Video training: Avoid the training rollercoaster
Stress and time are reduced if training has a long tail
Life seems very busy at the moment, busy good, but busy none the less so slow posting I’m afraid (no cheering at the back).
One of the busy things I did last week was spend a day(ish) with a group of editors from UK newspaper group Trinity Mirror. TM are really ramping up their online presence at the moment. Their hyperlocal sites in particular are picking up a lot of notice in the UK.
Anyway, as part of that digital thing the editors where doing a course called ‘Creating Effective content’ and I had them for a session that fell under the broad heading of ‘multimedia’.
I spent a good part of the morning showing them Windows Movie Maker. Not because it’s what they use – they have a mix of things – or what I think they should use, but because it’s such a quick and user friendly way to illustrate the process. Within half-an-hour they where happily plugging away at creating a picture slideshow.
This is one of the most instantly popular things I do. The genuine excitement that comes back at just how easy it all is is very nice to see. Suddenly this multimedia stuff is not so hard and if video is part of the plan, perhaps it doesn’t look so out of reach. Baby steps
But I’m not telling you this to relive the warm fluffy feeling.
That evening the eds went out and used N95’s to shoot some interviews with the public about the way they consume sports news. They came back the next day with a brief to put together a kind of multimedia ‘report’.
What I noticed as I flitted round the room was that the flush of excitement they had with the technology had lost a little of its shine. As they battled with the limits of movie maker, for some, the frustrations and fears came back.
The training rollercoaster
I see the same thing with my students and the practical training I deliver. A basic overview of a bit of software or kit can give people enough of a taste to get them fired up. But give them a project to go out and try it and the fear factor is ramped up again. Of course the value is in using the experience of that first project and incorporate that in to follow up training. The stress can be very quickly reduced and people move much faster. We all know that’s how we learn – guided experience.
But it’s surprising how much training in the new digital skills forgets that last bit. A lot of the time it deals with it in a FOFO way – You’ve had your training now F** off and find out yourself.*
So if you are thinking about the training for your journos ( and no, there is no other way to get it right other than training) here are a few things to think about:
I’ll mea culpa here. When showed WMM to the TM eds a I completely missed a problem with the MP4 video that the N95’s produced – not directly compatible. So I needed to source a bit of software to sort it out*. An easy solution but introducing the new software shifted things back in to feeling ‘technical’
Feedback always welcome.
*A neat little bit of windows shareware called WM Converter