Michael Poley from TeamTreehouse.com joins Subscriber Nation to talk about his experience with online video, specifically using it as a training resource for computer languages at TeamTreehouse.com
How did Michael start making online videos?
Michael doesn’t have a film degree – he has an English degree. His first foray into film was making comedy videos with his friends, then transitioned to green screen and walk on videos. He produced a weekly web show in Orlando, helped create Rails for Zombies, and moved to Treehouse four years ago.
Treehouse teaches using online video:
Treehouse is an online school that teaches web design and web development – specifically designed to get beginners from zero to job ready. But they also have advanced content.
Why Treehouse uses video:
Computer science is an ever changing field where practitioners need to update their skills regularly. For software training, video works exceptionally well and is very cost affordable. Most of their videos use screencasting to show the coding being done on screen.
Learning from a mistake:
Abstractions – early on Treehouse used fun magical graphics to teach students. But beginning students were discouraged by the need for “magic” to do coding. So they have simplified and kept the lessons more literal – mostly screencasting.
One indispensable piece of equipment for Online Video Training:
Treehouse uses screencasting in most videos. They started with software solutions (I use ScreenFlow on my Mac) but they moved to hardware solutions. They have a screencast recording booth that improves sound recording – and they put the physical computer outside the booth so they don’t record the computer noise.
Let’s talk money.
Students at Treehouse pay $25 or $50 per month, and they have nearly 100,000 students. They have offices in Orlando FL and Portland OR with about half their 75 employees working remotely.
Treehouse is growing! They are remodeling the space that we filmed in, moving their studio across town, and their future offices in Portland are currently under construction. They are expanding their staff to keep up with demand for their content.