Today’s classroom has changed. We don’t just use paper and pen as much anymore; we don’t rely only on books or syllabi. We live in an era of accelerated technological progress; many would call it a technological revolution or a digital revolution. Because of this, learning has changed and so have the tools we use in the classroom for learning. Today more than ever, interactivity is welcomed in the classroom. Students can use videos, images, presentations, multitouch screens, computers, tablets, and even phones as support for their learning.
Using digital assets in the classroom has become the norm, and it allowed teachers to introduce personalized learning. Each individual is different, and we must allow each one to learn at their own pace and in their own way. Some children learn better by watching videos, some by reading, some by creating a mind map and some by using a computer, a tablet or different other tools.
Video - a rising star
In education, we talk a lot about 21st Century skills, and there’s a significant focus on the 4 C’s of 21st Century skills:
- Critical thinking
In the classroom, teachers need tools that help them foster the 4 C’s. That is when a tool is helpful to the children. But the tools used need to also “work for teachers as they’re really busy”, according to Ross McGill from Teacher Toolkit.
A popular trend observed in today’s education is the use of video in the classroom. There are multiple benefits that video brings to students and teachers alike. But above all, video is an asset that genuinely supports the teachers fostering the 4 C’s of education.
Video and critical thinking
In “Let’s use video to reinvent education”, Salman Khan (American educator and entrepreneur, founder of Khan Academy) recognizes video as a transformative tool that can impact teaching and learning. Through video, teachers are encouraged to integrate the flipped classroom method, where students can study course material at their own pace, then analyze different aspects of the content, together with their teacher and classmates, during instruction time. This is when students can be put in groups, summarize the video they watched, give their perspective on the subject of the video, and raise questions about it. All these contribute to developing their critical thinking skills.
“Part of our strategy at NUITEQ® has been to look at the most popular educational YouTube videos to make sure that we have some complimentary activities that help promote deeper thinking and reflection. We often need multiple activities per video because you can cover a lot of content in a ten minute YouTube video. Users of our educational solution, Snowflake MultiTeach® have access to ready-made YouTube Linked Lessons (YTLL) where the lesson starts with a video as an instruction, that is followed by two or three (or more) complementary activities that cover different aspects of that video. For example one could be a matching activity, another could be a spinner that has different topics for discussion with a peer and another could be making a mind map about what they learned from the video. Research has shown that these pre-tests tend to make learners reflect on what they have learned. A study of 98 high schoolers found that increasing the amount of interactivity along with videos in the form of quizzes or small activities has a significant impact on retention”, says Dr. Edward Tse, NUITEQ Director of Strategy. He adds: “Many of these activities are designed to encourage talking about the concept out-loud, something that we’ve learned from research helps recall.”
Video and creativity
Many children are natural storytellers, and most of the time they find creative ways to solve a problem. Creativity is a form of self-expression; when you give children a tool, they must be able to make a movie, tell a story, be able to express themselves, share in different ways, and work together with their colleagues.
In the Creative Thinker’s Toolkit by Gerard Puccio, he talks about creativity as a skill that can be learned through play, passion, practice, and purpose.
“With Snowflake MultiTeach it's easy to encourage creativity on a touch screen by adding in images with the built-in image safe search and recording videos of characters moving.
Videos on the phone are also a great way to tell a story. You don't have to share it on social media, you can just show it again to the kids, and they’ll really enjoy watching what they created. A meta-study about mobile devices found that 70% of the students who used mobile devices for collaborative learning, performed better than their peers who did not have mobile devices. This effect was more significant in studies where students were cooperating rather than competing with each other”, says Dr. Edward Tse, NUITEQ Director of Strategy.
Ernest Hemingway suggested deferring judgment, go for quantity, make connections, and seek novelty. One approach was to use two opposing questions to generate more novelty. This is a great idea when it comes to encouraging creativity in children. According to Dr. Edward Tse, with video, we can focus a lot on interactive storytelling. When we watch a video in the classroom, we can pause and ask opposing questions such as “Why is this person bad?” and “Why is the other person good?”.
Video, collaboration, and communication.
Today video has become an essential tool for education. By using video, students that can’t be in the classroom - for example students with disabilities - can virtually attend lectures, collaborate, and communicate in real time with their peers. Studies have proven that having access to video motivates and engages students.
Watching an inspiring video during instruction can encourage students to work together to solve a real-world problem.
The use of video can also enhance teacher-parent communication. For example, teachers can send video segments of the child’s reading or his interaction with peers in a collaborative setting.
Teachers can also collaborate with other teachers through web conferencing technology.
“Snowflake MultiTeach and Lessons Online enable learners to create multi-touch interactive games to tell a story and communicate their ideas using the content that they find on the web or capture with their mobile device. Lessons can be shared and evaluated by the teacher and peers, and they can be presented to the whole class or a small group on four tabletop zones”, says Dr. Edward Tse.
The 4 C’s of education are the skills children need to succeed in life. The technology we use to support them needs to create a motivating learning environment. A motivating learning environment is a safe, familiar environment, and we believe today video is familiar to all children.
“In our connected world our news feeds, recommended videos, and social networks are all personally tailored to our interests. This needs to happen in education where the content needs to be relevant to students lives today. Online courses could better support the creativity through project work instead of standardized tests. We could better support collaboration by doing a hangout with our small group, making a video, or maybe an infographic together”, says Dr. Edward Tse. “If I were to name one technology that has had the biggest impact on Education in the past ten years it would be online video hands down”, he adds.
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