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How video technology has changed student learning

Justin Thomas
Apr 19, 2018 7:14:34 PM

We have become a world online; a society loosening the physical boundaries of time and distance. Technological innovations such as WebRTC and HTML5 have made it possible for us to meet ‘face-to-face’ with our peers, many of which are hundreds of miles away. Say hello to your associates in Australia with your feet planted in Albuquerque? No problem.

As this format continues to increase in stability and viability, institutions are developing an investment plan, in hopes that they can help facilitate learning on an even deeper level.

Educational Benefits

Imagine being able to visit the Louvre for art history class, then off to Spain for a lesson in traditional Spanish cuisine. Truthfully, the possibilities are endless. E-learning is the future of education. At least, in theory. The realms of possibility for student interaction and engagement begin to re-shape how we think about our education process. The student becomes less of a pupil in a classroom, dependent on the instructor and textbooks for the majority of information, and more of an independent learner, with a knowledgable support staff available for guidance and clarification.
 
The virtual classroom provides students the tools they need to become explorers of their own subject matter. The student might participate in an interactive presentation or hold a one-on-one conversation with an expert of their field.
 
They are afforded the opportunity to “experience” information without being in its direct presence. Instructional professors are then able to conference with students about their experiences and conversations in order to individualize or prescribe the continued learning for the student.

Recently, Adobe has announced that its well-known Flash plug-in will no longer be developed and/or supported after 2020.

Some worry that this would be problematic for video-based learning. But, even more industry leaders have expressed greater optimism about the numerous software systems, such as WebGL, HTML5, and WebAssembly, which are poised to take Flash’s place. These newer options present far less security issues than Flash and are often easier to use. Additionally, they’re easily integrated into browsers directly, eliminating the need for plug-ins.

With 2020 still a few years away, there’s ample time for educational institutions to make the necessary switch for their video playback systems. Ultimately, this change will usher in a new era of software and support systems, capable of keeping up with the exponential growth of technology.

We are now seeing students, at all age levels, coming into classrooms with greater tech knowledge, as well as the hardware to match. Smart phones, laptops, and tablets are powerful pieces of equipment, which can handle increased task loads. They are also more readily available to a global marketplace.

In turn, these tools are making video conferencing and distance learning programs viable options for students across the globe. Classrooms are open to participants, no matter their location, and give educational options to many who never would have had these same possibilities, even as recently as 10 years ago. We are witnessing an educational transition which will bring globalization of information to the doorsteps of anyone able to access the Internet.

For colleges and universities feeling the effects of reduced enrollment due to increased tuition fees, technology in the “classroom” can be seen as a more economical option for institution and student, alike. Greater enrollment can be achieved from beyond the traditional student channels. Students of all demographics will see their educational options expanding, meeting their diverse needs across the board.

We are truly becoming a global learning community, the benefits of which will be far-reaching, to say the least.

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