Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Traveler's Blog: YouTube Academy End of Day One

YouTube Academy - Day 1
Photo credit: Yael Doron Drori
 (that's me in the back, being too exuberant, as usual)

At Google, they feed you - all day long. When they’re not feeding your stomach, they’re feeding your soul and your brain. I’m making my way home with a full tummy and a full brain.

The CEO of Google Israel came to welcome us. Did you know that ⅓ of all the people connected to the internet are connected to YouTube? Or that every minute 450 hours of YouTube content are uploaded?! Every. Single. Minute. In fact, in one 8-hour work day, more content gets uploaded to YouTube from all around the world, than what Hollywood produces in 2 years! That’s what I found out from Barak Regev. And that he likes teachers.

Hagit and Uri from Edunow (הגיע זמן חינוך) spoke to us about the  qualities of content encourage engagement (quality, relevant, a little gossipy, short, honest, funny and provocative) and other tips for making content accessible, keeping in mind that which appeals to the heart as well as that which appeals to the head. Qualities which, by the way, are true not only for YouTube, but for other educational content, as well, in this age of sound-byte reality-show consumers.

After that we had hands on YouTube training from Anat Szekely, Project Manager at Google, who taught me how much I don’t know about YouTube, its potential as an educational tool for teachers as well as students. You Tube is ONLY A platform - but it gives you SO many tools!  And if we are always preaching to teachers to get to the kids where they “are”, then YouTube is where they are!  For our Gen Z students (in the rage of 13-20 year olds) surveys teach us that YouTube is a HUGE part of their lives. In fact, Anat told us that 95% of the kids in that age range responded that it’s THE app that they couldn’t live without!  We got tips about making a channel banner, (the sizing can be tricky) our channel name (should be unique - but not absolutely mandatory) and icon.  I never really noticed that there is an option for a Welcome video (which should also encourage viewers to subscribe) or the importance of the “About” section (not necessarily because subscribers will ever read it, but because it will be decisive regarding my channel’s findability in the search engine) and how to take advantage of Google Trends (only the very tip of that iceberg).

Betwixt and between, we met an AMAZING YouTuber whose life got changed by sand and YouTube (Ilana Yahav) and now travels the world with her art thanks to YouTube.

We also met Amir Ariely, Head of Creative at Google, who had the following insights for us:

  • Video is not evil
  • Unlike school, learning via YouTube is all about choice, putting the choice in our hands
  • Start with a question - what do you want to teach?
  • Keep it short
  • Keep it personal
  • Think visually  
  • Be generous (being humble, honest and frank)
  • It’s all about the content: bring what you know best  

I also got the opportunity to spend the day with people I adore and admire and to meet more whom I have followed from afar (one of whom wears pajamas; others whom I have heard of but never met - and even others whom I had never heard of but now am in awe of!)

And, of course…. we ate. Often and well.

So now, finally at home, with my belly AND head both overflowing, I need to go to bed in order to have the energy to get my YouTube channel ready for tomorrow - providing there is wifi on the train, since I have spent the little energy I had left after the long day and the train ride home, on filling you in with this blogpost - which may or may not start having more of my own YouTubes in the future!!

Digitally yours,

PS - I am SOOOOO lucky to be part of this group!!!!

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