Video rights for the classroom

Finding fresh video content that really brings a topic to life is a perennial challenge for teachers, says Justin Beck

Using video to illustrate and explain a topic and fire up students’ creative juices is not new, in fact it’s been around since the BBC first started broadcasting school programmes in 1957! But finding fresh content that really brings a topic to life is a perennial challenge for teachers and lecturers. 

Searching for the right video clip to add colour to a Year 5 science class then navigating the complex world of content rights, is simply too time-consuming for hard-pressed teaching staff.  Educational institutions – from primary schools through to universities – are exploring creative ways to enable video repositories to be at their teachers’/lecturers’ and students’ fingertips at any time. Put simply, they have begun to collapse the various video repositories that exist across their community into a central video system that provides direct access from whatever tool the teacher is using (LMS, SharePoint, portal, etc.) to a rich media repository of institution-created content and third-party multimedia.  The aim is to enrich the student experience while reducing the staff burden.

Kaltura works with many great organisations, from industry leaders Pearson to fast-growing Infobase Learning (FilmsOnDemand and Learn360) and recently engaged with bo, an organisation that addresses this need for accessible content. Launched in January 2015, bo takes a fresh approach to video curation, matching relevant content from multiple global sources – including Associated Press Television News, BBC Worldwide Learning, Bloomberg and Getty Images – to specific curricula. The library enables education publishers and providers to easily embed rights-cleared video into their digital textbooks and services. 

Talking about bo at the January launch, co-founder David Bainbridge said: “Every night, there’s something on television that brilliantly brings to life the topics our children are studying in schools. But then, it’s gone – catalogued for another broadcast day. bo finds those gems for publishers, helping them and their end users, teachers, to keep students engaged and on task– the holy grail of classroom management.” 

Bo’s algorithmic technology scans thousands of hours of video content and semantically matches clips to topics taught in the classroom. These clips are then verified and refined by a select panel of teachers to make sure they are accurate, age-appropriate and relevant. Already, bo provides more than three million rights-cleared, curriculum tagged video clips that are accessible to educational publishers and providers. 

Combine something like bo with your institutions’ captured lectures, library archives and student-generated content and you can amass an incredible library of easily searchable, highly engaging resources that remove a common barrier expressed by educators. At Kaltura, we often see institutions readily fill up their media management solution with institution-created content but having other, professionally produced materials as part of their inventory adds more depth to the learning experience.

By making it easy for educational publishers and institutions to add relevant video content to their materials without having to deal with complicated search and licensing issues, student learning is enriched. Showing students video clips of the Curiosity landing on Mars in a science class, or watch an interview with a famous author in an English class, adds a valuable extra dimension to learning.

Video is a powerful tool for educators and proven to improve learning outcomes. As the provider of the video platform that powers bo, we share their vision of democratising video. Instilling in students a passion for a subject or topic by bringing it alive through carefully curated video content just might enthuse the next Brian Cox or JK Rowling.

Justin Beck is Vice President of Education at video technology platform Kaltura.