Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cross-Curricular Motion Graphics - Digital Technology To Bridge The Sciences & Humanities

Source: The Creators Project;
Matt Pyke
Modern pedagogy speaks frequently about interdisciplinary learning. A student's ability to make cross-curricular connections is one of the surest signs of understanding. Interactive tablets and project-based learning put a priority on these unions of product and skill, but often the attempts at collaborative exploration remain within comfortable sphere's of academic neighbors.

In other words, it's easy for English and history teachers to work together. They can read historical fiction and poetry, or conduct research into famous cultural movements. Similarly, math and science educators often overlap in their lessons on significant digits and spacial reasoning.

Source: NBC News
A truer test of authentic learning is to bridge the sciences and the humanities. This marrying of the analytical and the verbal can allow students to internalize the full scope of their creative insights. Humanities activities are, of course, highly analytical, just as science courses are highly linguistic. Still, easy tools to unite the often-divided disciplines can be welcome resources all the way from K to 12 classrooms.

Motion graphics, sometimes called video infographics or explainer videos, offer ideal ways to approach interdisciplinary learning. Many accomplished digital artists have designed extraordinary graphics for teachers to use in their classrooms. Here are a few of our favorite examples, from the most literal to the most expansive, from the informative to the sublime:

Civics And The Environment

Currently, arguments before the nation's highest court could determine the future of greenhouse emissions in the United States. The Supreme Court is in the position to judge both the nature of atmospheric impacts and the role of the Environmental Protection Agency. In the excellent NBC News video, "Global Warming Limits Head To The Supreme Court," the ideas of both civics and the environment are presented in a lively, kid-friendly, crayon design. Similar to NBC's motion graphic on figure skating math, this clip combines terrific threads of executive authority, courts, politics, pollution, earth science, and chemistry. 

Religion And Physics

DUELITY from Boca Ceravolo on Vimeo.

The tension between spirituality and science has been felt for centuries. In American schools, the debate persists between creationism and evolution. The award-winning video "Duelity" from Boca Ceravolo puts a new spin on religion and physics. In a masterful style and an academic narrative, this motion graphic combines the origin stories of the Big Bang and Genesis. Aside from the keen graphics, however, the clip cleverly flips the two disciplines on their heads. Religion is told in the grammar of science and the visuals of analytics, while science is narrated through the intonations of oratory and the stained glass of faith.

Language And Biology

Humanizing Motion Graphics from The Creators Project on Vimeo.

The most lyrical of the clips is "Humanizing Motion Graphics" from The Creators Project. The video features the graphics of Matt Pyke, who combines language with human kinesthesia. As an artist and designer, Pyke employs visual technology to give a heartbeat to every object. His shapes combine anthropomorphism and empathy. The examples of his work provide a perfect pairing of biology and choreography, organisms and origami, mathematics and mankind.

For more ideas about using motion graphics in the classroom, check out:


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