Sunday, July 29, 2012

Learning Online & How-To Videos

Using online how-to videos to learn how to do something can be as easy or difficult as you make it.  Sometimes it is as simple as just watching the first few minutes of a video to see if it is explained well and easy to follow and sometimes you need to "search smarter" with your key words.

This video is one I've used many times.  It shows how to embed a YouTube video into a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation.  I've referenced it from my YouTube favorites multiple times to remember how to correctly embed a video in my school presentations.  (Anything to make PowerPoint more interesting right? I'm sure we've all dreaded it at some point.)

I found it to be easy to follow with clear instructions.  With the convenience of technology at our fingertips, we really have become an impatient society with regards to some things.  I'm definitely guilty of not wanting to watch a 19 minute video when a different one teaches the same thing in less than five minutes.  I'm also guilty of looking at how long the video is before I take the time to start watching it.

Just as we have been learning to "figure things out for ourselves" in this course on Web Design, I've been known to go hunting online to figure out how to do something with software I may not have advanced skills in.  Videos that have a narrator explaining what they're doing over filming of their computer screen are helpful versus videos that only have a music soundtrack in the background while the person demonstrating moves quickly through the tutorial without saying anything.   That is one of the primary reasons I like this video.  The YouTube video selected to demonstrate embedding may be a bit silly, but the instructions are clear and I can pause it while I go to the next step.

The only difficulty I have found (even with the ubiquitous presence of Microsoft Office products) is that after I test the links at home, play the entire presentation, and then test it on another computer, it will still manage to malfunction and not work right in the middle of a presentation.  So, in the case of PowerPoint and YouTube videos, I just make sure I add the regular link below the embedded video so I can click on it if necessary. 

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