Video scribing is one of the newer trends on streaming media sites. If you’ve spent any time on YouTube or Vimeo, you’ve probably come across the video scribe of Sir Ken Robinson’s talk on Changing Education Paradigms that was created by RSA Animate or countless others available online. With video scribing, narration is set to orchestrated whiteboard drawings to pull the viewer in. Video scribes work because the viewer is attending to both the verbal presentation of information and the visual graphics and text that are displayed. In his work on Multimedia Learning, Mayer (2009) outlined how thoughtfully pairing graphics, text and narration can support student learning. With its hand drawn images and exciting transitions, video scribes provide a unique multimedia avenue for instruction.
While video scribes can be powerful tools of for learning, the challenge is that most of the operations that offer the service are commercial in nature. Googling “video scribe” will return several companies that will create a video scribe for you based on a script you provide. But, what if someone wanted to create one on his or her own? In this Do It Yourself culture, certainly there has to be some way that people can create video scribes on their own. With Sparkol’s new VideoScribe app for the iPad, a video scribe solution is just $4.99 away. While the cost may at first seem somewhat financially prohibitive, after seeing what the app can do, the price is a real bargain. Also, when comparing the app to Sparkol’s full VideoScribe Pro desktop software (which costs $189 annually), the cost of the app seems downright economical.
After downloading VideoScribe HD to my iPad, I was initially underwhelmed with the app. There aren’t many buttons to click or options to select. After playing around with the app for a few hours, I realized the simplicity of the app masks its power, versatility and functionality. Users have access to images, music, text and narration recording. Outside images and music can also be pulled in so users can customize their video scribes to their own needs. In the app, images and text are animated so they appear to be drawn by hand as the audience watches. The objects also have the ability to morph from one image to another which can create some dynamic narrative options in your video scribe. Once creating and editing is completed, users can save their finished video scribe to their camera roll or directly to YouTube. For an extra $1.99, you can remove any Video Scribe branding from your videos so viewers can focus on the content of your video scribe and not the subtle advertisement for the app. To get a sense of what Video Scribe can offer, check out this short video that I was able to create. I plan to use the video to help promote an online teaching camp we offer on campus.
Used educationally, I think teachers could create video scribes in support of a Flipped Classroom initiative or to supplement traditional classroom instruction. Teachers could also assign students to create their own video scribes as a form of assessment. It could also be a great option for online instructors who are looking for ways to build creative assessment into their online courses. With its relative low cost, ease of use and incredible functionality, Video Scribe will have instructors and students video scribing in no time at all.