The magic of video
Updated: Jul 23, 2021
A very familiar moment for those who have been to school: the teacher ceremoniously brings the VCR+TV combination on a mobile platform on wheels into the classroom. The highlight of the lesson, maybe even of the day, begins: let's watch a video!
Everyone darts over to watch the small and shimmering tube TV as the teacher rewinds the tape recorder to the right spot. Soon we might be watching exotic animals, the movement of continental plates or a tape explaining the whole of the circulatory system.
The magic of video hasn't gone away. On the contrary. There is more video than ever before. More than anyone will have time to watch in their lifetime.
But the sheer volume of video makes it challenging to find the wheat among the chaff.
For teachers, video comes naturally, but only a fraction of them actually do it. And they do, because few can claim to be teaching video professionals.
It is easy to set a threshold for making an educational video. It has to be better, more engaging than the rest of the moving image on offer.
Wrong. An instructional video is not supposed to be entertaining, witty, funny. And I'm not saying it can't be those too. But above all, the video as a method must have added value. It must give its viewer more than sound, or image. A quality educational video also engages and activates the viewer.
In the context of the global pandemic, more and more of us are venturing into video. I encourage and urge you: keep going! Videos make it easier to reach our target audience, our customers. For them, watching videos is natural. And easy. The replay device goes with you all the time. Homework, differentiating supplementary material, refresher exercises... video is well suited to a variety of uses. Especially for personalising your learning path. You can watch the videos when you feel like it.
Finally, here is my own list of tips for making educational videos:
Start with an easy, familiar topic. What did you teach last time?
Easy tools. To get started, your iPad is a good example. iMovie has enough features to make basic videos.
Make a short enough video. So you can edit. And to be watchable.
Get the script ready. You can throw good stuff from the hip by accident, but a plan is always half done.
Next, I'm going to watch an instructional video on skiing technique moments before my ski run.
What was the last thing you learned from the video?