James Cross, Director of Education, MediaCore
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.
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 very 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 schools 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 fourteen year old secondary school 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 three minute video of your teacher explaining those same concepts to the camera, in a format that you can stream to your mobile device?
Even better, imagine being given the chance to create your own video content to demonstrate your learning, and sharing this with your class. There’s no contest – video wins hands down for student engagement and learning, every time.
But teachers’ 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 lessons 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 teacher who didn’t have the time to fight with DV tapes, cables and tricky editing software.
And in the past, even where teachers had created video content for learning, there wasn’t a quick and easy way to safely share it with their students. Schools’ 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.
All of this has now changed, though – and the time has come for video-based learning to be bringing every classroom and lecture theatre to life. The first part of the puzzle has been solved by easy to use video capture devices like the Microsoft Surface and Windows Phone – 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 teachers - letting them capture and upload videos on the go using the MediaCore Capture App for Windows 8, or upload video resources via the web without having to worry about file type or size – MediaCore automatically converts video files to make them work on any device. And they can then manage and share their media content securely and privately with students.
At MediaCore, we’re making video learning simple for schools and universities across the world. And at BETT stand F83, we’ll be showing how these institutions – from primary schools to veterinary colleges – are creating powerful learning experiences for their students with rich, safe online video.
I stopped by this stand at BETT and was impressed with the product. A great solution to what many schools are crying out for.