The Value of Video: Faster Ways to Leverage Your Knowledge

Eric Braun Blog

In the past 10 years, we have seen an exponential increase in the amount of video content on the web, content that is used for entertainment, communication and learning. YouTube has been a dominant force by providing an easy to use, 1-stop shop for finding and viewing videos. According to Cisco, over 70% of Internet data is video data, and that will rise to nearly 85% by 2020. The rise in video content has changed the way people consume information, favoring video over the written word so much more than in the past. Yet, despite the ubiquity of videos, creating great learning content in video format is not as easy as it should be. 30hands Learning is changing that, because there’s no better way to leverage your knowledge than through the medium of video. It’s true that every phone has a video camera now, but taking straight video on the fly is not the answer. If the flow is not planned, organized and scripted, it may ramble on or miss the point of the message, the lesson or the training. Here are some of the inherent problems: Taking straight video on the fly does not generally make for great content. Planning the flow and organizing a script are difficult. Quality is improved through iteration, but revisions often require starting over. Video software is often complex and hard to learn and use. There is never enough time to learn how to use an app or be creative. If existing information and presentations could be leveraged, the process …

Turning students into journalists with 30hands

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

Gone are the days of newspapers being the primary source of current affairs, or families gathered around a lone neighborhood radio to receive war updates. The past two decades have seen the ways in which we receive our news change drastically. But the importance of journalists in society? Perhaps even greater than ever. This is because in today’s digital world, everybody is a journalist. You’re on a school trip to Washington DC and notice a mass protest taking place outside the White House? Tweet it. On summer vacation in Greece and notice a rubber dinghy with refugees landing ashore? Get closer to the action and live stream the action. 30hands Storyteller is a simple tool for aspiring classroom journalists. It allows students to practice their reporting skills and even boosts their confidence when it comes to presenting to camera and recording voiceovers. It also allows them to practice gathering sources, interviewing techniques, and deciding which information is important enough for inclusion. Journalists are constantly under the pressure of time or restricted word counts, so sometimes it is impossible to report every piece of information.  Creating packages with 30hands Storyteller helps students prioritize information. A first-person narrative is often better than a newsroom journalist’s explanation miles away from the scene. 30hands Storyteller is just another tool you can use to report your information, and one’s capacity to do so as a journalist has increased wonderfully thanks to our newest feature – video slides. But before we talk about 30hands capabilities for …

Script Writing in 30hands

Moia Rowsome Blog

What’s your first step in the process of creating a video presentation? At 30hands Learning, we recommend writing a script to get things going. This allows you to plan out what you are going to say in advance and it provides a structure for your content. Starting with a basic idea of what you are going to say and laying it out in this way can be really effective. And what about the time it takes? Investing a few extra minutes at the beginning of the process makes things much quicker once you go to add images and then narrate over your content. Writing the Script We recommend using Google Docs to write your script. Once you have written out your narration, divide your script up into lines. Each line should represent what you would say on one slide.  Like this: What is a Civilization? A Civilization is a complex society that is defined by many characteristics. First, you need people to live there – that’s important. There must be a concentration of population in distinct areas or cities… And so on! Make sure to press the enter key after each line. Numbering is optional but can help you organize the flow of your story. Starting with a script generally results in a better story. In addition, if you create a script like this in Google Docs,  you can import it directly into 30hands Web. Each line will come out as a slide automatically with the text on the drawing …

30hands team connects at #LearnLaunch17

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

50 seminars, 160 speakers, 1,200 attendees. The 30hands Learning team recently attended LearnLaunch’s fifth annual Across Boundaries conference at the Hynes Convention Center. Run over two days, the conference is a meeting point for EdTech startups, global companies, educators, students, and lovers of innovative learning. Our team was proud to be one of about 30 exciting pioneers exhibiting a product, with our 30hands Storyteller web app and app for iOS proving big hits across the spectrum. The conference allowed us to demonstrate our product and share the benefits of digital storytelling obtained from user feedback and from our own experience as educators. But in addition to networking, promoting our product and meeting like-minded people in general, LearnLaunch provided a magnificent opportunity to sit and listen to some fascinating lectures and partake in thought-provoking discussions. On day one, our CEO Eric Braun listened to Tom Vander Ark deliver his opening keynote speech called ‘State of the EdTech Marketplace’. In it, Tom explored changes in education that could come in the next decade.  He asked what needs to happen in the next two years for these predictions to come true, and what edtech investors can do to support the marketplace in the coming years. Eric expressed his thoughts after the keynote, saying: “One of the major takeaways from Tom’s keynote and the overall conference is that this is the year where personalized learning may take off. “30hands Storyteller is nicely positioned as an effective tool for students to easily create videos as …

Inviting Stories into the Classroom

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

What happens when we invite students to share stories inside the classroom? It can be a nerve-wracking task and understandably so – the idea of sharing personal (or non-personal) experiences with teachers and friends. It can be a challenge as for some it opens up a form of communication that is entirely new. But it can also challenge – and by that I mean challenge the dimensions of traditional student/teacher relationships. In her 2014 TEDTalk, educator and after-school media arts teacher, Emily Bailin, talks about the power of digital storytelling. In it she says that inviting teachers and pupils to share stories challenges the notion that it is the adults who are the only people with knowledge outside the classroom. She said bringing stories into the classroom bridges stronger connections from lived experiences outside schools with the content being delivered in school. This type of exchange of information is just as important as learning from a textbook, and it creates a sense of empathy between the teachers and students. Research, both old and more recent, seems to suggest this is true for learners of all ages. Anne Dyson (1987) found in her study of children’s collaborative storytelling that the most elaborate stories were told through talk and not through text. She also found that this form of verbal learning took considerable time off the task, meaning children completed their tasks quicker. In a similar study of first-graders,it was discovered that stories told during storytelling time were often the same as what they wrote about …

Learning to Learn – A Metacognitive Attitude

Moia Rowsome Blog

Fostering independence and autonomy in our learners can be a difficult task to master. How do we get them to learn effectively on their own? How do they become self-sufficient and motivated enough to do work without someone else holding their hand? And to know what measures to take if they don’t understand something? Well, it ultimately comes down to the student themselves and their approach to developing skills for independent learning. However, first the teacher must cultivate some learning strategies over time which will lead to the student being able to learn more effectively on their own. A Metacognitive Attitude An effective way to develop this sense of  learner autonomy in others is to encourage them to be observers of their own learning process. This sense of self-awareness is what is known as a metacognitive attitude. Metacognition means being aware of our own thought process as we carry out a task. A metacognitive attitude is one whereby the learner purposely thinks about and reflects on what they are learning. It also develops learner autonomy by enabling the student to gain more control over what they are doing. If a learner can develop this attitude over time, they will know how to approach future learning tasks and thus become more successful in these endeavors. How do we do this? – A Plan of Action According to Dylan Wiliam of the University of London, it has always been clear that the best students act metacognitively. It involves planning, thinking about their learning process, …

Olive’s Cat Tip – Moving, Resizing and Deleting Multiple Objects

Moia Rowsome Blog

This week, Olive tells us about how you can move, resize and delete multiple objects using the drawing tool in 30hands Web and 30hands Pro. Using our the improvements to our ‘hand tool’ feature within the drawing tool, you can box select multiple or all items on your slide for resizing them, moving them around and deleting them. A nice functionality to create more sophisticated slides in 30hands. Click HERE to watch the short 3 minute video!    

Connecting Globally at MassCue 2016

Moia Rowsome Blog

The theme this year at the MassCue Conference was Global Connections & Digital Learning. As I am Irish but currently living in Boston,  this theme resonated deeply with me. I believe that making connections with others, near and far, has become an essential part of making progress in the world of education. These connections are not just for teachers to make. We should involve students, principals, parents, superintendents, vendors, tech specialists, speakers and researchers in the process.  For me, MassCue was a perfect example of how to connect everyone. People from all corners of education were in attendance and ready to connect and learn. I was very excited to take part both as a vendor with 30hands Learning and as a presenter talking about digital storytelling and Ancient History. And, as I have a background in High School teaching, I felt right at home with all of the like-minded educators and EdTech enthusiasts. What a place! The venue itself is a sight to behold. MassCue is held in the New England Patriot’s home the Gillette Stadium. Not that I’m a huge sports fan if I’m honest, but I could certainly appreciate what a spectacular place this was. This was the view I had for my 30hands Learning presentation on Engaging Students in Ancient History through Digital Storytelling! So the setting alone got people pumped for the 2 days of connecting and learning. Who was there? In attendance was a wide range of EdTechie types. From hundreds of vendors eager to share …

Introducing 30hands Storyteller Web

Eric Braun Blog

If you are using Chromebooks or laptops in your schools, you can now explore the power of Digital Storytelling with the new 30hands Storyteller Web app. As your students advance from an iPad to a device with a keyboard, the way they explore content, learn a topic and create projects changes. We have taken advantage of some of the great features of a larger screen and a keyboard to make the learning experience better. It’s just as quick and easy to create a digital story or presentation in the browser as it is on the iPad, but there are more possibilities, like Narration Notes, Private Viewer Notes and Thumbnail Navigation. When iPads came out several years ago, schools saw great value in how students could use them in schools, and the number of apps that came out to support great learning grew exponentially. In 2013, we introduced the 30hands mobile app as a way to get students of all ages to show what they know through a multimedia digital story. As we  work with teachers, we continue to improve the app to make it an even better fit for learning through hands-on creation and presenting. Now, after a year of exploring design concepts and a busy summer beta-testing with a group of teachers from across the country, we have released our digital storytelling app as a browser app. This means that 30hands Storyteller Web will run within the browser instead of downloading it to your device. The app is currently …

Models of Experiential Learning: Entrepreneurship

Eric Braun Blog

When I decided to dive into the world of education several years ago, I spent a lot of time exploring models of great learning. My exploration came through reading articles on pedagogy and research, talking to educators and learners and thinking about my own experiences. Although I had been a very good student in the traditional sense, I realized that what had made the most impact on me was hands-on and experiential learning. Recently, I experienced a few events and activities that I found to be great models of experiential learning. Let’s take a look at one event on Entrepreneurship. The Entrepreneurial Journey Entrepreneurship is all the rage nowadays, but what does it mean at the core? What does it take to be an entrepreneur? What’s the impact if  you happen to be female? These are questions that Nora Poggi sought to uncover as she created her film “She Started It“. The film takes the viewer through the journey of 2 young women starting companies, with some side trips along the way to highlight a few others. In a little over an hour, the viewer gets a good sense of the joy of success and the agony of defeat. We see the hard work, the fear, outside influences, luck and constant change. Having been in this world myself for over 20 years, I am impressed at how much of the journey comes out in one short film. Kudos to Nora and her team! Why is this relevant to the future of education? It …