Digital Design Theory: When I started teaching Microsoft Office, I was surprised how many people recorded my classes and how many audited the classes a second time. Who would want to hear eight hours of Excel Formulas…again?
We wanted to capture the spirit and action of the live classroom into videos. We also wanted to link all of the video lessons to our Microsoft Office Specialist certification training: 100% video coverage.
Now Appearing: Trying to capture the Live Performance into little video lessons has been challenging. Speaking in front of an audience is different from writing a textbook. The Computer Mama is a dynamic speaker: humorous, engaging, and knowledgeable. Live classes have a relaxed pace: there is time to wait for the laughter or the a-ha responses. The videos seem to hurry-up. I find that I am editing the lessons and making them simple so that we can complete the steps in less than 10 minutes. The books have far more details and examples of how the software could be useful.
Movies vs Books: Writing a textbook in the same manner as talking live in the classroom does not translate very well. The language of certification books is formal. The material is specific: “Click on Cell B2.” However, even with the constraints of technical writing, the Computer Mama books have an author. There is someone with a voice and an attitude. Students enjoy the sidebar comments from the Computer Mama and the picture stories in the margins. In comparison, many of the Microsoft Office books used in colleges are institutional: a collection of various writers with different methods of teaching.
Look Who’s Talking: We are working on different approaches to the narration on the little videos. Our BETA videos are available on YouTube. Keep in mind that publishing on YouTubeflattens the video and removes the links to the online certification topics.