Updated: Sep 23, 2019
Developing any type of content is a creative process, but unlike drawer songs, educational content is not about self expression but rather of mass communication. When developing digital content for kids, it is important to remember that it is meant to be read, and by many. Having that in mind brings you one step closer to a better content unit. Here are a few more guidelines:
Don't patronize. Students are not stupid. They will read your content if it's interesting or click next if not. It is very challenging to earn their time, start by earning their respect by showing them respect. Condescending questions, fancy words and dogmatic approach will earn you their animosity and they will click next.It is simple to explain complex concepts using complex words. Make the effort to explain complex ideas using simple words. If you won't make the effort, neither will the students.Less is more. Remember it's not about what you have to say, but about what they are willing to read.Visualize when possible, Images are great, gifs can be better. Videos are for pros.Don’t distract. Attention disorders can’t be blamed when your content is not clear and to the point. It’s just like my aunt used to say whenever my parents would blah blah blah blah. GET IT?Learning happens when we are at ease, our guard is down and our confidence is high. Without it even great content fails. Make sure you keep your audience happy and confident. ;-)Encourage self expression whenever possible. Ask for opinions and points of view rather than knowledge and repetition of facts. How do you think students would react if we focused more on listening to their views and opinions, rather than questioning them about facts and figures?Validate understanding before moving on. Positive reinforcement is critical, especially before introducing a new topic or concept.Use humor, unless you’re not funny.Collect feedback, allow students to tell you how great, or lousy, your content is.Collect data. Use analytics and track important metrics like time on page and usage of buttons like Next or Skip.Be agile. Remember that your content may, or even should, change over time. Don’t be married to it, and don’t set it in stone.
And never forget, it’s all about the kids..