Let’s skip to the fun stuff. Here’s a video of me explaining technical writing to an eight-grade audience:

Now some backstory.

Back at the beginning of the summer, a former AmeriCorps member posted on Facebook asking for people to make videos to explain their careers to eighth graders. These videos replace an in-person career fair that, like everything else, has gone entirely online this year.

I volunteered to provide a video about technical writing, if she wanted one on a topic that boring; she accepted (desperate times, I guess) and sent me the information. I didn’t have time to really get started on it for a while, although pretty early on I roped in a very generous e-learning colleague to do the video editing.

I’ve spent since mid-August or so working on it on and off for real. I wrote the script and practiced, scouted out locations, tried various video recording and camera options, and started collecting the other clips. Eventually I drew everything together — it’s actually a lot, including photos, screenshots, screen capture, recorded Zoom calls, and clips that turn into a skit — and passed it off to my e-learning partner in crime.

Two weekends ago she sent me the first version; after some discussion and comments, this weekend she produced the second version, which had just a few minor fixes. This afternoon she rendered the final version, which I’m more than thrilled to share. My colleague, Tess Ohman, deserves recognition for the tons of off-hours time she spent putting this together for me. It is 2,000% more awesome because she did all the hard work of putting together all the pieces.

I can also confirm that there’s absolutely no way I’ll become a viral YouTube sensation, nor will I be spending my free time (har har) producing videos. But it was fun, and I’m very happy with the result.

PS: While we’re talking about videos I made, here’s another one that I made for a friend’s birthday.

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