Sunday, June 14, 2015

Digital Storytelling Critique 1: Putting On Einstein's Glasses

Digital Story:
Radiolab - Putting On Einstein's Glasses
Video Link

I perused Radio Lab for the first time, on the recommendation of this course and immediately took interest in the video, "Putting On Einstein's Glasses." It's a brief 90 second video providing a glimpse into the math behind natural, everyday occurrences. I'm fascinated by science and mathematics. I think its in the gene pool as my father was a chemist and my brothers are both engineers - however, I seemed to have missed the boat! Yet despite my lack of scientific acumen I still find intrigue in learning about how everything works.

This video peaked my interest immediately because I fall into the category of non-mathematicians who do not see the world in terms of math but who wish they sometimes did.

For the evaluation portion I will examine Story, Flow-Organization-Pacing, and Sense of Audience:


Incredibly simple but highly effective. This video does not contain verbal audio just a quote in the beginning and a title at the end with some background music throughout. Through the use of visuals, the storyteller eloquently shares with the audience the math behind everything. Using three split screens my eyes first glimpsed the raw math on the left hand side (emotion: confusion). In the middle screen I see the math graphically visualized (emotion: interested). Moving finally to the right, I see the real-life occurrence of that math (emotion: awe-struck). the brief video presents a list of examples, each one exemplifying the simple message - there is math in everything.

Despite the lack of verbal storytelling, the message reads loud and clear.

Flow, Organization and Pacing

A story containing math and science always runs the danger of becoming over-complicated, especially to the non-mathematic viewer. This video was certainly not over-complicated. I think only using visuals helped in this regard. However, those visuals were perfectly paced with enough time between examples for the viewer to digest the information. Combined with musical accompaniment the flow was patient and relaxing yet not too slow as to lose the audience interest. Overall, the video was well organized, keeping the message simple and sticking to the logic course: next screen, read from left to right.

Sense of Audience

The storyteller's sense of audience was certainly the reason behind the video - he even admitted that he himself was not a math-thinker - therefore, he made the video for himself. But knowing himself, he was able to create a visual story that not only made sense but inspired awe. Specifically, the use of common examples across a number of different life elements was sure to touch on various viewers from coffee drinkers to network engineers, to green thumbs. Explaining math and science without words is bold but changing the format to an all-visual story accomplished that goal beautifully.

As you can tell from my evaluation, I loved the video. There is definitely more that can be evaluated from it because it was such a short presentation. I certainly felt like I could have ingested more content but I'm not sure how that could be possible while still achieving the same results.

1 comment:

  1. Great points about keeping audience in mind. There's a lot to be learned from people who are't "experts" in the field.