The Future of Education is With Video
Opportunities for advanced knowledge, upgrading or refreshing skills and pursuing interests have opened up through the use of video. Where appropriate, licenses can be purchased by businesses for a host of training programs for their employees.
Video is opening up educational opportunities for everyone through non-traditional sources as well. For instance, I just paid $10 for an English as a second language (ESL) course in conversational English. I want to volunteer to teach ESL but only at a conversational level. So for $10 I can develop a curriculum, learn teaching methods and be confident in my ability to teach.
The same concept can be applied to many other fields of study whether it be for profit or not. Udemy.com, videolearning.com, edutopia.org, and howcast.com are just some of the many sources of online learning through video. YouTube in particular offers a wide array of educational opportunities because it allows users to quickly and easily add their videos. Additionally, because anyone can post on YouTube, the user is given access to millions of YouTubers who can possibly each have something unique to teach or share.
Now, all you need is a computer or smartphone and you too can become an instant expert, or at least knowledgeable enough to move the ball forward on your new venture.
More Teachers Through Video
When instructors can impart their knowledge with video, it becomes institutionalized or otherwise a permanent legacy. How many students can one instructor reach through live lectures? Not many compared to producing a video that will live on past the instructors physical life and be disseminated to thousands of students.
Teacher shortage? Not when people can learn through video. Of course there is much to be said about the human interaction and dynamics of a live classroom. There are questions that need to be answered regarding the question of replacing the classroom. What about discipline among younger students? Who will keep order? What about the socialization aspect that is lacking in this increasingly technical world?
But in today’s increasingly expensive world, video has the potential to radically bring down costs while reaching more and more students. Today, efficiency and economy trumps other considerations. Hopefully we’ll be able to bridge the technical advances and the loss of our humanity – which is a real issue.
Costs for Education Lessen
Video is bringing down the costs for education in a variety of ways. When there is competition and the technology is available to everyone to disseminate their knowledge, the costs inevitably fall. Brick and mortar centers of education may go the way of brick and mortar retail stores. Universities filled with hundreds of students in a large auditorium may be replaced by one professor and many students interacting on a Skype-like video network where students can raise their hand to talk by clicking on a mouse or pushing a button.
However the ultimate university shapes up to look like, video will play an increasing role in improving and disseminating education to more and more people. Even now, you can take free or low cost online and video courses through many universities. Often these classes are less expensive than attending in person, with the benefit of getting the same degree!
Quality versus Quantity
Yes, there are many new sources for learning through video. But all sources of knowledge are not equal. Though universities and other educational institutions will be changing, one thing won’t. And that something is accreditation and standards.
I just watched a few free videos on line and they were good, but not great. But they were free, so what should I expect? Exactly my point. Universities may keep their hold on the educational system because of the high standards that they insist upon for their courses. Well, someone has to set and keep educational standards! Otherwise, it becomes the ‘wild west’.
So my advice is to consider the source when doing online video learning. Anyone can post a video on YouTube. And there are no truth police out there to vet the information people are disseminating. So as with any other aspect of life, buyer beware. Even if the product is free!