Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Future of Online Learning?

At Presentation Zen, Garr Reynolds discusses two videos from our old friend Hans Rosling. As always, Rosling is dynamic and engaging - with a difficult topic: health and poverty. I'm not sure if they've used some sort of green screen or blue screen technology to create these videos, but having the presenter as part of the presentation - especially for someone as dynamic as Rosling - really brings the material to life. Many faculty are experimenting with screencasting - using tools like Camtasia Studio or Profcast. What most of these presentations lack is the urgency and connectedness of a live presentation.

Learn more about Garr Reynolds approach to presentation in his new book. It's a really great read with a ton of useful information that you'll be able to use almost immediatey. Also a great read is Guy Kawasaki's 10 Questions with Garr Reynolds. Here some great points from the interview:
If people want to learn how to make better slides they should study good books on graphic design and visual communication to improve their visual literacy.

When it comes to designing appropriate visuals, there is a hole in our education. Concerning quantitative displays, for example, very few people have had proper training in how to design graphs and charts, etc.

In the end it is about knowing your material deeply and designing visuals that augment and amplify your spoken message.

As far as text goes, I say as little as possible on slides, but when text does appear it should be large and serve to complement your words. People did not come to read; they came to hear. Any speaker can read bullet points. The audience wants to hear your story not read it.

Audiences should not notice the effects we employ between slides[sic].

The problem with most presentations is that people try to include too much. You can go deep or you can go wide, but you can’t really do both. What is the core message?

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