A few days ago, some DEN friends and I got in on the Beta test of a new “walkie talkie” video app called Glide. I invited many more, but they closed the Beta testing right after we got in. The premise is that we can connect with Facebook friends and send short video messages to individuals or groups of people. It works much like the private message function in Facebook, only with video.
One of the things we learned quickly (and seem to forget as we go along) is that the video will automatically shut down at around 45 seconds. Now, in this instance you have two choices: A) You can pick up where you left off and make a string of separate videos to get your point across, or B) You can learn how to say things in 45 seconds or less.
As I was catching up on 3 or 4 videos this morning my mind started circling back to the way our students communicate. Quick. Easy. Short. Code. Email is way too slow these days. Even Facebook has been hijacked by us “older” folks. They don’t want a social network they have to share with their grandparents. Twitter is the site of choice, and one of (if not THE) fasted growing social media sites in the world.
Discovery Education has been on top of this long before it was a trend. In our early days of training we were taught to show video clips rather than entire videos. And even with a 4 or 5 minute video, break it up. Stop it. Talk about it. Ask questions. Then start it again. We even learned how to embed video in PowerPoint (so 37 seconds ago) that would include all the controls we needed to stop and start the video without losing it to the next slide.
Twitter limits you to 140 characters. Shorter if you are retweeting or quoting someone. Now we have Vine, a video client for Twitter that only allows you to record 6 seconds of content. I haven’t used it yet, but I’ve seen some things created with it, and they are wonderful.
I’ve downloaded Cesar Kurivama’s app that records 1 second every day. You really should watch his TED Talk here. Imagine it. Telling the story of your month. Or your year. Or your life in 1-second video clips. One for each day. It reminds me of a workshop conducted by Hall Davidson some time back where he had 1 and 2 second video clips embedded in his teaching as reinforcers of content.
I’m creating videos for teachers that are 8 to 10 minutes long as part of my Coffee Time series for the teachers at our school. These seem to be about right for the 30 and older crowd. But I wonder if they are, in fact, too long for new teachers in their twenties? Can I cut those in half and still teach all of the content?
I’m also making 2 or 3 minute videos for our kids related to an iPad Photo Tips project we are doing this year. Are they too long for high school students? Can I crop that down to 30 seconds or less and still get my main points across? How much of it is superflous talk just to hear me speak?
I think we are just scratching the surface of micro-teaching. And there is so little professional development geared to helping us do that.
What about you? As you create videos in your class, or download Discovery Education clips, or show YouTube videos, are you working to get those down as short as possible and still get the teaching in? Are you challenging your students to create a 6-second teaching video? Have you tried it for yourself? What tools are you using?
Leave some comments below. Micro-comments…