Chaplain: Online content creator

The ease in which video content can be created and published online provides chaplains with a ready way of reaching a broader audience than just those in their school. If the same content is used for chapel it may also enable interested students to view it again at home without the pressure of peer judgement. This experiri profile is from Term 1 2014 and was contributed by Rev’d Andrew Schmidt who was then Chaplain at St Hilda’s School on the Gold Coast.

What was the need or challenge being addressed?

There was a recognition in our school community that we produced great material, but not always broadly available. With that in mind a decision was made to start producing material that could be distributed online. For me the challenge was to produce content that was helpful, as well as succinct. Most YouTube clips are under 5 minutes.

What was the response to the need?

I accepted the challenge and started to create short movie clips as a part of my weekly newsletter reflection, which are hosted on YouTube, and linked to through the school website and newsletter.  I use a mixture of animations, stop motion, and strait to camera pieces, and have now accumulated a large number of short movies.

What was the impact?

In some areas the impact has been quiet substantial, as measured by the number of views, and in others quite minimal. I have some clips that have had 100’s of views, sadly my most popular one is not on my YouTube channel, as it was created before I had learnt how create a youtube channel, and others with only 15 or 20. I also believe the impact will be ongoing as the clips are now on Youtube, and as such anyone is able to use them, and hopefully benefit from them.

What were the greatest challenges?

Addressing the challenge to create content has been just that, a challenge. The constant question so many clergy and chaplains face who write articles for pew bulletins and newsletters is: What content should I include. Then the challenge is of how to place that content into a short film clip. At the moment I am trying to reflect on modern wisdom stories, for example ‘saving the starfish’ or ‘the old man and the white horse’. I am then confronted by the technical challenge of creating the clip, but am fortunate enough to have an iPad with software that means that even with my limited skill I can create movies and host them through YouTube.

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