Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Project-based Learning: creating a viral video

The sharing and re-sharing of videos via email and through Facebook and Twitter have undoubtedly given rise to the phenomenon of ‘viral’ videos.
It goes without saying that shared video content is more popular than ever before, with more than 48 hours worth of video being uploaded to YouTube every single minute. Given that YouTube is the most popular video sharing website on the web, and only six years old, there is huge potential for virtually any video content to go viral.

What Is A Viral Video?
A viral video is quite simply a video that becomes popular through internet sharing. As a platform for sharing, social media lends itself and has certainly triggered the drastic increase that we have seen over the last few years. Two of the most viral YouTube videos last year were Kony 2012, which received more than 100 million views in six days, and Gangnam Style, which according to Unruly Media was shared 29 million times!
For businesses it has become a widely used marketing tool; viral marketing dates back to the mid-1990s when marketers wanted to create slogans or taglines that would be spread through word-of-mouth. The latest form of this ‘infectious’ marketing is viral video, which is commonly used as part of a campaign these days.
So what does it take for a video to go viral? We really don’t think there is an answer, there doesn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason if we look at some of the videos that have gone viral in previous years. It sounds obvious, but “shareability” is the most important element; the content needs to contain something that deals with topical subjects or characters of importance to people in a cultural context – someone or something that people would want to share and discuss. If the content relates to anything that people are already talking about then it’s bound to be a big hit. Additionally, it needs to be easy to share, so made in a format and tone that users would want to share.

The Project-Based Learning Idea
As a project for your pupils, why not get them to create their very own viral video or viral marketing campaign using video editing software such as iMovie, MoviePlus, YouTube’s built-in movie editor, or Vine? You could have students build out their ideas on a notepad, share with their group, and then start mapping out what each scene might look like. After that, the filming can begin using any camera you have handy! From an iPod Touch to a DSLR, the camera quality is not the important part. While it’s great to have a fancy camera, any camera is better than no camera.
After you film your scenes, you can use the above mentioned video editing tools to start forming your viral video. For a few quick ideas on what makes a video go viral, check out the below videos as they each have a different take on what a film should do to go viral.

Source: Edudemic (sligtly abridged)

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