Education

Ted Ed, How Hitler Rose To Power. An Animated Short.

The video below is a lesson in history and how fragile democracy can be. Alex Gendler and Anthony Hazard lesson were animated by Uncle Ginger for Ted ED, and as the video progresses creates some uncanny parallels to this election cycle in America. The video itself is wonderfully animated and illustrated. The look keeps the viewer engaged as the narrator  explains how Hitler came to power in Germany, and the events following the end of the First World War that helped to propel his rise in power. It is a quick overview that manages to summarize the history into a quick and digestible lesson. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about the parallels to this year’s elections and the candidates running.

 

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Loopimal, Music, Animation, and Sequencing for Your Kids.

I came across this video this morning on Vimeo for Lucas Zanotto‘s game Loopimal and fell in love with the nice blend of simple animation, live action, and fun music. After watching the film, I jumped over to his website, then the appstore to check out the actual game. I know this was deigned for kids, but after getting Loopimal and spending some time with it, I’m kind of hooked. It’s actually a blast to play with and kind of addictive.

Loopimal is designed to be your child’s first entry into the world of computer sequencing. Using a series of animations which are linked to sound effects you create animation sequences for different animals. The game uses intuitive gestures, that create loops of rhythms, melodies and movements that are endless. This is so simple and so fun.

 

Inside the Edit.

Inside the Edit is an online course launching later this summer for film editors. It is being billed as the World’s first creative editing course, and it might be. Much of what is taught about film editing focuses on the technical aspects and less on the creativity, leaving it up to the editor to find their voice over time. The course isn’t cheap. It runs £3000.00, or roughly $5000.00 US. That however is still less expensive than any number of physical courses, and much less expensive than four years of college. No I am not saying this will get you everything a four year college degree will get you. It might however supplement your basic understanding of film editing, and help you polish your creative skills when cutting your film together.  Below is the really nice animated teaser for the online course, and a ten minute sample tutorial showing what the courses will look like. If the sample tutorial is an example of the final online courses, this is well worth the money.

84000 Words of the Buddha.

As the world moves forward, language changes over time.Some languages are lost forever, or fade into obscurity only to have accurate translations go with them. Such is the case with the original teachings of  Buddha which are carved into wooden planks in an original dialect of the Tibetan language. The animation below from Giant Ant is a visual feast promoting the 84,000 project which is tackling the enormous task of translating 95% of Buddhist texts that have never been translated into modern languages. The animation is a flowing visual treat of rich colors and shapes that morph into the symbolizes the teachings of the Buddhist faith. This combined with a soothing narrative by Russell Brand, and a simple call to action make this a winner. 

Shape.

Commissioned by Pivot Dublin and Dublin City Council to promote wider acceptance and use of design as a tool for positive change, director Johnny Kelly’s latest short, “Shape” follows the progress of a central character through out his day. It is a story about design, change, progress and technology, done up in a deceptively simple form. Animated with meticulous detail. Polished with excellent sound design, and a light hearted positive soundtrack. The script for the 7 minute short was written by Scott Burnett of Dublin Based Aad. Production work was handled by Nexus who have a long history of working with Kelly.

The short film is tied to the “Make Shape Change” website. The purpose of the site is to get young people thinking about design, and how it effects the world around them. Introduced by the short film, the website is broken into sections that encourage exploration of specific categories that offer an easy to digest overview and encourage a deeper exploration of the topic.

Do yourself a favor and take the seven minutes it takes to watch this. Do your kids a favor and explore the website with them.

“Flex Alert” a Series of Fantastic PSA’s from Brainchild and Buck.

After almost 30 days this summer of plus 100 degree heat in the Kansas City area, these amazing animated shorts from Brainchild Creative and Buck LA are spot on. Actually they apply to everyone in the 63 states that are experiencing above average temperatures, and drought.

I love the look, and the rhythm that these pieces have. There is a vintage quality to them with fresh updated look. The color pallet is spot on. The script is easy to understand and really sells the message without being heavy handed.There are 5 versions of the same basic piece below. If you watch all them you will see the variations that led to the final version (video number 4)

These PSA’s are fun to watch, easy to remember, and have an impactful message. A message that actually reaches beyond this summers extreme weather. What is being said in these video clips applies all year round. If you follow what is being said, you’ll save money, reduce load on the grid, and improve the environment.

Credits:
Client: Wally McGuire / State of California
Exectuive Creative Director/Writer: Jef Loeb
CD/Art Director: Chris Chaffin
Executive Producer: Stephanie Heinsohn
Motion Graphics: BUCK Los Angeles (buck.tv)
Music: Sunday Morzeno (sunofz.com)

 

Pattern Studio’s Interactive Chemistry Table.

I am so envious of children’s education these days. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in school, and have computers, iPads, iPhones, touchscreen tables, interactive content, etc. at my finger tips all day long. Dynamic content that extends the learning experience beyond text books, and lectures.

Pattern Studio has created an interactive exhibit for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Using RFID chips embedded in the table, as well as tactile pucks, the system allows users to build and create chemical reactions by moving objects on the surface.

Working with Sensetable hardware, the platform allows you to bring the computer interface off the screen, and create a more tactile, engaging, interactive experience. Sensetable tracks the position of the pucks on the table surface, and uses them as interface inputs to display content which is not only lit from underneath, but projected from above as well. The Sensetable concept and initial prototypes were developed by the Tangible Media Group at the MIT Media Lab. Patten Studio has developed a robust and affordable implementation of the Sensetable platform for a variety of commercial applications. Pattern Studio

This is the kind of technology, and human factors design that really makes me think the future of education is good. I know there are studies and people who say, our memories are being effected, that people are learning less now, that education is suffering from technology. I don’t believe any of  that is true. I think it means things are changing and not necessarily for the worse.

Sensetable uses the LusidOSC API for application development. This open source API makes it easy for application developers to use tools such as Processing to develop Sensetable applications.