The University of Utah is an educational institution located in Salt Lake City, where more than 31,000 students work towards achieving a degree or certification.

In 2016, The university’s Department of Educational Psychology partnered with the Granite School District to create the Behavior Response Support Team (BRST). The BRST’s goal is to provide behavioral, social, and emotional support to teachers, parents, and students from Granite Schools.

But, in the wake of COVID, the BRST team needed to figure out how to continue providing families and teachers with behavioral, social, and emotional support while following health protocols.

Their answer? Animated videos.

Animated videos helped the University of Utah’s BRST team communicate their behavioral and well-being principles to teachers and parents so they could support children’s remote education.

COVID made it impossible for BRST to support all teachers and students as they used to

When the BRST was first established, they provided support for teachers and students in classrooms.

The team would sit at the back of classrooms, watch how classes unfolded, and write down areas where educators could improve. They then offered consultation sessions for teachers, a safe space where educators could learn procedures to enhance all class participants’ experience and tackle issues such as a low ratio of positive comments or an unengaged class.

The BRST supported students, too. Besides coaching students around the emotional problems they were presenting, they created manuals and guides that teachers could use to provide behavioral support to keep students happy, motivated, and in a healthy emotional state.

The arrival of the pandemic meant that the teachers and children still in classrooms needed to follow strict sanitation guidelines. And those in online classes needed more technical help—like learning software and fixing audio problems.

Social distancing made it impossible for BRST to send learning materials or visit schools without the risk of spreading diseases. Online manuals were a valid alternative, but their text-based format didn’t allow the joint project to show procedures in real-time.

BRST converted their resources into shareable, animated videos

To continue supporting teachers and families in behavior principles and social and emotional wellness, BRST and the University of Utah used Vyond’s animation tools to create animated video versions of their behavior and wellness educational materials.

Then, they started releasing daily short videos filled with tips that families and teachers could use to cope and adapt to remote learning and the new safety guidelines.

The BRST team worked alongside University of Utah graduate students to animate stories around different wellness, sanitation, and behavioral principles. Their initial goal was to provide teachers and students access to these types of principles regardless of the school’s learning modality by creating animated video versions of the joint project’s old lessons and posting them across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Tik Tok.

BRST eventually sought ways of impacting more families and teachers. Their first leap toward reaching more people was to make their animated videos more accessible to non-English-speaking families.

BRST translated videos into new languages to reach more schools and families

Initially, BRST offered animated videos in Spanish, English, Portuguese, and Chinese. These four languages cover many homes, but with over 150 spoken languages inside the Granite School District, the lessons excluded multiple families. BRST’s co-director, Aaron Fischer, said, “We really wanted to make sure we were connecting with refugee and immigrant families as well as families we serve who are from marginalized communities.”

 

The BRST’s first project to expand its reach was to look at standard dual immersion programs across the district. This first project led them to translate their videos to Spanish, Chinese, and Portuguese. Eventually, they leveraged social media to benefit families worldwide and ask a more significant audience about the joint project’s following languages.

After looking at feedback from their posted videos on social media, the team translated their lessons to Korean, Arabic, and French to reach more schools and families.

BRST created videos to address COVID-19-related procedures

With many schools reopening—full-time or for hybrid sessions—for the 2020-21 period, the team decided to once again go beyond sharing animated versions of their behavior principles and wellness tips and start addressing the elephant in the room: COVID-19.

 

The BRST team created a series of videos around physical distancing, proper use of a mask, and the right way to wash one’s hands. All the videos are less than sixty seconds and feature engaging examples of sanitary advice made with props, characters, and backgrounds from Vyond’s asset library to communicate the directions.

Learning how to use Vyond is part of the training that the students who collaborate with BRST undertake. They produce videos daily, so their creativity and animation process becomes faster and more polished after each video. To animate quicker, they could use templates as a shortcut toward finishing a video. Vyond’s template library offers dozens of pre-filled videos that can either provide you with a raw story to tweak or do most of the heavy lifting for you.

If you wanted to create a video on proper mask usage, for example, our How To Properly Wear a Mask template would free up most of the work since it features the health procedures, music, and pace necessary to create a charming video.

To use one of our templates, visit our template library, choose one of over thirty featured categories to narrow your search according to your niche, and then click use this template. The entire process takes three steps but will save you dozens—if not hundreds—of steps while animating your videos.

Students and teachers found relief through animated video

Through Vyond’s set of tools, BRST shared daily tips around social and emotional wellness, health care procedures, and behavior principles to adults and children. Teachers, in particular, feel relieved for having a new method of teaching behavioral principles to students. Thanks to the animated videos from BRST, educators use the program’s videos at the beginning of the class to teach children behavior principles, reducing the pressure of doing it by themselves.

Whether you plan to use animated video because of its appealing nature or its flexibility to cover any topic you can imagine, Vyond’s intuitive interface and asset gallery can help you streamline the process.

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