Monday, March 9, 2015

Why Not just Use Video Instead of Labor-Intensive Animations?

In a previous post, I talked about the 20-30 hours involved in creating each Animated Step-by-Step. Although the amount of time required to create a file is becoming less over time (given my growing library of optimized photos), the process will probably always be labor-intensive.  By now you are probably asking the question, “Why not just skip the labor-intensive process of animating photos and use digital video instead?"
Mmmm, good question … especially given the ease with which you can acquire digital video using smart phones.

The short answer …
I think, as an educator, I have greater control to create a clear, highly consistent learning experience when using animated photos.  The novelty of ‘an invisible hand’ magically performing actions in the Animated Step-by-Steps also appears to heighten interest. 

The long answer ...
Here are several specific reasons why a file using animated photos might actually be preferred over a file using digital video:

1.     File size is typically smaller;

2.     No background distractions; when using animated photos the figure-ground differential is always good. Most images have a drop shadow to help them ‘stand out’ on the page.

3.     Images remain consistent across files, e.g., the large bowl is always blue in all files. This consistency is great for students that are cognitively young.

4.     Movements are relatively consistent across files, e.g., when introducing the required ingredients/materials for a project, they usually move in from the right with a consistent ‘whoosh’ sound.

5.     Animations can be paced slower allowing time for students to process the actions.

6.     Animations can be easily associated with text to further enhance comprehension of what has been read/heard, i.e., students read a segment of text … (a click/tap is performed) … and then they watch an animation and/or hear a sound effect that helps to support their understanding of what was just read (literacy agenda) or heard (language comprehension agenda).

7.     Includes sound effects that provide operational feedback and supplement their understanding of actions viewed; sound effects help the child with a visual impairment stay anchored to the lesson.  See previous blog post, Working with Students with Visual Impairments.

So ... although the process of creating Animated Step-by-Steps IS more labor-intensive than just using digital video, the benefits of the final product may far out-weigh the effort involved. 

...’til the next post …

© 2015  Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.