Monday, March 21, 2011

Videos in education

Last week someone has suggested to watch the TED video of Salam Khan, but I am sorry I cannot remember at all who suggested it and where. I have just been watching the video explaining how the whole adventure started and how does the Khan Academy works.

I am blown away.

I had heard about the Khan Academy but I had not understood a thing. Now it is very clear and I have to say it is very inspiring.

As I am doing this course on Facilitating Online with Wikieducator and that I am going to teach French via VLN, I need as many perspectives as I can in order to create a good course.

During Salam Khan’s talk, I was thinking how simple the concept of putting videos online actually is and I could not stop thinking about all the benefits it could have in our classes. I was especially thinking of the high achievers students in my class who could work faster and mentor other students. I was also thinking about the students who struggle more. If they had access to videos for all their subjects, they could watch them again and again and/or come back to previous videos and not be ashamed anymore by putting their hand up in class and ask the teacher for help. The videos could also benefit a lot the teachers. As Salam Khan said it would indeed free up a lot of teaching time to do some projects which could be more interesting. It could also help the teachers by giving them more time to spend with kids who need help.

I try to think about any negative aspects of those videos, but I actually cannot find any. The only one I could say is that putting those videos online could disadvantage the students who live in rural areas who cannot get broadband. As 2011 unfolds, I hope that we will count less and less places in New Zealand where people cannot get broadband.

As for my teaching via VLN, this presentation made me realise that I need to make a priority for my French course to include videos. I recommend that you watch the video if you haven’t done so already.


  1. Another nice innovation of theirs is more engaging self-assessment tools.

    You once told me that one of your favorite interactive game was the catapult... where you need to get 10 questions right in a row and you get a big reward for it. They are adopting that exact strategy. They website provides a "practice" area, where you earn points and badges as you finish streaks of at least 10 correct answers

    That's something that has emerged in many videos of inspirational edu leaders. You should encourage kids to experiments. Failure is part of the learning.

    It is possible to find critique of the videos:

    But the self-assessment tools somehow helps to circumvent it. It gets students to confront their misconceptions and they are offered (with no penalty associated), to go and view the video again.

  2. I'd be thinking about how you integrate the tools that students already use such as their mobile phones. Have you thought about students could make videos using their mobile phones and then share with each other?

  3. Sarah

    3 thoughts here.

    1st= for my online course I was thinking about creating (myself) videos explaining for example how to create the past tense in French. Thus the kids could watch the videos as many times as they want

    2nd= Yes they could use their own mobile phone to film themselves (as work produced to get marked or not)

    3rd= I could ask the students to create their own video explaining how to create the past tense in French

    We already use a lot flip videos