26 May 2011

When to use animations for learning

picture credit: Yamaggio
You get one of those sudden urges to learn how to poach an egg or make an origami jedi master and what’s the first thing you do? I’m guessing, being the modern nerd that you are, you google for a video demo.  We’ve taken to using resources like YouTube to teach us things. Why are we drawn to learning by watching and when does it actually work?

The research into using animations vs. still pictures for learning is ongoing and there is no simple answer to the question “what’s better?”.  It depends on what’s being taught, who’s learning and what the context is.  Sound like a cop out?  Not at all, it just means we’re complex animals and you have to think a bit harder to get your answer.  But the answers are there. For example, there is very strong evidence that animations are much better at teaching human movement tasks...

06 May 2011

50 tools for e-learning

The Knowledge / Network / Learning site provides a reviewed and selected list of interesting digital tools available for learning. "The applications range from simple email (Gmail) to sophisticated visualisation applications (Manyeyes), including examples of all the standard applications which are usually discussed (blogging – Posterous - and wikis – Springnote - for example) as well as many that are quite distinctive and unique, such as the ideaboard application Spaaze and the timeline generator xtimeline." Check it out.