Learning as a Mash-Up

I’m a sucker for music mash-ups.  Whether it’s one of the more prominent early mash-ups pairing Nirvana & Destiny’s Childa reworked Beatles record backing Jay-Z’s lyrics (careful with the language on that one), or even a new video from those crazy kids from Glee, consider me hooked in. Though the trend may not be as viral as it was when the novelty first arose in the early-’00s, the practice still strikes a chord in me, as I get down on making “new” ideas by putting two “old” ideas together when they fit.

In the introduction to Chip & Dan Heath’s Made to Stick, the authors describe their book as a complement to one specific section of Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point: “In [our] book…we will identify the traits that make ideas sticky, a subject that was beyond the scope of Gladwell’s book [in the chapter, “The Stickiness Factor”].”  Their description made me think: what would a mash-up of these two books look like?  If I could make a flexbook that switched from the words of Gladwell to those of the Heaths right at the opportune moment, what would that do for my learning?

I started a mindmap using bubbl.us to chronicle the start of some of these contextual connections between the two books.  While the Heaths’ suggestions about making ideas “sticky” greatly appeal to me in terms of shifts in practice (probably a reflection for another post sometime), building this map has me wondering about the next steps related to this “mash-up” idea:

  • Does anyone out there know of a similar “companion text” that might go into more detail related to “The Law of the Few” or “The Power of Context,” the other two focal points in Gladwell’s book?
  • Has anyone seen any real-time flexbook makers for making connections/combinations such as these? While I could dissemble my copies of these books and rebound them, I’m feeling as if there must be a tech tool that might help me in this kind of process.