Monday, September 22, 2014

Using Video Messaging to Improve Student Engagement

From Edison's Telephonoscope to today's iPads. Source
Video Messaging: The secret to better student engagement?

Keeping on the theme of technology this past week, I was sent an interesting tweet yesterday from a fellow blogger who shared with me a post on a 2013 case study done in Dallas. In this particular study, teachers from the Dallas Independent School District tried to see if student engagement and performance could be improved through a more interactive learning environment with education technology.

Traditional classroom vs 'Hybrid' classroom

The principal test involved the comparison of two types of classrooms. In both cases, students had to fully attend class and had the same content and class instruction given to them. What separated the two classrooms was the fact that in the Hybrid classroom the instructions were given to the students using education tech and web tools - 80% of them.

The use of video messaging was specifically predominant, creating demonstrations and visual instructions for students to follow. The positive use of the interactive tools and mobile lectures allows "students to learn at their own pace and actively engage with their teacher and lessons." With a traditional lesson, students might miss certain ideas or concepts. Using video messaging and recorded lessons specifically, they could simply review any of the lessons at their own time after class when they might feel less rushed or under pressure - as many times as they want. Communication with teachers is also made better as a result, including giving students the opportunity to make up missed assignments and/or lectures - not encouraged to do so, of course.

In the end, the Hybrid classroom outperformed the traditional one by 19%.

This study and its effective use of technology particularly caught my attention since I have personally seen its similar use in the past. A former colleague of mine also used this idea to record his lessons or revision material with his iPad at home then make it available to his students via an app that he had them each install on their personal iPads.

The reality is that each student learns at a different pace and style. Some might like visual material to help stimulate their comprehension, whereas others prefer discussion. As always, teachers have to adapt to these different methods understanding how each of their students learns in the classroom.

I think this clever use of video messaging and recordings can benefit every student in any school system since it brings in an element of core material instruction, as well as revision, which students can use immediately and on a daily basis. It's just a matter of implementing it. Many teachers in the UK use a central hub for students to post discussions, comments, blog posts, etc. - as well as to upload their work. This is another step in that process. An even effective one that allows them to look at school material at their own pace and comfort level at home or anywhere else for that matter.

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