As technology continues to change and evolve, educational media production is changing with it. More and more, the printed word is not printed at all, but put into electronic formats that save the publishing company distribution, printing and other costs. Many forward looking publishers are attempting to create platforms that allow today’s student, who were brought up on a steady diet of web served videos, games and audio, to learn on-line at their own pace. These platforms integrate video, text, image and diagrams and audio media to create a true “multi-media” experience.
Another hot area of educational media is what I call True Distance Learning; featuring multi-camera production of University Professors actually lecturing backed up with well produced interviews, graphics, powerful on-line assessments and a modern, entertaining edit style. Universities post these courses either for free or for small charge on platforms like EdX – www.EdX.org
Rich Media of all types are more than just attention grabbers for short-attention span students. Video in particular, can communicate messages and illustrate concepts that traditional print cannot. Modern students gravitate to visual media in ways their parents don’t. Complicated mathematical or scientific ideas can be represented in simulations or animations with ease, resulting in greater understanding. Training college or professional students with large scale video courses is often the best practice, especially in areas like medical or health training where involved, practical skills are taught. White board style instruction allows teachers and professors to teach a great number of students in a more powerful way. The student can pause and rewind if something is missed or needs another look.
Educational Media Producers have had to keep pace with an industry that seemingly shifts focus year to year. White board videos are must have’s one year, and Camtasia style videos are the big draw the next. Educational publishers are struggling just as hard to deliver products educators feel are needed and students are excited by. The days of just dropping the text book in front of a school or college age student as the main content delivery system are long gone. As they say “Content is King” and Rich Media Content is the “Queen”. As any chess player knows, the Queen is the most important piece.
From a technology perspective, so much is possible now that publishers get stymied by the number of options available. Media Editors for educational publishers should keep the following simple requirement in mind as they think about assigning a project; find and select a Producer that solves problems. This sounds odd I imagine, but in essence each project is different. The content varies in each case, so the media approach and style should vary as well. The best recommendation possible for Media Editors is getting a trusted Producer in on a project early to head off potential miscalculations, and to challenge basic project assumptions. This will keep projects within scope and on-budget.
Most educational media projects are of a large enough scope that production management is the key element to having the project run smoothly. For Media Editors or Project Managers, insist on regularly scheduled meetings to keep the project on track.
As technology changes, seemingly on a daily basis, both publishers and producers are re-inventing themselves. This is both exciting and anxiety provoking for all involved, but like everything else in business, change leads to opportunities. Rather than struggling to stay afloat in this tide of change, calm, rational problem solving will allow everyone to ride the tide to success.
Owner of DEG Productions, DEG Direct Response and Deerfield Education Group & Partner of Future of Fishing, Inc., Contact John @ firstname.lastname@example.org