog today for our faculty.

    I shared the story of the video with our teachers today and highlighted this--

    A high school educator created this and now it is circulating around the world. That is a true illustration of the power of teaching in a "flat world."

    Congratulations for the impact you are making, and thank you for sharing your work.

  4. I have shown it to my teachers, my students' parents and everyone else I can think of. I know some of the teachers have taken it back to their schools and shown it to others.
    When you have such a powerful message it deserves to be shown around.
    From Oregon.

  5. Karl,
    I clicked on the youtube link prasanna posted. Interesting to read the comments.
    I, too, have shared you video with EVERYONE. Did you see the one that Kristen Hokanson did that was inspired by your video? She presented it last weekend at PETE&C.
    Check it out here:

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Karl,
    The other day a friend from CH2M Hill asked to have your video (with the AHS slides removed) so she can share it with her HR connections across the state of Colorado. Serendipitous that you posted information about just such a version! I've passed the information on to her. (Reposted to fix a spelling mistake!)

  8. Karl,
    Interesting enough I saw a version of this first when I sat in on a presentation being done by a superintendent for a intermediate school district. He added a few slides to add a local flavor but most was the same. Since then I have seen this thing at least 5 times being shown to groups over 50 people. That dose not count the number of time I have passed it on. Lets just say, Oprah should be calling soon... Floyd Bob

  9. Fascinating. I saw your powerpoint in an email I received from our currirulum coordinator. In it the powerpoint was cited as being the work of Faulds and Farnell of the Michigan Dept of Education. I have been using parts of it in a class I am taking and am embarassed to find out that I have inadvertently been giving credit to the MI Dept of Education (because that is what is on the title slide of what was sent to me in an email) and all along it is yours!! Wow!

  10. i found a link to the youtube version from the website
    they have it listed under shift happens also

  11. Karl, I know I've used it for several presentations. I really think it's one of the great products that I've seen describing the technological age in which we live. I can't testify that it's gone viral but I can argue that it should be an epidemic.

    Andrew Pass

  12. Learning is already viral. Educators just wish their carefully crafted curriculums were what was spreading instead of the latest game hack or youtube video. Speaking of YouTube, imagine how much kids have learned about communicating using video from participating in YouTube's social scene and having their movies rated by their peers. But how would you assess and rate the importance of that? Hard to tell and might be different depending on how the students wield their new knowledge.

    -- sydney

  13. Received in High Point, NC on 2/26/2007.

  14. Karl,
    Last August, when you posted the DYK? video, I started showing it to everyone and explained the background behind it's creation.
    Today, I received an email with the youtube link of Scott McLeod's version sent to all my relatives (50 of us) from my brother who works for Paramount in LA. He received it from bigwigs at CBS in a group email.
    DYK? is SO viral! Who would have predicted it? A compelling audio/text presentation has far-reaching effects!
    Thought you'd be interested to know who else is watching it outside of education circles.

  15. Hi was shown at the National School Board Convention in San Francisco last week and over 8,000 people viewed board members, administrators, etc. It was great!