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Guest contributor Dan Whitehouse explores how technology is impacting on learning for travellers, and looks at what might happen in the future…
Technology is having a significant impact on how travellers learn about the places we are visiting.
In the past, we were quite reliant on tour guides to learn about the history and significance of the places being visited. Now, travellers can get all this information on a mobile phone right over the internet. Not only that, technology allows travellers to get accurate street directions in the new places they are planning to visit.
This is surely a step up from when we had to stop at the local gas station and ask the clerk behind the counter for directions. Often times, the clerk didn’t speak English and a weary traveller would become lost and annoyed. Technology has added convenience to our experience because we can find any location on a mobile phone and even discover new locations in the area we’re visiting.
Twenty years ago, nobody could have predicted the kind of learning tools that travellers have today.
It is hard to imagine what technological innovations there will be in the future to help travellers learn even more than they do right now.
One possibility is that we will be able to travel and learn about various places in the world without even leaving our homes.
Imagine a virtual reality program where people can actually purchase tickets to go on a tour through a virtual simulation of a real-life location. People who haven’t got the budget or mobility to travel to exotic locations will no longer have to miss out. If they can get their hands on a virtual reality headset, they’ll be able to travel anywhere in the world without having to worry about airports, hotels and car rental.
At the same time, anyone can learn about a foreign location too, with more access than just being ‘broadcast’ to via a book or other media.
As for those who will still travel for real, holographic tour guides will likely replace human tour guides.
One of the biggest inconveniences with tour guides now is they are always booked and people have to schedule a tour weeks in advance.
But with the holographic tours of the future, a 3D computer-generated tour guide will be able to show you all the sights and explain them to you the way a human tour guide would.
This will be set up through a series of holographic devices that are placed in different areas of a tour, and some areas of the world are experimenting with this tech now!
Guests can walk to different rooms or locations and see the holographic tour guide appear.
Of course, this might make it harder for human tour guides to get a job, but by then hopefully there’ll be other options that our brains are better equipped for, and we’re probably also better at conversation (at least for the time being).
What do you think?
What’s your view or prediction on how travel and learning will be impacted by smarter tech? Let us know in the comments.
By Dan Whitehouse
Dan’s writing from Into Forward, a technology and future-trend predictions blog. Into Forward uses a special blend of machine learning and search data for all their trend predictions. The site shares details on ‘the next biggest thing’ in technology, the markets, green tech and more.
Video blogging (or vlogging) has taken the online internet TV community by storm, and we think the industry shift from ‘blogger to vlogger’ is exciting.
Anyone with a camera, an internet connection and something to say, can vlog, and we’ve made the move from blogger to vlogger recently too.
Vlogging is a great way to showcase your experiences and personality via the video format.
Thanks to fast internet you can upload a vlog to YouTube pretty much anywhere on the planet, whether it be from a cafe in Gastown, Vancouver or at a truckstop in the middle of Outback Australia.
The great thing about vlogging is that there are so many micro-communities which allow you to connect with like-minded people who share your passion. A quick search will connect you with thousands of communities, for example, travel, cooking, dogs, craft beer and gaming.
Travel vlogging has an enormous online community. Many bloggers have made the transition too, and are sharing their experiences with the world.
The best part is that you don’t need expensive eqipment to start a travel vlog.
Many YouTubers have opted to use their smartphone or a basic digital camera.
My top five tips for travellers to help you shift from blogger to vlogger are…
Select your niche (what are you passionate about?)
The first question you need to ask yourself is what are you going to vlog about?
Choose a niche or something you really care about. This will help you focus on topics (content) that you know or are an expert on.
Mine are travel, food and dogs. Who doesn’t love eating food and patting dogs while travelling? (wash your hands though!).
When you talk about your passions people will find you more interesting because your enthusiasm easily shines through.
I can talk about food and dogs forever.
Be specific and people (your viewers) will find you.
Keep your clips short
Try and hook your viewer in the first few seconds and spark their curiosity.
Your video should share a creative story showcasing all of your best bits filmed on an adventure.
Tell the audience what they are going to see to give them a reason to keep watching. Don’t save your best bits until the end.
Current industry statistics show that for optimum engagement stick to about two to four minutes in length.
If you need more time don’t be afraid of breaking your longer videos up into digestible bits to create a series.
Practice makes perfect
Anyone who has tried moving from blogging to vlogging will know that talking into a camera lens is not as easy as it sounds, especially at first.
Practice makes perfect though!
Pick up a camera and start talking or you can sit down in front of a mirror and pretend it’s the camera.
It’s important to know the right angles and movements for you as you vlog.
As you watch yourself you’ll notice things that you can do to improve. The more you do it, the more comfortable and confident you’ll feel.
Just let your partner know in advance otherwise they might think you are to talking yourself (again!).
To build your audience you need to consistently upload high quality vlogs.
Your subscribers like to know that you are active.
Vlogs which are entertaining and engaging will always have an audience.
Don’t wait weeks or even months until you upload a new vlog otherwise your loyal fans may have moved on.
Stick to a schedule. If you regularly upload a video on Sunday at 8am make sure you meet the deadline.
Sound is important
Audio is just as important as video quality.
If your audience can’t hear or understand what you’re are saying they will move on.
If your videos always have poor sound quality, people will avoid them.
If you are filming in a quiet room, a good quality camera microphone will be sufficient.
However, if you plan on venturing outdoors a good external directional microphone will help aleviate a lot of background noise.
Browse Ebay and Amazon for options.
Alternatively, you can also record audio on another separate device like a phone or Zoom recorder.
Learn to filter your experiences through personality.
Be yourself on camera.
Viewers want to trust and connect with the person they are watching. Use this to your advantage.
Look directly into the camera and speak to the viewer.
Be friendly. Be approachable. Be yourself.
Do you have other tips or questions? Let us know in the comments.
Travel Live Learn is a popular lifestyle blog + vlog by Sarah Blinco and Cooper Dawson. We're expat Aussies in London, informing and inspiring through travel, stories and social media. Whenever we get the chance, we're out and about exploring, creatively channelling our curiosity into digital content, and there’s always a dog… somewhere. Find out more