Research has repeatedly shown the value of video in the digital classroom. With the relatively recent availability of free, high-quality video online, it also makes a perfect addition to blended learning. Students, parents, and teachers all agree on the effectiveness of using video as a teaching tool. And there are a number of ways to implement video-assisted teaching.
Read the full article for both facts and tactics to add video to your digital classroom.
The evidence is in: the digital classroom benefits students. 1:1 student-to-device ratios work. Tech-fostered collaboration works. Student response clickers work. Blended learning and flipped classrooms also both work. When teachers leverage technology, learning outcomes improve.
Whether to enhance a lesson or be the lesson, options are virtually endless. From virtual labs and games to digital textbooks and online curriculum, digital classrooms rely on video. For decades, research has revealed the benefits of using video in the classroom. With better tech, the use of digital video content has skyrocketed and multiple benefits abound.
The Rise of the Digital Classroom
Our lives are changing more rapidly than ever before. The first 20 years of the 20th century saw more technological advancement than in the entire 19th century. The prediction for the 21st century is even faster. In the 100 years of this century, we’ll experience the equivalent of 20,000 years of progress, at today’s rate.
Education is no exception. Classroom layouts, teaching methods, ideas about testing (and so much more) are transforming almost before our eyes. Amidst this rapid change is a sense of urgency. Educators are striving to transform learning environments to meet changing needs. Students must be prepared to compete and contribute in a global economy. Tech plays a crucial role, as districts scramble to create “the digital classroom of the future.”
Every year, Project Tomorrow conducts its Speak Up poll. It’s a survey of K-12 students, parents, and educators. In 2015, more than 90% of district administrators said instructional tech is important to achieving their core mission of educating students. Parents echoed this view. 84% said that school tech adds value to their child’s learning. 78% said the best way for their child to develop college, career and citizenship skills needed for success is the regular use of tech at school. (See the study here.)
Blended learning combines traditional classroom learning with self-paced online learning. Districts using blended learning are at the forefront of using digital content. These pioneers found blended learning to be so effective that they increased use from 42% to 61%. That’s a 45% increase in just one year.
Principals at blended learning schools agree digital content increases student engagement. 63% also believe it increases the relevancy and quality of the instructional materials. Among the teachers in these classrooms, 50% or more stated that because of digital learning, students are:
- Working together more often
- Developing greater problem solving and critical thinking skills
- More motivated to learn
- Taking greater ownership of their learning
Students agree. Two-thirds of middle school students said that effective technology use increases their interest in what they’re learning. (See the study.)
Evidence-Based Benefits of Video in the Classroom
Instructors have been using video to support learning for decades. But, video has usually been relegated to supplemental learning. In today’s digital classrooms, video is by no means a new thing. Research over this span of time has consistently shown the positive benefits of its use. Evidence-based findings indicate using video in the classroom:
- Facilitates thinking and problem solving
- Fosters mastery learning
- Inspires and engages students
- Helps develop learner autonomy
- Delivers authentic learning opportunities
Video’s power to inspire and engage goes beyond increased attention. It’s been shown to increase motivation and improve grades. Notable among these findings:
IN SOME CASES, VIDEO CAN BE AS GOOD AS AN INSTRUCTOR IN COMMUNICATING FACTS OR DEMONSTRATING PROCEDURES TO ASSIST IN MASTERY LEARNING WHERE A STUDENT CAN VIEW COMPLEX CLINICAL OR MECHANICAL PROCEDURES AS MANY TIMES AS THEY NEED TO.
In the digital classroom, video is new only in its improved quality and wider availability. The use of video in the digital classroom will continue to expand. As it does, insight into the benefits will undoubtedly likewise grow. At present we know that principals who’ve employed blended learning in their schools say that the use of digital content:
- Increases student engagement in learning (75%)
- Extends learning beyond the school day offering students opportunities for self-directed learning and remediation (72%)
- Increases the relevancy and quality of the instructional materials (63%)
- Provides an innovative way for instruction to be personalized for each student (56)
- Decreases the traditional dependency on textbooks (51%)
How Teachers Use Video in the Digital Classroom
Video is becoming the go-to tool in digital classrooms. According to one survey, 94% of teachers used video the previous academic year. On average, they used it at least once per week. Is the DVD player-laden media cart a thing of the past? If not yet, it will be soon.
In the 2016 Speak Up survey, 68% of teachers said they used online videos in 2015 – compared to 48% in 2010. That’s a growth rate of more than 40% in just 5 years. The survey further revealed that over three-quarters of middle school students (78%) are themselves using online video for learning. Parents surveyed further supported digital video for learning. 64% said that watching online videos can help students learn by supporting different learning styles. Another 59% appreciated video for enabling students to watch repeatedly as needed. (Learn more here.)
Another study showed that 49% of blended classrooms use online curriculum.11 A growing phenomenon is the use of teacher-created videos. Doubling in use from 2013-2014, 20% of digital classroom instructors in the 2015 Speak Up survey were developing their own video content to support the curriculum.
Digital content is clearly making a major impact in K-12 education. In addition to the videos noted above, blended classrooms are using online textbooks (37%), animations (29%), and virtual labs (14%). Students may, in fact, be using video at least as often as their teachers. Savvy instructors recognize their students’ YouTube affinity and are tapping into it by assigning video projects instead of presentations.
Video is a must for flipped classrooms. First, students watch content at home. The source could be a teacher-created video, the Khan Academy, or other digital resources. Students then discuss the topic during class time. As noted by the Center for Digital Education in its Q1 2015 report on digital technology trends:
BY OFFERING LESSONS THAT WOULD HAVE TRADITIONALLY BEEN PRESENTED DURING CLASS TIME AND THEN MAKING THOSE VIDEOS AVAILABLE ONLINE, STUDENTS ARE ABLE TO ACCESS LESSONS ANYTIME, ANYWHERE. THIS ALLOWS STUDENTS TO LEARN AT THEIR OWN PACE AND ON THEIR OWN TIME. BY USING VIDEO, EDUCATORS CAN OFTEN COVER MORE SUBJECT MATTER AND MOVE THROUGH TOPICS QUICKLY AS THEY DO NOT HAVE TO SLOW DOWN TO CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING. ADDITIONALLY, IT EMPOWERS STUDENTS TO TAKE CONTROL OF THEIR OWN LEARNING — THEY CAN SPEED UP, SLOW DOWN OR RE-WATCH EACH LESSON AS NEEDED. STUDENTS CAN ALSO USE VIDEO IN A FLIPPED CLASSROOM MODEL TO WORK COLLABORATIVELY ON GROUP PROJECTS DURING CLASS TIME.
Research strongly suggests that flipped classrooms are positive for instructors and students alike. As a result:
- 96% of educators who have flipped a classroom or lesson would recommend it to their colleagues.
- 71% of educators saw improved grades after moving to the flipped classroom model.
- 52% of instructors share videos created by other educators with students.
How Students are Using Video
Data and teacher experience are far from the only drivers of video in education. Student experience is a key factor in the explosion of video in the classroom. Today’s school-age children have never known a world without video. Among children age 8 or younger, 21% use smartphones. Around three-quarters of teens own smartphones. A quarter of these say they’re “constantly connected” to the Internet. 91% of US teens watch Youtube, compared to just 55% that use Snapchat and 61% that use Facebook.
Since video is a constant in students’ personal lives, it’s natural for them to want to use it for school. Here’s how students are using video to support their education:
- More than a third (38%) of students seek out online videos to help with homework.
- 27% said they regularly watch videos created by their teachers.
- 74% of 6th-8th graders said they watch online videos for schoolwork.
- The top subject areas in which the students in grades 6-12 watch videos to support schoolwork are science (66 percent), math (59 percent), social studies/history (53 percent) and English/language arts (45 percent).
Supportive Technology for the Digital Classroom
Effective video-based learning requires the ability to see and hear content clearly. Classroom technology must have adequate audio and quality image display. Chromebooks and tablets are designed for use with headphones or near the user.
These student devices can be counted on to deliver sufficient audio quality. The audio provided by classroom displays, however, can fall short. To engage a roomful of students, large-screen displays need top-quality audio.
Projectors and Interactive Displays
Projectors and interactive displays are often evaluated solely by their image display abilities. Unfortunately, many manufacturers treat audio as an afterthought. Projectors may lack audio altogether. Those that do often deliver sub-optimal audio quality that’s difficult to hear throughout a classroom. Look for projectors designed with both audio and image resolution in mind.
Education projectors are known for reliable, outstanding image quality. They also incorporate robust audio capabilities to support the range of multimedia applications. When shopping for a projector, consider brightness, lamp life, laser, and short-throw options. Laser projectors are a great budget-minded approach, as they have longer-life capabilities compared to lamp-based projectors.
If you’re interested in an HD projector for education, consider short throw or ultra-short throw options. These projectors work best in smaller classrooms, by being closer to the screen. Short throws provide the added benefit of preventing any blinding lights from distracting the presenter. They also prevent any distracting shadows or finger puppets from being cast onto the screen.
Interactive projectors with SonicExpert™ technology are designed for higher volume and enhanced sound quality. These compact speakers are powerful enough to fill classrooms with clearly audible, wall-to-wall sound. SonicExpert™ projectors deliver higher volume, advanced sound clarity and full-range sound thanks to multiple design features, including:
- Improved transducer driver design. The use of quality materials suited to small speakers delivers stronger sound and wider frequency range.
- 30% larger speaker chamber. Boosts feedback power and creates a wider frequency range for reduced distortion and stronger sound.
- Software fine-tuning. Developed through extensive mixing and testing to deliver a best-fit sound response curve. The result is clearer, more comfortable sound.
Interactive displays are another option, as they easily allow for annotation, screen recording and watching videos from websites like YouTube. Adding additional speakers for loud, amped-up sound is easy via the SPDIF audio-out port.
ViewSonic ViewBoard interactive displays are an all-in-one solution. ViewBoard IFPs come equipped with an embedded processor, web browser and dual integrated speakers. This empowers students and instructors to seamlessly integrate video, apps, and web-based content. They can then write directly on top of the content and save it to share or refer to. Powerful dual speakers deliver stereo sound for an immersive multimedia experience.
Video In The Classroom
Video has been an important teaching tool with a proven track record for enhancing learning. Today we are at the forefront of an even greater reliance on video in the classroom. Both teachers and students are creatively leveraging video for learning. The use of video will continue to rise for the foreseeable future. Greater availability of tech and faster internet connectivity are key factors in this growth.
Increasing evidence about the benefits of blended learning benefits will further continue to promote the use of video. As schools equip themselves to support multimedia learning, the careful evaluation of hardware audio in tandem with image quality will enable students to most fully benefit from this transformative trend.