We have each come to expect video content as part of our daily lives. Students and teachers are no different—they, too, have come to expect video as a key role in the learning process. To accommodate this, educational institutions of all types, from the university level and down to grade schools, have leveraged the opportunity to use video to enhance learning and enrich the educational experience.
This benefit however, is just the starting point with incorporating media in the education market. The reality is that schools today, from the primary level on up to the collegiate ranks, are also utilizing live video technologies to provide hands-on coursework that prepares students for specialized jobs in AV, live performance, and broadcast, as well as the use of media for a variety of career paths.
The dovetailing of these two uses through media production and delivery makes AV integration in the education space particularly interesting for the schools that use media for learning—and for the systems contractor who is offering solutions. This is especially true when coupled with new, networked technologies that make the installation, operation, and management of production systems more affordable, more manageable, and extremely scalable.
But to develop the partnership between systems integrator and education provider requires an understanding by both of the benefits being seen in the education world today.
Improving Coursework with Video
Traditional learning is increasingly being augmented with media content and alternative methods such as online learning. Distance learning, webcasting/podcasting, streaming, interactive classrooms, e-learning management systems, social media, mobile technology, gamification, cloud computing, virtual/augmented reality, and other forms of video are changing the way people are being taught and trained.
The integration of AV systems is foundational to nearly all of these technology trends. An appropriate AV system can provide new ways for students to interact with guest speakers or lectures from remote locations. Live lecture or training sessions can be distributed to multiple locations. Content can be shared through hosting and social media platforms.
Media also helps enhance distance learning as an aid to teachers and instructors who specialize in specific, visual subjects. It enables students to interact with their peers across the city or the world. Connected learning communities permit faculty to collaborate for enhanced teaching techniques and increases the motivation to refine their skills.
Media production also contributes to the livelihood of educational institutions by producing student news, community outreach information, events, television shows, educational programming, sports, and other activities. Delivering programs that cover public meetings and community events connects students to the larger world around them.
Lecture capture is one example of using media technology that allows instructors to record lectures and make them available for re-use. Distribution can be through content and learning management systems, as well as online video platforms.
While in-class instruction remains necessary and relevant, lecture capture solutions offer the primary benefits of offering an alternative for when learners miss classes, for providing ongoing content review, and for the creation of content for online and blended course development.
Lecture capture enhances and extends the impact of courses. Lessons that require demonstrations become repeatable, and instruction can be re-watched multiple times. Implementing lecture capture provides a new opportunity for interdisciplinary research for a more well-rounded approach to subject matter. Making databases of lecture capture material permits learners to search, tag, annotate, and share lesson content.
Using Video to Develop Curriculum
Besides having an additional teaching tool for all students, participants in media courses acquire useful technological skills. Learning the technologies and storytelling skills relevant for media content prepares students for success in a variety of careers. They also benefit from team-building and creative collaboration by being empowered with the tools and knowledge that future communicators need to succeed.
Examples of this in practice exist from the middle school years in some districts. The result of such an early introduction to live production systems and live streaming/broadcast quality technology is then seen at the high school and collegiate level: students are far ahead of their peers in terms of being prepared for real-world jobs.
A specific example of this is at Carlsbad High School in Carlsbad, CA where the school produces documentary features for television distribution and has won a national award for student produced television newscasts 12 years in a row. That type of professional dominance doesn’t happen because of talent alone, but rather from a well-developed curriculum that builds this talent and lets it shine through work that connects back to the outcomes for learning: student news, storytelling, learning aids and supplements, live event production, and more.
By combining these elements through streamlined AV offerings, schools of all levels can help students learn more effectively across all disciplines while also permitting those interested in production to master the trade.
Providing AV Solutions for All Educational Outcomes
To harness these outcomes, look for flexible systems to produce creative content without technological hurdles and costly components. Seek out systems that students and instructors can use to deliver compelling productions and teaching materials with a polished, engaging and consistent appearance in any size facility. Such a system needs to be software-driven, IP-based, and interoperable.
To meet the changing needs of students and learners, flexible and easy to use media production systems are a critical element for creating and delivering rich digital media content—be it for courses, performances, sports, assemblies and seminars, or student news productions.
When choosing suppliers for educational media projects, carefully review what software and hardware they offer that integrates easily into IP-based media production and delivery scenarios. Also check if suppliers can demonstrate successful projects using their technology for various sized educational institutions.
Remember: the utilization of an AV system in the education market can both improve coursework and enable additional curricula. Make sure to offer both solutions—as a single package—to the education market. The value of such systems is impressive for schools, enabling for teachers, and empowering for students.