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Alex Parlour

Why video is the future of HE

Alex Parlour, corporate and education marcomms manager at Sony Professional, explains why the current generation of students expect video as part of their learning

In the last few years, emerging education technology has remained true to the idea that video technology is now a primary and fundamental resource. Enhancing its capabilities through features such as wireless connectivity, remote access and interactivity, video technology has become a fundamental part of modern pedagogy, including active and collaborative learning. This has undoubtedly had a positive impact on both learning and teaching in higher education with Promethean’s 2018/19 State of Technology report revealing that 94% of educators now recognise that edtech can improve engagement levels in classrooms.

Universities today need to nurture a more open-minded, tech-savvy approach to learning, even more so than they had to do with previous generations. With that in mind, educators need to be aware of four key trends, both around cutting-edge edtech and Generation Z’s attitudes towards it, if they want to continue successfully engaging with modern students.


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1. Active learning is here to stay

Active learning, in its most basic form, is when teaching strives to involve students directly in the learning process. This has been widely researched and advocated since the early 1900s, but has recently been advanced by the emergence of new technology and Generation Z’s eagerness to adopt it. Self-reliant, practical and motivated by career outcomes, the new wave of students is more focused on creating their own futures, and education organisations need to choose technologies that support this level of independence. With video technology providing teachers with the ability to review lessons and giving students independence in research and catching up on missed content, it has been a primary resource for this transition. This changing nature of students has already led to greater adoption of active learning spaces alongside more traditional lecture sessions.

Active learning, in its most basic form, is when teaching strives to involve students directly in the learning process

2. The rise of the self-sufficient student

In contrast to the old stereotype, students are nowadays increasingly self-reliant and eager to learn by doing. Developments in video technology have meant that students are empowered to take their work into their own hands. By using lesson capture and cloud-compatible video platforms, lectures can be recorded and uploaded, available for students to use remotely on demand. The benefit of this level of accessibility is that it allows them to have increased interaction with learning materials and a larger range of methods of engagement with their lectures and peers, no matter where they are.

3. Video technology future-proofs higher education

By investing in the latest multi-purpose technology that supports the teaching strategy, educators can help to future-proof universities. Alongside updating their broader technology infrastructure, teachers should look to use different types of media in lessons such as videos, presentations, apps, podcasts and more to keep students engaged. While this may seem novel for some educators, it’s an approach that maps more closely to the wide variety of media and video content Generation Z engage with in general. Within universities, CIOs say that digital curricular resources improve learning and 77% of students report that technology increases engagement with course materials, the benefits are unprecedented and these numbers are only set to rise.

Universities today need to nurture a more open-minded, tech-savvy approach to learning

4. For Generation Z, video is life, not just education

If social media is the body in which Generation Z has grown up, video content is the lifeblood. With 93% of institutions believing that video increases satisfaction during students’ learning experiences, video has understandably become a vital resource in HE. Lecture capture is a must-have to provide access to content for students that need to make up lost time, want to learn online, remotely, or revisit topics. Student video projects also provide hands-on opportunities for experiential learning and career-driven competencies. Essentially, it provides more effective ways for this self-sufficient generation to learn, and that’s something any educator should prioritise. 

For universities, it is clear that video technology has become indispensable for teaching and engaging today’s students, not as a gimmick but as an essential contributor to an active learning environment. While education organisations – and universities in particular – have always had to adapt, it is important they invest in video technology and create active learning spaces today, if they don’t want to be left behind by the students of tomorrow.

To find out more about Sony Professional, visit their website.