YouTube and New Media in The Classroom
One thing many of us may remember from our elementary, middle, or high school careers was the exhaustive process for bringing in a movie or video clip into the classroom. The teacher was forced to go retrieve a television cart with a VCR, spend long minutes finding a remote and configuring the thing while students were left to their own devices, and much of the time many videos desired for class instruction were unobtainable in the first place. Imagine the relief of teachers these days, then, as they continue to implement cloud video services like YouTube, Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, and many others as a means of bringing students related video information and media to support classroom learning. From showing films alongside novels to invite student analysis and comparisons, to bringing in new media programs like TED Talks to enhance learning and provoke meaningful debate, cloud video services are quickly becoming not just an addition, but indeed the norm for teachers in their curriculum and instruction planning.
The utilization of cloud video services in the classroom is really a no brainer when you consider it. Aside from student engagement and interest being spiked by a change in classroom routine and instruction, videos are usually an excellent way to present or review concepts in a different fashion. This kind of multimodal instruction has been demonstrated time and again by research to be perhaps the most effective form of both growing student development, and maintaining student retention. Aside from the ability to show videos, perhaps even more exciting is the ability for students to both utilize videos in presentations and classroom assessments, as well as the opportunity for students to work creatively in producing video media projects as an alternative to traditional oral or written assignments.
A further benefit of the cloud has been the growing number of companies and groups developing video media specifically geared toward utilizing the cloud to enhance classroom learning. Foremost among these has been TED, the lecture series group that has now decided to focus specifically on education as well. Recently, TED released TED Ed, a one-stop shop for educators chock full of TED Talks that are both meaningful and designed specifically for classroom instruction. Educators can post discussion questions, mark video annotations (just as they can on YouTube) to insert “lecture notes” into videos, and integrate the videos into instruction instead of simply replacing it.
Certainly, the potential for integration of cloud video services has yet to even be fully realized. As teachers and video services both continue to develop new and interesting ways to gear this technology toward classroom instruction, the potential for enhancing student development, classroom learning, and student retention continues to grow as well. Beyond that, with video media becoming a dominant form of communication in the 21st century, the introduction of this type of media to students during their early academic careers is also a logical next step toward ensuring their preparation for careers in the world today.
By Adam Hausman