TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talks are awesome. I’ve been gobbling them up over the last couple of months.
I’ve also been researching best practices for using media to illustrate ideas. Here are a few examples of tips I learned:
- As a general rule, don’t narrate your text, word for word. (See two posts down.)
- Keep your text inside of images, or as close to them as possible.
- Engaging more senses in your learner is good, but don’t overload any one sense. (e.g. Visual–Don’t have text and an animation going on in one screen.)
So naturally, I thrilled when stumbled across a British organization, CognitiveMedia, who are like TED, but emphasize human fulfillment and social performance. They take an academic subject, jam-pack an hour-long lecture into 10-minutes of complex ideas that would make the Gilmore Girls say, “what?” When it’s over they not only expect you feel “moved” by the general idea, but actually recall the individual concepts presented. The crazy part is, you can!
Definition of Terms
Now, I’m still getting acquainted with each of these companies, but the way I understand it, CognitiveMedia is the art group that does the illustrations. And another Charity group, dedicated to the spreading of worthwhile ideas called, The RSA provides the content. And together, they produce an excellent blend of design and development in videos labeled, RSA Animate.
Watch this video and try to write down all the factors that make this teaching technique so effective:
Here’s what I see them doing well:
- The visual aids are fun, fast-paced, and offers your mind a visual representation of the points being made.
- They employ plenty of examples in story format. Things people can relate to.
- They cite examples from popular culture that we all can use as concept maps to build upon.
- Flow. Their illustrations allow the mind to move effortlessly from one idea to the next.
- Since there is a non-stop visual aid, the learner isn’t afforded a chance to get distracted or bored.