The COVID-19 driven shift to remote learning and hybrid class structures triggered some things in K12-education that are likely not to go away when in-school learning resumes. Because of our focus on K12 video hosting and sharing, SchoolTube has been in the epicenter of the shift to remote learning. We have watched and supported the increased use of video-based learning and we have recorded these lessons-learned.
Remote live classes must be recorded and reshared.
Many teachers found that running a remote live class to be a very difficult task. Frustration with technology, device compatibility, home connectivity issues, lack of accountability, absenteeism, etc made for a very difficult learning experience. To increase the effectiveness of live remote learning, the sessions must be recorded and re-shared for student/parent access. This allows students and parents to review the class session at their own pace and convenience. Common sense step, but not always accomplished.
Video lessons improve access & comprehension.
Because of the issues above, a dedicated video produced by the teacher on a specific topic/lesson should be created and shared with students. These videos present the subject matter in a controlled environment void of all the remote session interruptions and tech issues and can be reviewed by students and parents at their own convenience and pace. Teachers should pair specific teaching videos with recordings of the full live session. This increases access to the content and improves comprehension and understanding.
Video-based lessons should be short.
Why is a phone number presented in 3 segments? (XXX-XXX-XXX) Short sequences are easier to remember! The same goes for video-based teaching. Teaching videos should be short and hyper-focused on specific topics. The attention span of adolescents is very short, so teaching videos should be created to match that attention span of 5-10 minutes. Multiple videos can be shared via a playlist to present the whole lesson under a single URL. SchoolTube offers an amazing video channel and playlist structure to help with this task.
Teachers need to make higher-quality videos.
The quality of a teaching video can not distract from the lesson presented. To improve, teachers need to learn the basics of video production and basic video editing, especially if they will be showing themselves or teaching in a physical setting (presenting in front of a whiteboard, room, etc). At SchoolTube we see some really great teaching videos and we see some horrible teaching videos. We share many of the best under our SchoolTube Video of the Day program. The better videos have good lighting, good audio, stabilized shots, and good composition – the placement of the teacher and teaching materials in the context of the screen. The not-so-good ones have bad lighting, bad audio, shaky or awkward shots, and poor composition. Probably the 3 best tips we can offer are: make sure the teacher is lit from the front, the camera is stabilized, and the audio feed is strong. To help teachers improve their video production skills, SchoolTube has partnered with Videomaker to provide free access to Videomaker Plus training and tutorial videos.
YouTube is a Friend and Foe.
Many teachers create their own teaching videos and instinctively upload them to YouTube©. Let’s face it, YouTube garners top-of-mind awareness and is often a reflexive choice. Teachers who don’t create their own videos often augment their lessons with videos they find on YouTube. Here’s the challenge…while YouTube is often unblocked at the high school level, it is often blocked or heavily restricted for middle and lower grades and at private schools. In addition, even if YouTube is unblocked, teachers and school administrators are uncomfortable with the suggested/related videos shown in the YouTube sidebar. As such, while teachers like the content on YouTube and want to use it, they often hit roadblocks or strife when sharing. Direct students to YouTube to watch a specific teaching video and they will invariably veer off course by opening YouTube-suggested videos. SchoolTube offers the ability to link and play YouTube videos in a cleaner, safer environment, but there are some restrictions that must be considered. YouTube is an option, but there are alternatives are the key takeaway.
K12 video management solutions are fragmented.
There is a wide range of video management tools and apps available to teachers and schools. There is no one killer app out there that addresses all needs. While YouTube is popular, it is not a school/district recommended tool. Some K12 video management systems are designed around specific functions or targeted at specific grades/class types. Acquisition of K12 video management systems is often teacher-initiated – teachers research and find a solution that works for them. Teachers like free, so they tend to use tools that are free. Districts and schools like control, but at this time they have yet to widely mandate (and fund) the use of a central video management system.
SchooolTube Checks the Boxes
After nearly a year and a half of supporting K12 distance learning through our K12 video hosting platform, we believe SchoolTube checks many of the boxes required by school and district leaders when it comes to offering all the tools needed to support in-class and remote learning. We encourage you to learn more by visiting SchoolTube and by watching this 5-Minute SchoolTube Overview Video.