Thursday, March 13, 2014

Flipping The Flipped Classroom - Motion Infographics For STEM Learning

Source: Kurzgesagt
The conceit of the flipped classroom is rapidly becoming mainstream. The idea of using audio and visual content to pre-teach a lesson has resonated with educators nationwide. Teachers across a range of financial and technological considerations are inventing ways to rethink their students' engagement with homework. Maybe this is because the "new" idea of homework is really an old idea.

On one hand, "flipped" learning is really just good teaching; it makes productive use of children's time at home, rather than wasting their personal hours with rote worksheets. On the other hand, flipping the classroom means letting students sort through essential content at their own pace and time. The ultimate goal is to make fruitful use of shared class hours. As a result, this communal time can elevate basic material to richer discussions of cause-and-effect, sequencing, hypothesizing, and producing.

Source: Al Boardman

At its simplest, a flipped format can involve a teacher inviting students to view YouTube videos at home as a preview to the day's topic. At its most rigorous, a flipped curriculum involves teachers writing, producing, directing, editing, and posting their own original lessons -- complete with custom narrations and visualizations -- via third-party applications.

Source: Royal Observatory Greenwich
Luckily, for the everyday educator who walks a practical balance between innovative learning and daily time constraints, there is a middle ground. Many designers and progressive thinkers have created dynamic videos to use as teaching tools. Motion graphics can be superb resources to lure students into new topics with riveting artistry and clean animations.

STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) can at times feel unapproachable to a cohort of learners reared on paper textbooks and lecture notes. Motion graphics, or explainer videos, however, can alleviate this disconnected feeling. They can serve as invaluable inroads to the imaginative worlds of coding, chemistry, forests, and formulae. The following visualizations make us want to be science teachers:

The Solar System

"The Solar System - Our Home In Space" may be the most elegant use of simple motifs and effective graphics that we've ever seen. Described as "an infographic trip through the wonders of the solar system," this creation by design team Kurzgesagt leads viewers through a lucid and visually graceful narrative of earth's neighbors. Even though we're not science teachers, we've shown this to our advisory groups, our enrichment kids, and anyone else who had a spare moment.

Measuring The Universe

"Measuring The Universe," by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, sounds like another space video. But really it's about the fascinating world of mathematics and scale. It offers up the cosmos as a fitting subject for analyzing the intricacies of measurement and distance. It's a carefully constructed visual piece, but even more, it's a boon for math teachers trying to reel in the imaginations of sky gazers.

For The Love Of Mountains

For the Love of Mountains from Al Boardman on Vimeo.

"For The Love Of Mountains" sounds like a nature walk through North America's fondest trails. Instead, it's a tribute to both geography and geology. Created by Al Boardman in collaboration with, this video is a lyrical study of the extremes of earth's mountains. It compares facts and figures about earth science and human conquest in an appealing flat design. It blends clear labels, fascinating details, and sensitive music to captivate students of any age.

Forest (English Version)

forest - english ver. from DESIGNERS APARTMENT on Vimeo.

The "Forest" video from Designers Apartment is as much a study in ecology and environmental science as it is a testament to original artwork. The angular visualizations present a landscape of woodlands and species. The 2D planes render a striking portrait of 3D biology. With the layer of soft musical notes and the fine attention to detail, it's a terrific set-piece for classroom discussion.


  1. We could easily understand any segment and general topics without any content and reference with the help of infographics.
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  2. "The conceit of the flipped classroom is rapidly becoming mainstream." I don't think you meant "conceit."

    1. Thanks for your interest -- here, "conceit" as in "an elaborate metaphor":

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  4. Hi,

    Thanks for sharing a very interesting article about Flipping The Flipped Classroom - Motion Infographics For STEM Learning. This is very useful information for online blog review readers. Keep it up such a nice posting like this.

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