I know opointandshoot-camcorder_48.jpgnline video is nothing new. In fact, I’m not 100% certain the Internet isn’t fueled solely by cat videos. Yet, there is always something new going on. The worlds of social and mobile are increasingly converging around video. For example, look at YouTube, the ultimate social video site. One-quarter of YouTube’s 1 billion daily global views occur on a mobile device. The other social media stalwarts also have put their money where the video is. Twitter late last year bought Vine, which at the time was a  three-person company that hadn’t even officially launched. Just prior to that, Facebook dropped a cool $1 billion on Instagram.

These companies see the power of video and the way it connects people. That’s how this all circles back to learning. We are constantly looking for ways to connect learners to content and to one another, and video is a powerful tool. Brandon Hall Group’s own soon-to-be-released research on mobile learning shows that more than half of companies find mobile video to be either highly or extremely effective as a learning tool, putting it at the top of the effectiveness list for all other mobile content.

The Vine example is perhaps the most interesting. As I said, video is nothing new. So what is it about an app, the sole purpose of which is to allow users to create six-second looping vignettes? For some reason, the fact that these videos are raw, immediate and relatable makes them powerful. The ability to start and stop the recording as many times as you like before your six seconds is up has led to some truly artistic and hilarious videos.

We always talk about learning in the moment of need. We also talk about connecting people who have knowledge with those who need it. Vine is an example of both of those. Do we really need to spend eight hours creating an elaborate 20-minute video? Maybe a member of the learning community has an idea that can be expressed in a six-second video that takes 60 seconds to make?

OK, so six seconds is probably not enough in the majority of cases. But the concept is compelling – put the power of creating and sharing short videos in the hands of your learners. We all know how powerful video is as a learning tool and it is clear that learner communities are a great way to share knowledge. So why are learners still relegated to sharing only in the form of blog posts and discussion threads? Perhaps it’s time to begin trusting your learners with more powerful tools.

David Wentworth

David Wentworth has been a senior research analyst in the human capital field since 2005 and joined the Brandon Hall Group in 2013. He has authored reports and articles on various human capital subjects with an emphasis on workforce technology. He has contributed to several reports published by ASTD, including authoring Mobile Learning: Learning in the Palm of Your Hand, The Rise of Social Media: Enhancing Collaboration and Productivity Across Generations, and Instructional Systems Design Today and in the Future. His work has also appeared in Compensation & Benefits Review and T+D Magazine.

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