We all had a favourite teacher at school. One who inspired us, engaged us, and above all, really connected with us on a personal level. And it’s this personal connection that’s at the heart of the best learning that happens in our schools and universities. Students aren’t hard disks that can simply be filled with information, facts and figures – and the best learning happens when their imaginations are sparked, and they’re able to apply their learning in practical and useful ways.
Schools and universities are facing a challenge. They know that great teaching is happening in their classrooms and lecture theatres, but they also know that they need to be providing great online tools and content for students to access outside of their gates. And they’re often aware that the traditional ways of doing this aren’t well suited to the connected, mobile generation of students that are sat in their classrooms and lecture halls.
PowerPoint files uploaded to a learning platform just don’t cut it any more – especially for a generation that have grown up with Facebook and YouTube. Condense a lesson or lecture into a PowerPoint file, and it just ends up being a dry collection of bullet points and facts – the opposite of good teaching.
Online video though, is a different story. Video retains the ‘secret sauce’ of great teaching – the humour, the pace, and the human connection between teacher and student. With video, it’s personal – and many institutions are starting to see online video as the best way to provide meaningful learning resources to support and spark students’ learning.
Put yourself in the shoes of a high school or university student for a moment, and consider which of these resources you’re more likely to be engaged by: a Word document with pages of bullet points, or a ten minute video of your teacher or lecturer explaining those same concepts to the camera, in a format that you can stream to your iPhone? Even better, imagine being given the chance to create your own video content to demonstrate your learning, and sharing this with your peers. There’s no contest – video wins hands down for student engagement and learning, every time.
But educators’ time is precious – and with the best will in the world, if something’s time consuming and complicated, then they’ll struggle to fit it into their teaching and hectic schedule. Video has always been a powerful tool for learning, but up until now, using it regularly in the classroom just wasn’t viable for the busy educator who didn’t have the time to fight with DV tapes, cables and tricky editing software.
And even where educators had created video content for learning, there wasn’t a quick and easy way to safely share it with their students. Traditional online learning platforms don’t handle video well, and public video sharing sites such as YouTube don’t offer the control and security that’s needed to ensure student safety and enable their safe engagement.
All of this has now changed, though – and the time has come for video-based learning to be bringing every classroom, lecture theatre and corporate training room to life. The first part of the puzzle has been solved by easy to use video capture devices like the Flip camera, iPhone and iPad – meaning that capturing and editing high-quality video is no longer a complicated and time consuming affair.
The safe online video platform that MediaCore offers completes the second part of the puzzle – giving institutions an engaging online video platform over which they have complete control – with student-centric features such as mobile playback and moderated commenting. Crucially, it’s quick and easy for educators, letting them capture and upload videos on the go using the MediaCore Capture app, and upload video resources via the web without having to worry about file type or size. Online video is the most engaging way for institutions to share learning content with their students – and with MediaCore, educators can be safely and easily doing this in minutes.
Great teaching has the power to inspire, to engage, and to change lives. And by using MediaCore to extend the learning with online video, schools and universities can make a real difference to their students’ learning experiences.
James Cross, Educator in Residence, MediaCore