How Online Learning Helping Ell

Online courses are helping K-12 schools with the transition to digital education.

How Online Learning Helping Ell

Some media that travels the world, like Nerdist or Polygon, are packed with funny, “geeky” video clips of science fiction and nerdy pop culture. Other media, like Entertainment Weekly, are filled with sleek photo shoots. The ones I’m referring to, however, are educational video clips, and they’re moving so fast people will barely see them during the day’s commute.

Despite the rapid pace of technological change, there are several primary reasons why educational videos continue to evolve. While it seems like every day we hear about educators using their smartphones to teach classes, there are still advantages to using video as a learning platform.

1. They are Short and Simple.

Just like a blog post, a video is a short step towards clarity. For example, in order to show a video, it has to be extremely quick, so the viewer will focus on it until the end.

2. They Are Crammed with Facts and Interesting Stats.

Because educational videos are “viral” – they’re copied and spread so quickly on social media – having people know what to see is of utmost importance.

Depending on what they’re presenting, a video like The Graham Avenue is likely to have many facts, like number of dimes, and statistics from 300 years ago.

I’m not an expert, but I’m going to assume a ton of people go to that website every day to see what’s going on in the world, which leaves me with the reason to keep coming back to watch it! The Graham Avenue was established to get facts to people as quick as possible, so I didn’t skip all the way over it.

3. They Make Online Learning Look Expert.

For what it’s worth, it was slightly weird watching David Gordon Green’s Your Name hit YouTube with some of these stats. Not only was the movie racking up millions of views, but once YouTube’s algorithm realised there was a good chance people would want to learn from these facts, it favored them in the metrics.

How do I explain this? It was like seeing your Wikipedia page verified! You know how everyone thinks they know you but you know nothing? An edited Wikipedia page is like that – people are more willing to give you their attention because of the brand you represent!

4. They Reflect the Fresh-Out-of-College You!

One of the reasons I find the Graham Avenue so appealing is how casual the video is. It’s like a post in a timeline, where people post what they’re up to during their college years.

These types of resources, developed in the earliest days of university, prove there’s something inherently fun about being in college. Going to a big game? “Go Michigan! #NeverMissAnUpsetAgain” Let’s film it on Facebook, and add highlights from a basketball game to the post.

While I’m not living at Michigan University, I still can get a laugh out of seeing this!

Like the Graham Avenue, the Rocket Scientist classroom is one of the early examples of video-based educational learning. In this classroom, students came up with projects based on data from real-world events. As time progressed, other projects came to define the school’s core curriculum. In this way, it felt more like a conversation than a textbook.

In terms of these two examples, the videos served another function than simply teach information. They’re also a window into how you might learn. If you were in my Grade 10 physics class, it’s probably safe to say you’d enjoy having your hypothesis illustrated in a well-developed video.

You can learn so much by “liking” the teacher’s Facebook page, watching The Graham Avenue video, or watching a real-life lecture of another teacher. Your username might even count towards your transcript!

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