Tonight when I tried to teach the university students about animated math models, no one was that excited. Yet last year when I worked on teaching place value to students, it was the animated models that truly translated the meaning of place value system "behavior." Until I showed the animation, students didn't quite grasp the concept.
When I showed the Powers of Ten film, however, one student exclaimed, "Is that really how big those numbers are?" Yes, and that's why the Eames film is such a great model for the powers of ten.
What truly empowers learning is a quest, question, or childlike imagination and curiosity. For teacher candidates, it's difficult to learn about so many teaching/learning venues, processes, and information without the experience of truly trying to teach students challenging concepts. That's why practicums are important, but I wonder about the depth of practicum necessary to engender the curiosity and investment in learning about teaching and learning with depth.
These are just some beginning thoughts of a thread that I'll think more about in time.