Interactive Video Training Starts With Online Video

Trainers and educators generally agree that video content is valuable. They also agree that making video available online enhances its value—by making it available remotely and, hopefully, by making it interactive. However, it turns out that there’s a knowledge gap when it comes to the basics of “online video.”

Last year, I spoke at the inaugural FocusOn Video conference in Austin, Texas about using interactive video training. Several attendees remarked that it would be helpful to have an introductory session to just go over the basics of how online video works before digging into the advanced topics like making online videos interactive. So on March 24, I’m headed to Orlando for Learning Solutions 2017 (#LSCon) to talk about the basics: What You Need to Know About Online Video.

In the Age of YouTube, we tend to take it for granted that when you upload a video to “the cloud,” others will be able to view it online. However, there’s a lot of magic happening in “the cloud” to make that work!

To start with, not all online video training platforms or portals are equal. Some are wide open, and others tightly secured. Digital video also comes in many “flavors”—namely file types, resolutions, and encodings. There’s also the content delivery network or CDN question, which is critical if your training or eLearning audience is international. There are also questions about recording (not just the video footage but related user data) and playback on multiple browsers and operating systems.

This sort of complexity is not new. Remember those media carts with the physical video tapes and players with all the wires hooked up to a screen? Could a VHS tape play in a Beta player or a BluRay play in a standard DVD player? No. The type of tape or disc had to be played in the right type of player to read the contents. This problem doesn’t go away when you go digital. It just gets harder to see.

This is a great place for us to start our journey through online video – just like physical tapes need specific players, your digital recordings need specific players. What type of phone do you use? iPhone, Android or other? Those devices record in different formats. If you record a video on your iPhone and somehow transfer it to a friend with an Android WITHOUT using a video service, your Android friend will not be able to play your video unless they install a player to work for that iPhone video. Video services transform your video so that all your colleagues and friends can get a quality playback experience on their preferred devices.

Building an interactive video training experience starts with a better understanding of online video itself. Are you curious how all that works (and why it sometimes doesn’t)? Come to the Learning Solutions session to find out! If you can’t make the session, we will be sharing the secrets of online video and what it takes to turn your videos into effective interactive video training solutions in an upcoming Viddler blog series.

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