Motion graphics in online courses

So I had this idea that we could make “explainer” videos in online courses to explain tough concepts the way that startups explain their often complex mission. DALYS aren’t agile or cloud based but they tend to stump global health students. It’s one of those, you-think-you-understand-it-until-you-realize-you-really-don’t ideas. Jim Kahn at UCSF worked the concept and I produced this really beautiful video.

Instructor: James Kahn, PhD. MD. UCSF
Instructional Designer: Doug Harriman
Animator: Carlos Escoto


cell reproduction

I shared this with a client recently and was reminded what a great learning tool something this simple could be. I made these videos with Kathy Vandiver, the director of the Community Outreach and Education Program at MIT’s Center for Environmental Health Sciences in 2005 for a cellular bio exhibit at the kids’ museum. We did this pretty low tech but the feedback from kids and teachers alike has been very positive. For me, it was the first time that cell reproduction really made sense. I think it’s the sound effect…

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It’s about time.. someone is paying to hear my opinion. I’m an ed reviewer for Graphite and writing about how K-12 can use websites, apps and digital tools in the classroom. As my students know, I’m a pretty tough critic but I’m learning that it’s harder to sugar coat a critique in print! Look for my reviews on the teacher-facing site this spring.


some great student work

For the last few years I’ve spent most of my time as an instructor at Ex’pression College in Emeryville, teaching digital arts students to produce short documentaries in about 6-7 weeks. Lately the films have been getting really interesting and I’m feeling pretty excited about the outcome. Some of my favorites are going to festivals so they’re not available online yet but here are a few from the last few terms:

Mind Over Matter

I loved watching this film come together and the strange experience of having two “figure competitors” in one freshman class. Those two made a film the way bodybuilders train and did whatever it took to get the footage, make the edits and make the story tight. The rest of the group genuinely learned the value of patience and hard work and the final product is weird, intense and fun.
E. Dickerson, M. Hunt, E. Johansson & J. Ojeda (2012)


Battlezone: I Krump for God

There are some really beautiful shots in this film and an overal style that a few of the group members really cultivated in the class. I’m not sure the story comes together as well as it could but I’m a sucker for some good dance footage so, there’s that.
P.Grotke, K.Clay, J.Ponciano, L.Blanson, G.Hernandez (2012)


Listen to the World

One of my favorite films; a document of field recording.

W. Sammons, M. Taylor & S. Camara: (2011)


The Woodturner

This sweet short shows the art of woodturning but also that teenage girls can still think their dads are cool.

G. Fermin, S. Henderson, T. Sheppard (2012)



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