In June, Shannon wrote a great entry about the utilization of pictures in social media. I agree with her title, “Worth A Thousand Words,” because pictures have so much clout on social media. Pinterest’s meteoric rise is a great example of that. Facebook’s formula that helps define what you see in your Newsfeed, called Edgerank, favors images in posts. This could be why that picture of your friend’s home-cooked meal from last night stays in your view longer than the purely text status your cousin posted an hour ago. Images are critical to staying in the spotlight on social media.
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, what’s the value of a video? 1,000,000 words? In a 2009 study conducted by Intelligent Television with the cooperation of New York University called “Video Use and Higher Education: Options for the Future,” 57 faculty and librarians from 20 institutions were interviewed about their thoughts on the subject. Regarding their anticipated use of video in the future, 40% said they “will use more online video” and 43% said they “will be using more video overall.” I’d be interested to know if there’s a follow up study planned, especially since Blackboard, a leading learning management system in higher ed, recently partnered with NBC Learn to bring video content into the platform.
How about videos, higher education, and social media? Although there are many great video channels with social elements out there, the one that comes to mind first for me is YouTube (possibly because YouTube is 2nd largest search engine in the world). Well, there’s a lot going on here. For starters, YouTube hosts “YouTube Edu,” a growing body of high quality videos from educational partners around the world. There’s even a dedicated higher education channel, pictured below.
A screenshot of YouTube’s Higher Education channel.
Perhaps even more intriguing is an article in the Chronicle by the President of Macalester College, titled “What I Learned From YouTube.” In it, the President, who refers to himself as “comfortably old-fashioned when it comes to information technology,” documents his experience with a video of himself as President gone viral on YouTube. He tells the story of how parents, alumni, fellow college presidents and more from all over the world saw his video and sent him “several hundred” email messages. Though he says it’s been hard to measure the full impact of the visibility gained from all of the video views, he notes that positive responses from annual fund solicitations went up after the video debuted. Intriguing indeed.
How are you getting involved with videos in higher education? Is online video a priority at your university? Share your examples and ideas in the Comments, and let’s talk YouTube for higher education.