By Andrew Angus on February 11, 2011

Education video is changing the way global students learn.

While most of us know the Scholastic Corporation as the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books (remember how exciting it was when their new books would arrive at school?), they’re also a leader in educational technology – including video.

On the education video portion of their site, you’ll find examples of how they’re using web videos to bring learning to life. There’s a “virtual field trip” to a place called Plimouth Plantation (spelled the way the pilgrims spelled it), as well as some “Conversations with Pilgrims” who describe what life was like for the pilgrims around the time of the first American Thanksgiving.

Scholastic also uses education videos to give kids a way to learn, express themselves, and teach other kids, something they do with their Scholastic Kids Press Corps. And on another other site they have videos for kids that range from book reviews by kids, to book synopsis’, and random videos that kids might like.

In the field of higher learning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a pioneer of online education, offering video lectures, simulations and animations, as well as other course materials, via ITunes University as well as from their own OpenCourseware site.

Higher learners can also browse the YouTube EDU channel for formal university lectures as well as fun user-generated content in the style we’ve come to know and love on YouTube.

Closer to home, we’ve helped our client Pearson Education Canada to create more than 50 videos for their MyAccountingLab site (see image above). These educational videos, along with interactive quizzes and other learning tools, were designed to support college and university students in financial accounting and managerial accounting programs. The videos play a crucial role in creating those “a-ha!” moments when students understand these complex concepts and can begin to apply them.

It’s clear that as broadband becomes more widely available globally, that learning will extend more and more into the realm of the virtual. Why? Because knowledge is valuable, and many people believe that education is a universal right, so much so that some people are willing to ‘give it away’. Combine that with the effectiveness of video to help people understand complex topics, and you have a powerful educational recipe.

Educational video ranges from degree… to free!

Check out this guy. The Khan Academy provides free virtual online learning lessons to anyone with access to the internet. Subject selection is comprehensive and growing, ranging from history to algebra, calculus, physics and chemistry. Students learn from educational video and then have the option of downloading exercises, much like any educational program.

Khan Academy might not tackle the issue of credentials in education – and that’s something that won’t go away for a while – but he does provide a valuable resource for people to learn a subject at their own pace, all for free. With millions of users at Khan Academy there’s no question that learning is happening – and all through educational video.

It might not be perfect. It might range in price from free to degree. But it’s all happening using web video to help people learn complex subject matter in easier ways… something we can appreciate here at Switch Video.

 

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