Story, Comics, Manga and Elearning

People pay money for stories. People tell stories. People learn from stories. What is the story in recent elearning you’ve taken or developed?

In his book, A Whole New Mind, Dan Pink cites a great quote from Ursula K. Le Guin:

The story—from Rumplestiltskin to War and Peace—is one of the basic tools invented by the human mind for the purpose of understanding. There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no great societies that did not tell stories.

Stories are powerful things. I love hearing, learning from and re-telling (sharing) stories. Last October, I met Dan Bliton of Booz Allen Hamilton at Learning 2007. We’d just seen Dan Pink’s presentation and Mr. Pink (there are 2 Dan’s in this story, but “Mr. Pink” sounds so Pulp Fiction) mentioned his upcoming book on manga. Manga had been on my radar for about a year and this seemed like an interesting area, and an area of shared interest with Dan Bliton.

One thing led to another, and now Dan Bliton is going to share a presentation he’s done on on Stories, Comics, and Manga – Oh My! Making Learning Stick For Your Audience! Dan’s presentation shares insights and lessons learned in several markets and from Booze Allen Hamilton’s award-winning learning organization. A take-away job aid and web site references summarize the approaches discussed and list additional resources

The live e-seminar will be this coming Thursday, March 13, 2008 10:00 A.M. PDT (yes, daylight savings time, the USA switches this weekend) and you can register for the e-seminar for free here:
http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/event/index.cfm?event=detail&id=472090

As always, I’m looking forward to the presentation. Dan (Bliton) has a lot on stories and will even have a web comic embed in the live presentation. We might even riff a bit on manga and comics as catalysts for elearning storyboarding and user-contributed content.

I’m quite interested in the read-write nature of manga in Japanese culture. In fact, I’m already going to pre-order Dan Pink’s manga book, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need which is due out on April 1, 2008 (no Foolin).

A shame I won’t have this in time to chime in with and ask for comments on Johnny Bunko from the other Dan. That said, the session will still be really good, and is always better with the discussion with the live audience.

The interaction, the audience and the re-telling (or the desire to re-tell) is part of what makes an event a story, and what makes the word transcend the page. With fond memories of reading The Left Hand of Darkness in my high school sci-fi literature class, I’ll close with another Le Guin quote.

The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.

—Ursula K. Le Guin