Many of you already know that for some years since 2016, I have been showing and sharing my work and learning out loud using Snapchat as the video editor of choice. Since early 2019, I stopped using Snapchat because it came too glitchy on my phone. When I first started using it over 4 years ago, there seemed to be such a call of outrage.
“No! Not Snapchat! You can’t use Snapchat! It’s for all sorts of nebulousness about it!”
Oh, how funny and quaint things are now as more people seemed comfortable with TikTok than they did with Snapchat even though the former is far more sinister.
It may be because we are now well and truly used to our devices and using these social media? Putting those issues aside, I basically used Snapchat as my video editor.
I could capture in-the-moment working and learning, annotate the snaps and then save them as a 24-hour story so that I had a video portfolio of work and learning in a day. I then uploaded these videos onto YouTube under yearly playlists to the point now that my YouTube (and this WordPress site) are part of my work portfolio. They basically have the entire body of evidence of all my work (PLUS the imagery/photos/videos/conversations) included. Since 2016, I’ve massed over 400+ videos of my entire work and learning in practice.
So you’re not just reading about my work on this blog – you’re seeing it too – in progress.
Since 2019, I moved over to Instagram – not without its problems too – but really, I care LESS about the platform and more about the fact that I can fire up the phone, take a ‘snap’, annotate it in the app then publish quickly.
The Stories function allowed me to create a nifty video story of the last 24 hours. (I used these when also travelling and capturing where I was going and doing. To date, I have now entire collections of video stories of travels that I regularly look at and revisit because they bring me back to the very day – I’m RELIVING the emotions and the situations that occurred. Now, these stories are what I prefer over photos in an album which seem far too static for me anymore).
However, stories also provide something else if you’re using them as a means of capturing your work and learning out loud. Something that using a typical camera, shooting, editing and uploading video doesn’t offer to the same extent and that is….
So why did I choose Instagram (or I could have just used Snapchat or TikTok or Facebook Stories or LinkedIn Stories or whatever) when I could have just used an app on my phone like VideoShop.
Using a normal video editor, I could take a quick video and build the video over the course of a day – or a week – or whatever – and then annotate what I need and then publish and upload to YouTube. By the time I uploaded it to YouTube the information about my day and the questions I ask on it would be old news. Where I’m getting more views (hence more feedback which is current), if I uploaded it to YouTube, I’d be waiting a long time if anyone watched the video – if they did – for feedback. Also the timeliness of the content would disappear.
I’ve been thinking a lot about FEEDBACK of late as I’ve been learning French. This year I took a self-directed learning journey into upskilling myself with French and have observed that many people, if they want to improve in an aspect of their work or skill, have ABUNDANT resources online to learn from but very little, if any FEEDBACK to gauge whether they’re on the right track or not – and it depends on what you’re learning too.
For example, as I was learning PowerAutomate this year, my gauge of whether I was learning correctly was if the flow worked. If the flow ran and came across a problem, it was up to me to try and figure out what was wrong. On some flows I spent HOURS trying to figure it out. When ultimately I did, I realised that many people would have just given up because although we have lots of resources online to show us how to USE these tools, we still need to do problem solving and spend time scratching our heads, trying out new ways of making things work. We also need FEEDBACK from our online community who can offer suggestions and ideas. In the case of the PowerAutomate example, I had to sign up to a PowerAutomate community, ask the question in there and I got an immediate response.
Language learning is slightly different though. Learning French I realised that I had to SPEAK the language and I needed someone (someone who spoke fluent French) to let me know if I was on the right track. I had reached my limit of where I had tons of podcasts, articles and blogs, cheat sheets, grammar books, French movies, YouTube channels but it dawned on me that unless I SPEAK and get some feedback that I will never know if what I learned really stuck with me. Hence why I signed up to do the formal courses through the Alliance Francaise. Not that I needed these courses (I think my own learning plan of constant practice, writing, hearing, assessment and drills; applications and chatting with French people in my Twitter network) was better than the formal education however, I needed to do the latter to GAUGE my level otherwise I would never have known this.
Yesterday I decided to use Instagram stories and speak in French. Maybe as well as writing it, I can speak it online as a way of becoming more comfortable (and less self-conscious) speaking it. I watched the video of myself over and over again and noticed some little mannerisms such as constantly saying ‘errr’ while my mind searched for the right word in French. I’m hoping that over the years of practice, in the near future, I can watch this video and see how much I have improved. So this video is FEEDBACK for me as to my gauge/level of improvement over time.
If I wrote about this experience, I would never see it or hear my level of improvement. That is why, video – and the use of stories – is such a powerful feature when it comes to learning because it reflects back to you just how much you have improved over time.
If you’re learning anything new, whatever it is – make sure you include FEEDBACK. After all, without it, why are you even bothering to learn?
If you’re interested in seeing me talk French (for you French speakers, please, give me feedback – as in CRITIQUE how and what I’ve said, thank you!)
**I haven’t figured out the quality of these videos when they get uploaded to YouTube. Unfortunately Instagram Stories must generate a video file that YouTube distorts. Who knows, maybe I will need to use VideoShop if this glitches continue?