Cooking Panda… Great example of instructional video, not how to prepare panda

For today’s video-style inspiration, we are going to looking at Cooking Panda videos from Facebook. Woo. Woo. Settle down. These videos are not how to cook panda, but instead how you can easily make awesome tasty dinners at home. The videos show step by step all of the ingredients and the preparation in cooking simple 20-30 minute recipes. The videos are always shot from above the countertop, giving us a first-person view of the prep work, as if we are doing the prep ourselves. This first-person view gives us that “this is easy, and I can make this” feel and as a visual style, it is very contemporary looking. Time-lapse or hyper-lapse, shooting condenses the prep of the food into a 60-second video. Let’s face it, 60 seconds is the max of my attention span, so this is a win-win! The use of jump cuts betweens steps helps to accelerate the timeline of the video and provides a magical feel. Just wave the spatula above the food, apply jump cut, wha la! Magic… your peppers are already grilled. And let’s face it, we did not need to watch the grilling of peppers. Clear and even lighting, with a sharp deep focus in the shooting style, and saturated colors make everything in the shots look tasty.  Add some playful music to make things even more fun!

Next time you need to make an educational video, especially a science lab video, think about applying aspects of the Cooking Panda video style, and you will make a very well received video.



Take a Break for a History Lesson!

Take a Break for a History Lesson!

Ever wonder about the history of Ramseyer Hall?


The land on which Ramseyer Hall sits was originally part of the Ohio Field. This is where Ohio State Buckeyes initially played football before Ohio Stadium “The Horseshoe” opened in 1922. The old Ohio Field was demolished in 1922. The building that would become Ramseyer Hall was then built over the former Ohio Field space in 1932. University Architect Howard Dwight Smith designed the building at the cost of roughly 411,000. He was known as one of OSU’s greatest architects. It was originally designed to be a school for K -12 students through OSU’s College of Education known as University School.


Advanced technology has always been high valued by members of OSU’s educational community. University School earned its fame by providing a vibrant and compelling academic program in a laboratory school setting. The school even experimented with using radio through the station WOSU to teach students while it was open. The first WOSU radio station actually broadcasted from the corner of Neil and Woodruff right near were Ramseyer Hall is currently located. In 1932, the school was even praised by TIME Magazine!

The last class to graduate from University School was the class of 1967. Despite opposition from its students, The University School was closed in 1968. The building was then converted into a university classroom building and office spaces that we see today. It is named after Dr. John A. Ramseyer, a member of the faculty at University School (1938-1951) and its director from 1948 to 1951.


The current College Commons was the school’s gymnasium at the time. The classrooms and office rooms still retain the same basic uses as they did in 1930’s. The lockers used for students are still within the building to this day. Today Ramseyer Hall hosts The Office of Education and Human Ecology as well as classrooms and study spaces within the college commons. Even though the building has changed a lot over the years, its purpose remains the same, to educate young people and prepare them for the real world.


Take a look at a timeline of University School and its eventual conversion into Ramseyer bellow.


We just watched an educational video! Are you sure? I was so entertained!

This week’s video style inspiration comes from one of my favorite tv hosts, Adam Savage. Adam Savage was one of the quirky characters of the dynamic duo c from the Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters. That tv show has recently come to an end, which has made me sad. However, now Adam has more time to dedicate to other projects such as the website This site is dedicated to posting challenges to its fans, and it also shows its viewers how to make some pretty cool stuff, all in the name of art, science, math, and tech.

Back to the task at hand, talking about great video. There are many things I love about this video. The fun playful approach makes me want to watch this video from beginning to end; by the way, it is the perfect length at 60 seconds. Two, the impromptu guerilla non-professional style approach to the shooting lends a feeling of authenticity to the content. Modern video viewers, who tend to watch content on their phones, love watching user generated content. Three, quick cuts and energetic video game based music drives the pacing, which keeps the viewer engaged. Four, the steps in the video are numbered, which helps with a teaching style aspect. We, the viewer, can easily follow along and thus, we feel we can replicate the processes scene. Lastly, the use of on-screen graphics (text) informs the audience what is happening, without a boring distracting voice-over. The text overlays the on-screen action. If this video had a voice-over, it would be a boring yawnfest. The only problem is the translucent quality of the text. Any light colored, or white colors found in the video caused issues with the transparent text. If the text were opaque, this problem would be solved. The creators of the video did use a fun vibrant three color palette. The use of color in the text is great. The colors are used in a way to replace bold-faced fonts, different sized text heads, and to create visual emphasis to help speed up the readability.

Well done, Mr. Adam Savage and team. This video style would work amazingly well for math or science based educational content. Does this give you any ideas? Now, go out and create educational awesome!

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Get Ready for the Student TechoRama!

Technology is a huge part of all of our lives and students use technology every day to aid in education. The EHE Student Tech-O-Rama will give EHE students a chance to showcase to others how you use technology.

During this event, students will have the opportunity to give presentations about technologies they use to engage, enhance and assist their daily lives. This event is not limited to software; hardware and unique applications of existing technology are permitted as well. For instance, many students use the video recording option of a tablet to record a professor’s lecture. Some students use the Google Doc web application to collaborate in preparation for tough exams. The purpose is for students to showcase how technology benefits their daily lives. This is a great way for students to boost their resumes and practice presentation skills. Presentations can be anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes long. If you are a student interested in presenting, a link for student submissions is below.

In addition to student presentations, there will be two guest speakers. Senior Lecturer Tracey Stuckey-Mickel will be presenting on Canvas, a new education interface for students and faculty. Classroom Services Supervisor Rick Casebolt will give be giving training on how to use SMARTkapp learning technology. There will also be prizes at the door for EHE students who attend.  Only EHE students can give presentations. Anyone involved with the university however, is welcome to watch presentations. We hope to see you there!

The event will be on April 13th in 260 Ramseyer Hall from 1:00pm-2: 30 pm. Submission are due March 31’st. To enter your submissions please go to

To learn more click this link:


Politics suck, but awesome video styles rock!

This week’s inspiration is a political video starring Adam Carolla. I know, I know, I know. This is not a political forum. Luckily, the video doesn’t talk about policy or candidates. What is great about this video is the style in both the visual composition and the narrative used to drive it.

How did PagerU create such a successful hybrid video? First, the script is written in a conversational style. In other words, the narrative is basic and easily digestible. Second, the videography was kept very basic. There is only one person on screen, with a minimal background and wearing simple clothing. The onscreen talent does not move, and the camera is kept static. This basic approach gives us a personable touch, but does not distract us from the message being conveyed. The real video is used to move the narrative forward. By itself, the real video would make for a good video. However, as educators, we want to increase the engagement factor. Animation and motion graphics are used all the time to add flash, glitzy, and grammar. These aspects do not always lend themselves to making a successful educational video. If used in the right way, to help reinforce ideas, these graphical elements will help drive the point/idea home. Just like the real video component, the animation was kept simple. Remember, flat illustration and design is clean illustration and design. Minimal does not steal attention or distracts us, and it is visually easy to digest. Flat animation is also easier to build. Easy to build means less production time is needed, which means money is saved and has quicker-to-market timelines. Flat animation also requires less computer hardware resources to render; you do not need a $5,000 supercomputer to kick out your video.

As always, remember the K.I.S. Principle… Keep It Simple. Let the video move the narrative forward and tell the story, let the animation create the engagement factor and establish the desired pacing. Real video adds credibility and a personable touch through its 1-on-1 feel. Animation can add stats, transitions, and some entertaining motion to the video. First things, first. Always create a storyboard. A good storyboard will help you visually layout all of your graphical elements and will make it easier to get everything fit on the screen and not feel crowded.

Be creative, be clear, be simple and most importantly… have fun!

What is Mediasite?

We at Edtech are excited to offer Mediasite to our staff. Mediasite is a desktop capture tool that can be used to record class sessions or lectures and upload recordings to university servers. This allows professors to create lecture content easily for both online and hybrid courses.  This tool is available to all Ohio State University staff.

Mediasite offers three different features Desktop Recorder, Hardware Recorder and Media Storage. Our most popular option, Desktop Recorder allows users to record a voice-over PowerPoint (or any other software running on their desktop), a webcam video with desktop capture, or a simple webcam video. This can all be done from any computer. Hardware recorder is a machine offered in select OSU rooms that can be used to record video of a professor speaking for a select amount of time automatically. The use of the Hardware recorder must be scheduled in advance. Mediasite also includes a server where users can store video that they have created previously.

Mediasite is a great tool because it allows faculty to develop short effective content. TheMediasite_bySF_4c_final-294o8cb (1)re are benefits for students as well. Students are easily able to review and replay content their professors produce. This can be particularly helpful for non-native English speaking students. Closed captions and lecture scripts can also be provided for students.

Here are links for those who are interested in this service.

For Information and Help on MediaSite please visit:

Link to OSU’s Mediasite Portal.


10 Tips for Creating an Effective PowerPoint Presentation!

Giving a presentation can be a daunting task for speakers. Here are a few tips on giving effective presentations using Microsoft PowerPoint.

  1. Less is more

It is important to avoid filling slides with a large amount of text. This can leave audience members overwhelmed and unengaged. Limiting your slide text to your main bullet points will provide the audience with an excellent visual reference, while also ensuring that they spend your presentation listing to you and not your reading slides. Giving out an informational handout given before a presentation is a good alternative to creating text-heavy slides.

  1. Make your presentation engaging

Speak directly to your audience. Do not simply read off slides. This is likely to bore your audience and stop them from being engaged. If you have trouble remembering everything you need to say, feel free to use the note’s text box. This Notes Field can be found underneath your slide within Power Point’s interface. By utilizing the note functionality, you will be able to see all of the information you need to reference without distracting your audience. Another option is to ask open-ended questions to the audience during the presentation. The more you can involve the audience in your performance while avoiding long intervals of straight lecture, the more they will remember and enjoy what you have presented.

  1. Use contrasting colors

One way to make sure that your presentation is easy to read is by using text that has a high color contrast with your background. Avoid using light-colored text on white backgrounds and darkly colored text on black backgrounds. The higher the contrast between your text and background color the less your audience will have to strain to read. Take time to check out free PowerPoint templates such as Civic, Capital and Waveform that already have great color contrast!

  1. Stay consistent

Keep slide backgrounds consistent throughout your presentations. Constant background template changes can make the presenter seem unprofessional, as their presentation lacks a clearly focused look and feel. Creating a master slide can help keep things consistent and speed up the creation process. Having one consistent master slide background will help your presentation’s cohesiveness, while also speeding up your creative process.

  1. Choose the correct font

Make sure to pick a font that’s easy for your audience to read. Try to use common “system” fonts to help avoid a missing font error between the computer you create the presentation on and the final presentation computer. The following are highly suggested: Lucida Console, Arial and Calibri. Remember not to use a custom font that you downloaded from the Internet. This font likely won’t be installed on the machine you are using for your presentation, and PowerPoint will compensate by choosing a default font, throwing your overall design way off. Stick to the fonts that come in PowerPoint’s initial library. If you are unsure how a font will read, do a test projection several days before your presentation, sit in the last row and see how it looks from the audience’s perspective.

  1. Build the presentation expecting outdated equipment

Sometimes a presentation will look good on a personal laptop but seem very disappointing when loaded onto an old computer/projected through an outdated projector. To compensate for this situation it is always a good idea to test your presentation in the environment, and with the equipment you will be utilizing for the presentation. This will allow you to make the adjustments needed to make your presentation look its best.

  1. Use animation sparingly

Animation between slides often looks gimmicky and unprofessional. It is best not to include it in a presentation unless you are emphasizing a particularly important slide.

  1. Insert video content correctly

Here are instructions from Microsoft on how to use YouTube with PowerPoint.

It is best to embed a link to YouTube as opposed to inserting a video directly into PowerPoint and scaling it this can lead to jumpy video behavior.

  1. Create the presentation with a purpose

While building your presentation it is important to remember your key objectives: what do you want your audience’s one to three main takeaways to be? By keeping this focus you will avoid straying off onto tangents that distract yourself and your audience from your purpose. A great practice is to begin your presentation by telling the audience what you want their major takeaways to be, give your presentation, and end with a summary slide reminding your audience what the major takeaways were. With this guidance, your audience is much more likely to interpret the presentation as you intended.

  1. Have a colleague proofread your presentation

It is very easy to miss spelling or grammatical errors in your presentation. Thus, it is always a good idea for a colleague to read your presentation and point out these errors. A colleague may also be able to point out structural problems that the creator of the presentation may overlook. A second opinion has the potential to improve presentation faults.

Practicing these tips will make your presentation much more effective. Good look on your future presentations!


Microcomputers… The New Where It Is at in Tech

From time-to-time, I like to write about new technology or gadgets that I find out there in the eWorld.  I like to brainstorm how these devices could be utilized in education or how I might have fun just playing with them.
Intel just released the info on their 2nd Gen of their Compute Stick.  This device will help revolutionize education technology.  With its $120 price (at Micro Center), any home with a tv can now easily afford a computer.  Just add a keyboard, mouse, tv, and internet connection and you will be surfing the web or streaming media in minutes.  This device runs Win10 or Ubuntu (Linux).  I think I might purchase one to play with at home.
Do you want to teach a child about computer hardware and how to code?  Want to make it fun?  Check out this kit put together by Kano.  This kit takes advantage of the nerd cult sensation known as Raspberry Pi.  Add a tv to this little microcomputer, and once again you have a somewhat powerful computer and are connected to the web.  This kit, being geared towards engaging children into the world of code, provides fun tasks that include making your own Minecraft world.
Check out the17 links.

Paper and Pen Meet the 21st Century

Are you like me and you just love the way a good ink pen writes or draws in a notebook? Do you love putting things in the microwave? I sure do. Like me, would you die without the Cloud? Would you like to combine all of these loves? “Tell me more,” you say. Meet the new innovative Rocketbook Wave: Cloud Connected Microwavable Notebook.

It is a notebook that you write/draw in with an ink pen like any other notebook. Then using the special smartphone app; all of your notes and sketches make it to your prespecified Cloud locations (Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote, MS Notes, email). Now, that is truly cool. But this nifty notebook isn’t done. You can erase the entire notebook, all the pages, by heating it up in the microwave! Shut the front door, you say. This notebook is designed to be heat-resistant. Just write in it with a Pilot Frixion pen, which you can get at any office supply stores. These pens use a special thermochromic ink that turns clear when exposed to heat. Just microwaving the notebook with your afternoon Hot Pocket will wipe the entire thing clean. You can even use a hair dryer to erase a single page.

This amazing idea launched on Kickstarter on February 3. As a videographer and an artist, I am going to buy one to help me make storyboards for my videos. – Rocketbook: Cloud Connected Microwabable Notebook

Go check out their demos for yourself.


What is Quality Matters Eleven?

Online courses are becoming an increasingly important part of higher education. Recently the ID (Instructional Design) department within EHE EdTech has begun to introduce the QM11 (Quality Matters) syllabus checklist. The QM11 checklist is a new way to review syllabi and suggests ways that classes can meet higher education national standards for both regular and online courses. EdTech created the QM11 checklist from the Quality Matters rubric and the OAA/EHE Curriculum Committee Syllabus Guidelines. The Curriculum Committee has adopted the QM11 checklist as part of the documentation for the evaluation and approval of all courses.


QM11 allows the ID department to provide suggestions to professors to help them improve their syllabi.  QM11 helps make sure that professors can give students well-designed courses that are student-centered. QM11 is the first step for the education program to receive a full Quality Matters Certification.  Quality Matters is a researched based national standard for online courses that Ohio State started adopting as a quality benchmark for both regular and online courses as of fall 2015. The goal of the Quality Matters standards program is to improve the quality of coursework for all students. EHE EdTech hopes that these changes will bolster the education of our students.

To request a QM11 review email us at

The QM11 checklist can be found at along with the QM aligned Syllabus Guidelines

For more information about Quality Matters and its impact on higher education be sure to check out: