The Pitch Competition: Meet The Judges

Over the past six months, we have been reaching out to students, asking them to develop their own videos on the moments in history that mean the most to them. The judging of these submissions is two-fold – public vote and expert judging panel.Read More

how to look natural on camera text with image of woman smiling

How To Look Natural On Camera: Makematic Behind-the-Scenes Vlog

In episode 14, I’m showing you how to look natural on camera. Not for the purpose of Zoom calls or Zoom presentations, as I am still working on that. This is to produce quick vlogs at home or for that TikTok video that you’ve been working on for 30 minutes, just so you could get the lip-sync timing right.Read More

Learning on Instagram with text stating can we learn on instagram

Learning On Instagram: Behind the Scenes with Makematic

Episode 13 of the Makematic vlog goes through learning on Instagram. The social media platform has evolved immensely over the past few years.Read More

Case Study: Integrating the SDGs into Curriculum

What does it take to start integrating the Sustainable Development Goals into your already crowded curriculum? Read this case study to find out how one New Jersey teacher took the challenge.Read More

Image of woman sitting with her phone out with the text on the right hand side saying Learning on Tiktok

Learning on TikTok: Makematic Behind-The-Scenes Vlog

In this vlog, we’re learning about TikTok. We know the platform; some love it, some hate it, and some refused to download the platform at the start of lockdown last year because it was a platform “for kids”. Guilty. But now, I love the platform and learn so much from it.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.

Image of two women holding up a sign saying We Hosted A Webinar - Belfast Design Week

We Hosted A Webinar: Makematic Behind-The-Scenes Episode 8

If you’re like me, a 20-something-year-old who is eager to learn and try new things but at the same time who is terrified to learn and try new things because it’s – well – new, then you’ve come to the right page.

Public speaking. Two words that for some people it’s a walk in the park, but for others who don’t have that much experience in (a.k.a me) it’s a -20C walk in the park with sleet, heavy rain and realising that your coat doesn’t have a hood. This year, I decided to take that walk into public speaking, albeit it was online and someone else was there to co-host with me. Besides that, the nerves were there, the pit in my stomach was present and I ran out of breath a lot.

This episode of the vlog explores the journey that Tasha (our Social Media Producer) and I went through when we hosted our first webinar for Belfast Design Week. It was a journey, to say the least. We prepared our content a week before, figured out what we were going to say the day before and mentally preparing ourselves for the pressure two weeks before. So in short, a lot of prepping happened.

To ensure that the webinar ran smoothly, I had to venture back into the office to get reliable WiFi. If you have the same internet provider as me, which fails on a daily basis and consequently makes me appear to freeze during Zoom calls with an unflattering expression, then you know what the frustration feels like. I won’t name names as to who this said internet provider is as A) I might get in trouble for legal reasons and B) because I don’t want anyone else to suffer the same internet fate as I do.

If you haven’t already watched the vlog, have a look at it below!

https://youtu.be/koyyDE9H2Q4

Fun fact about this vlog, we practised the webinar 7 times. Practised social distancing whilst doing the webinar. And learnt that public speaking (virtually) isn’t too bad at all. Though I can’t vouch for in-person public speaking, I think that’s a whole other level of panic.

Watch episode 8 here!

Shameless plug right here, but after you watch the vlog, watch our webinar too called “How To Design Your Instagram Feed To Educate Your Audience”. It’s now live on the Makematic VOD. It’s short and sweet, and you might learn something about how gen Z wants to use Instagram now. If you don’t fancy watching and prefer reading, I did write about the webinar in this condensed version. Just to warn you, this doesn’t have as much information as the webinar, so you might as well watch the webinar.

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!

Image of different forms of media that Makematic videos can be viewed on

New Educational Videos Released On The Makematic VOD

We’ve got some new educational videos that have been released on the Makematic VOD! 

The Basic Principles of Design course focuses on, unsurprisingly, the basics of design. You’ll understand and learn colour, contrast, proportion, balance and more – complete with punchy explainer videos, practitioner interviews and creative ideas for teachers.

Make Impactful Video for Social Media will help you learn and understand the tools you need to produce effective and engaging video content for social media using Adobe Premier Pro. 

17DaystoLearn series:  These are self-directed challenges that can at primary or secondary level. Students will learn about the SDGs and take on challenges to help further each of the goals.

The students at Kings Hospital School, located in Dublin, completed the #17DaystoLearn challenge as part of their “Get Up and Goals” project. Read here to find out how they approached this challenge and the impact it had on the students.

Skillsumo: we’ve got new professional development and future proof videos that will help students and educators navigate and prepare for the world of work.

Check out the new videos today!

Untold: Stories You Won’t Learn About In A Textbook

Untold is a free collection of short, compelling, history videos and animations designed to engage new audiences in a new conversation and

  • shine a light on the stories that don’t always make it into the classroom
  • and question what we think we know about those that do.

Watch the first two Untold episodes here

New Adobe Education Video Courses by Makematic

Our friends over at Adobe recently launched their brand new Youtube channel – Adobe for Education – featuring TWO courses that we’ve produced for them.

Make Impactful Video for Social Media

Make Impactful Video for Social Media

This course is for social media creators hoping to improve their video game using Adobe Premier Pro. It focuses on practical tips and strategies, brought to life by compelling graphics and interviews with exciting creators.

Design Principles

Basic Principles of Design

Unsurprisingly this collection of videos focuses in on the basics of design – complete with punchy explainer videos, practitioner interviews and creative ideas for teachers.

These are just the first two courses the team have been working on for Adobe – so expect loads more over the Summer!.

Animated drawing of a video thumbnail of a woman

A Vision? Or Students Today?

The title of this blog is a play on the name very well-known video called A Vision Of Students Today.  It was produced by Professor Michael Wesch and 200 of his students at Kansas State University in 2007, and incredibly for the time, it garnered over a million views in its first month.  Professor Wesch let his students pick the subject for the video, and write the scripts and the storyboards, as well as doing all the shooting and editing.  He wanted the students to tell the world what they thought about their education. And they did!

Professor Wesch is an associate professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University.  His work is focused on media ecology and the emerging new field of digital ethnography which looks at the effect of new media on human interaction. He had noticed many changes and a ‘disconnect’ beginning to occur between his very own students and the way in which they were being taught and the learning materials with which they interacted.  Technological advancement was in full throttle with smartphones and laptops at saturation levels in terms of market penetration in the USA.  Students were suddenly able to extend choice in the way that they studied, the time at which they studied, and the type of content they engaged with most efficiently on a “need-to-know” basis, with educational attainment very much goal-driven.  

But the education system, the educators who taught, and many of the materials used to teach, remained the same.  

Professor Wesch’s theories, start with an over-arching principle that human relationships are mediated by communication.  In the same way that the printing press transformed the way we consumed information and literature 500 years ago, the networked economy has changed forever the relationship that we now have with it.

I’ve written before about the VARK Modalities, (Visual, Aural, Read/Write, and Kinesthetic sensory modalities that are used for learning information.) Fleming and Mills (1992) suggested that there were four learning modalities and that teachers by appealing to particular learning modalities with certain students, improved overall learning attainment.  And the students in Professor Michael Wesch’s video which was made way back in 2007 (making many of them now 30-something), pays homage to the natural selection that occurs when a bunch of human beings are left to study and communicate with multiple media channels at their disposal.

Fast-forwarding 13 years to 2020, without a doubt things have improved and excitingly, a student of anything at any age or level has more choice in terms of choosing study media which best suits their learning modality.  

The enabler in terms of moving pupils and students towards a richer multimedia learning experience are the broadband/4G/5G internet connections that most schools and universities globally now have.  Even in rural parts of developing countries, laptops, tablets and smartphones are available and elsewhere they are in abundance.  The massive growth of social networking sites, Tiktok, Facebook and others, has led to a surge in the amount of video content to which the world now has access.

I was going to try not to use the c-word as we are all fed up with it, but, the Covid-19 crisis has in all respects led to an increased need for digital content. As a father of young children, I know full well that all learning materials must now be delivered in an engaging way online.  Before our current situation, all the trend data was already pointing to a huge increase in digital content, with video content at the top of that list.  Cisco, based on current growth trends have predicted that by 2022, online video will make up 82% of all consumer traffic, whilst by 2020 they say that 1 million minutes of video content will be crossing the internet every second.  In general video usage across the globe is very very high and it’s one of the most popular informational resources.

We are seeing a surge in need for video content at Makematic.  It is having an increasing influence on content mix within educational publishing as well as more widely across the professional and academic sectors too. Academic publishing giant Wiley have reported the astounding figures of 447% higher Altmetric scores and 111% higher full text views for those articles with video abstracts.   

No one can have missed the video phenomena in recent years in the children’s sector of the brands Peppa Pig and Blippi, the latter, launching full fling on Youtube with a strategy which no doubt will penetrate the educational content sector very soon. Publishing giant Pearson, as long ago as 2006, witnessed the meteoric rise of Diary of a Wimpy Kid which started as a digital only story on what was then their Family Education Network, the print rights were sold off and the movies were made.

More widely tech giants, global brands and international non-profits alike have all seen the opportunity to engage learners with high production value, skilfully crafted and pedagogically sound video content.  Many of our customers which include Adobe, Crayola, Microsoft, Scholastic, Unity Technologies and The Woodrow Wilson Foundation bear witness to this.

Professor Michael Wesch and his students were living in a changing world where the internet, was fast-becoming the primary channel for everything.  The vision in the video they produced has become a Youtube classic in education circles, yet the change has been slow with only recent events enforcing our move to full online independence and it is now here to stay.  Learners are able to choose their study mode at a time they want to study and the chosen medium of video which so clearly defined the vision and spread the students’ message on Youtube in 2007, surrounds and permeates everything that we do.  

Video content itself has fast replaced the vision.  What vision will your video content realise for you?

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