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Friday Finds — Animations & Learning, Attention Span, Learning Sciences

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“You cannot learn what
you think you already know."

— Epictetus

We had a nice, relaxing holiday last week and I think we may have started a new Thanksgiving tradition. Instead of the traditional turkey, stuffing, etc we had tacos and I think it was a big hit with everyone. Sometimes it is worth exploring beyond the bounds of tradition. Do you have any non-traditional holiday foods that you love?

Thanks for reading!

🎶 What I’m Listening To

I’ve been reminiscing and listening to music that was always on around campus back when I was in college at Miami. I’m really dating myself here, aren’t I? 8-)

👆 Last Week’s Most Clicked

Do more with Google Docs

📰 News & Notes

People Pay Attention Better Today Than 30 Years Ago — Really!

In a surprising twist, adults today exhibit a heightened ability to concentrate compared to their counterparts from 30 years ago, paralleling the rise in IQ scores observed over recent decades. This finding, stemming from a comprehensive meta-analysis of over 21,000 individuals across 32 countries, suggests that the Flynn effect – a phenomenon where average IQ scores increased per decade in the late 20th century – might also extend to attention skills.

🎯 Take away: The ability to concentrate has improved among adults over the past 30 years, suggesting an extension of the Flynn effect to attention skills, with implications for our understanding of evolving intelligence.

Do Instructional Animations Help or Hinder Learning?

A couple of weeks ago I shared an article about the impact of animations on learning that was rather ambiguous. I’ve got another one for you. In this one, Connie Malamed explores the effectiveness of animations in learning compared to static graphics. Animations can be effective for visualizing fast or slow processes, yet they don't always enhance learning due to the cognitive effort required. However, they are useful for understanding movement in space and time. So selective use of animations is the key for optimal learning.

🎯 Take away: Animations help you learn best when they are made for specific lessons about movement and change.  

Introduction to Learning Sciences

This rich resource from Digital Promise and the Institute for Applied Neuroscience offers ten key insights from learning sciences research. “Introduction to Learning Sciences” explores how the brain learns, focusing on encoding, consolidating, and retrieving information. It underscores the impact of the learning environment, including physical, social, and emotional factors. It covers topics like effort, deep thinking, motivation, and the importance of a supportive learning environment. It also provides practical tips for applying these insights in classrooms to improve teaching and learning.

🎯 Take away: This highlights how understanding the brain's learning process and the importance of a supportive environment can significantly enhance teaching and learning methods.

Bulk up your L&D department with Neovation’s Learning Hub! Visit and subscribe for free resources across valuable topics like AI for instructional design, custom course creation, visualization of learning analytics, and much more!

🧰 Tech Tools & Tips

If tools are your jam, check out my new Work Smarter newsletter.

Let’s dive into how different learning theories can improve the effectiveness of your videos!

With the rapid advance of AI, it’s becoming easier than ever to create and iterate on video - even when working solo. In this webinar on 14 December at 9AM ET, aNewSpring's Roy de Vries and Colossyan's David Gillham will dive into how you can apply AI video to improve your learning experience.

🎧 Podcast

This is the conversation that caught my ear this week. Check out previous episodes in the Friday Finds podcast playlist.

🧳 Where’s Mike?

  • ATD ICE, New Orleans May 19-22, 2024

If you or your event needs a speaker or workshop that is highly interactive and super practical we should talk.


From Selecting the Right Type to Editing Videos Like a Pro

Start creating training videos that learners watch to the end. Download this comprehensive guide to discover six types of videos for each training occasion, step-by-step instructions on creating and editing them, and tips for making videos look visually appealing and engage the audience.
Download the guide now for free.

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