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Resource Allocation to Educational Training Videos – Then and Now

Ok, the “Recognition of the Japanese Zero” Training Video was quite eye opening. A combination of motion picture and animation; the use of comparisons; repetitions; interaction and motivation were some characteristics exhibited in a video that used a bunch of Hollywood stars and top behavioral scientist to teach an almost simple and perhaps, easily ignorable piece of lesson – identifying a piece of Japanese flying war craft.

Makes me wonder, if so much attention (resources – time, human and financial) is paid to a simple piece of valuable information, how much more other valuable pieces of information were out there during the war, and how many more training videos were made? If any?

Would we pay so much today, in resources, to teach a simple concept like adding one and one? Or could we do so only if this has detrimental impacts such as the devastating effects of a Jap Zero?

Published ineducational technologiesJap zeroresourcestraining video


  1. Mike Mike

    It was a pretty important piece of information to get across to US airmen, so I guess it was worth the cost of making. Today, thousands are spent on such 'learning objects' – of course, schools pay a lot to access them, too! It would be interesting to see what another examples are out there.

  2. Garry Garry

    Ben, what you say at the end is the issue. Unless the need is critical, then expense to produce is always questioned. Correct me if I am wrong, but when AIDS became a problem, it was recognized and research to control it was funded without concern for budgets. Also, look at H1N1 in this last year. Granted, these are heath issues, but it is amazing the amount of money that can be made available when the cause is right. Look too at what happens around elections. The standard documents we've read speak in a military tone, but will adequate funding continue to be available for the war?

  3. roman roman

    Ben, I believe significant money is invested in teaching children to learn, with or without technology, but not always in the most appropriate ways. When I learn of the money invested in video gaming, I shutter to think how much our educational system would benefit if the same resources were invested in epistemic games (games that have the potential to teach the practices of a community). Interestingly enough, many of the learning principles on which the games are constructred are similar to the approaches used to enhance learning in this training video.

    The learning principles are from Gee's – What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy, 2007

    1) The Practice principle – lots and lots of repetition

    2) Committed Learning principle – participation in extended engagement

    3) The Incremental principle – the ordering of learning for generalization (this would be the step by step identification of the characteristics of the zero)

    4) Bottom-up Basic Skill principle – basic skill acquistion through engagement in a domain (review of pictures, viewing of video for training, and actual experience)

    5) Multimodal principle – meaning and knowledge are built up through various modalities, not just words (use of diagrams, video, words)

    6) Distributed principle – meaning/knowledge is distributed across the learner, objects, tools, symbols, technologies, and the environment.

    The more things change, the more things stay the same. I guess it's all in the "packaging".

    Perhaps when education becomes an actually priority or the right cause (as Garry alluded to), will we see adequate allocation of resources. What does the government say about fiscal restraint, when we have to cut back take it from Health and Education.

  4. Paul Paul

    Unity is required to defeat the enemy, and in the case of the Japanese Zero the allied forces were successful. That same type of nonpartisan unity needs to be prevalent in order to help kids succeed at the very basics. The problem is there is no sense of urgency when a child does not have a command of the basic skills, and the American solution of testing is not a solution. Testing is good for reporting the achievement gap but it does nothing to fix it. Lets put testing on the back burner and find better way of working with our students so that they can live a successful life. Let's stop holding people accountable, and start working with the kids who need extra supports and resources.

  5. Mike Macaraeg Mike Macaraeg

    Great little post here, Ben. The last part definitely made me think about a plethora of things… the first the came to mind was similar to Garry's comment about things becoming buzzwords and newsworthy. It seems that unless something is brought up in Pop Culture, that it's rarely given a second look. BUT, if you get momentum behind a concept (like H1N1), it's given front-of-the-line access!

    The next thing I thought of was war as a business. Money never seems to run out as long as it helps war efforts…. Could it be that this is a self-preservation method?

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