Africa: Making Video Work - eLearning

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Windhoek — eLearning Africa 2013 will be hosting a series of video-themed sessions in Windhoek this year. Increasingly video is becoming a must-have element in learning resources. We spoke to Adam Salkeld, a television executive and Head of Programmes at Tinopolis, about video in education and what delegates can expect to learn about video at the conference.

eLearning Africa: Why is video important in learning?

AS: A segment of video can bring a learning programme to life. Video engages users, it tells a story, and expresses ideas, experiences and examples to many, many people. Quite simply, moving pictures, along with a soundtrack, are one of the most powerful forms of communication humans have ever invented. As educators, if we want to connect with learners, we ignore this medium at our peril.

eLearning Africa: A lot is being said about the YouTube Generation and how everyone with access to a simple camera is now a film-maker. How does this affect the way we use video in learning?

AS: I have worked in broadcasting in the UK and all over the world for twenty-five years. The biggest change I have seen has been the demystifying, the democratisation if you like, of film and video production. Cameras used to cost as much as luxury cars, now we all have one built into our phones. Many people, particularly the younger generation, make and use video in their everyday lives. We now have a highly video-literate audience, more so than ever before. So that means any of us using video, in broadcasting, communications or indeed learning, have to raise our game. Anything substandard will be spotted, its credibility undermined and its effectiveness as a communications tool greatly reduced.

eLearning Africa: What are your impressions of video in Africa?

AS: I spend a lot of time in Africa and on each visit I see how video in many of its forms is taking an ever greater role in people's lives. For example I never fail to be impressed by the lively independent film sector here, with the vast output of Nollywood in Nigeria or the Bongo Films in Tanzania. There is so much film-making talent on the continent of Africa. I would love to see some of that creative energy being harnessed to make great learning video. At the other end of the scale I see youngsters in villages and schools recording and sharing short videos on phones or simple cameras. This really is video for the people.

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