It’s becoming apparent that on-demand video is becoming the preferred medium of the new century. YouTube served over 1 trillion videos last year. Today’s students, whether elementary or post-secondary, have grown up in this video-dominated world.
Is it any wonder that the most common complaints from teachers is that students have not completed their latest reading assignment?
To be sure, reading and writing are still immensely important to the future aspirations of every student. But just as we have become familiar with learning modalities, perhaps we should realize that not all students like their information delivered in the same way.
Here are some considerations about using more video in your homeschool curriculum:
Perfect for Online Courses
Video provides the lecture component that otherwise would be missing in an online course. Without that key component, an online course becomes a “do it yourself” course. Students need and deserve to have access to the same or better instruction they would have received in a face-to-face course, and that is made possible with video.
Video Makes Complex Topics Possible
Some subjects don’t translate well to a classroom or written page. For example, an aerodynamics unit in physics can’t go much further than paper airplanes unless the instructor has some other demonstrative examples to show. With videos, those students can now study real aircraft and what makes them work.
Video Connects the Students with the Real World
Some students simply aren’t very good at visualization. Explaining how a math unit on measurement can help them build a house is not nearly as effective as showing them the construction process as it happens. Just as the students use video in their own time to keep abreast of what’s going on in the world, instructional videos can be just as effective.
Video Provides a Vehicle for Media Literacy Skills
In this era of everyone having the ability to produce content, it will become increasingly important for students to be able to identify where their information is coming from and what agenda that source may have, if any. Analyzing two videos from different sources on the same topic can provide a great example to jump start a conversation on this very important topic.
Video is Accessible and Can be Tracked
The vast majority of students have some sort of mobile technology with them at all times, making learning possible anywhere at any time. When a responsible provider like Thinkwell is chosen to serve that video content, the students’ usage can be monitored and reported, so you know just how much time they are spending with the content.
Not All Video is the Same
Just like taking the family to a movie on Saturday night doesn’t guarantee you the movie will be a good one, all instructional videos are not created equal. Creating quality video content is both expensive and time-consuming. While the technical aspects of creating video has become easier and the equipment has become less expensive, that doesn’t always lead to better quality instruction. Educational publishers have been between a rock and a hard place with video: traditional publishers have a business model built on printed textbooks in a world that is embracing video. Publishers first addressed the demand for video with cursory “teachers in front of a chalkboard” approaches. Students didn’t want to read a poorly written textbook they don’t want to watch video that is not engaging.
Some Teachers Are Better Than Others
There’s an unlimited number of teaching styles, and countless great teachers. But not all teachers are great. The fact remains, all things constant, great teachers get better results. Funny how championship teams followed Michael Jordan around!
Here’s something you might not know if you haven’t produced videos. You can do a detailed search for a renowned authority in a particular field; a teacher who has won awards and has the best student reviews. But when the camera rolls, they are not necessarily special on video. Their accolades are legitimate, but they don’t always translate to video. It’s a special skill to communicate on video, one that is different than being in front of a live audience.