Reflecting on the value of video testimonials

Greek sculptures

Greek sculptures representing the ancient Greek canon.

As I was roaming the hallways at #Educon, trying to find the perfect stories to capture for my Ed. D. project, a couple of things emerged. As much as I wanted to get people to say certain things a certain way, nobody really was a perfect fit for my cannon open learner, or “PLNer”. But everyone had a part of the story, and every story had an extra layer or a different direction I didn’t always anticipate.

I am very grateful to have seven new stories in my back pocket (actually on my Youtube channel and on my (potential) Ed. D. project site) that I can use to relate to a wide variety of audiences, as needed. I’m going to be offering a training on personal learning networks to UD staff and faculty at the end of the month, and I have no doubt that some of these stories will come in handy (I’ll stream the event as well, so that all of you can attend remotely, don’t worry).

One think that struck me is that no one thinks that they are doing anything special, until they are prompted to reflect on their practices. The process of creating those testimonials probably helped the interviewees understand their learning processes a little bit more, to develop a meta-awareness of them.

Another common theme is the fact that physical events and interactions are major catalysts for initiating online interactions. Many people use conferences or training sessions as springboards to their PLN.

On the technical side, I simply used a Zi8 camera (too bad Kodak is going belly up), a tripod, and iMovie for the post editing. Keeping the videos short is a big help when it comes to mass-producing these. The export process in iMovie can exponentially become lengthier when videos reach 8 to 10 minutes in comparison with 2 or 4 minutes. Shorter videos are easier to produce, and are also a better fit for a web audience.

Next steps

Over the next week or so, I’ll create separate blog posts to analyze the testimonials, and add a layer of my own, my interpretation of what’s in them, and how they connect to my views of the canon PLNer. Hope you can comments and give me some hints on how to push this further!

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