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This spring, we rolled out a new online course on creating Readable Videos. Since then, we've heard great feedback and have now included a few additions to the course. Let's take a look:
The Readable Videos method doesn't depend on a specific tool or platform. We only need to display words and visuals on the screen. Google Slides is a free and very useful tool for creating Readable Videos, so we created a new chapter to show you how.
This new chapter provides a walk-through for every part of the process. You'll learn:
How to use Google Slides for your video
How to draw and manipulate shapes
Two animation techniques
How to record your screen
How to turn your videos into animated GIFs
The instruction happens via short video walk-throughs:
I recently worked with Robby Macdonell on his language learning project: https://comprehension.club. He describes it like this: "Comprehension club is an easy way for language learners to experience real people speaking their native language, talking about things that matter to them."
Robby's idea was to build on the idea of language exchange, which is a well-known process for learning a new language. We decided that the concept of language exchange may be a perfect introduction to Comprehension Club.
Over a few hours of coaching, Robby was set up to create his own animated explainer video and I think it's pretty awesome. You can see it here:
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Using a tool like ChatGPT can feel like chatting with an omniscient human. It appears to know virtually everything and is able to communicate clearly. It can understand what we want with minimal input.
You may wonder: Does ChatGPT learn and understand all the subjects? Does it truly know anything?
The answer to these questions lies in something called a Large Language Model or LLM. The model is created by computers that attempt to capture every word on the internet; around 1 trillion words. Then, massive computers analyze the context and connections between words and use that information to respond to chat requests.
A big part of understanding ChatGPT means understanding LLMs. And that was my challenge. I set out to explain LLMs in a two-minute video with a couple of constraints:
One of the problems with online videos is that they don't play in most email programs. We're forced to link to a website in order to see the video play. And of course, most people don't click the links.
But all is not lost. Animated GIFs DO play in email. It's possible to include an animated gif that explains an idea right in the body of the message. For this to work, the GIF needs to be small in file size and consumable without sound.
This is a perfect situation for Readable Videos. I converted the video above to an animated gif that's two minutes long and under 2mbs in size. I converted the video above into a GIF using the free tool gifski.
Animated GIFs aren't perfect for every situation, but they offer a way to share an idea in the form of an animated video. This is one of the many skills we teach in the Readable Videos course.
Our course on Readable Videos now has a new chapter: Using Artificial Intelligence and ChatGPT. In the course, I explain the foundation of ChatGPT: Large Language Models. This chapter also includes a video walkthrough of what's possible with ChatGPT. One commenter summed it up: "Yes. Mind blown."
The free mini-course on Readable Videos is new and improved. It's now called Readable Video Essentials and it includes best practices for using animated text, accessibility guidelines, and lots of examples and inspiration.
Let's say part of your job is to create documents and media to educate others. You're an amazing communicator and feel confident using media tools. You sometimes create videos and know that they have real power.
But, producing videos can be complicated and time-consuming. This is especially true with animated videos, which often require special equipment and complicated software. Who has time for that?
You could create a powerful animated video in just a few hours?
The entire process only required PowerPoint?
The resulting video was polished, professional, and accessible?
This is the promise of Readable Videos. Once you learn this method, you'll see that animated videos can be simple and efficient to create. They can solve problems and bring information to life.
"I am able to create instructional videos without the hassle of voiceover, multiple retakes, or special software. I have already created/shared a Readable Video and have several others in mind."