One of the greatest advances in curriculum in the last decade was that of video curriculum or at least video components to supplement curriculum. We minister to a sight and sound generation and most churches don’t have the resources to pull off a compelling production that captures the imagination of every child or gifted and skilled communicator where kids hang on their every work. The video stuff helps and every year it gets better and better.
Actually, the early pioneers of this was Church on the Move with their Kids on The Move curriculum. You could get very high quality video curriculum on VHS to show on Sunday mornings. After 2000, curriculum began showing up on DVD’s and the idea was, “it’s so simple to operate. Put it in the DVD player, press play and you’re good to go. If you can operate a DVD player, you can use this curriculum.” This is great! So many churches highly appreciate this. However, technology has moved forward and most curriculum publishers are still stuck in the last decade.
Many churches have moved toward using software like Sunday Plus, Pro Presenter and other presentation software like this. Some are still using using PowerPoint. If you haven’t noticed, Blockbuster is failing. People are streaming their media online. Web savvy customers are purchasing movies and television over iTunes and Amazon and downloading directly to their computers. The DVD era is coming to an end and it’s time to move on.
Those of us who don’t use a DVD player in our churches are very frustrated with your DVD curriculum. We are forced to rip the video off the DVD’s, which is a gray area of legality. It takes a lot of time and the quality is often significantly lowered because we can only get the video in a format that’s quickly becoming “old school.” There are some publishers that offer video curriculum in video files, but you’ve only provided it in one file format… either a mac friendly format or a PC friendly format. I’ve wasted HOURS of my life converting the files to the format I needed. It was a great guesture to provide the files, but short-sighted and narrow-minded. In the end, hours were wasted and quality often suffers.
Here’s all I’m asking. When you burn your curriculum DVD’s, you’ve already got the original video files. Just give us those. Put them on a separate “data” DVD and send that as well as the actual DVD. Or better yet, put the files on your website and give us access to download. Shoot, don’t even send a DVD. Put an .iso file on the site and let us download it and burn our own DVD. I know. There’s that chance that a church is going to burn 5 DVD’s and if you were going to send them physical DVD’s, you’d sell each DVD for additional money. I believe that if you find a price point that’s fair, we’ll pay for it. If someone’s going to lie and cheat, they’re likely just buying one DVD anyway and making copies.
So, what we’re asking for isn’t much at all. It’s not a total retooling of the way you produce videos. It’s just supplying the video files before you put them all on a DVD. It’s more options and it serves the church well.
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AMEN. I use propresenter in every campus. .mp4’s please at least the option. I’ll pay more for it
I could not agree more.
See my comment on your other post here: http://bit.ly/bA11Gd
Also, can we video curriculum with lots of parts, each in their own files. I personally use reThink’s stuff, and I love the fact that I can get a 3 part video & another accompanying video to use each week and it’s already split up for me. In our kids worship service, we use at least 3 (and sometimes 5) video elements every week, none of them specifically for teaching. Plus we use at least one other video element during our Sunday night or midweek discipleship time that is directly related back to Sunday morning.
Here’s another idea. I spend hours and hours every month combing the internet in places like youtube and vimeo, looking for other videos that support what we are teaching. If publishers really want receive the “2nd Mile” award a’ la Chick-fil-A, include a list of links that offer videos that may support the message. My guess is that writers get inspiration from the same sources I do. So share some that source inspiration. We’ll love you for it, and you’ll build a very loyal customer base.
.-= Christopher G. Sykes´s last blog ..February Honor =-.
totally agree as I sit here loading videos onto my Mac.
I echo Sam’s comment. Every part of it.
.-= JC´s last blog ..Tech Tuesday: Teleporting Energy =-.
fantastic conversation! i couldn’t agree more with you – several years ago, i actually stopped purchasing curriculum based on content. i figured that i could tweak the content so that it would be perfect for my church context. instead i purchased curriculum based on how user friendly it was – the value of customization has become a higher value to me than content.
.-= amy dolan´s last blog ..good food = good energy =-.
AMEN! I’ve talked to different curriculum publishers about this, and there really isn’t a reason other than they haven’t done it.
I read this as I wait for Handbrake to render me a .h264 file to then upload into ProPresenter… Blerg.
This one in particular seems to be a hot topic… and a solution seems relatively easy. Just a little work in the front end saves the end users thousands of hours collectively. That’s something big to consider. The less time the church spends messing with videos, the more time they have equipping, leading and loving people. Just one simple fix like this equates thousands and thousands and thousands of hours to do more ministry. Hopefully curriculum publishers see this fix in this light. It’s like unleashing hundreds of more workers into the fields… simply by freeing us up from these menial tasks.
I completely agree with the post and comments. I am usually just lurking on this blog and others, but this subject has produced so much irritation for me in the last few years, I just had to join in the comments!
We are a small church (under 300), and yet we use at least 5 different sources from various DVDs during our elementary service each week. Video curriculum publishers definitely need to work on quality and access. But, the music/worship DVD publishers need to adjust how they supply children’s ministries with their products too. I use DVDs for our worship sets and trying to meld a worship set together that includes great music, cool graphics and the order of content that I want has been a huge source of great frustration for me and my team. Oh and I want seamless transitions too. I hope and pray the publishers are taking our thoughts and desires seriously. Even though we’re a small ministry I am willing to pay the money for quality, user friendly products.
Yep. Got behind this week so I’ll be handbrakeing my files tomorrow on my off day. Please hear us and provide a Data DVD option or a download option.
I <3 handbrake…
I’m so outdated! Our church only has a DVD player available for our kids ministry, finally got a computer for the adults. However, I have to switch DVD’s so many times during a service! If I had the source files, I could burn a disk each week in the order of our service. Even still, this would help streamline our service so we could output better quality. Mostly, I use DVD’s for worship, so I agree we need to get them on board too.