Animations for Education

Educators are enthusiastically taking up the opportunities that computer animation offers for depicting dynamic content. For example, Power Point now has an easy-to-use animation facility that, in the right hands, can produce very effective educational animations. Because animations can explicitly depict changes over time (temporal changes), they seem ideally suited to the teaching of processes and procedures. When used to present dynamic content, animations can mirror both the changes in position (translation), and the changes in form (transformation) that are fundamental to learning this type of subject matter.

In contrast with static pictures, animations can show temporal change directly (rather than having to indicate it indirectly using auxiliary markings such as arrows and motion lines). Using animations instead of static graphics removes the need for these added markings so that displays can be not only simpler and less cluttered, but also more vivid, engaging, and more intuitively comprehended. In addition, the learner does not have to interpret the auxiliary markings and try to infer the changes that they summarize. Such interpretation and inference may demand a level of graphic skills that the learner does not possess. With animated depictions, information about the changes involved is available to be read straight from the display without the learner needing to perform mental animation. It's a bit of an exaggeration, but it's more like being kissed instead of reading about a kiss.

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