Show Me

Just finished reading It’s A Visual Thing: Audio-Visual Technology in Education which is about the unexpected sophisticated visual literacy of young children and how this can be leveraged for better learning environments. One quote really stuck with me:

To his surprise, he found that their search engine of choice was not Google, but YouTube, because it provided them with a clear, visual set of results rather than a series of short paragraphs.

I guess this explains why Google got into the video sharing business in the first place… A counterpoint to this might be that students choose YouTube rather than Google as a simple usability problem – there’s less clicks to get to the information and on a mobile platform such as the iPod Touch, which was used in the assignment, clicks are a painful process.

Google understands this and Google Goggles is an attempt to begin to organize visual data to likeness – acting somewhat like Wolfram Alpha but in a much more visual way. Expanded, Goggles seems to be a computational way to act like the human brain – see something and grab some information about it.

What I get from this is that we can’t bury educational content deep if the users are going to access this from mobile devices. We shouldn’t ask that they click two or more times, and that in and of itself might be damning evidence against a LMS, which can bury content deep under a mass of links.