Walt DisneLearning

Hi. A friend of mine posted the following YouTube clip on another forum I frequent:


The first section is from a 1950s show that Walt Disney introduced, about magic (my other passion in life other than online learning…).

Walt Disney is one of my absolute eLearning heroes.

(Voice from stage left….”Bruce..remember…he died before the term eLearning was invented…get on with the learning stuff…”)

I guess that is my point here – just think about the online learning he WOULD have produced, had he been alive!

Have a look at this piece…

Walt Disney presents” –  (mandate of the presenter explained)

“All about MAGIC (in caps – no messin’ you KNOW what the subject matter focus is)

Perhaps there’s no art more fascinating than magic” Straight to the point, explaining where his perspective on the subject lies

For us at the studio magic is an all-important part of our business, after all, where would fantasy be without magic”. So much is tied up in this one sentence. Within 38 seconds he’s explained what’s “in scope”, that this is something required to run the whole of the Disney Corporation, and has gestured/spoken words that, in effect, leave you with nowhere to turn but agree with him. Why do so many Instructional Designers, SMEs, and magicians…have to waffle. THIS is tight scriptwriting.

Most corporate eLearning is still on the Navigation slide at this point…..

Actually, there’s a little magician in all of us, even I have a trick or two up my sleeve”. Here, he plays with the audience emotionally, (similar to “Every one of you could be our next salesperson of the year if you just follow the 5 steps we are going to show you”), but then he takes himself back from orator to a position of humility, “…even I…”). I can be like you, and you like I.

I will stop the second-by-second analysis, but the piece goes on – he takes us on a journey, he lets us see the magic basement, and we are introduced to the “Magic Property Room”. The music at 01:18 sets the scene of mystery beautifully, (a simple trick all eLearning producers/Instructional Designers could use).

He starts simply, and goes onto more “complicated” tricks – layered exampling, just like we do in courses.

Finally, the “Slave in the Mirror” at 05:08 demonstrates magic to us. Remember this was the 1950, what a demo 🙂  If I had been alive I am sure I would have remembered this rollercoaster of wonderment for weeks to come.

It’s all here. Everything to make a compelling course – yet how many of us remember or cite Walt Disney of Hans Christian Andersen as our eLearning gurus?

These are the techniques of effective learning, it’s not about the latest technology, and it was being done 50/60 years ago, it was just called something else. I’ll call it DisneLearning, and try to remember it when I next build a course.

Thanks for reading.


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