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Try Putting Down Your Device For A Day

In 1946 Edgar Dale who was an American educator, developed the Cone of Experience also known as the Learning Pyramid. It has become a staple of the education sector.  It examines how learners retain knowledge after interaction with different types of media.Read More

Video Content in 2020

Video Content in 2020

It is the end of a long year, what better way to end than to do my usual and have a quick round-up of how video content has been growing as a consumer favourite in 2020.

Whilst international physical boundaries have been closed due to the Covid crisis, digital traffic has increased hugely.  From our perspective as a business who produces short-form educational video targeting post-millennials and millennials, we have seen pretty explosive growth this year as brands, publishers and non-profits all turn to short-form animated and live-action video to educate their audiences.

According to Cisco, who this time last year said that in any given second 1 million minutes of video are crossing the internet, at the end of 2020, they say that 75% of all internet traffic is video content, and this will rise to 82% by 2022.

Publicis and Verizon in a joint study have discovered that a lot of video content is consumed on the go or at work and as a result of this, 92% of those in their study watch video with the sound off.  So captions are becoming a must!

More than 2 billion people use Youtube – that’s one-third of all internet users with around 5 billion videos watched on Youtube every day, and Youtubers are uploading 500 hours of video every minute.  According to Social Media Today, 82% of Twitter users mainly use the platform to watch videos. These are mostly mobile users as well since roughly 90% of all video views on Twitter happen via mobile phones. 

We already know that most view video content via mobiles courtesy of eMarketer’s study in 2018, so this has only grown since then. We are nearing the point where everyone who possibly can in terms of device ownership, will view short-form video content on a daily basis, wherever they are, anywhere in the world. What’s interesting to learn from Brand Gym is that when consumers are viewing adverts on a mobile device, 75% skip the advertising in an average of 5.5 seconds (ie: as soon as they can!), so if advertising-supported video content is your strategy, then it’s completely the wrong one and something needs to change.   

On the educational front, video-assisted learning has become more and more popular.  Classrooms are awash with high-tech digital displays and now that schools are connected to the internet worldwide, video has become an important part of everyday learning – this has of course extended into the home this year.  The Covid pandemic has created the perfect environment for distance learning which has increased spectacularly with universities having to create high-quality distance learning modules with high production values for their video content.  Animated videos enrich subjects and help pupils and students understand complex subjects simply and easily in a format with which they identify.

The US government have recognised this and are awarding grants to those who produce educational video content. PBS Education an off-shoot of the network PBS has secured a $24M federal grant this year.  They’ve seen the opportunity that presents itself and are going to spend it on creating high educational value, curriculum-linked video assets and they’ve employed early-learning and children’s education experts and media producers to realise this project.

Those targeting post-millennials are getting it right.  I have often mentioned Blippi and how he’s grown to become a multi-million dollar brand in his own right through simply producing quality educational videos and posting them on Youtube. Last year he’d made about $12M. This year, judging by the merchandise in our house he’ll be making a lot more.  

In the past week, Ryan Kaja became the highest-earning Youtuber earning $29.5M from his Youtube child influencer shows and a further $200M from his branded toys and Marks and Spencer pyjamas.  Nickelodeon have now signed him for a series so next year that will only increase.

Without a doubt this year has been a big turning point for video content.  It was always on the cards that short-form educational video was going to become the learning medium for learning anything. But the fact that the entire population of the planet was forced online this year, whether they liked it or not, has made this happen now.  Not next year or the year after.  Today.  Those who choose to ignore this will simply be left behind.

Belfast Design Week 2020: Educating Gen Z On Instagram

This year’s Belfast Design Week was a little different. Instead of coming together in person, it was all on Zoom. Zoom is fine, it’s just not the same as going to an in-person event, meeting new people and taking one too many free snacks.

Yesterday (04 Nov), we hosted a webinar entitled “How To Design Your Instagram Feed To Educate Your Audience” with a focus on how to gain the attention of Generation Z. For those who attended and to Belfast Design Week – thank you! For those who didn’t get a chance to hear what we had to say, we’ve put some key highlights about Post-Millennials (Gen Z) and how Instagram is changing as a platform in terms of how people are using it.

29.6% of Instagram’s users were in the 18-24 age group (Statista, 2020)

With the current social climate that happened this year and is continuously happening, Instagram is no longer an appropriate place to exist unfazed by current events, politics, cultural and social issues, and much more. 

Travel photos and group selfies have been replaced with protest photos and educational infographics.

With a quick search, you can find posts advocating for anything you can think about with thousand of engagements. Posting bite-sized squares of information in the form of a carousel which Instagram launched in 2017, has been used by activists, advocacy groups and well-meaned individuals as a way to educate and inform.

Consider it something like PowerPoint activism (Nguyen, 2020)

In a time of social unrest, these text-based slideshow graphics have found new resonance and an eager audience, like Gen Z, on the platform, which has been known for prioritizing still images over text.

But if you are planning to do this text-based slideshow graphics, make sure that it’s coming from a good place. This means that if you’re trying to educate your audience on a certain topic or matter, you need to make sure that you are practicing what you preach as Patel (2017) stated that “Gen Z is going to know very quickly whether they are a part of something special or are caught in a big-talk campaign”.

As social media users, it’s up to us to be more critical and intentional with our digital footprints. This is something Gen Z (individuals like myself) wants to use social media for. We want to be educated and learn more about what is happening in our society, as sometimes in schools we are not taught about certain things, therefore we take matters into our own hands.

Learn more about Post-Millenials and Civic Engagement here.

We had recorded the webinar so that everyone who did not attend is able to watch it – even folks who didn’t sign up. Look out for this next week!

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Educating YouTube

The drivers for digital disruption are a complex set of parameters.  We all know the names of the technology providers ubiquitous in our everyday life and their influence continues to grow and spread.

I have worked in and around the educational content sector for almost 30 years and it has been a period of profound change.  The obviously driver – technology is easy to talk about, but it is only since having children that I have realised the very profound effect that technology is having on the way that human beings learn and develop.

Always a good starting point for any argument about the differences in age groups are generational divisions, as there are fluctuations dependent on where the figures are researched.  Generational divisions give us a good clue as to where the products of the future will hook their consumers and bring commercial success.

My sons belong to the post-millennial generation.  They are hugely different to me I am beginning to see.  They process information incredibly quickly and work out what the important stuff is to know and, surprisingly, how to use it.  As an example, a friend of my eldest who is five fell in the park recently and hurt himself quite badly.  My son has never had any first aid training but has watched a few videos targeting children on Youtube (and I am sure, practised on his little brother!)  Instantly when his friend fell, he knew what to do.  Not only did he watch the video, but he also processed the information and was able to convert that into a real-world situation.  Facts are also all-important to him, and if I can’t answer one of the many questions that he wants answering each day, he instantly talks to Google who gives him the correct response as well as a multitude of others straightaway. 

Living in a fully multimedia world both born after the advent of social networking, and although they are not allowed anywhere near Tiktok, Facebook and Instagram, the eldest has worked out that people put videos of themselves ‘doing things’ on Youtube.  We can’t go out without the question popping up “Daddy, video me doing this and put it on Youtube”.

Pew Research reported recently that we have reached a point where Millennials have overtaken Baby Boomers as the largest demographic, and this is having great consequences on the way that consumers of education consume.  This is backed up by various demographic studies the United Nations have undertaken.

Looking at the broad-brush strokes of technological influence, TV was key for Baby Boomers, as it was for Generation X who were part influenced by the internet in terms of the way they prefer to consume content.  But Millennials and Post-Millennials have lived their lives surrounded by the internet, the mobile internet, and the networked economy.   This has had a drastic effect in the way they consume any type of media, be it mass-market or in the educational niche, and it is transforming the way they expect products to be structured, built and commercially modelled for them, taking into account that many parents are Millennials with children who are post-Millennials.

All the indicators right now show the smart money is being invested in video and VR technology for education, with all predictions pointing to the explosive growth of video content occurring in the mass-market, now spilling over into and consuming the education “niche”.

Anecdotally, a Youtube subscription has been the must-have during the Covid crisis amongst us and all the other parents of my sons’ peer groups.  Youtube with its Youtube Kids version is the current front runner when it comes to teaching children just about anything whilst keeping them amused in an environment which is safe.  I have noticed more and more that Youtube has become first choice for us all.

My eldest’s teacher at our local primary school is in her first year of teaching.  It is requested by the school that parents spend as much as we can afford on apps, so we and many others do.  The school makes recommendations, and this is added to our tally for Youtube and other direct-to-parent subscriptions each month.  My son’s teacher understands the frustration that he and many of his friends are feeling in their first year of school. Although most have had access to books before starting school, many find the change down from a blended multimedia learning pathway at home/nursery to a predominantly analogue one in the classroom exceedingly difficult.  This only compounds to the teacher’s overall stress.

During the period of lockdown when we were homeschooling, we had flat refusals on much of the work which was sent home for our eldest to complete.   I personally agreed with him.  I think I would have flatly refused a lot of it!  When talking to others this seemed to be par for the course with his age group, and we found different ways for our son to learn the same things in a ‘more multimedia way’.   Unguided, untested, untracked, and undeniably ticking all the learning objectives for the exercise and more.

The relationship between parents/schools/children is changing rapidly, that is for sure.  Parents have far more power within the supply chain for learning products and services and video is playing a central part in the learning pathways of a new generation of learners because video content is ubiquitous in everyday life and most globally have access to technology that can access it seemingly for free.  For any educational content provider, video must form a central pillar of current and future strategy.  

How is Youtube going to educate you?

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