Time-lapse technology in teaching transforms visual aides

Walker Ashley

Walker Ashley, associate professor of geography presents “Skylapse: Using Time-lapse Technology to Illustrate the Dynamic Atmosphere” from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 19, in Altgeld Hall, Room 125. Ashley is the American Meteorological Society’s Weather, Climate, and Society Editor’s Award recipient (2016); the NIU Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award recipient (2016) and the NIU David Raymond Technology in Teaching Award recipient (2017).

Students are often expected to understand dynamic, four-dimensional phenomena by examining motionless images in a textbook, abstract diagrams in PowerPoint or a series of complex equations with no visual accompaniment. This static course content delivery method limits student comprehension, and ultimately fails to promote discovery. Our world is not frozen in time; why should our visuals aids be motionless?

This presentation will describe the time-lapse photography technique and how it can transform visuals—whose motion or change may appear initially imperceptible or subtle to the eye—into striking features with discernible fluid motion. This technique may be applied to any phenomena or area of study that features change, promoting student exploration and understanding. Existing time-lapse resources at NIU will be illustrated. Recommended methods and free software tools for constructing time-lapse imagery will be provided so that participants may apply this technique in their disciplines.

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