This post is part of a series of posts I’m writing on delight.
I’m big PVR/DVR guy. I record sports, news, shows, you name it. I realize in an age of streaming, the PVR has become somewhat antiquated but it’s still a useful tool for me. Specifically for sports. Given the amount of sports I like to consume, without it, it would be both impossible given many events are on at the same time as well as incredibly time-consuming given the length of these games and events.
For example, I’ve developed some strategies that get me through an NFL game very quickly. My remote has a 30 second advance button. Given there are 40 seconds between plays, a quick press will have me with the teams at the line of scrimmage ready to execute the next play. Fast forwarding over all the commercials and I can see every play in just over an hour. I also watch a lot of golf. If I’m following a particular player, I’ll fast forward to see all their shots and if it’s a close tournament, may watch the last couple of holes in its entirety. This weekend, I also taped game 7 of the NLCS. Given the drama of a game 7, I watched quite a lot of the inbetween stuff and ended up watching a 3 and a half hour broadcast in about 90 minutes.
For me, being able to do this on my own time after I spent most of the evening with my wife and kids and grandkids was a delight. Knowing the game was waiting for me rather than the other way around was equally empowering and efficient.
I know many who hate watching taped sports and that by skipping through all the down time you miss some of the drama and excitement. I would agree and for me, I’ll save that experience for very special events. I also know some who do not trust recording games. I have been victim to this many times including last month when I went to tape the US Open and found it did not record. That was the opposite of delight, although I fear my wife found a little delight in this. Her favourite related story is the famous Heidi game.
The power and value of asynchronous video has long been seen as revolutionary. Being able to press pause, be in control is a powerful feature that certainly translates to learning and education. For me it speaks to owning my time and each time. For the majority of sports I watch I prefer this. And yet sports viewing also has this community element where we can talk about the game with friends and fans. For many big games that I watch live, I’ll have twitter open and interact with others watching at the same time. But often with my close friends I won’t discuss the game until later anyway.
My goal in writing about delight was not necessarily to tie it to education but this one seems pretty obvious. With remote learning, it seems we are struggling to find the balance between synchronous and asychronous interaction. We can certainly see value in both and much of it is about personal preference and efficiency. For those new to virtual learning, they may long for those synchronous experiences as they most closely resemble the familiar. But we grow more comfortable, will we be able to find delight in owing our time? This is not to negate community but maybe community can thrive even if we aren’t learning the same thing at the same time.