Regular readers will know that I am a great fan of using multi-media as a basis of presentations, such as those provided by the RSA Animate series of talks in which the commentary of the presenter is accompanied by the drawing of a sequenced cartoon illustrating and highlighting the points being made. The reasons why I think the use of such technologies are effective are many.
1. It means that the learner is engaged by many senses at once and that means there is more effective information retention.
2. The ability to store such presentations online means that the learner can re-visit learning at any time.
3. The teacher is able to fashion their ideas in a more structured and helpful way.
Therefore as a strict structured approach for teacher to student instruction the technologies can be very effective.
However, the real potential of the technology is released when students are able to use it to structure their thoughts in a more progressive way ready for assimilation by a critical audience of their peers This is particularly effective as it
1. Reinforces writing for purpose and an awareness of audience, as well as the importance of accuracy and clear communication.
2. Allows the structured development of the message and an understanding of key and subordinate points, colour, narration and sound effects to reinforce messages.
3. Allows derivative copies to be made of the central presentation so that learners can develop the key messages to suit their purpose.
The range of software available to achieve these ends is massive. At the simple and free end of the spectrum you can use Microsoft PowerPoint, Prezi, Word with call out boxes or PhotoStory 3 and Movie maker. A cheap alternative is a piece of software called Comic Life which provides templates in comic book styles into which you can drop pictures and add speech bubbles and thought bubbles (this is particularly useful when exploring the difference between explicit and implicit messages)
Bespoke, and usually more expensive solutions are available at ETML, via this link: 3 Powerful Web Tools to Create Whiteboard Animation Videos for Your Class