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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Illustrated, Animated Lectures: A New Trend

Most of us are familiar with the expression, "a picture is worth a thousand words," and these days there is a new trend employing that maxim: the illustrated lecture, in today's technology often expressed as animated videos.

How often in the past have you sat through a lecture taking notes, suddenly becoming aware that your mind has wandered? How many times have you sort of 'jerked' yourself back to the subject of the lecture--to where you are physically sitting on your rear end in that uncomfortable seat, because for a few seconds--or worse, minutes--you were mentally actually somewhere else?

Well, folks, that does not have to be the case anymore.  There is a modern solution to this problem: the animated lecture!  We're not talking about a talk accompanied by a slide show, although that, too, is more attention-grabbing than someone droning on and on in front of a bored audience, most of whom are nodding off.  Rather, we're talking about a lecturer speaking as an artist is simultaneously illustrating his or her talk. For the final presentation, the visual part showing the illustration is speeded up to match the speaker's words. The effect is riveting.  This method, among others, is used extensively by a London based organization called The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) which is essentially a 'think-tank' to promote, as they put it, "21st Century Enlightenment." Their concerns include all aspects of the human condition, which they discuss and debate in order to find innovative solutions to better life in civil society. You can find more of their animated videos on YouTube.

The RSA is not the only one to employ this method of learning and teaching-people in all professions are starting to "jump on the bandwagon"  of visual lectures.  Below are two examples of the efficacy of this type of presentation, for all you visual-and/or-auditory learners--oh, and this entire post, including the chosen videos, is dedicated to my D.H.






(another interesting site used in researching this post can be seen here).



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