There are two main questions I ask myself when watching an educational video:
- What’s the point?
- And why should I care?
That’s it. That’s everything. At last check, there were thousands (millions? billions?) of videos available on YouTube, that span all sorts of categories and content types. So for the user, if the current video isn’t good, it’s super easy to move on to the next one. That’s why those two questions are so essential for an engaging video. The attention span is short. The alternatives are vast. The choice, as they say, is yours.
Now take these two questions and apply them to what I consider the three rules of teaching:
- Tell them what you’re going to tell them
- Tell them
- Tell them what you told them (and why)
Overlooked in this day of filters and hashtags is the simplicity of a clear and concise narrative. It’s great to have multimedia and quick changes and pop-culture references, but it’s not essential. It’s great to be a human being and allow yourself to be part of the messaging, but it’s not essential. It’s great to use fancy video editing software with all the bells and whistles (e.g. Camtasia or flixier), but it’s not essential. What is essential is that your videos are easy to follow and have integrity (they do what you say they will do).
That’s all for today. Stay safe and wear a mask (except when you’re recording an engaging educational video).