The Visualization Gap

The bigger problem, however, is our mental limitations in both teaching and thinking visually. Most classes that “teach” PowerPoint gloss over the narrative changes that it imposes on us through its transition from a linear textual narrative to a nonlinear visual one. They also fail to examine the information transfer capacities of various media. PowerPoint is software that complements a performance and often fails as a container for information. It needs to be augmented by more persistent visual and textual media. I’ve worked around this by creating websites as a mechanism to gloss my presentation; provide background linkages; and to create a persistent, living complement to what happens live. Slideshare fails to do this because it only gives you half of the presentation, the visual part, which may or may not stand on its own. Part of visual literacy is understanding how visual media complements other media, such as audio and text.

Finally, we need to start embedding design thinking into our processes. Design thinking is, by its very nature, closely tied to the visual.

More on presentation design and tools in this blog:

future trends in education

The NMC Horizon Report > 2016 Higher Education Edition Wiki


mindfulness and education

Teach Mindfulness, Invite Happiness

Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to present-moment experience and doing so with kindness and curiosity. It is not cognitive but sensory, and so taps into and strengthens different but vitally important parts of the brain that have been neglected by traditional education. One crucial attribute of mindfulness is that it is practiced without judgment. Many of our students are so hard on themselves and their internal critic is so loud that just a few moments of being given permission to not judge can bring huge relief to body and mind. I have seen it bring students to tears.

There is now ample evidence that mindfulness practice enhances positive emotions (PDF).

4 Ways to Refuel Your Gratitude

Applying Mindfulness to Mundane Classroom Tasks

educational technology and faculty development

Educational Technology and Faculty Development in Higher Education

 The Potential of Mobile Devices for Teaching and Learning

Despite the near ubiquity of student laptops and smartphones, in-class BYOD is still an emerging practice.

civil disobedience

Encrypted chat app Telegram reverses stance, bans 78 ISIS accounts

Telegram is an encrypted chat service that lets users create anonymous channels that can be followed by hundreds of users.

In addition to Telegram, Twitter and YouTube have also removed ISIS-affiliated content, with hacker organization Anonymous having taken down more than 6,000 Twitter accounts following the Paris attacks.

Meanwhile, Telegram said it only takes steps against confirmed ISIS channels. “For example, if criticizing the government is illegal in a country, Telegram won’t be a part of such politically motivated censorship,” the company said. “While we do block terrorist (e.g. ISIS-related) bots and channels, we will not block anybody who peacefully expresses alternative opinions.”

More on this topic in this IMS blog:

immersive journalism, games, and empathy

Virtual reality breathes life into immersive storytelling

Virtual Games Try To Generate Real Empathy For Faraway Conflict

James Delahoussaye

Project Syria, a virtual reality experience built by a team of students at USC.

“I sometimes call virtual reality an empathy generator,” she says. “It’s astonishing to me. People all of a sudden connect to the characters in a way that they don’t when they’ve read about it in the newspaper or watched it on TV.”

What Peña’s doing — using virtual reality in combination with reporting — is part of a wider landscape of video games being created to explore the news. And they’re called, appropriately enough, “newsgames.”

“There’s an argument to be made that games are perfect at getting at the systemic problems and challenges in the world,” says Ian Bogost, a professor at Georgia Tech.

He says games are really good at showing the complex underbelly of stories.

Take a game that he helped make called Oil God. In the game, the player controls an oil-rich region, waging wars and inciting coupes. The player learns that oil prices are contingent on all sorts of factors rarely mentioned in a story about the price of a gallon of gas.

The Sociology of Videogames

creating games to bring awareness to social issues for over a decade.  The game to create the biggest waves was arguably MTV’s “Darfur is Dying” released online in 2006, in which players took up the role of a family displaced by conflict in Darfur.

presentation design and tools for PSY 101

Plan for PSY 101 work with students on alternatives for presentation and design