Blog Post

How a simple how-to video can save you and your clients time, and make you available while you sleep!

Edward Rivas is a Settlement Counsellor at Catholic Centre for Immigrants in Ottawa. He created this video to help address a common problem and question he was getting from clients. He has agreed to make it available for anyone to use in their work with Newcomers. Creating a how-to video does so many things. Learn how creating videos can make your work more effective and efficient.

This video represents a solution to repetition. It's something that Edward and (as I discovered recently when I shared it with a group of frontline workers) other frontline workers repeat to their clients because it's a common problem. Many Newcomer clients have challenges downloading and opening PDFs from the IRCC website.

Creating a how-to video does so many things.

It takes a repetitive service interaction and essentially automates it.

It creates a solution to a repetitive service interaction solution that any other frontline worker can now use to share with their clients.

It allows a common challenge to be addressed in a useful, simple, straightforward, practical, visual way.

It serves clients efficiently. In fact, a video creates a 24/7 service intervention. Tonight, while Edward sleeps, a Newcomer might watch this how-to video, resolve their problem, and continue the more important task of sponsoring a family member, filing a work visa request, and so on.

Does the IRCC web page in question have tips for downloading and completing the form? Yes, they do. But, they're clearly not doing the trick. Which means it falls to Settlement Counsellors like Edward to explain, and explain, and explain how to do it over and over and over again with Newcomers.

Will this video work for everyone? No. But it is infinitely shareable. Catholic Centre for Immigrants can embed it on their website with additional information. So can any Immigrant and Refugee-serving organization now that the video is on YouTube. Newcomers can share it with others through WhatsApp and other digital messaging tools and social networks.You could add a transcript of Edward's narration below the video. You could turn that transcript into a how-to document with screen shots from the video. You can build on this video, and then re-share what you create so others can benefit from it!

The point is, creating a how-to video of something you know inside and out is easier than ever before. Edward simply recorded himself sharing his screen on Zoom while he narrated what he was doing on the screen. You can do this in your sleep at this point.

I want to share how you could take it up another level, by annotating the video with tips and additional details. I know, I know, one core message per article, Marco, but I'm excited about this, so want to show you here. I'll explain it in more detail (perhaps a how-to video of my own, you ask?) later.

Making the video even more interactive

I've fairly recently discovered H5P while creating some online courses. H5P is a free technology that lets you create, share, and reuse "interactive HTML5" content in your browser. Think online quizzes, presentations, flash cards, interactive content, including interactive videos. Generally used within Learning Management Systems (LMS) like Moodle, BlackBoard, Canvas, and Brightspace. But it can also be used on websites created with WordPress (like this one) and Drupal.

In this example, I've created an interactive video of Edward's how-to video below.

Throughout the video, you'll see things pop up that look like the plus (+) sign on the right. This indicates something you can view.

What's amazing (at least to me, anyway) is that you can add multiple choice questions, fill in the blank questions, pop-up text, links to other websites, and other types of interactions to the video.

It's wicked cool.

In this case, I've added some somewhat random interactions to show you what it could look like, and how you could add an interaction to emphasize a point made in the video, link to the software being used to download it, and more. Check it out.

You can do all of this with any video on YouTube, or a video you have created.

Edward created a solution to one specific problem. You may find it useful in your work. You may be able to build upon it and perhaps improve it.

Be like Edward. Share it when you do!

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