Make the most of online tutorials

We live in a visual world. We have access to devices and the internet. Nobody needs to be stuck. We haven’t quite got to the stage where we are capitalising on the value of video tutorials . Some people are still text based and want text information. Most people have shifted to ingesting video information and it’s worth its weight in gold:

You can find out quickly how to do things
You can promote information to fill in learning gaps
You can highlight relevant information

Different age groups view technology differently at the moment. Older people would probably think it is not very sensible, secure or appropriate to be doing their banking with phones and tablets. It would seem too casual for them and not the way they have been brought up with the highly valued bank book, the important banking and financial meetings and the belief that financial dealings are a very serious business. Younger people would want the ease and convenience of device banking because they are time poor and have a different way of looking at it. Not everything should be done online because there is real value for all concerned to have genuine people contact with real conversations. Online videos , though, can smooth the way to getting people more comfortable with how they can do things differently. All businesses and organisations need their little video tutorials about how to make the most of their services or ideas. Video tutorials help people to know how to do things so they can participate. Trawling through FAQs can often leave people as baffled as they started unless they are well organised and presented. Even FAQs could have videos to help people navigate interfaces and thinking around content.

The how to create a website video by WordPress has had nearly a million views. It was well worth the making of the video and the comments attest to that. Backing up online content with video help is a good way to engage everyone as the aitsl site clearly demonstrates. Videos initiate a culture of participation and can shift thinking and practice. Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook all have video capability and so we can all share our thinking, ideas and knowledge in a very easy way to create those connected conversations which will move us all forward instead of dividing us. In truth, there is no generational gap. There is generational advantage which can be shared now across the internet. Every generation has its strengths and videos and images are an efficient way of making those connections.

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Make a good You Tube video

With nearly 95 000 hits on this video alone and nearly 65 000 subscribers to his You Tube channel, then it is probably worth listening to what rickvanman has to say about making basic You Tube videos. My plan for 2016 is to improve my video making skills and work on my coding. Those are the next logical steps for me. Students always appreciate well made videos for learning and they value the time and skills you put into it. It also means you have a bank of resources for students who are absent for whatever reason and for students who want to fast track themselves. It is coming very much to the point where we are personalising learning. Students absorb material very quickly from moving images. The dark back drop on this one makes a point. You focus more on what is being said and it highlights there is a real person talking and sharing information with you. The tips are:

Be concise
Use good lighting
Use an external mic
Keep the music quiet so as not to distract
Avoid camera shake
Cut out the erms and ahhs
Keep it fast moving, fast paced and flowing…get on with it!

It is all practice and awareness raising. It is testing the water and building skills so you can deliver confidently.It is also questioning and assessing whether you actually want to put yourself in a video or just create content videos which are relevant.  Making a good video is something students need to learn too since theirs is very much an online sharing and collaborative world. They need to be able to have a positive, effective online image and style.

I can make videos which, from the feedback I have received, are helpful and useful to students. I want to lift myself up now and get even better at producing video content. It is the direction we are going in and no video can replace a good teacher but  videos are part and parcel of learning and teaching now because there are more and more sites which share video content. We are connected. rickvanman can teach anyone anywhere  in the world if they want to listen.

A view from the top

Or on high. Not all students speak English as a first language and so I have tried to use two common expressions which mean the same. I made this video to be part of our flipped classroom discovery learning this year. As I explained before, there are plenty of things for French, which is my current subject area and so I thought to put my English teacher hat on and see how I would approach that from a digital perspective. A view from the top/on high was a homework exercise which I used to set as an Englsih teacher and the students always loved it. I would have to use class time to explain what I meant and what I was looking for. It has to be very descriptive so the reader can easily imagine what the person is looking down upon. Students would walk up to favourite place where they had a good view, or sit on top of a ladder (safely) or a chest of drawers. They loved the challenge of finding the vantage point. Now, with technology, I can show them the sorts of things they could view and they could use their own images or images from the internet to inspire their writing. Depending on the class, I could ask for more than 250 words. We’d look at how they had described their views and how we could make them even better. With laptops they could work in little groups and show each other the views, read the description and then get feedback. I’d take it further and get them to make a video presentation to show the difference between written and visual literacy. Having made this I realised it is so handy as a teacher to have banks of eletronic resources. It helps fill gaps if teachers are away. It takes the strain off your voice. It means you can use class time to explore and expand ideas and skills. I enjoyed making this. It made me focus on what I was trying to do and I was learning more about Pinnacle Studio as I went but I was also working across devices which made it more interesting and challenging for me. Technology forces you to problem solve and create at the same time. It forces you to work in a multidisciplinary way and it makes you far more particular about thinking content out.

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