ICT in Education

Explanatory videos made easy

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

Undergraduates at IFT are regularly required to do project presentations. This helps students build up their communication skills and trains them to impart information effectively.

The use of videos to make presentations compelling is increasing in popularity. Videos can help the presenter explain complex concepts, and can keep audiences engaged.

IFT Lecturer Mr. Simon Lei specialises in computer studies. “When it comes to instructional materials, explanatory videos are very effective because the younger generation is used to being surrounded by multimedia elements,” he says.

It has become easier and more affordable than ever before to make and edit good videos. People with basic computing skills, assisted by editing software available online for free, can rapidly produce professional-looking explanatory videos.

MySimpleShow and Adobe Spark are among the editing programs IFT students may use to make videos. The options offered by each programme may differ, but both can be used to produce lively shows.

This is an online software application that allows users to combine animated images with a voiceover to create educational videos. It is particularly useful for explaining an abstract concept, putting across a business idea, telling a short story or describing a business process.

The user writes a script for the video, and MySimpleShow scans the text for key words and phrases. The app then automatically suggests images to match each key word or phrase.

The user has the final say in which images appear in the video. MySimpleShow lets the user record his or her own narration, or can convert the written script into the spoken word. The finished product can be shared through social media or converted to the MP4 format for downloading.

Billy Sit, a Year 1 student taking the IFT programme leading to a Bachelor Degree in Culinary Arts Management, says he enjoys using MySimpleShow. He has used it in the IFT Computer Lab to make an explanatory video on food preparation. Billy says proficiency in written English is important if the user is to make the most of the programme.

Website: www.mysimpleshow.com

Adobe Spark comprises a trio of mobile or online apps that make it easy to produce explanatory content. Adobe Spark Video guides users through the whole video-making process, from brainstorming to the post-production steps.

Adobe Spark Video is cloud-based, so it is easy to start a project on a mobile device and finish it on a desktop computer. The app offers users plenty of materials, ranging from design templates to clipart icons, for producing educational videos. Its voice recording function is particularly convenient for people that use a mobile device to produce a video.

The other apps that make up Adobe Spark are Adobe Spark Post and Adobe Spark Page. Adobe Spark Post enables users to create graphics for social media platforms. Adobe Spark Page makes it easy for users with no programming experience to build responsive websites.

Website: http://spark.adobe.com

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