Tablet-teaching with Video

Limelight

A recent article entitled, Tablets have reached ‘critical mass’ in US, reports that one in four smartphone owners now use a tablet. Furthermore…

“More than half of tablet users watched video and/or TV on their devices in April, compared to 20 percent of the smartphone audience, comScore said.” – gadget box on msnbc.com

Several years ago I got my hands on an iPod Touch and then before long acquired my first smartphone. I remember thinking people are not going to want to watch video on these small screens. You could access Netflix or Hulu, and the pocket size is handy, but personally, for video I prefer a larger screen. Same thing for reading text – the smartphone is handy – but the screen is just a little too small for reading more than just a few sentences.

Not so for the tablet. I actually enjoy reading text on my iPad and the video is a very nice size for personalized viewing.

So methinks this may change how we approach developing educational content. I’ve never been a big fan of recorded lectures. It might just be me, but 45 minutes to an hour or more of a lecture can be even less enthralling than the live event (no offense). My thought is, students are less likely to watch lectures online – unless they are forced to – and even then…

However, I do very much like watching short videos that focus on a specific piece of content – 3 or 4 minutes is ideal (the average YouTube video); but in any case – 10 minutes tops. Consider the popularity and effectiveness of Khan Academy  with nearly 160 million 10-minute lessons viewed. Check out Khan Academy’s Art History topics!

How can we as educators make effective use of video with this emerging technology? You need not be a videographer or an actor to engage your students with video. You most likely already have the necessary tools at your disposal.

You’re going to need:

1) a camera – you can use a webcam with your computer, your cell phone, a point and click camera, or your iPad/other tablet with built-in camera.

2) something to present – a module of information that aligns with your course outcomes. You will also need a script. This is very important, write out the script. It will help with flow and you can use it for captioning to improve accessibility in the editing process.

3) editing software – most computers have this. I use iMovie on my Mac. When I had a PC I used Movie Maker. There are also some free online tools as well – even YouTube has a video editing feature.

4) a place to post and share or link to (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, iTunes U (eTech Ohio has a site), the campus streaming video system, etc.)

That’s about it. Here is my not-very-professional-but-hopefully-good-enough example.

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