Animated Talks

I guess that's what they're called--animated talks? I'm sure you've seen them. There is the one I posted yesterday previewing Steven Johnson's new book about innovation, and that one was done by a company call RSAnimate. They've made a bunch, mostly as book previews and speech animations. Here is another good one, this time of a talk by Sir Ken Robinson called "Changing Education Paradigms."

You may have come across Thought Bubble Studio's work, too. Last year, during the health care debates, they put out this useful action graphic, written by John Green, to explain the confusing and purposefully obfuscated issues related to the health care drama.

Of course, I'm absolutely in love with Annie Leonard and the Story of Stuff folks. They are coming out with the Story of Electronics in November and I will be showing that to my students for sure. I generally show at least one of their videos during the semester. The interplay of the simple graphics mixed with the complex ideas she's explaining works really well together. I guess that's what all of these medias are doing, really--mixing complex ideas (words) together with images and graphics that will help illuminate their meanings and relationships.

All of this stuff is really cool. It holds my attention, makes ideas digestible, and promotes interconnection of knowledge between disciplines. My hunch is that these kinds of videos, if that's what we want to call them, are going to get more creative in the coming years. I enjoy the simplicity of them; I think that's part of the charm, but I also think there is room for growth without over-complicating things. I'd like to incorporate more of this into my teaching--as a teacher and as student projects. I'd like to see students do stuff like this and I'd like to do stuff like this, too.

Often, like everyone else, I feel too overwhelmed by the day-to-day drama to manage anything beyond. I've got files of big ideas I never get to because, well, because of a thousand procrastinations and failures and reasons that make me more like Don Draper than I want to think about.

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