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Story from Portugal

May 18th, 2009 by Graham Attwell

Just back from a twelve hour journey from Portugal and somewhat tired but thought I would give a quick blog update and trail some future posts.

Yesterday I was eating an excellent evening meal thanks to my Portuguese hosts and staring absent mindedly at the television. In truth I rarely watch television – apart from football – and so tend to be fascinated especially by adverts which seem to be the most creative side of TV production these days.

My Portuguese language is non existent yet I found myself being drawn into the story. It went something like this. Young man, student, young professional (good looking of course) is in apartment flat, dozing on sofa (too long out night before or just lazy?). Flat is in a bit of a mess – we know this because is shot in black and white! Doorbell rings. Young man vaults sofa to open door. Beautiful woman is standing there smiling. Man goes to invite her in. Woman shakes head and refuses bringing out form behind her back cleaning pad and cleaning liquid. Turns back and goes. Young man cleans apartment / flat with amazing cleaning product. Door rings again and young man opens (apartment / flat now in colour). Woman goes to come in – young man brings out from behind his back bottle of cleaning fluid.

Pretty banal – huh? But that lot all takes place in about 30 seconds and the storyline is perfectly clear without the need for any spoken text.

I can’t help thinking there are lessons for us in how we might use stories to promote learning. I wonder though how culturally specific such stories are. Coming from Wales I can understand the story and I suppose it must work in Portugal. I wonder what the cultural limits of understanding are? I also wonder if we could take a ‘chunk’ of learning and storyboard it in such a clear way?

End of todays musings. Much serious stuff to report on tomorrow – not least more thoughts on Web 2.0 and dissemination.

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