School’s out Friday

I’m currently in the throes of trying to pack as much as I possibly can into my ‘Language of our Times’ class in the final weeks of term. We were looking at viral videos recently (and at its essence, what are the qualities of a video that makes it move to viral status) and have returned to this in the last two days, prompted by what I’ve viewed on mainstream television and what has run past my Twitter stream.

The Qantas ad, above, caught my attention while I was making inroads on correction. It led me away from the correction pretty quickly, enticed as I was with the soundtrack and storylines that were unfolding in front of me. A two minute slot in primetime must cost a fair whack, but the 300,000+ views it has racked up on YouTube in 8 days is quite possibly paying dividends for the Qantas brand.

We followed this up today with two Christmas ads coming out of the UK. The first was the John Lewis ad below that has racked up a more than impressive 14 million+ views on YouTube in 8 days. And yes, I’m betting John Lewis sees this as an investment that has paid off.

The second is the Christmas ad from Sainsbury’s, a UK Supermarket chain. It was made in partnership with The Royal British Legion and is inspired by real events from 100 years ago. I dare you to watch it and not tear up.

It was released two days ago and has racked up 4 million+ views to date. I’m figuring this is one with shareability written all over it. Check back in six days and I’m betting it’s running rings over the John Lewis ad.

What these ads have enabled is some great discussion around what makes an effective marketing campaign in a world where YouTube rules and mainstream media is becoming less relevant in the lives of the everyday citizen. A good discussion to have and one that I think my students have benefited from. If I find them all leading marketing campaigns in future years I’ll know I’ve done a good job. ;)

I’ll be grabbing some shut eye this weekend and gearing up for a busy few weeks as the year comes to an end. Rest up folks and enjoy some down time. :)

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School’s out Friday

OK Go – you remember them. The guys who made that video on the treadmills. You know, the one where you were expecting one of them to fall flat on their face, but remarkably they stayed upright and performed some amazing moves that had us all transfixed.

Well, here they are again, in another feat of visual mastery. According to this Billboard post, the video was filmed in a single take using drones with mounted cameras but it took 50 to 60 run throughs to get it right. Another interesting fact – it was paid for by Honda who supplied the seated Segways the band members are sitting on. Now wouldn’t you love one of those to scoot around in?

Clever, huh? Create a video that has viral appeal, thus reducing your marketing costs, and then get Honda to pay for it. Use that as an example in your next Business Studies class and forget the textbook that probably is laden with examples that hold little relevance in today’s digitally driven world.

And if you’ve never seen their original 2009 video, well here it is. Enjoy it, and the weekend ahead. I’m sure you deserve a break.  :)

 

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Green lighting – do we give kids permission?

Last Friday, after watching Kevin Allocca’s video about why some videos go viral, I had a discussion with my class that went something like this.

If there is one thing you take from this class this year, it is this. Don’t wait for someone to green light something that you want to do. If you’re passionate about something, if you have an idea, if you want to pursue an interest, don’t wait for permission. We live in a world where you can start something if you have the wherewithal and desire to follow it through. Your parents might not like me saying this, but I’m not convinced that the only path to success is waiting for the credentials you get from a University education. I’m pretty sure that employers are going to be looking for people who have demonstrated that they think outside the square and know how to go about making things happen. You don’t need a green light – you can start now.

In fact, thinking on it, it was a bit of a short lecture rather than a discussion. It was the end of the lesson and they were wanting to head out to recess…  but, they did listen intently, and maybe they did take it in.

I hope so, because I think it’s advice worth taking.

(And below is Kevin’s video, where he talks about green lighting at the end of his TED talk.)

 

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TER Podcast – my interview from Edutech 2014

After my Edutech presentation in Brisbane in June I was interviewed by Corinne Campbell for the Teachers’ Education Review (TER) Podcast. It was posted on their site last week and I spent some time listening to me sound quite knowledgeable about topics related to digital citizenship, the importance of our students understanding what curation means in today’s world and the approaches we are taking at my school with our LMS (Learning Management System) and Google Apps.

Part of the interview was spent discussing the importance of schools committing funds to infrastructure to support whole school technology initiatives. Corrine remarked in the commentary after my interview that she’d never really heard people discussing this in depth. This is a conversation that needs to be had at every school looking to make large scale change with technology initiatives to support learning. Without a robust network supporting the introduction of web based LMS’ and cloud based technologies like Google Apps you have no hope of seeing adoption become widespread. Teachers need reliable infrastructure to ensure everything ‘just works’, and school administrations need to provide funding and staff to make this happen.

Thanks to Corinne and Cameron for posting the podcast on the TER site. To hear my interview, go to 40min 19sec in when it begins. The entire podcast is worth a listen, with timecodes listed below.

Timecodes:

00:00 – Opening

01:19 – Intro

10:13 – Off Campus with Dan Haesler

19:12 – Education in the News

37:09 – AITSL’s Teacher Feature

40:19 – Main Feature, Interview with Jenny Luca & discussion about technology in education

01:09:43 – Mystery Educator Competition

01:10:54 – Announcements

01:12:27 – Quote and Signoff

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No regrets

Matthew O’Reilly’s TED talk makes me ponder as I sit in an apartment in London after another day treading the pavements abroad.

My husband and I planned this overseas trip that is almost coming to an end always with our children front and centre. We wanted them to have opportunities to see other cultures, to live as others live, to gain an understanding of world history and our place in it. There’s little doubt it’s done that, and so much more.

My fondest memories are of the time we have spent as a family. Not just the happy and tranquil moments, but the times when we’ve been squabbling on the streets as we find ourselves aimlessly lost, or the times when we walk through yet another subway station and hit another infernal passage of stairs. The best times have been when my children have put their arms around my shoulder and waist and walked with me down cobbled streets sharing the moment.

I always worry that I work too hard, or commit too much time to others and not the ones closest to me. This trip has been special. I’ve taken myself away from everything that is a distraction and committed to family. I don’t think I’ll be living a life with regrets.

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School’s out Friday

I’m laying odds that the people at Head Office of IKEA in Sweden are looking very closely at their Singapore division and wondering what kind of Christmas bonus they can offer them this year. The ‘BookBook’ video, uploaded to YouTube by IKEA Singapore, has racked up over 10 million views in a week  - a pretty clever marketing ploy by anyone’s standards. Send up your product in a parody of an Apple ad and watch it go viral. Just what I need for impetus for my ‘Language of our Times’ class next term, when we begin our Project Based Learning task exploring ‘What makes an idea go viral?’

Speaking of Apple, their latest video, ‘Perspective’, shown at their Keynote launch this week, is another signature Apple piece appealing to their tribe of followers.  Take a look.

Over 600,000 views in three days. Another good one for my students to analyse.

I’m currently in Munich, where I’ve spent the last three days after visiting Italy for a week. In my last post I spoke of my poor footwear choices leading to some pretty difficult days limping through the streets of Florence and Venice. I’m pleased to report Munich has been much kinder on my feet. It’s a very flat terrain here, and we’ve slowed down our pace out of sheer necessity. We were exhausted after the heady pace of four cities in 7 days – Rome, Florence, Pisa and Venice. Today, after reading some travel blogs about the best footwear for traipsing through Europe, I purchased some Geox walking shoes that I’m hoping will see me right through the next few days in Frankfurt and Bad Kreuznach and then onto Paris and  London in the coming weeks.

I will try to write here about some of our experiences – we’ve had an amazing time already. Yesterday we visited Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site and that experience deserves a post of its own. I’ve read so much about the Holocaust, but nothing really prepares you for walking the grounds and listening to a guide take you through the experiences of the people who were subjected to that cruel fate. It’s an experience everyone should have – as I walked through, it struck me that it is something that could feature as a Google Tour – that way students all over the world could have that experience and hopefully understand why the International Memorial there has the words, ‘Never again’ written in six languages.

Our hectic pace continues tomorrow, My husband and son are off the Bayern Munich vs Stuttgart game in the afternoon, then we board a train for Frankfurt in the evening, arriving there close to midnight and hoping that the accommodation I’ve booked doesn’t fall through!

I hope your weekend sees you finding time to relax and take in some sun. Enjoy whatever comes your way. :)

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Why shoe choice matters…

I’ve travelled a lot over the past six years, so you think I’d be well prepared in terms of footwear choices for long days of walking around big cities.

Not this time.

Six days in (two of which were confined to the inside of airports and plane interiors) and my feet are letting me down. More to the point, my choice of footwear is letting me down. Rome and Florence, you’ve made a mess of me, and it’s just the start of a month of travel through Europe and London.

I’d post a picture of my feet, but quite honestly, I don’t want to scare you. There are abrasions and potential blisters forming in multiple locations. Yesterday, in a moment of sheer desperation in Pisa, I purchased a pair of sandals similar to Birkenstocks but obviously nowhere near their quality because they’ve just added to the pain. Not only that, they are what I’d classify as beyond ugly.

Did I pack my tried and tested walking shoes that have stood the test of the Great Wall of China and a previous trip to Italy?

No, of course I didn’t. More. fool. me.

Am I taking notice of the gorgeous sights as I limp through the streets of Florence?

No. My eyes gravitate down, looking enviously at the feet of travellers who seem to be gliding through the streets, propelled forward on the soles of shoes that cushion heels and don’t issue shards of pain with every footfall.

Heading to Venice tomorrow. Wish me luck. No doubt I’ll be looking for the perfect shoe, not the Murano glass. Unless of course, some glassblower on the island of Murano has perfected a glass slipper that can guarantee blister free travel through Europe. Then I’d be interested.

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