Using Images and Visualizations in Video Can Enhance Learning

Moia Rowsome Blog

How often do you look at an image to try to solve a problem or understand something complex? What about Google Maps or a subway station map? Or a How-To instruction manual with images to help you building your new book case? I know I use visualizations every day. They can serve to enhance our understanding and perception of a concept. Not only are they engaging, colorful, and even fun at times, they help the audience to assimilate information by making it more digestible and comprehensive. With 30hands Pro and Web, you can easily use images to explain a concept and energize a digital story. This can help your learners engage in the key concepts that you want them to absorb while avoiding overloading them with TMI (too much information!). Visualizations are everywhere in learning Never before have visualizations been more widely accessible than in the last decade. Sure, they have been used in books and presentations to explain a concept for a learner for a long time. However, with the explosion of technology, we have new tools to create and disseminate images, visualizations and animations for widespread consumption. This has opened up many new opportunities for educators and learners. Chief among these opportunities? Using images and visualizations in video. Learning from Video with 30hands The use of visualizations in a video to explain a concept is a game changer for teachers and learners. And this has only become easier with tools like 30hands Pro and Web. With narration and …

Sadly, Our Free Starter Must Ride Into the Sunset

Eric Braun Blog

Like a humble cowboy who has done his job and is overstaying his welcome, 30hands Starter must ride into the sunset. The road has ended and the trail is clear. We developed 30hands Storyteller to help kids learn better in a fun way, unsure if this iterative, storyboard method of creating a presentation that becomes a video would resonate with teachers and students. But we found that it has. If you still believe in this deep method and model of formative assessment and easy creation of video content, please show your support by talking to your school administration about upgrading to 30hands Pro (on the iPad) or 30hands Web (for Chrome). We have more improvements and functionality on the way, like extended video slide durations, improvements to “Enhanced Drawing”, better search filtering and usability improvements. To help with the transition away from the free Starter version, we will be offering 30hands Pro at a discounted price of $4.99 through June 2017. Apple’s VPP for education still applies. Think of the value you get: for the cost of a single ice cream party for your class, they get fun learning for the whole year, which is like ice cream for the whole year!. For 30hands Web, we will extend the free trial period as needed for you to better evaluate it as you discuss site licenses with your schools. We understand that people like things that are free, but the sustainability of 30hands Pro and 30hands Web depends on the departure …

Personalizing Learning Can Start With A Story

Moia Rowsome Blog

It’s nothing new to claim that everybody is different. We all have different talents. We all have different weaknesses. They are the result of a mixture of our genetic make up and the environments we have experienced throughout life. Ultimately, we are complex beings and we each have a different story to tell. So why not start by telling them in school? 30hands Storyteller is an app to engage learners in storytelling where each individual can explain their learning in their own way. It makes the learning experience personalized for each individual. Let’s take a look at how! Some Background Thoughts When it comes to learning, the complexities and differences between people should be fostered and championed. Todd Rose at Tedx Sonoma County said that students are not one-dimensional, either struggling or gifted. Students vary on many dimensions of learning. However, the reality is that many learners are still provided with the same textbook and learning environment in spite of the different talents and abilities in the room. Learners are all expected to absorb the same information and regurgitate it in the same way to score high on summative tests. There must be a way of making learning more personal, so that each person can be reached. Why haven’t things changed yet? Educators have been talking about change for quite a while. Why has there been no monumental shift yet across the education sector? It’s paramount to understand that this situation is not the fault of the teacher. The problem is that …

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!