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Kaltura Stories: Video, Kids, and the Future of Education

1 (3)I’ve worked in education technology for about a decade. After a recent campus visit, I started scrolling through pictures of my kids, as many of us do, while riding back home on the train. I began to think about their education and what it will look like over the next fifteen years. Would what I do today benefit them one day? When I asked myself that question, I realized how much I tend to focus on the long-term strategic goals and initiatives laid out by Presidents, Provosts, and Deans.
But the world moves really fast nowadays Today’s students experience technology and learning in real-time. They’ve grown up with Twitter and PayPal, while as print newspapers and paper bank statements have retreated. Today’s student isn’t interested in watching strategies and visions fulfill themselves. They’ve grown up in the era of “now”.
It’s the job of higher education administrations to focus on anticipating the needs to sustain the future of their campus. In the meantime, though, who will lead the charge in leveraging the technologies that students and parents desire? Teachers. Teachers now have the tools to connect and educate others globally and locally at the same time. As an indispensable influence to student outcomes, they play a big role in determining a student’s likelihood of success in life. I believe that education is the primary driver of supporting the middle class, helping lift children out of poverty, and empowering young girls and other often marginalized groups. Leveraging video only strengthens this by helping children engage with the world. If I didn’t believe this, I wouldn’t be with Kaltura today.
In our classrooms, dorms, and living rooms, students watch dozens of academic videos per month to support their studies. They also watch hours of Netflix and YouTube (which already consumes 50% of the world’s internet bandwidth). What’s clear is that video is the preferred tool of people everywhere to digest information and content. So whether it’s Breaking Bad or experiments from a real chemistry lab, content is being watched, not read. The concept of portable and mobile video interactivity is now ingrained at a young age and as children mature and matriculate through school, it becomes expected. As the cost of education has spiraled exponentially beyond GDP growth, video helps bridge the gap between the data inside of textbooks and children’s lives through the availability and accessibility of platforms like Khan Academy. Compelling video not only ignites students’ desire to keep learning, but offers intuitive aid for teachers.
Video doesn’t require a collegiate presidential mandate to happen, just a few innovative faculty members with their Media Services’ and/or CIO’s support. Video doesn’t have to be expensive. With a webcam, schools can enable video in every classroom, on campus and online, on mobile and on monitors, and without new hardware or maintenance contracts, for about the same it costs them to offer a free 20 ounce soda twice a year to every student. The difference is a free soda cannot create a connected classroom, bringing students and faculty together from anywhere in the world. Video creates a new classroom experience that students now expect upon arrival. Teachers and learners can join together from anywhere in the world, regardless of age or religion or ethnicity. With the right technology, all that’s required is an interest and creativity and willingness to learn.

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