The Changing Role of Technology in Education: Creating Impactful Video Learning

By - November 9, 2020

In our last blog, we made the case that today's students prefer to learn through video content. How educators effectively harness the power of videos as a learning tool is equally important. A survey by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting on the use of videos in schools found that: 

  • 92% of teachers surveyed said incorporating videos made them more effective teachers. 
  • 88% of teachers said using videos allowed them to be more creative. 
  • 80% of teachers observed positive outcomes in their students as a result of video usage. 

Video has been proven to enhance student engagement and understanding, but like any other medium, video can’t just be arbitrarily deployed. Instructors need to utilize the right kind of video content in strategic, purposeful ways for the most effective learning outcomes.   

Use Video as a Conversation Starter 

Three out of five Gen Z and Millennial video consumers watch content to find purpose and meaning. They watch videos to be able to talk about them and initiate conversation. Effective educators use this insight to start meaningful conversations. Any tool that empowers educators to start meaningful conversations is vital given that getting students engaged is a perennial struggle. 

This is not to say that videos should replace teachers or mentors, especially when pertaining to career and life readiness. What videos can do quite effectively is to enhance, not replace, personal instruction in the same way textbooks were designed to enhance, not replace personal instruction.  

Deploy the “Multiple Modalities” Approach 

A combination of reading, writing, and watching is known as the multiple modalities approach. The multiple modalities approach falls in line with Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory that advocates for presenting new information in more than one way in order to appeal to a greater number of learners.  

Per the report “The Impact of Broadcast and Streaming Video in Education,” “teaching methods that include the use of video and audio will, in effect, reach more students and provide more opportunities for neural development and learning,” than the traditional text and lecture approach.  

In other words, using video in parallel with discussion, texts, recall, and other methodologies makes overall learning more effective.  

Use Video to Create Connections 

A Google survey on what constitutes quality content found that viewers connect to passion—content must be “not only visually stimulating but also intellectually stimulating, where the viewer is learning something, laughing, or being enlightened.” Google also found that video content which “teaches me something new,” “allows me to dig deeper into my interests” and “relates to my passion” resonates with young people most. 

The key for anyone using videos to educate is to remain purposeful when choosing your video content. Remember that not every video will resonate with every student. Choose the videos that will connect with your audience. 

All Videos Are Not Created Equal 

When choosing what videos to incorporate into curriculum, educators can look to Vanderbilt University’s Center for Teaching’s “Effective Educational Videos,”which finds videos are the most effective when they meet these criteria: 

  • Conversational style of speech- Using videos where the subjects talk conversationally, rather than a traditional lecture-based style, allows an audience to build trust quicker and be more engaged with what they’re watching. 
  • Subjects speak with enthusiasm- Enthusiasm is a key of effective learning. Research shows time and time again that enthusiasm has the power to influence learning outcomes. 
  • Less than 6 minutes long- Research shows younger generations are more likely to seek out short-form content such as webisodes, tutorials, and short video clips vs. longform videos. 
  • The video must feel like it’s “for these students in this class”- make sure the video has a specific goal and feels relevant to its audience. Students want to use tech “purposefully, not frivolously.” 

 Video is an incredibly powerful learning tool. However, educators need to keep in mind that it’s not just the use of videos that strengthens learning, but the right videos deployed in thoughtful ways that will connect with students. 


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