So What's Your Title?

What Makes the Perfect Video Title? (DOs and DON’Ts)

It’s getting exponentially harder to get your videos noticed on any platform. The market continues to get oversaturated, but worry not though! Here are some Dos and Don’ts to make your video title stand out from the crowd.

After reading, why not check out our Adobe Social Media Video Course for some more insightful advice on how to create impactful videos for social media!

DO – Be Specific yet Succinct

Google truncates page titles at approximately the 66 character mark. Any longer and you’ll see an ellipse () at the end of your title. Since YouTube automatically adds “YouTube –” to the beginning of every view page’s title tag, you’re already 10 characters down before you even start. ” via. 5 Keys For Creating Viral YouTube Videos.

You have a fifth of a Twitter tweet to get your video’s main narrative across – not much is it? Be open to the challenge however, we’ll provide some further tips down below to what you should place in your title.

DON’T – Be Afraid To Grab Their Attention

Now, don’t assume I’m advocating for click-bait titles, let’s not go too crazy! However, it’s an increasingly growing trend, especially on YouTube and TikTok. Be descriptive yet enticing at the same time. Don’t undersell your creation, it’ll lose you on viewer engagement.

Let’s use a rather, ordinary activity as a vlog example.
Which would you rather click on (if you had to):

Of course, it’s unfair to compare two videos that have different publish dates, subscribers and overall viewer reach. However, I think it’s safe to say that Video Title #2 is more enticing as it tells a better narrative than just another ‘vlog of me walking the dog’, it creates intrigue and is a creative way to turn a mundane event into something viewers would want to see.

Another example we found, was from our Barbican video course with the Department of Culture, Arts & Leasure. The aptly-named “Make A Plant That Tweets When It’s Thirsty” – if that doesn’t pique your curiosity, I don’t know what will!

DO – Capitalise with the Occasional UPPERCASE

Hierarchy matters and despite it being a pet peeve by some people – Capitalising all main words helps provide a more professional tone for your videos – this is also assuming that grammar has been checked in advance.

The overuse of entirely UPPERCASING titles has thankfully started to dwindle in popularity, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t consider fully capitalizing the odd word or two – we recommend two shorter words or one long word at most.

Why does it matter? Our minds are naturally drawn to capitalized letters as it is more dominant on-screen – the more you emphasize a word on-screen the more priority our brains provide to read it. Our brain loves to make shortcuts and providing some sense of hierarchy to your wording can help get you that elusive viewer click.

DON’T – Forget Your Keywords

SEO is KING and to truly dominate online video, it must be taken into serious account. In recent years, it’s not just viewers you’re trying to attract to get your videos seen, it’s the hidden site algorithms that you have to appease. Search engine optimization is your new best friend in that regard.

While taking into account your character limitations, priority must be on making sure that the keywords you utilize, best fit the theme of your videos for example if you’re making a compilation? Try using BEST or TOP. Whichever niche you wish to create for, it’s always a good idea to put yourself in the viewer’s perspective and ask “What would the viewer search for to find my video?”.

Remember you also have your video descriptions to fill out more of the relevant keywords for your content. The idea is to make both the viewers and the streaming platform as easily aware of where your content fits as possible.

DO – Get Numeric

We delve more into this topic within our ‘Why Our Brain Loves Lists‘ blog, but statistics show that our brain becomes more accessible when numbers are utilized – it simplifies complex prose and helps the viewer to understand what the video is about in shorter times. This is especially vital for non-English speaking natives as numbers are universally more recognized in most forms and can help bridge the cultural and linguistic gap to open your videos to new demographics.

Utilizing a numeric structure for your video content also can help with your pre-production workflow. By setting a numeric limit on your content topics – you should be able to fill in more vital tips, advice, facts, etc. while not needing to divert into filler as a means to bridge gaps. Organization is key and numbers are a basic block that we can use to help provide some order and lessen that workflow chaos.

DON’T – Skip Analysing Your Competitors

I’m assuming you’re reading this and getting new into the ‘video production’ game, but regardless of what stage in your content creation days you’re in – it’s always vital to see what similar competitors to your work are doing.

Even if you’re up against corporate juggernauts of online video, if you see opportunities you can improve your A-game to their level of reach (i.e. branding, graphics, weekly video scheduling, pace, etc.), then it’s essential advice that can help to improve your overall content. Making small to long-term goals for your content platform is a great tool for increasing the quality and durability of your videos.

Don’t be disheartened, you’ll find many of channels that have failed also, analyze them, try to decipher what caused their declines to avoid making the same mistakes.

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!.

Working from home space

We’re Working From Home: Makematic Behind-The-Scenes Episode 5

You might have already seen a working from home vlog, but here’s another one. 

Working from home is something that the team of Makematic is fortunate enough to do. We have been collaborating and communicating with each other and our clients and partners for the past four months now. During these four months, we’ve acquired some tips/hacks/insights that may be useful to you – whether that’s how to make a laptop stand out of books or simply just giving you some office design inspiration.

In this episode, I reached out to the team and asked if they have any insights, hacks or tips about working from home and to send me their office space, mainly because I need some office space inspiration and designing a Pinterest inspired office was not in my budget. Safe to say, I got a few responses from the team.

I won’t spoil it all for you, but the episode includes a couple of dog pictures, a lot of tips and some major home office inspiration. One of the tips that I found ingenious was from Claire, who is one of our motion designers, and she said that she likes to play Spanish music and thus making her feel as though she was in Lanzarote. Brilliant. Alexa…play Greek music. Can you tell where I was meant to be this July? 

My personal tip was to leave a sign on the door – preferably ones that state to not enter the room, to prevent anyone, from entering. It’s definitely foolproof if you’re living with more than one person in your house. 

Below are some home office spaces that you could definitely take inspiration from. For me, I’m definitely going to be adding a plant somewhere in the office area, get myself a notebook and look at dog pictures on Instagram, because it will be the closest thing I’ll get to having a dog – for now, #GetGiannaADog

Do you have any working from home tips or hacks?

Watch episode 5 here!

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?

Teacher standing in front of her students

Makematic Video Case Study: Teachers Across Borders Building Educator Capacity in Cambodia

This case study showcases the work being done by non-profit Teachers Across Borders to build capacity in Cambodian Educators, and how they used Makematic’s global education professional development content to help them do it.

Overview/ About

Founded by Brian Allen (Order of Australia) in 2006, Teachers Across Borders Australia (TAB) is a not-for-profit organisation that brings volunteer Australian educators to train and empower Cambodian educators through their face to face workshops.

TAB Australia trains early career, practising teachers and leaders in the best practice educational approaches aligned with existing educational research. Their approach is one of information exchange, centred around content-specific knowledge, pedagogy, active and student-centred learning approaches with an overall theme of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Challenge/ Problem

Improving the Teacher Induction for Train the Trainer Programme

Inducting volunteer teachers is time-consuming. There can be as many as 30 educators that need to be inducted in each cohort, often across states and even continents. Cohorts of volunteers visit Cambodia twice per year. 

In the past TABs coordinators have met with volunteers individually to do a face to face induction. This is challenging as coordinators work full time. Therefore, moving the induction process online:

  1. Enables core TAB coordinator to spend more time developing partnerships, networks and resources
  2. Means a more consistent approach to induction
  3. Volunteer meetups can be done using web-conferencing tools such as Zoom or Skype.

The new induction programme currently lives on Google sites, and will soon move to the learning platform Cahoot.

Modules with videos and reflection activities are used in the induction process to prepare volunteers for their time in Cambodia. This serves the dual purpose of screening participants, inducting them and preparing them for the complex work they will be asked to carry out whilst in Cambodia. 

The focus of the video content is on the following topics:

Pedagogical approaches = what makes our approach to education in Australia something worth sharing and what features makes it distinct. Some examples of the videos they included in the professional development series include, videos created by Makematic and Participate:

  1. The Sustainable Development Goals Overview
  2. Student-led discussion
  3. Collaboration
  4. Building a Professional Learning Network
  5. Formative Assessment
  6. Reflection

Cultural understandings = things to be aware of, cultural practices to avoid and be aware of when teaching across cultures. 

Workshop specific content = things to consider as participants prepare content and consider the way they will apply principles of andragogy to their work

Results/ Impact

Teacher Induction Programme

The induction process is now a more streamlined process, and less time is now spent wasted on covering and re-covering core content. Teachers have a greater awareness of issues they may face and better plan for their workshops. In the past this has been done almost entirely without any oversight or guidance from the organisers or the executive board. Overall teachers are better prepared for the programme.

Programme Overall

“Since our inception as an organisation we have trained over 5,000 Cambodian teachers to become more confident professionals. This has included numerous teachers moving through our teacher workshops, to become ‘train the trainer’ participants and finally culminates in these inspiring and aspirational teachers running their own workshops within the program. For many of these educators this progression has also, as a bi-product of hard work and support, in places as Principals and officials within the Ministry. 

Indeed we have helped to facilitate more than 40 Khmer lead workshops and this number has grown steadily along the growth of the program. Our feedback and evaluation forms are routinely glowingly positive and constant improvement has occurred as a result of these feedback processes. Our latest and greatest achievement has been completing our last Battambang program after 13 years, as a result of reaching the level of professional development that we planned for that region. We look forward to continued work with Cambodia and other regions, both within and outside of Cambodia where this type of capacity building and development is most needed.” 

Steven Kolber, TAB

Conclusion

TAB plans to phase out the work they have been doing when the Khmer teachers and presenters will also start organising their own events to develop each other in an open way. In the long-term TAB may continue their work in a supportive role to allow the promotion, organisation and development of the teachers. Their “greatest goal is to become irrelevant in Cambodia as the system has developed so far that we are no longer necessary.”

TAB is willinging to consider other countries that have noted a need for the professional development of teachers. That’s because they believe in the power of committed individuals assisting others to bring about large and long lasting change.

14 Awesome Free Online Educational Resources For Teachers And Parents

With all that is going on at the moment, it’s easy for schools and parents to be overwhelmed with the whole idea of online classes. 

To make the task of finding quality content easier, Makematic has curated what we consider to be the most useful places for you to go to help you; either take your classes online or for schools already there, to further enhance what they’re doing.

We’ve started by sharing what our partners at Participate, Adobe, Vidcode, Scholastic and Unity are doing, and followed it up with other sites we think are worthy of your time.

Participate – Survive Leaning At Home With Kids

The folks at Participate have created a free Learning at Home resource for both teachers and parents. In addition to the resources that are on the site, there is a thriving educator community which you’ll be able to join. 

Adobe – Distance Learning Resources

Whether your school routinely supports distance learning or is facing unexpected closures, Adobe has assembled resources and learning opportunities to help educators engage remote students through online learning. This resource offers so very much from courses, lesson ideas, article, blogs, webinars, events, professional learning courses and like Participate a thriving online educator community.

Vidcode

Vidcode is a creative coding platform for teens. The website has courses that teach computer science, object-orientated programming, web programming, design and JavaScript, most of which need very little parental support. To support schools through COVID-19 Vidcode are allowing schools to sign up and access the Vidcode full curriculum until May 2020 or until schools reopen. We created a series of curriculum-linked videos. You can check them out here.

Scholastic

Scholastic has created a website with resources to keep kids reading, thinking and growing whilst they are at home. There projects from pre-K to secondary that are built around either stories or videos. Young people will be able to do these projects on their own, with their families or with teachers.

Unity Teach and Student

Unity Teach

Tonnes of resources for educators to show you how to use Unity to create interactive products and experiences in 2D, 3D, AR and VR.

Unity Student

Free to 13 + in the United States and 16+ in the UK and the  European Union, can access the real-time 3D development platform and workflows used to create immersive experiences across industries. Young people will be able to independently build the skills they’ll need for a career in AR/VR, games and more.

Learning Keeps Going and Home Learning UK

Learning Keeps Going has been created to help keep the education community going. They are a coalition of education organisations who have curated strategies, tips and best practices for teaching online. The organisations include: EdSurgeConsortium for School Networking (CoSN)Education WeekDigital PromiseState Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA)Council of Chief State School Officers and ISTE.

Home Learning UK is being led by educators who have come together to offer time and expertise to support colleagues, parents and students in the UK and beyond.

Zoom

One of the leading web conferencing tools. Students and teachers can fill in an online form using their school email addresses and are then verified by Zoom will have any accounts associated with that school’s domain also gain unlimited temporary meeting minutes, according to a site set up for the process overnight. The free Basic accounts are also available by request in Austria, Denmark, France, Ireland, Poland, Romania and South Korea.

Innovate My School

To support schools that are closed, Innovate My School curated a list of all “home / remote learning” tools and promotions on the EdTech Impact platform. This is being updated regularly so it’s a good one to keep going back to.

UNESCO Distance Learning Solutions 

UNESCO has put together a list of educational applications and platforms to help parents, teachers, schools and school systems facilitate student learning and provide social caring and interaction during periods of school closure. While these solutions do not carry UNESCO’s explicit endorsement, they tend to have a wide reach, a strong user-base and evidence of impact. Most of the solutions are free and with several support for multiple languages.

Pearson

For a small handful of schools that have already been affected and have concerns around supporting teaching and learning at this time, Pearson are offering free support on primary, secondary and revision resources and have created hints and tips for online delivery.

Flipgrid

Flipgrid’s aim is simple. To engage and empower every voice in every classroom or community by recording and sharing short, awesome videos. Here are two really useful blogs for parents and teachers around Family Learning with Flipgrid and Remote Learning with Flipgrid.

Chartered College of Teaching

If you visit the site, you’ll find four Future Learn courses to help educators use technology in the classroom.

Share My Lesson

A cornucopia of resources ranging from preschool to high school on all curriculum areas. The resources range from videos to lesson plans to activities. They also have a community that you can join to expand your professional learning network or to get some help. Other content providers are doing similar things, so it’s probably a good idea to check out your favourite ones.

Makematic

Last but certainly not least, we have lots of free videos and animations. A mixture of teacher CPD, classroom resource and family projects, these resources can be accessed here.


Online Video within a Classroom

How Online Video Can Revitalise Your Classroom

Online video is needed more than ever within the classroom. By educating students through innovative methods, educators can continue to inspire.

The UK has an average world rank of 15 ⅓ across reading, mathematics and science according to the PISA 2018 summary, however, the USA is 29 ⅔! Some may regard these as respectable scores but surely, we can do better?

Educators are struggling to connect to this new ‘generation z’ of students. The curriculum needs a shake-up and I’ll hopefully explain some, potential ideas to help re-engage the modern-day student while having a look at what new tools we can utilise.

Learning styles have vastly changed

McCrindle Research summarises Generation Z’s disconnect with traditional classroom settings best stating “traditional classrooms were constructed to keep distractions out, keep the students in and keep them facing the teacher.” However, modern-day classrooms should be reconfigured and rewired to accommodate new students, new technologies and new learning styles.

“It is easy to be critical of a generation that focuses on screen time more than conversations; virtual social circles rather than real social circles. These individuals and many others are experiencing depression at ever-increasing rates and are as comfortable in the digital world as they are in the virtual world. However, to paint these students in a negative light would be greatly reducing the impact of their value, creativity, and ability to be thoughtfully-minded young scholars” elaborates WCET Frontiers.

According to UpFront Analytics, Gen Z shuns conformity and traditional however relate to storytelling and visual displays. Video is the perfect platform for delivering such content and most likely, the major influence for Gen Z to state this preference. This use of an iPad or Smartphone can aid all three of the VAK learning types for students:

  • Visuals
    • Linguistical = Kindle, Blog sites, Twitter
    • Spatial = Video-streaming sites (e.g. Makematic, YouTube, TikTok), Instagram and Pinterest
  • Auditory
    • Music/Audio = Audible, Voice recordings/note-taking, Podcasts
  • Kinesthetic
    • Movement – Adobe Sketch, Use of keyboard or tablet to transfer V/A information.
    • Tactile – Interactive quizzes and engaging, educational games.

Rise in ADHD culture?

Gen Z picks up information far-faster than any generation prior, they are natural multi-taskers after all. They strive to work in tech and influencers are their role models. According to SXSW, Gen Z’s attention span is roughly eight seconds compared to the 12-second span for millennials. Some may regard this as ADHD culture however such toxic categorising only continues to isolate the future generation away from educators and further into influencers – mutual trust needs to be re-established.

Shortform video and online sites are powerful tools that these internet-natives are drawn to. Combining them with education may seem like an arduous task that could disconnect them due to ‘pandering’. However, it can work as I will showcase below.

Bill Wurtz is an American singer-songwriter and online video creator who went viral back in 2016 for his interesting take on the ‘History of Japan‘. The video provides a highly-saturated, bursts of infographic-based information with auditory, music tracks.

The comments alone prove this video is working – it’s engaging and revolutionary educational content can learn from such methods of engagement.

Procrastination is the major stumbling block when incorporating these elements. Firstly, it needs to be redefined. I know from first-hand experience listening to music while working on a project doesn’t detract from the work produced, it can help focus the brain and quiet the dopamine-craving release from completing an online video.

Educators must open-mindedly allow input from this generation about content that works for them. I understand it will take a compromise from both sides to work practically in any nationwide curriculum but the standard exam-system just doesn’t work any longer.

Video can be engaging, educational and no longer should be seen as a ‘relief tool’ for educators to take a break from mundane learning. Incorporating them into a hybrid alongside student engagement and a better understanding of VAK learning styles and providing alternatives for each type of user is the way to a fairer, more engaged educationally society.

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