Using Video Technology to Enhance Blended Learning

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Mixed media classes have become more popular in higher education, and K-12 education’s upcoming counterpart blended learning is enticing more educators in the digital age. Generation Z learners are more familiar with technology at early life stages than some millennials are, so educational institutions adapting to the changing times and embracing blended learning only makes sense. In fact, the global e-learning market is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18% by 2020, and 50% of all classes will be hosted online by 2019. The question now is: why do videos enhance blended learning, and how can they be used in practice?

Let’s start with this: education technology has been a growing force in education in years, and tech mediums that are distinctly favored by today’s K-12 students are games and videos. Both are easily accessible on smartphones, tablets, computers, and televisions alike – so incorporating these mediums as learning tools in schools proves to be a hit among the students, especially using videos.

Why Do Videos Enhance Blended Learning?

using video technology to enhance blended learning

There is something special about videos: they cater to different learning styles, especially visual learning, and various types of knowledge and intelligence and are more engaging for students because they are more relatable. In addition, students aren’t only blending learning styles when creating or watching a video, they are also working both the left and right hemispheres of their brains simultaneously by getting in touch with their creative side while learning and applying valuable information.

The meshing of creativity and information in a video makes the content more valuable – it’s proven that video content is more memorable than just text. The picture superiority effect states that pictures perform at a much higher level than text regarding human memory recall. Studies show that this effect simultaneously contributes to associative recognition. In laymen’s terms, this means that using images proves to increase human recall of information because it helps the brain encode the content.

Here’s another way to think about the picture superiority effect and associative recognition: images are processed 60,000 times faster than words, allowing messages to permeate the brain. Along with learning more information, studies show that students acquire information more easily from watching videos, and they prefer to have video content over reading textbooks or PowerPoints.

Video also nurtures today’s changing attention spans that’s about how long it takes to decide if the content is worth reading or watching, or if attention should be paid elsewhere. A short introduction video explaining the basics of a topic will grab and keep the attention of a learner in just a few seconds, while simplifying the information and providing only the main message of the topic.

How to Use Video Technology in Blended Learning

using video technology to enhance blended learning

Adapting from traditional teaching and learning to a mixed, modern classroom approach is simple when the right tools are available to use. Video hosting sites like YouTube, Wistia, and Vimeo are all great resources for posting and searching for video content to show in class. Online learning academies like Khan Academy provide great resources for educators to sift through in order to find the content they need for their students.

There’s a plethora of video content out there, and although it’s helpful, sometimes the vast depths of the Internet can be overwhelming when searching for videos that work best for you. Creating videos is another valuable option when more specific, tailored content is necessary. DIY video creation software is available online for both teachers and students to use. Having students create their own videos not only enhances the blended learning environment, but simultaneously blends students together while they are collaborating to create videos.

Videos can be used by educators within their lesson plans, analyzing videos or creating them in class as group project work, or assigning video creation as homework are just a few examples. Here’s a few ideas on how to use video technology in blended learning:

Use video in your lesson plan

· Spruce up traditional PowerPoints to make them more engaging

· Introduce a topic

· Provide a closing summary of a topic

· Start a lesson with an educational or inspirational video

· Create a video with a DIY video creation tool to show students how it contributes to using several skills and multiple parts of the brain

· Assign in-class activities so students can collaborate intellectually and creatively on a project

Use video as part of homework assignments

· Students can focus on their writing skills by explaining the key messages of a complex topic they learned about in class through making a video

· Learners can study and reference videos as sources of information for research projects

· Depending on education level, students can create video book reports, lab reports, or describe historic events

· Flip the classroom by assigning videos to watch at home to promote autonomous learning and accountability

Videos are the content of the present and the future. The possibilities are endless regarding how to use video technology in blended learning environments!