Education Transformation Through Collaborative Videos

Part 2 of the Education Transformation Through Collaborative Voices series originally posted on the Teach Paperless Blog!

Social media is having an incredible impact on various aspects of our lives. CNN and the Huffington Post reported the impact of social media during the recent tragedies that have struck Japan. The underlying message was that social media has allowed people to communicate important messages through powerful real-time images and sharing their experiences. With Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube alone we have the ability to spread a message and impact an audience of millions worldwide. We have the ability to impact our world in a positive manner. Visuals are powerful as are stories shared through multimedia. In a series of posts, we will explore various ways to spread a message through various social networks in order to transform current education systems. I describe this in detail in my Keynote that I gave for the Plymouth E-Learning Conference in April.

Why Try to Spread Your Message?

Education is one of those hot topics. Everyone has an opinion because everyone has experience with the education system. Powerful stories and messages are already being heard by millions regarding education. You have heard the ones spread by Oprah, Michelle Rhee, John Legend, and various presidents, prime ministers, and leaders worldwide. These are the most prominent messages that have impacted wide audiences. Waiting for Superman was a documentary heard by millions that basically shared powerful stories. The audience was motivated by these stories to act. Education policy was impacted by the stories shared in this documentary.

What is missing is the voices of educators who are already transforming the way their students learn. We live in educator communities where we witness the beauty of what our colleagues are accomplishing with their students, but outside this community lies the general public and people who decide education policy and they rarely hear about the amazing learning taking place. We need for the stories of educators impacting education in a positive way to go viral and drown out the other voices negatively impacting education policy and hindering transformation.

Collaborative Voices on Video

In 2005 YouTube was created and is still one of the best tools for spreading a message. Web Monitoring reports that in 2010 Youtube exceeded 2 billion views a day which is double the prime-time audience of all 3 major US broadcast networks combined. Educators have a free powerful tool that attracts audiences worldwide to spread their messages about what they believe learning should look like.

Can an educator’s video go viral or even be heard by large audiences? Yes! Scott Mcleod’s and Karl Fisch’s Shift Happens videos have been seen by over 20 million people worldwide. Their message about the importance of effective technology integration has impacted many schools worldwide.

So how do you spread your message through video?

  • Define your vision and determine your message
    • It must be succinct, clear, and powerful
  • Ask a group of educators to help you support your vision
    • Organize this through a Ning, Wiki, or Google Doc
  • Combine with a nice video/audio editor (I recommend Camtasia)
  • Add creative commons music
  • Have each contributor spread it like fire in presentations, through blogs and social networks, in e-mails to colleagues, or in the staff newsletter
  • Make it available for anyone to download and upload through a Creative Commons License
  • Upload in various video channels including Youtube, BlipTV, and Vimeo

Examples of Collaborative Videos

My We Connect Project with various versions seen in various countries

Daniel Pink’s What’s Your Sentence? video is seen by over 12,000 worldwide

Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir – ‘Lux Aurumque’ is seen by millions worldwide

My newest collaborative project to spread the word about our free online Reform Symposium e-conference to get a wider audience to hear more messages! By the way, please feel free to attend our upcoming confern

What message will you attempt to spread to transform education?


Try spreading your message of what great things you do in class!

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell),, and on her blog,, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at


  1. You are all AMAZING people. I am a strong believer in Community teaches children. I have shared this with everyone I know. Education, community, our youth are our future, you are the instruments in which this is made to happen. Thank you and God bless you all for your creative minds and contributions..

  2. I agree with Ruth’s comment. We need to educate our young as a community, not rely 100% on an individual teacher to shape and mold a student. Clearly that isn’t working for our country.

    If we want the future of our nation to be bright and prosperous, we all need to take responsibility for our young “leaders of tomorrow” and ensure that they make the right choices … NOW!

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