Zener Broadcasting in Education – Part II


Posted on: June 2, 2014 by Mike Smith

This second riveting article in Atos blog’s equivalent of Game of Thrones builds on the concept of Zener Broadcasting introduced in the pilot.

Blue Sky Thinking

Martini Education

With the success of advertising over the broadcast medium, you will surely know where I am going with this statement already. People will be learning anyplace, anytime, anywhere – to fit in with their busy lives … and in our modern world, using any device.

The “lost generation” (and indeed any other generation) no longer consumes content only from the box (or now flat screen) in the corner of the room. By lost generation I mean those that have become disenfranchised from the current broadcast media – they have already moved on to platforms that, whilst they support the new Zener world, are not yet fully exploited by the broadcast industry.

Faster, faster, faster. We have precious little time for long-form media engagement when on the move or between other activities. All forms of content will become increasingly “random-access” and this will progressively become of increased importance in the education armoury. Well-indexed short-form, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 2-minute multimedia facts will underpin our future learning experiences. This will complement the growing demand for long-form content delivered over the Internet to large screen devices (which includes television and increasingly, tablets).

Advances in technology are providing broadcasters opportunities to find better, more innovative ways to deliver the high-quality programs and services that local communities expect and deserve. The industry, therefore, needs to continue to develop a multi-modal, multichannel, multi-platform delivery environment. All content will be rich, accompanied by alternative “2nd screen” channels to enable allow the learner to explore their topic in a non-linear fashion.

Educate Together

Broadcasters have historically had strong links to higher education, and these links can be used to enhance their brand. I see a future world where broadcasters have stronger ties with all levels of education, and indeed stronger partnerships with publishers.

Training opportunities will be increased for broadcasters by forging closer links for apprenticeships, internships and training schemes. Professional and industry education opportunities will grow and be an outlet for media-based education services as they draw on repurposed content.

This is where I believe Atos, not only supporting broadcast infrastructures, but as a systems integrator can foster community educational platforms to enrich the learning environment, bringing together the strengths of all parties in the ecosystem. Many of those parties are already part of the Atos client base and I envisage the “Atos Broadcast Learning Environment” (“enABLE”? [1]) – to join together our media industry and education partners.

Educational Orchestration

Atos - Education through Zener Broadcasting Part IIThe nature of education delivery is changing. From a teacher-student relationship in a small class, we are experiencing the impact of new highly scalable education models. A growing variety online services from the likes of Coursera, Code Academy and Apple’s iTunes University mark the move to Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The phenomenon of the Khan Academy is enabling a reversal of the traditional teaching format, to enable more time teacher-pupil time to help with specific issues. Moreover, the Khan Academy is pioneering gamification in education; rewarding study and achievement with recognition.

In addition to enhancing the delivery of MOOCs, I see broadcasters providing and orchestrating the delivery of educational content through the following mechanisms:

  • Ingest – from any source
  • Curate
  • Broadcast
  • Track (progress)
  • Foster

By “Foster” I believe that Broadcasters (and their partners) will play a role in building and fostering learning communities around educational content.

I’ll be back soon with the third and concluding the episode.

[1] ABLE - Having considerable skill, proficiency, or intelligence.

Share this blog article


About Mike Smith

Chief Technology Officer, Atos Distinguished Expert and member of the Scientific Community
Mike has been in the IT industry for over 20 years, designing and implementing complex infrastructures that underpin key Government and private sector solutions. Setting Atos technical strategy, researching new technologies and supporting the consulting and architect communities. Previously Mike has held technical and management positions in British Rail, Sema Group and Schlumberger. He has a daughter and a son, both keen on anything but technology. Mike's sporting passion rests with Test Match Special, and is jealous/proud of his son's Ice Hockey skills.

Follow or contact Mike