“Blue Man Group Rods and Cones from Venetian” is a short video of the Blue Man Group performing while a narrator describes basic components of the visual system. The video is short and lasts four minutes and thirty-three seconds. Concepts introduced in the video are the functions of the rods and cones of the eye and persistence of vision. The video could be used as a tool to introduce those topics in a physiology or neurology course and to create excitement for the students.
This YouTube video combines artistic elements of color and music by the Blue Man group with basic concepts of vision. It is engaging and accurate.
Explain how eyes detect light
Explain how eyes detect color
Understand the basic processing of images by the brain and the phenomenon of visual persistence
Students will be able to describe the basic functions of the rods and cones
Target Student Population:
High school and lower level college to professional school.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
No prerequisites required.
Type of Material:
In-class introduction to vision or reinforcement of concepts
Could be used to integrate science and artistic presentation
This video could be used as an introduction to the neurophysiology of the eye to create excitement for the students.
Browser and best with a wide band internet connection, either hard wired or wireless.
Evaluation and Observation
The content described is accurate.
The video does not attempt complicated explanations--focuses on three simple concepts in vision--rods, cones, persistence
Concepts simply and accurately presented
Method of presentation will engage students
Students will need to focus on the concepts rather than being immersed in the artistic presentation. Hopefully they will do both
Concepts presented are very limited and without significant detail
The educational content is weak and lacks substance
Some of the words used are not scientific such as “Hellawhack Shiznit” and “Brizzle”
During the description of which colors the cones detect, the words “Naked People” appear before the word “Blue”. This may not be appropriate for all audiences
The last minute of the video is just the Blue Man Group performing and contains no educational content
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The presentation will engage students. It is only 4.5 minutes long and could easily be viewed several times in succession
The combination of a small chunk of content embedded in a visual and aural presentation will engage multiple senses and keep student interest
The video is short and provides a general introduction to rods and cones of the eye
The video could create excitement to learn about the eye
Multiple senses are engaged during the video including audio, visual, and text
There is minimal factual content
The video is not interactive
There are no objectives listed
The video lacks flexibility or versatility of use
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Easily viewed by anyone with an internet browser and sufficient bandwidth to download
The video is well done
The video is visually appealing
Other Issues and Comments:
We frequently read that engagement of multiple senses will improve both student engagement and retention of knowledge. This learning object will do both. However, it will need to be used in proper context of the material being presented in a course.