One hundred and thirty years ago, a war over an idea gripped the United States’ eastern seaboard. The debate pitted established businesses against each other, made competitors of neighboring cities, and even turned respected inventors into lifelong rivals.
The “War of Currents” was a decade-long contest fought to decide the electrical power distribution technology that would eventually replace the candles that at the time still lit most homes. From the beginning it was a two-horse race: direct current against alternating current.
Alternating current had a litany of appealing benefits — AC power could be sent long distances over relatively small wires at a convenient high voltage, making it more affordable and more efficient. Direct current had the comparative disadvantage of requiring big, expensive wires connected to nearby power plants. But DC technology had one big advantage AC couldn’t match: Thomas Edison.
Heavily invested in the success of direct current, Edison used his considerable influence to push cities to adopt DC technology even as the comparative benefits of AC became abundantly clear. In the end the better technology won out, but without having the luxury of a spokesperson like Edison, a decade went by before AC could really take hold (and often, only because others had directly demonstrated the technology to counter Edison’s claims).
Today all that is history — but a chapter that carries a lesson far broader than simple power supply logistics. It’s this:
Great ideas don’t always immediately succeed on their own. Great ideas need champions.
Great ideas always have challengers — whether it’s the status quo, a preponderance of undifferentiated alternatives, or even a celebrated inventor, to see your idea take root you must first take action and make the case.
This week we saw more and more individuals taking up their cases, and offering important, useful, and helpful ideas among the latest presentations shared online with Panopto. And in the spirit of passing it on, these are just a few of the ideas shared this week with Panopto’s video presentation software.
Dr Ruth Anne Rehfeldt, Professor of Behavior Analysis and Therapy makes the case for the flipped classroom in this insightful recorded presentation. Dr Rehfeldt opens with a discussion on active learning, then dives into practical applications of flipped classroom styles, including potential activities for in-class and after-class time, as well as promoting engagement in online classes. It’s a sharp resource for anyone considering flipping their next classroom — or their next meeting.
Join the Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University for this detailed discussion of the potential and practicalities of regulating digital currencies like Bitcoin. This recorded webcast of the event includes prominent members of both the regulatory and cryptocurrency industries, and includes a fascinating panel conversation about the state and future of this burgeoning market.
Follow along with the LSU School of Law to learn a few advanced keyword searching techniques. In this short video for social learning, the class is shown the essential techniques for digging way beyond the standard Google search to help turn up information that can be critical to making a case.
The founding of the University of Denver in 1864 occurred during a tumultuous period in the United States, particularly for African Americans living in the Rocky Mountain West. This panel presentation explores the history of a controversial marriage statute passed by the Territorial legislature and signed by Governor Evans to prohibit marriages between blacks and whites, part of a slate of legislation that spurned the African-American protest movement of the Reconstruction era and thereafter in Colorado. As part, a host of speakers each touch on topics informing the passage of the statute, its longevity, various legal challenges, and ultimately Colorado’s new legal frontier surrounding marriage equality for same sex couples.
Sit in with the students at Southern Illinois University for a fascinating flipped classroom recording that explores the relationships between art and political science, using post-World War 2 photography as a case study. Professor Walter Metz explores the concept of consensus culture in 1950’s America, and how that movement informed and reformed the photography of the time.
Finally, we close this week’s list with a practical presentation by Professor Simon Lancaster of the University of East Anglia, on chemistry teachers can adopt blended learning techniques to better engage students. Professor Lancaster offers a range of ideas, from lecture capture to flipped classrooms, student videos, social media interaction, and more. An excellent resource for any teacher looking for practical advice on how to engage their students.
Panopto makes it easy for anyone, anywhere to record presentations and share them online, both as live streaming webcasts and recorded on-demand video. To see how Panopto can help you share your ideas, contact our team for a free trial today.