Can a teaching video really appeal to a teenager?
That is it, I have taken the plunge and entered the world of YouTube. Not only that I have decided to jump in with... wait for it ... LIVE ACTION! Argh, what was I thinking of? Me, on screen, it will never catch on.
I was fed up with seeing videos which all looked the same; screen-casts of PowerPoint presentations narrated as the teacher plodded through them. I wanted to make something different and to be honest I am a little nervous of what I have managed to achieve.
I know from my two teenage sons that YouTube plays a huge part of their lives, they prefer to watch YouTube than TV. Teens and tweens are used to seeing vloggers who are far more proficient these days and their audience expect a much higher standard in return.
Classes must find the PowerPoint style videos quite dull in comparison and I wonder how many of them switch off when they see yet another video being played at if it was some kind of treat that looks exactly the same than if the teacher had stood and talked through a presentation themselves.
There are YouTube celebrities that are famous to only a certain age group and most of us (over the age of 40) have absolutely no idea who they are. One of them has even managed to get onto Strictly this year! Good grief, what is the world coming to?
Don't get me wrong, I have created many videos for my resources over the years and looking back I will say nearly all of them are the PowerPoint and voice over style I have just been criticising.
I didn't know any other style was a possibility and as teacher I think we all have slipped into the comfort of sticking to what we know.
But over the last couple of months I have been thinking about it and knew that the theory videos I wanted to create were going to be different to the style of videos I had created before. Admittedly, the first few weeks were spent talking myself into and out of the idea. "Sounds great, I'm sure it will be fine", "No you are mad, what on Earth are you thinking of?", "But if it makes the theory more memorable then why not?", "Because nobody wants to see you talking to them, they will all think you've gone mad" anyway you get the idea - there was a lot of soul searching.
Finally I took the plunge and showed my husband my first attempt. He is sweet and said a lot of encouraging things but I knew I still had a long way to go from the stifled giggles and sideways looks he was giving me while he watched it. So back to the drawing board and a few more tries later and I feel as if I am starting to get the hang of it. I know I have a long way to go but generally feel pleased with how the first four (that I am actually uploading to YouTube) have turned out. I look at them and know there are things I want to alter ( looking twenty years younger and six stone lighter would be a start) but I am realist and think, actually they are not bad. For a stuffy ex-teacher with a broken back and no real artistic talent, you know what? They are not too bad.
So I say to all of you thinking about launching into creating teaching videos, have a go. Lets create videos that kids like to watch, that will be memorable and make them want to watch it. I am not for a moment saying videos should be all action, high drama and covered in special effects but I am saying they don't all have to be narrated PowerPoint videos. Have a go, you might be surprised in yourself.
If you want to see my attempts, my YouTube channel is