Dare to share!

apple-2788585.jpgPhoto: pixabay.com/pixel2013

Why is it so difficult to share, what are we afraid of?

For a long time, I was also afraid to share knowledge and materials with others.

My biggest problem was probably that I didn’t feel sufficiently confident in myself and that I didn’t trust what I had was enough. The feeling that someone at any time could take everything away from me for their own benefit.

Sometimes we ourselves are our own worst enemies. Our fears prevent us from developing into our best self, and from contributing optimally to a better world for all of us.

It took many years, but today I am not afraid anymore. Nowadays I enjoy freely sharing everything I have learned and creating, without thought of my own gain. It is freedom for me, and is worth infinitely more than money and status.

Imagine what fantastic education we could create together if we ended up being so scared of each other.

#dare to share


To stream or not to stream?

to stream or not to stream-jonas thoren

Think of the following:

We have a group of students who listen to their teacher in the lecture hall and suddenly it gets completely dark, only the teacher’s voice is heard. Then shortly thereafter it becomes completely silent. The teacher has left the room, but the students are left there in the dark, waiting. After a while the light and the teacher come back, and the lesson continues. However, it is not long before the teacher’s powerpoint becomes completely pixelated and unreadable. The teacher continues to talk as if nothing has happened, and after a little while everything gets black and quiet again. Likewise, it continues throughout the lesson, and similar problems recur regularly throughout the course.

What I have just described for you is a metaphor for how it can look in a digital education where recorded lectures are streamed, and where the quality and accessibility is governed by the type of bandwidth and location the students happen to be at.

Our fictitious situation would of course never be accepted by either students or school management. However, it seems as if it is easier to get away with a less accessible digital education. Why is it like that?

I think it´s primarily about the lack of knowledge, people simply do not know enough about what is required to transform physical education into a digital education, with everything that it means. It´s nothing strange with that.

Do videos need streaming? The answer is no, and it may not even be recommended.

suza-jonas thoren

Workshop at State University of Zanzibar 2019

I recently attended a workshop held at State University of Zanzibar in Tanzania. There we can talk about streaming issues! According to this map for bandwidth in the world, Tanzania has an average speed of 1.7 mb / s. My recommendation to the E-learning team at the University was to use video economically and with care. Instead of squeezing all the information into a video, it is possible to import bits of video into an interactive PDF. Short videos that are interspersed with sound and voice for powerpoint slides, text, images, graphics, animations etc. The students download the interactive PDF once and then they are not dependent on bandwidth anymore to be able to access the digital learning material.

The video format is like made for education, but as allready mentioned, you need the right knowledge to be able to use it in a smart, creative and sustainable way. All the information you need is available online, so take the time you need and learn more before you start producing digital material.

Stream educational videos if you like, but make it possible for the students to download the same material as well, just in case…


Is it free?

Are there any free video editing programs?
It is a common question I often get.; but why should pedagogic tools for digital teaching be free?

If Schools and Universities are serious about digitizing parts of their education, they must also provide their teachers with the proper tools.

I often say that a decent video editing software is for digital education what PowerPoint has been for classroom teaching.


The Office suite is not free …

Sure there are free apps for video editing, but they are usually not as user-friendly, or pedagogic, as the apps you have to pay for. There is a big difference to just cut “holiday-videos” in a simple, and free, app like iMovie, compared to creating digital learning material in Camtasia, a program created especially considering digital education and communication.

Please use free apps if you like, but I really recommend you to compare them with a better alternative. Download and try Camtasia for free during 30-days.

Screen recording and video editing apps that costs:

Camtasia (Mac / Pc)

Adobe Premiere Pro (Mac / PC)

Free apps for screen recording and video editing:

Shotcut (Mac / Pc)

Screencastomatic (Mac / Pc)

Three principles for quality in educational videos

With the right knowledge and some training, all you need is a smartphone to film with and a regular computer with a program for screen recording and video editing.

1. Accessible quality
Can students see, read, and hear all the content in the video properly, even when displayed on a small smartphone screen?

– Do not use the built-in microphones in smartphones and computers. The sound quality     will be considerably better if you use the microphone in a regular smartphone “hands-free”.

– Replace defective material in your presentation, such as low-resolution images and text   with hard-to-read fonts and too small font size.

– Text the video.

2. Media pedagogical quality
Choose the right media concepts and tools for your specific subjects and teaching. There is a huge difference between a video documentation of a 45 min classroom lecture and a 10 minutes video presentation made by a teacher with knowledge of how to adapt a PowerPoint presentation to an media pedagogical video format.

– Shorter video chapters, around 10 minutes, instead of a 45-minute video lecture.

– Zoom in on details in the presentation material.

– Do not compete with your presentation material by being visible all the time, and do not read loudly from longer text blocks in your PowerPoint slides.

– Replace heavy text blocks with keywords, more pictures, video clips and animations.

3. Engaging quality
The video format is very suitable for a dynamic and engaging teaching. It’s just the imagination that sets the limits for how an educational video can look like.

– Be personal, talk fairly fast, and with high energy.

– Short interviews, discussions, and documentary shots as a complement to your lectures

– 3D-visualizations and animations of various kinds.

– Personal video tutorials

If you take these guidelines into account when producing, you can feel confident that your educational video will be of a high quality.