How video-assisted-learning is making a real impact on education

Tony White, country head – UK and Ireland at ViewSonic Europe, explains how video can make a difference in the classroom, and how to get around challenges

Digital DNA

Education technology has already had a profound impact on the UK education system – fundamentally changing the way teachers and students engage and participate in the learning process. The UK government is keen to encourage more schools to reap the benefits of edtech, unveiling its new strategy – backed by £10 million of investment – to use technology to reduce teacher workload, boost student outcomes and help level the playing field for those with special needs and disabilities.

As this generation of students becomes increasingly visual, the emphasis is on educators to take advantage of modern technology to capture the attention of pupils and increase their engagement with the curriculum.

School-age children in modern Britain have been born and raised in the digital era and are well-versed in using technology as part of their everyday lives. For them, walking in to a classroom full of interactive screens and tablets is normal. In fact, according to the National Centre for Education Statistics, tablet computers are now used in 70% of schools in the UK.

As this generation of students becomes increasingly visual, the emphasis is on educators to take advantage of modern technology to capture the attention of pupils and increase their engagement with the curriculum.

The rise of video

As a result, teachers are now using videos more than ever, with research showing 70% of educators use video in the classroom multiple times per week. Known as video-assisted learning (VAL), this process enables students to acquire knowledge, competence and skills by using audio-visual aids as instructional resources. The benefits of VAL, on both students and teachers, are one of the main driving forces for the rapid adoption of video in the classroom.

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We regularly speak to teachers who use video as a way to improve student development and academic performance. For them, using video as a primary teaching aid has three key benefits:

  1. Increases student engagement
    The human brain processes visual images 60,000 times faster than written words, making video a powerful tool for learning and retaining important information. Recent studies have shown a direct correlation between the use of video-assisted learning and improved academic performance.
  2. Facilitates active group discussion
    As students move through primary and secondary school into higher education, they are expected to take on a more active role in the learning process. Video is a great way of encouraging group discussion and collaboration, as well as fostering creative and critical problem-solving skills.
  3. Supports the flipped education model and SEND pupils
    Video resources are available online and can be viewed and re-watched outside of the traditional classroom environment, helping students learn at their own pace. Captions can also help deaf students benefit from visual content.

It is no surprise then that many teachers are using video as a blended learning tool to maximise student outcomes. Imagine a GCSE history lesson discussing World War Two: twenty years ago the most common teaching method was a combination of lectures and textbooks, whereas now pupils can use video to supplement written materials. Reading about historical events is one thing, but being able to see and hear elements of them offers a much deeper, immersive learning experience.

Taking video to the max

Video has now become the richest medium for teaching and learning, effectively communicating complex information to students and supporting them as they explore new topics. However there are still a number of challenges posed by sourcing and integrating visual content into everyday lesson plans, challenges which edtech is now helping to overcome:

  1. Finding suitable content
    This is perhaps the most obvious: many teachers are time-poor and it can at times be difficult to source quality video content which is not only relevant to the subject matter, but is also free from copyright, age-appropriate for its intended audience and comes from a reliable source. Many edtech display providers now offer their own embedded software platforms with video libraries curated to subject areas and age levels.
  2. Getting rid of advertisements
    When using free video platforms such as YouTube, advertising can interrupt the flow of a video and negatively impact student engagement. To negate this issue, many video-streaming platforms now provide ad-free access to educational institutions.
  3. Showing it off
    Sourcing great content is one thing, but being able to effectively showcase it to a class of 30 students is another – arguably a more important one. Many schools who regularly use video content have adopted the use of interactive flat panels (IFPs) as the main display hubs in their classrooms. For those schools with tablet devices for students, content can also be wirelessly mirrored onto the main screen – helping increase individual student engagement even further.

Education’s future

The use of video in education is only going to increase as more resources (both financial and technological) become available for schools. By harnessing the power of edtech, teachers can not only broaden the minds of their students on specific topics but also broaden their horizons – helping them thrive as they move through the education system.