Monday, 9 August 2010

Animating the SD conversation

According to a recent article in the THES, the recipe for great teaching depends upon what is rather dubiously referred to as 'edutainment': teaching that combines education and entertainment. Student demand for this may be more to do with falling attention spans than any of them instinctively grasping towards something truly dialogic, but hey, let's not get too picky - the point is, academics in the area of SD arguably have a role as 'public intellectuals', and as such have a responsibility to empower students and to transfer knowledge from the academy into the 'real world'. A crucial element of this is communication, and one way we can enhance our communication is to draw on visual imagery.

A few outstanding examples of visual approaches to academic communication of ideas central to SD have appeared recently. The RSA's 'RSAnimate' project has created short animated films based around the actual recordings of some of their guest speakers. It's a simple but brilliantly clever and effective idea - a little reminiscent of the BBC's realisation of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The RSA short films will be an excellent  resource to use in lectures and seminars, but beyond that it would be great to see more of these in the areas of SD and accounting.

Thinking about how effective the RSAnimate films are, it's surprising that this approach isn't used more often. I can only think of a few similar examples, ranging from Baddiel and Skinner's Unplanned comedy show, to Hans Rosling's remarkable TED presentations which also led on to the creation of the equally remarkable Gapminder website.

Know any other useful resources? Comments please!

1 comment:

  1. Another site I like is this one:

    Where some nice talks with slides (very easy to do) are brought together to provide insight to people's lives. Inspiring ideas are great (and I love the RSA Animate site) but inspiring people are also lovely to see.