Styles and why we should use them

If you haven’t been using Styles in Word or Google Docs, you should start now. Not only will it save you time with formatting and give your documents a consistent look, it is also one of the most important accessibility considerations in documents. Styles provide a quick standard way to control the formatting of a document. How do styles save you time? Have you ever finished formatting a large document and then decided to change your headings or subheadings to a completely different font, size, color or spacing? Without styles, you have to make these changes manually to every heading, every paragraph, etc. With styles, you can make one change and it will automatically apply to the entire document. You can also easily create a table of contents just by using styles in your document.
How do styles provide a consistent look? Using styles helps you easily apply consistent headings and subheadings to create a hierarchical representation of your document. You can create consistently spac…

Video annotations: what to use and why

3 reasons to use annotations in YouTube

1. Personalize the experience

Remember choose your own adventure books? You can take the same approach with a "spotlight" annotation. Ask a question and create answer-based paths, or simply provide an opportunity to skip ahead.

2. Correct a statement or emphasize a point

After creating a video about raising chickens, Extension Educator Wayne Martin learned more about how they receive immunizations. It had long bothered him that there was a partial truth in the video, but the idea of doing a major video edit can be daunting. In this case, it was unnecessary. Wayne was able to add what he learned to the existing video in just a few minutes with a "note" annotation.

3. Provide a call to action or add more context

At the end of your video, use the "spotlight" annotation tool to encourage viewers to sign up for a mailing list or learn more by visiting a website. Don't put it too early in your video or you'll lose viewers, but allow plenty of time at the end for someone to find their mouse and click before the video ends.

3 reasons to use VideoAnt instead

1. Use on mobile devices

VideoAnt annotations are mobile-friendly and YouTube's are not.

Annotate web hosted HTML5 video on your desktop or mobile device with VideoAnt's responsive video annotation interface

2. Control who can view and who can annotate

This makes VideoAnt excellent for courses and collaborators.

Your private Ants can only be accessed by the users you share them with. You control who can view and who can annotate.

3. Start a conversation

YouTube's annotations are great for presenting information by way of the video creator while VideoAnt is intended to foster conversation among a group.

Ants are easy to share and each annotation acts as a conversation thread - analyze the finer points of a video with other users.

Have you used YouTube annotations or VideoAnt? 

What has worked well for you, and what challenges are you trying to overcome?


  1. Great tips--and cool tools. I'm interested in understanding more about VidAnt, because (for the links to websites) YouTube requires website verification, which can be a process for websites other than Amazon and other pre-approved sites. But I still want to use YouTube for my videos. I'll need to dig more into the info you shared to see how this works.

  2. Great! I'm glad you'll be trying it out. Please let us know if you have any successes (or any trouble).


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