Home » Video (Page 2)

Category Archives: Video

Might understanding what primes us to behave in a certain way have impacts on social behaviour and learning?

Fig.1. Eyes & Ears – A public awareness film produced featuring the Emergency Services and members of the cast of Byker Grove. Broadcast on regional TV channels: BBC Look North and Tyne Tees Television. Widely reported in the local press.

Understanding what primes us to behave in a certain way must have impacts on social behaviour, from the London Riots of 2011 and police behaviour at Hillsborough in 1989, through to schooling, training, coaching and e-learning – and of course, how hypnotists play their tricks.

  • Are we so vulnerable and easily led because we cannot think about too much at the same time?
  • How must this influence the savvy learning designer?
  • Surely the context of any learning environment must be highly significant, from the buildings and resources, to your peers?


Fig. 2. A Oxford Tutorial – now as in the 1950s

  • Do Ivy League and Oxbridge Colleges have a centuries old model that works still in the 21st century?
  • Why do some libraries work better than others and why do we like to meet for coffee or for a drink?
  • Are we primed to open up, to be more or less receptive to ideas?
  • What therefore does the loan learner do studying at a distance, even if they are online?
  • What makes the experience immersive?
  • Synchronous learning in a webinar or seminar?
  • Active engagement in a discussion, multi-choice quiz or virtual world?
  • And how might they prep their context?
  • Close the curtains, dress to study?

20121014-045552.jpg

Fig. 3. Thinking, fast and slow

I was introduced to this concept by Daniel Kahneman in his 2011 book ‘Thinking, Fast and Slowly’ in the Linkedin Group for alumni of the Open University MBA Module ‘Creativity, Innovation and Change’.

 

Why two sensory modes are often better than one when creating e-learning of something complex

Fig. 1. A powerful video can get the learner’s attention – keeping it takes a different kind of skill

Too many companies are currently touting software that can take a 45 minute lecture and package it in a form that makes in bite-sized and tagged – butting it through the Magi-Mix, diced. I can’t say it will necessarily improve or add to the learning experience, though I do like to stop start, rewind, play over, repeat, take notes … go back to the start.

The definitive research on use of audio and text to enhance effective learning was done in the 1990s and published in various papers starting with ‘When two sensory modes are better than one’ (1997).

Worth the read and written with the multimedia world that was then emerging in mind. 

By then I’d already spent a decade in the industry but was lucky to be in a production company that was using first Laser Disc then CD-ROM and DVD to create content – more importantly the senior producer had a postgraduate degree in interactive design from Lancaster University so we weren’t just shooting video for the sake of it. Usually integrated with workbooks, then interactive, blended and part of a programme of study. Often highly technical for the nuclear power industry, then utilities, NHS, banks and motor industries. Video can work in 5 seconds … or in 15 minutes. Sometimes a running length of around 10 minutes would play once various shorter components had been introduced in different ways.

It takes skill and thought to get it right – we’ve all heard of ‘Death by Power Point’ – we used to try to avoid ‘Death by talking head’

These interviews should be used with care – what you want is the voice over explaining actions as they take place with text superimposed where the action takes place – even captions and subtitled can cause a cognitive split, increase mental overload and diminish the effectiveness of the learning experience.

REFERENCE

Tindall-Ford, S, Chandler, P, & Sweller, J 1997, ‘When two sensory modes are better than one’, Journal Of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 3, 4, pp. 257-287, Psyc ARTICLES, EBSCO host, viewed 30 October 201

Taken seriously, or just for a laugh – the power of storytelling

Fig. 1. Liam Neeson takes revenge in ‘Taken’

Of course our 14 year old son shouldn’t have been watching the moview ‘Taken’, but for the benefit of his 16 year old daughter on the long drive home this evening he set about detailing the action.

I found it hand not to laugh all the way through as somehow I had in my mind’s eye the film that I have seen three times as he offered his esoteric description – All Liam Neeson did apparently was talk in guttural noises and wave his hands about. Dialogue didn’t feature, nor characterisation – just the action. What more does it need. (What was it Hitchcock said about dialogue, that is was a sound effect?)

At the end of this our 16 year old daughter perked up and said, ‘Granny said I mustn’t see this film and then proceeded to describe it in gory detail’. The image of my late mother drawing attention to the nastiest moments in the film brings a smile to my face, ‘there’s a bit when xxxx’ and you mustn’t see the bit when yyyy’. Oddly enough the threat of ‘white slavery’ as a line used with teenage girls wanting to go out late in the 1970s. There was someone ready to snatch my teenage sisters away around every corner of late night Newcastle upon Tyne.

Listening to Philip Pullman talking about a new anthology of Fairy Tales we are reminded of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ and of ‘Hansel and Gretal’. The contemporary monsters being the likes of Jimmy Saville and  Gary Glitter.

The problem is – words can be even more vivid as you create something in your mind’s eye that can be far worse, closer to home and therefore possible.

Narrative is a powerful thing, as is humour and violence if done correctly.

(Reading this back, this last line suddenly sounds like something that would be said by a Bond Villain)

Don’t show me! The importance of expectation ahead of a visit to the Design Museum

20121027-131438.jpg
Fig.1. Paralympic Racing Wheelchair

Either a clever move or circumstance but I have visited a number of galleries and museums recently with a view to return with that most reluctant of visitor – the teensger. Armed with bumph and photos I thought having spoken to my son about it that he would want to see some of it before going. It wasn’t that he was dismissive, it was more a case that he didn’t want me ro spoil it.

He has a point. In a learning context Gagne would say that the impact of the first encounter or impressions are important. We got around in an hour – last week it took me two. At times some arms physically emerging from the walls to pull him in would have helped – the looped audio commentary on headsets by exhibits, some with others without video worked well. All that was missing would have been dome opportunities to run, lesp, jump etc: againat a stop-watch or tape measure.

What if, like Ikea the journey around the musuem was all oneway so that you had to pass everything? What if using a visor and augmented reality you could peg items againsta familisr walk through your house – to exploit memory techniques.

How long should a piece of video be? How long is a piece of string – an inch or a mile – both work for me


Fig. 1. Fighting for breath – part of a corporate training series aimed at practioners and patients to create greater understanding of what it is like to be an asthmatic. Drama documentary.

Some times 10 seconds is too long for a video – while ten hours doesn’t even start to do justice to the speaker or theme.

I wouldn’t give extreme views the time of day, on the other hand, I would listen to everything Mandela had to say for nours. Horses for courses.

Stats lie – they certainly require interpretation. When do peole turn off or tunein to a piece of AV, whether a movie, TV show, video or slide show mocked-up in PowerPoint. ‘Death by Powepint’ start for me in this first second.

Research from the Open University shows that people decide whether to continue watching a piece of video in under 35 seconds. This is not the same as a 45 minute lecture from an expert that is required as part of a formal course – though there should always be a transcript. Personally I work between the two and replay if there is something important.

My 35 seconds video? A party balloon is blown up by someone with breathing difficulties. The words on the balloon gradually appear – ‘The Cost of Asthma’ – the professionally composed and perfomed music tugs at the heart strings and a professional broadcaster says some pithy words.

My 35 hour video?

Interviews with some if the greatest thinkers alive in the planet today. Vitally, especially online, as producers we offer what is a smorgasbord – the viewer decides what to put in their plate and whether to eat it – and whether to stuff it down or take it in bite-sized pieces.

You had might was well ask ‘how many pages should there be in a book?’ or ‘how many posts in a blog?’ It depends on many things: context, budget, goal, resources, subject matter, audience, platform, shelf-life …

My teenagers curate images on Tumblr, a tumbling riot of choice images grabbed and reblogged into a visual expression of who they aspire to be, or who they are or the people they want to attract.


Fig.1. Head in the clouds

My teenagers curate images on Tumblr, a tumbling riot of choice images grabbed and reblogged into a visual expression of who they aspire to be, or who they are or the people they want to attract.

The museum of the person, for the person rather than a museum by a person for the people.

Perhaps this is the answer – blurring the boundaries between blog, gallery, library and museum we each become the curators of the external expression of the contents of our minds forming in total a waterfall of information and ideas. As a reader, visitor or learner you are the fish swimming in this river, dipping in and out and through it. The space is an interplay between what others contribute and what you elect to tangle with.

Curation is more than aggregating stuff, there is a sense of purpose, a theme, even if it is a current in this river, this torrent, this deluge of information – the content is gathered, and presented in a certain way.

Someone has made choices on the visitor’s behalf. The collection is assembled for a purpose, to change minds, to open heads, to instigate a journey, to act as a catalyst for learning and and the creation of understanding.

Whilst blogging implies creating content or self-publishing, curation is aggregating content by one person for others – going out with a broom to sweep autumn leaves into a pile then picking out the russet red ones. It isn’t publishing either, these leaves are literally individual pages, not entire books, they are, in the parlance ‘bite–sized’ pieces of information.

At what point does it cease to be curation?

The London Underground Lost Property Office is not a curated space – this stuff has been pushed into the space, not pulled. Push or pull are key words when it comes to curation, especially where the curation is prompted by the desire to respond to a problem – such as engaging people to take responsibility for their own learning by providing them with a space with blurred boundaries that will contain, more often than not, objects that satisfy and pique their curiosity in order that they then go on to construct their own understanding.

The curator doesn’t orginating content then?

Tell that to … a History of the World in 100 objects.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/about/british-museum-objects/

Neil McGreggor
http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/ahow/all

Presenter
Curator
Trustee
Visitor
Scholar


Fig.2. An online diary or journal

Over a decade ago, to some a web log and now a blog can embrace curation – 195 posts on blogging and my favourite definition is ‘digital paper‘ – a blog is anything you can do with it.

Curation is perhaps therefore, a digital museum, library or gallery?

By defintion less self–publishing, and more aggregation of the works of others.

 

How is memory manifested in an analogue and a digital world?

20121018-090816.jpg

Fig. 1 Nadja Swarovski at the Design Museum

An extraordinary exploration of how we create memories and the important role exhibitions and museums have to play in reminding us that the physical world with which we interact is our context for learning even when we go online.

LINK: Digital Crystal at the Design Museum

Is curation a better way to engage the quieter and less active learner online?

Fig.1 Hockney

I’ve nearly always been on the outside looking in, a ‘creative’ on the outside who is commissioned regularly to deliver learning content – historically a great deal of video, interactive DVD and then online.

There was often an interesting difference between projects for internal audiences and how or whether they were well promoted compared to externally commercially sponsored learning that had to attract and retain a large audience. The internal projects got a fraction of the budget to promote it than that spent on producing the thing in the first place – often, by all accounts, the entire budget. This for better where the learning was integrated into the landscape of regular internal communications – the monthly video news magazine being typical.

Looking at it we came to understand that in the UK we are very good at making stuff, but not so good at getting the message out.

We used the ratio  of 5:3:1 to suggest, for example, how £80,000 might be spent on an interactive and online project – say £50,000 on the design, writing, graphics and build, £30,000 to support it over a shelf life of a year or two and £10,000 to publicise.

In North America it went the other way.

Have a neat idea, but keep it simple and sweet – spend far more marketing it and then with audience engagement and from lessons learned improved the product and develop a relationship with the audience so that they keep coming back for more.

If curation is the way forward then the next step will be to draw on my experience as a visitor to countless museums and galleries, houses and castles – from the mishaps of a rainy day to the inspired and repeated visits to museum events. Does this become a journey through your mind? Is it any wonder that people who demonstrate extraordinary feats of recollection do so by pegging images to a journey through a familiar space? Might a way to prepare for an exam to create a temporary exhibition of your own?


Fig. 2. Production stills from a cross-section of training projects written, directed and produced by Jonathan Vernon – on YouTube @JJ27VV

London’s calling

20121016-024055.jpg
Fig. 1 Superhuman – Icarus representing the ‘advanced human’ at the Welcome Foundation Museum, Euston Road, London.

I’m in London today (Tuesday 16th October) and happy to meet up PM should you be available.

I’m starting at the Bronzes Exhibtion at the Royal Academy, Picadilly, then heading for Euston and the Wellcome Foundation Museum. Afterwards to the National Portrait Gallery and ICA and possibly the Imperial War Museum and ending at the Southbank Centre.

Tips on how best to deliver a presentation – with or without bells and whistles

Fig.1. Sample production screen-grabs from Jonathan Vernon’s show-reel (that’s him on the far left)

Develop the craft skills of a storyteller.

Use a creative brief from the outset to nail down the topic, coming up with ideas, flesh out a treatment and deliver a script.

Pace and variety are crucial.

The industry standard creative brief that I have used in a career in advertising, corporate communications and training is:

  • What is the problem?
  • Who are you speaking to?
  • What do you want to say?
  • How should they respond to this message?
  • What else do we need ro know?

Keep this to a single sheet of A4 then hand it to a professional writer/art director team.

  • Expect back a selection of synopses. Choose one.
  • Get a treatment from this.
  • Once approved writing the script is easy.
  • Only then think of execution.

It pays to have a professional graphics person who can make the platform used sing, or video production, or web design …

Death by power point is far, far too common.

Be sensitive to pace, have variety.

Rehearse and change stuff that doesn’t work or is dull.

If in doubt a good presenter should be able to deliver without any AV support as it is the message delivered with conviction, authenticity and enthusiasm that is more important that how slides wipe, or the music track on a piece of video.

There’s too much ‘death by papermation’ out there

Too long, long winded, rambling presentations with the artist trying to keep up and offering nothing at all new other than translating it – about as useful as having someone sign with no one in the audience with a hearing impairment. A literal expression of text is pointless – the imagination does a better job. Rather the images must juxtapose, complement even conflict with what is being said. You are trying afterall to get and retain attention – controversy, irony and inventiveness works.

The software never solves your problem.

Have something worthwhile to say first, then choose from a plethora of delivery mechanisms the one which has the most appropriate fit.

%d bloggers like this: