How Benjamin Franklin forecast cutting edge learning technology


Team working and interactivity makes you learn faster

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

So said US President Benjamin Franklin. Franklin’s words still ring true today – active involvement is the quickest way to absorb information and ideas. Franklin uttered his famous quote in the 1700s. Three centuries later, technological innovation has made collaborative, interactive, rapid-fire digital learning a reality.

Blue Bottle Biz is a cutting-edge product that gives user instant access to an ever-growing library of 20,000 business books. Users can then team-up to create discovery paths – highlighting, commenting upon and discussing key passages in the texts via the platform. They can share their annotations via social networks or in closed work groups.

Discovery paths bring together books, articles, videos and other resources related to a specific topic – a maximum of six, in a set order – to aid understanding. A discovery path can be linked to others to create ever-more specialized knowledge trees for specific sectors, job roles, or countries.

“Bluebottlebiz makes it possible to put resources into informal learning, providing tools for joint working, and social networks that heighten the knowledge transfer that happens in the context of everyday work,” Marcelino Elosua, chief executive of Blue Bottle Biz said. “It works almost like a game.” The platform  features tools that enable sharing of knowledge by team members – whether they be team leaders or experts in a particular field. “It is what we call collaborative learning,” Elosua added. “It maintains the essence of informal learning but gives it a little structure and retains some formal elements.”


Marcelino Elosua is chief executive of LID Publishing, which publishes Dialogue.