I Prefer to Learn Like This

I just learned about Econ Stories thanks to my friend, Leo Bottary. He pointed out this video, Fight of the Century, which discusses two economic viewpoints, but does it by creating a rap video. If you can’t see the video below, click here.

Now, wouldn’t this make subjects like economics a little more interesting, at least enough so that we’d think to dig in and understand them a little bit more?

How do you like to learn? What are some of the traditional or non-traditional means that you’ve found yourself suddenly much more interested in a topic? I’d love to hear your take.

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  • http://www.experiate.net Paul Flanigan

    That is FANTASTIC. I saw something like this on Shark Tank – a guy who uses music to teach about Shakespeare.

    What’s important to understand here is that the lessons to learn are relevant to the audience’s perspective, not the teacher’s experience.

    Would LOVE to see more stuff like this. I want to learn more!

  • http://www.experiate.net Paul Flanigan

    That is FANTASTIC. I saw something like this on Shark Tank – a guy who uses music to teach about Shakespeare.

    What’s important to understand here is that the lessons to learn are relevant to the audience’s perspective, not the teacher’s experience.

    Would LOVE to see more stuff like this. I want to learn more!

    • Anonymous

      It’s as old as mankind. We learn through story telling. It’s in our DNA as humans. Great video! It expressed abstract concepts and points of view very thoroughly without the need of a sledge hammer to drive the point home.

      • http://twitter.com/PlacesFirst Tobey Deys

        Whoa! That video is sick! Could not agree more that music and storytelling are highly effective – if we can identify in some way with what we’re learning, we’ll own it forever. I had a Grade 4 math teacher who started every day with a ‘math story’ around what we were learning … he was very clever, we loved it and worked hard to learn.

        For years, I worked with a corporate training company that developed experiential learning programs – cleverly masked business scenarios where participants opened up, as themselves, to the ‘story’ or the ‘game’ … the ‘AH HA’ moments were amazing (and, for some, shocking).

        I’m with Confucius: I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.

        Thanks Chris – awesome! (that track’s hook is in my head!) ;-)

  • http://www.solobizcoach.com SoloBizCoach

    I love Hayek’s Road to Serfdom. This book more than any other shaped my worldview. If you haven’t read it, I highly encourage you all to do so.

    I loved how the video ended. Keynes was knocked down, but the referee (the elite’s) gave him the victory any way, and the media fawned over him. Very funny.

    • Daniel

      I respectfully disagree: Free Market Economics advocates today have greatly distorted what Keynesian Economics is really about (nothing to do with the economic policies being implemented today.)

      Free Market Economics is an axiom.

      There’s a great book, ‘The Shock Doctrine’, by Naomi Klein. Highly recommended.



      • http://www.solobizcoach.com SoloBizCoach


        I completely agree that society today distorts Keynesian Economics. Unfortunately for Keynes, our politicians today think that his theory was as simple as spending more money. You are right that doesn’t accurately describe Keynes’ model.


  • http://www.margieclayman.com Marjorie Clayman

    I depend on my photographic memory, so I have to take fastidious notes. People throughout my academic career always thought I was trying to show off. Which was true. But also, that’s how I learn :)

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  • http://twitter.com/3rhinomedia Don Stanley

    Too funny. Thanks for sharing Chris. I just learned about these guys on NPR yesterday. As a university instructor (Go Badgers!), I was profoundly impressed by their style and delivery. I didn’t get to hear the whole interview, but I am very curious about the production time and resources. I would love to do something like this for my courses.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tribebuilder Gina Carr

    Thanks for sharing this Chris. I’ve been sharing it a lot also. I absolutely loved this. As we know, people learn when they laugh. This is a very creative way to teach this subject. I gather that the target market is college kids. They very smartly developed a teaching tool that spoke the language of their target. Great lessons for us here for our businesses.

  • http://bigfeetmarketing.com Brad Harmon

    Great video, Chris. I’ve always been more of a visual learner myself. I think I learned more from School House Rock than I did during my first few years in school. Okay, maybe not; however, I can still sing all of those songs but can’t remember any lesson I was taught in school.

  • http://www.webemphasis.com/costume-website-design Boutique Website Design

    All right I’m following you! :)

  • http://ClimbingEveryMountain.com Mary E. Ulrich

    You are right, videos and music help us learn about complex subjects and we all learn differently.

    Howard Gardner has been teaching about using Multiple Intelligences for over 20 years. It is a shame No Child Left Behind killed most teachers creativitity and forced them to repeat the same-old/same-old methods which we know only reach mathematic/logical and verbal/linguistic learners. We know better, we want better–yet, we don’t make the changes necessary. Maybe we need another video with music teaching that lesson.

  • http://twitter.com/doulosmarketing Dave Wellman

    Very cool video. Lots of good information in an interesting wrapper (excuse the pun!)

  • http://twitter.com/phillyrealty Christopher Somers

    Love innovative ways of learning !

  • http://www.professionalproofread.com Johnny Russo

    That’s a great video Chris. A new thing I’ve been doing to save time and combine learning initiatives is to, rather than listen to music while working, at times I’ll plug in to a webinar or podcast, and while I’m working, soak in some information on new technology or new marketing trend.

  • http://twitter.com/susangiurleo susangiurleo

    As my kid is TODAY sitting in his first grade classroom filling in bubbles on a standardized test (give me strength), how I want him to learn any new concept would be to be CREATING a video, slide show, e-book, photo collage, writing song lyrics, preforming the song -with a team of his peers. Isn’t that how we all work now in the 21st century?

    And what I want to give my kids’ class when he’s in HS is this – every kid gets an iPad and we send iPad’s to every student in a matched classroom in another country, whose primary language is not English. We give them a problem to solve and the tools to solve it together. The problem could be cleaning drinking water, building a school, etc. They would have to track down funding and resources, people to do the work. Sort of like The Apprentice with activities that actually matter. That would be the bulk of their work for that academic year. I guarantee you, they’d figure it out and learn more about science, technology, language, communication, math, social studies, team work – than they ever would filling in those damn bubbles.

  • http://twitter.com/gillie Amie Gillingham

    I think we respond to this kind of learning so well because we’re from the generation that grew up on Schoolhouse Rock.

  • http://twitter.com/marbjar Marble Jar

    I still remember the WKRP in Cincinnati episode where the principles of the atom was explained by rival gangs circling a neighborhood. As a special educator the concept that we all have individual learning styles the core building block of all of our teaching. I still believe that there should be no such think as special education, but that all kids should have an individualized educational plan…a contract that discovers their strengths and sets up clear expectations broken into small measurable goals. As a software developer that is the concept behind Marble Jar, the iPhone app I am launching in June. Determine what you are working towards, then figure out what it is going to take to get there. Mark progress with marbles.

  • http://www.retirepreneur.com Donna Kastner/Retirepreneur

    Talk about sticky content… Isn’t it amazing how many of us are remembering School House Rock as we watch this video? “I’m just a bill… and I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill…”

    Great video – thanks for sharing!

  • Anonymous

    It all comes downto the following: while we retain only 20% of what we read, and 30% what we hear, we retain 50% of what we both read and hear. Combine this with the fact that stories that are entertaining are more engaging, and you have a successful formula. I guess we now move onto how to tell a successful story.

    • JM

      I’d actually be curious, do you know any studies that show the benefits of learning from video versus other media like text or presentations?

      Would love to see the scientific evidence for such a great idea. I love the video and intuitively it makes sense that it would be a lot more memorable than a dry lecture, but are there any figures on it?

      • Anonymous

        That data was supplied to me in a lecture, actually. Don’t know where the presenter got it. Everything seems to be searchable these days….

  • MichaelCantone

    Wow! That’s because I don’t know what to say.

  • http://www.joomla-web-developer.com/ joomla development services

    Yes, great blog. This is the fist time Iam visitng your post and found it really interesting. I look forward more post from you . Thanks for sharing it.

  • http://managingempleperforrmance.com Leon Noone

    G’Day Chris,
    Way back in 1978, I was giving a workshop at a training conference in New Zealand. The workshop was so well received that the organizers asked me to repeat it.

    Before the repeat, one of the people who came to the initial workshop came to me and said, “I wont be coming to the repeat session” I thought this made sense. Why go twice? He then added, “You didn’t respect my individual learning style.”

    I made some polite response and thanked him for his feedback.

    Secretly I was delighted that some one so concerned about his own “learning style” rather than” learning” wasn’t going to be there again.

    Learning style stuff has been around a long time. The issue is not whether you learn but what you learn. and, like it or not, quality of instruction has a major influence. Learning, with death and taxes, is the third certainty in life.

    If we’re charged with the responsibility of enhancing others’ learning, there’s only one question that really matters. “What will they be able to do at the conclusion of the learning that they couldn’t do at the start?”

    Now that I’ve probably alienated many of your readers, I’ll sneak quietly away to sell something to someone.

    Make sure you have fun.



  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual office assistant

    Great post and i loved the way you have found out to learn new things. Keep going and keep sharing with us.

  • http://www.danieldecker.net Daniel Decker

    That’s just awesome.

  • Kermit

    How I like to learn. Every new theory requires learning the vocabulary in which the theory is explained. It is easy to learn that vocabulary if exercises are provided which require you to make use of that vocabulary in order to do the exercises. Those are the basic exercises. The next level of exercises require you to relate the new vocabulary to your own personal prior experience. Ask questions that require you to explain applications of the new theory to events in your everyday life. A third level requires you to extrapolate the theory. What are potential new and useful applications of the theory in your future life?

    Kermit Rose

  • http://www.dcctvsecurity.com DCCTV

    I love this post because I think we FORGET how much we have to give to others. We get wrapped up in our own world or we hear that “who am I” voice and we shrink back from offering up whatever we have. I think if we just show up everyday with that giving mentality (even in the slightest of ways) we can truly make our lives have lasting impact. Thanks for this

  • http://www.davisfitnessblog.com Natalia Muntean

    debate is the best way to learn something

  • http://www.realestateactive.com Jeff Bridges

    Learning is as flexible as the letters of the English alphabet. It does not matter if how they read, what matters most is the though behind of how it has be. For me, it is not my preference to learn in such a way, I find it a bit odd.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jelena-Milosevic/1218601350 Jelena Milosevic

    In my opinion the most important in education is to engage students and teachers to communicate- about the subject.It is up to teacher to find the best way to reach the students ,and that is the art.Great video,thanksJelena

  • Tom


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