Visual Understanding of the Credit Crisis

Ambassador Ann | September 10, 2012

Kenneth: Symbols and the visual medium can be extremely helpful when trying to learn, and subsequently retain, information about complex topics or multi-step processes. I hadn't realized how powerful animation and well-thought out graphics could be as a learning tool until the end of my sophomore year of college, when my economics teacher at the time, Professor Gulati, used The Credit Crisis a 12-minute video put together by Jonathan Jarvis, a UNICEF staff member, to summarize the 2008 housing crisis. He was adamant that online technology was being underutilized by teachers simply because of fear or because colleagues weren't willing to actually incorporate Internet education fully into their curriculum (and were simply letting videos and YouTube clips stand alone without explanation, which defeats any positive gains in education that might be achieved through the medium).
This video not only made the 2008 housing crisis much easier to understand and analyze, but it also highlighted how important a diversity of learning mediums is when educating a wide variety of students; I had understood the crisis in a mathematical sense, but hadn't ever been able to conceptualize how the individual elements, the families, the bankers etc. fit into the whole. I was able to grasp these nuances through watching these interactions visually displayed in the Credit Crisis Visualized. If you haven't watched this video and still have any questions about what happened prior and during 2008 in America to lead to the "bubble" bursting, I highly recommend it as a supplement to reading about the subject. If you consider yourself a financial markets expert, the video should be valuable as a refresher as well as a test of sorts; there are many sections that are oversimplified and, if you are completely abreast of the subject, you should be able to notice these areas and explain the underlying, more complex mechanisms at work.

I chose to play this video for Lawline this morning to illustrate how powerful the online medium can be in education, emphasizing that recent efforts by the trifecta of Sigalle (voice-over), Micah (videographer) and Sal (illustrator) to introduce Lawconomy, our upcoming night event on the economy featuring Ben Stein, and TeachEm, FurtherEd's soon-to-be-released, customizable classroom and education platform, are quite similar to this video in providing another medium, outside of the typical press release and beta testing, for consumers to learn about these events.

Welcome to Lawline's world of creativity.

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