Video Voicemails

Here is another inquiry I received yesterday from MSU technology rockstar Jodi Spicer (follow her on twitter! @JodiSpicer)

I am hoping you can help me – I am working with a couple faculty in our department, and trying to help them figure out ways to incorporate little videos into their online and hybrid courses. One of the things I remember you sharing at a brown-bag lunch that I went to was your “video voicemails” that you sent to your students (probably last summer?) I remember you were sitting near a fountain in Europe somewhere, and it was about 2 minutes long. Would you be willing to send me an example or two – so I can share with faculty? I would GREATLY appreciate it. As I said, I’m trying to help them see the usability, feasibility, fun and interactivity that FlipVideos can provide.

I started using video voicemails in my CEP 815 and 820 courses a few years ago.  I frequently use the FlipCam or the PhotoBooth on my Mac to record the video.  They’re a great, quick way to stay in touch with my students, even when I’m traveling so they know I’m still present in the course! The video voicemails help create the connection between student and instructor and are also a nice outlet to reinforce important concepts/theories, address confusion, and create a class culture.

Remember, keep them short!! Around the 2 minute mark – otherwise you’ll move beyond “voicemail” and it becomes a “regular” lecture.

Example from CEP 820: Teaching K12 Students Online

Example from CEP 815: Technology and Leadership

Super-user tip:

Some of my students live in countries where YouTube is blocked – so I would always upload to FlipShare and YouTube so I could send out alternate ways to access the video or post the full movie file in the CMS.