Monday, January 30, 2012

Serving Students with Special Needs [Video]

People should understand the resources and commitment required to provide for our special needs students, which is why I think special education is one of the most important topics we cover on Classroom Close-up, NJ.

The first segment in this week's episode is a story we produced about the OXE (Outdoor Experiential Education) program at Cape May County Special Services School District. OXE provides students with innovative educational opportunities through a variety of outdoor and indoor activities in the community. The curriculum emphasizes the development of self-confidence, self-esteem, self-awareness, problem solving skills, and recreation skills.

The other story (which starts at about 19:20) is a brilliant segment by my colleague, Kate Megargee, about the Piscataway Regional Day School for students with severe disabilities. It features Middlesex County Teacher of the Year, Terri Thompson, and is at the same time informative, touching, and political, bringing attention to the state testing requirements for New Jersey's special student population.

You can catch an encore of this week's episode, Saturday, February 4 at 5:30 a.m. on NJTV as well as on on Sunday, March 4 at 12:30 p.m and 7:30 p.m. Where to watch.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

On YouTube, Titles Matter (Duh)

I often get asked about maximizing YouTube views.

What's the perfect duration? What are the best tags to use? Should my video have a splash or just cut to the chase?

In my limited experience, I've found that none of those things are as important as solid content aimed at the right audience. Except for one thing. The title.

Here's an example from my own channel that I recently noticed.

These are the view stats for the Rogers’ Rescues documentary, Until There Are None, a twenty minute video with a fairly specific but potentially large audience. It had been playing on my Vimeo channel and the Rogers’ Rescues homepage for about six months when YouTube lifted their duration limit and I decided to put it on my channel. I've never really done anything to promote views on the video.

At first, I titled the video with the name of the film, Until There Are None. Seemed logical. About six months later, having noticed that one my client's videos tended to get significantly more views when the title was descriptive of the content (e.g. the topic of a presentation vs the actual title or name of the speaker), I added the words "Dog Rescue Documentary" to the title.

Looking at the graph above, the results are pretty obvious. Titles matter.