Two joys: learning and great video
I won’t bore you with all of the reasons why I am a fan of Michael Wesch, a professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University. I will tell you that I’m not his only fan; in 2008 the Carnegie Foundation named him US Professor of the Year. Last week Dr. Wesch launched a blog called “My Teaching Notebook,” and one of its first features is the video below.
Okay, that may be a lovely video about the joy of learning, but what does it have to do with technology? Wesch is an expert on the effects that digital technology is having on global society and education. He also knows how to use video effectively. Notice three things in particular:
- At only 2 minutes and 19 seconds the video is very short.
- The message is simple; he makes five explicit points.
- He frames the message with a story we can relate to.
When folks decide to “flip a class,” often their first thought is to ask students to watch an unedited series of 50-minute lecture videos. Wesch’s video has a different purpose, but you can see how the length makes it easy to digest. And combining a clear message with a compelling story makes it truly memorable.
The principles of simplicity, brevity, and storytelling don’t just apply to video. They are repeated all over the literature on effective presentations (e.g., Presentation Zen).
I plan to follow Wesch’s new blog — not only because I know he has great things to say, but also because I look forward to seeing how he uses media to make his points.