Thanks to the very useful tutorial here, I learned how to embed YouTube videos directly into Microsoft Word documents. Gosh, what a great tool to have at your disposal.
In the example above (an application for a rather prestigious award one of my VCAL students asked me to help him out with), I was able to start his application with two videos covering a major project he accomplished. The first video shows him discussing his CAD drawings and rationalising his design alongside the first couple of planks of wood he'd prepared. The second video, from about six months later, shows his completed project in full action.
Given that his application is due to be submitted in Word format electronically, the first thing the judges are going to see is the applicant presenting himself in the flesh and a completed project from initial design to finished (and very functional) product.
I'm going to take this a few steps further next year. As we help our VCAL students prepare resume documents for apprenticeship and job applications, we'll be inserting two videos along the same lines as above. I think it's important in a CV (for a young person in particular) to show a bit of a quick journey and demonstrate their capacity to grow, learn and achieve.
This adds so much more texture and context to the rather bland document that a CV usually represents. It creates a real 'point of difference'; I mean, out of a stack of 50 electronically submitted resumes, tell me you're not going to remember the one that included quick videos of the applicant actually doing stuff and presenting themselves in person?
We can do this with PDF documents as well, but in that case the video file needs to be embedded lock step and barrel and it inevitably adds a huge amount of weight to the original PDF file size. The beauty with the YouTube-in-Word format is that it's basically just an in-built i-frame linking to the hosted video on YouTube.
Given I have a lot of teachers reading this blog, I think it's also something to think about adding to your Teaching CV as well. How about a quick self introduction, and/or a screencast of some of your materials and/or a video of you in action in a real classroom setting?
Create a point of difference. Be different by showing more of yourself in more of the real world.
In any case, I'm looking forward to applying this as a curricular tool with my students next year. I'll update you here later when I get some idea on how well it works in attracting prospective employers!