Using Video Announcements
I’m trying something new this year. Rather, I’m trying something new… again.
A couple years ago we started making weekly videos for announcements. It was a minor success, and the students seemed to enjoy them. The problem was they took a long time to produce, and I just didn’t have the time. I don’t have any more time than I did back then (in fact, the opposite is probably true), but some other things are different than just a few short years ago.
- Technology has gotten better. My phone shoots HD video for crying out loud!
- I’m faster at editing. Better equipment plus more practice.
- My students seem to be on YouTube more, making it more likely that they’ll subscribe.
- More students are on Facebook, making it easier than ever to distribute the video updates.
So, we’re giving it another go. I shot and edited my first one earlier this week. Take a look:
Not exactly a cinematic masterpiece, but it gets the job done. It’s simple, fast, and effective. All in, it took about 20 minutes to shoot and about 45 minutes to edit (not including the animations at the beginning and end, but I can reuse those each week). If I had typed out an email it would have taken about the same amount of time once I was done spell-checking, placing images, and formatting text. Not to mention that most of my students seem to check email once a year.
I’m hoping this can become a good way for us to distribute information. There are still parts I don’t like. It’s awkward to shoot, especially if I’m not the only one at the office. And it can be frustrating when I apparently need 7 takes just to say the word “September,” not to mention I just plain don’t like seeing myself on video. But when I was deciding if it was time to bring back video updates, these were some of the benefits that won me over:
- Video is the single greatest medium for communication to this generation
- Students will watch a 3 minute video, but will most likely not read a web page for the same amount of time.
- There are endless creative opportunities
- Videos are easily shareable
- We can incorporate videos from our events/activities
- Easier to convey emotion (nonverbal cues don’t work in text-only formats)
- It takes the same amount (or less) of time as other methods, but reaches far more students
- I get to look like a dork
I’m really excited for this, and I hope that enthusiasm remains. I like the possibility of having students host the update, or doing little skits or recurring bits, or messing around with some goofy visual effects. And I think things like that will keep it fresh, rather than dreading yet another email update.
I’ll try and check in a few months down the road and let you know how it’s going. Maybe I can even make a How-To
for Video Announcements. And if you want to see how they’re progressing, feel free to subscribe to the NSLupdate
YouTube channel, I’d love to boost our ratings!