Is Online Video Becoming the New Backbone of Education Technology?

Online video is quickly becoming one of the most important parts of education, and as the medium matures, teachers utilizing education technology are implementing more video in the classroom.

Dr. Michal Tsur, who is co-founder and president of Kaltura, writes in Venture Beat that video is the new common denominator in educational technology. Online video watching is becoming one of the most popular activities on the Web, and it has been penetrating the education market like no other technology.

In 2012 alone, Internet users watched 4 billion videos per day. Between 2012 and 2017, mobile video will grow 75 percent per year, the highest growth rate predicted among any mobile app, including Facebook and Twitter.

More schools and universities are embracing the flipped classroom model and harnessing the power of video. The flipped classroom inverts traditional teaching methods by allowing students to access lectures and instruction online using video outside of class, which leaves time for discussion and hands-on learning in the classroom.

The Clintondale High School, near Detroit, Michigan, implemented the flipped classroom model and found success. Before the flipped classroom model, 50% of freshmen failed English and 44% failed math. After the flip, just 19% of students failed English and 13% failed math.

Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) are another area of education technology being vaulted to prominence by high-quality video. Many leading universities have embraced the MOOC model, with hundreds of universities in total currently offering video-based courses to students. MOOCs offer completely free online courses to students from all over the world and themselves employ a variation on the flipped classroom model to enhance learning by using video as a key tool for delivering educational content.

While it remains to be seen whether or not MOOCs will improve graduation rates, education is a $1 trillion market, leaving plenty of funding available for testing and creating sustainable business models.

Many schools are implementing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs that allow students to use their own hardware, nearly all of which is capable of playing video. These programs "are uniquely positioned to provide the boost classrooms need to help students access new media and engage them on devices they are already familiar with."

According to new research, students who are exposed to the integration of media-rich content like video outperform non-exposed peers on tests, are more active in class discussions, and apply more varied approaches to problem solving. By 2017, streaming video will represent the majority of all mobile traffic – and if BYOD programs continue to be successful, much of this traffic could come from the classroom.

Online video is also a driving factor fueling the personalized and social learning paradigms being championed by many educational institutions today. According to the U.S. Department of Education, personalized learning allows instructors to adjust the pace (individualization) and adjust the approach (differentiation) of education to tailor to a student's individual interests. Students can choose what they wish to learn, as well as when and how they learn it. Online video is a central tenet of personalized learning, as it affords students access to educational materials anytime, anywhere or anyplace – a key element of personalized learning. In fact, one in four students have already reported using online videos to help with homework questions.

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