Friday, 14 March 2008

Internet TV and learning

Welcome to my first blog (!) about learning and technology. This one is focused on Internet TV and learning! Well this all started as I’m sick of paying Sky TV large monthly sums, particularly for Live Sports …….and wanted to see if there are cheaper (legal!) ways. It subsequently turned into some thinking about Internet TV and learning. Here are my thoughts ----be great to hear what you think!!

Everyone seems to confuse IPTV with Internet TV. In my humble opinion, IPTV doesn’t have huge potential with education and training providers like a College or learndirect at present. However IPTV (a complex & investment heavy walled garden mostly for existing broadcasters/premium content) is very different from Internet TV (via normal streams over the internet) - see for more details!

I do think that Internet TV has some real potential to help engage learners and help learners learn. New Companies (on low budgets producing original content plus user generated content) are growing up daily offering Internet TV.

For example, a company called Revision 3 has programmes with a bigger audience than BBC3 or BBC4 (c. 400,000) eg. Digg Nation ( The take-up is mostly for 15-24 year olds, though it is spreading (it is an excellent medium to deliver content to niche groups at very low cost compared to traditional programming). Internet TV also covers self generated content eg. You Tube (indeed many of these channels like are also on You Tube, Facebook, iTunes - ie. they go where the punters are!).

Channels like Digg Nation or Cookery fully integrate all the social networking tools (plus links to additional content or news articles about the main bits in the programme). It is these social networking tools that are at the heart of their success within Internet TV.

Internet TV hasn't come of age yet, but it shows signs that it might in 2 to 4 years (when I believe it will be much easier for the general population to stream internet direct to your TV. ALSO broadband speeds are predicted to increase so that picture quality & reliability is enhanced. AND the online population is growing rapidly and using the internet in deeper ways once the preserve of the geek or the teenager!).

I could see a niche Internet TV channel for a profession, a sector or for a hobby with significant learning content. I’m sure channels will develop (!?). Perhaps learning organisations will need to wait to piggy back on some of these new channels.

Love to hear your comments on the potential of Internet TV and learning, and on this blog itself!!! (click on the comments button below!)

See you.........

Darren (March 2008)


Anonymous said...

I'm fascinated by your thoughts about Internet TV and learning - but what's wrong with reading a book?

I just don't see what kind of added value this new technology actually adds to the experience.

Brian - Scotland.

Darren Sidnick said...

nothing wrong with reading a book - people learn in different ways. Around 50% of all learning within companies in USA is through technology/elearning and it's growing in Europe - so it seems this type of learning suits many people. I appreciate that learning via Internet TV is more experimental!, but it seems to have some potential???