Our Kids
Glen Herbert - Editor

Glen Herbert
Editor/Writer, Our Kids Media

July, 2021

It’s a truism that video is an essential part of any marketing program, something that’s becoming increasingly evident. According to research done by Cisco, online videos make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic. That number is now 15 times higher, again per Cisco, than it was in 2017. While the pandemic played a role, it wasn’t only that. The trend was already in place.

Which, in part, is why in 2019 or so we set ourselves the goal of adding video across our site, furthering the aim of being a virtual school-placement consultant for families. In the past year we’ve added, no kidding, hundreds of videos. They range from short pieces to longer ones, such as the director and principal interviews, round table discussions, and insights from school administrators, parents, alumni, and students.

The longer pieces, especially, open up new spaces for audience engagement. Data shows that when families are in the consideration phase of high-involvement purchase decisions, they have an appetite for more detail, more kinds of insight, and are prone to spend more of their time to get those things. Given the presentation style and the people involved, viewers know they aren’t watching an ad, but instead watching people, just like them, talk about something they find important to share. The videos appear honest because they are. Being hosted by us, a third party, only adds to that.

The featured review videos are designed to appeal directly to people’s appetite for detail, honesty, and insight. You can see samples here from Branksome Hall, Metro Prep, and UCC. The videos have high production values, reflecting the quality and focus of our print featured reviews. But they also give us the space to talk about things we wouldn’t have an opportunity to otherwise. Things like what makes a good school great or the people that animate a school environment. They’re conversational because they’re edited from actual conversions. The videographer asked me questions and we just talked.

This coming year, we’ll package the recordings with a partial transcription of each, highlighting key points. We’ll promote them to families across the platform. This will open a wide range of opportunity for you to reach and engage with families.

Why your school needs Zebra Robotics

For many educators it’s been a struggle to meet the requirements of the new Ontario coding curriculum. What if you didn’t have to?

In June 2020, coding was introduced into the Ontario math curriculum for the first time. For a range of reasons, it understandably caused more than a few ripples in the educational community. One of the curricular expectations, as worded in the provincial document, asks that students be able to “create computational representations of mathematical situations by writing and executing code.” That’s an expectation for Grade 1! The complexity of the expectations of course grows from there to Grade 8.

Mary Reid, assistant professor of math education at OISE, commented at the time that the material is unfamiliar to many teachers, herself included. “We can't simply give teachers a new document and say, 'Go teach it.'”

The fact is, they may not have to. There are other options, especially in the more agile environment of private and independent schools. Satish Thiyagarajan, co-founder of Zebra Robotics, has been effectively teaching to the Ontario coding curriculum for the better part of a decade. Says Thiyagarajan, “I think there is a unique value that we bring to the table. I think we’re in the perfect spot to help schools.”

For more on the kinds of projects that Thiyagarajan has been developing with schools, click here.

In other news ...

Be sure to book your Q&A Roundtable video if you haven’t already. It’s free and included as part of your Our Kids membership.

The Q&A Roundtable is a guided Zoom discussion about your school with a panel of 1–3 alumni/parents. It’s a highly effective way for families to get to know your school personally during the peak-research season. See example here.

Hosting the event is simple and requires minimal work. Here’s what you need to know:

  • We provide all the questions for your panelists to answer in the discussion, along with all the instructions they need.
  • We provide your Zoom meeting room that automatically starts the recording when you start the meeting. No more fidgeting with technology.
  • All we ask is for you to arrange a panel of 1–3 alumni/parents, and use our questions to conduct the discussion.
  • We’ll take care of editing and packaging. Once edited, the video will be published on your profile for all families to see—communicating a powerful story about your school. See example here.
  • August 1 is the last day to book a date for your Roundtable.

To book, please go to your Our Kids control panel and follow the instructions. You can also find further details there, if you need them.

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