Geoff Allemand, author of the Passion Changes Everything blog, pointed me to a TED talk by Chris Anderson called, “How Youtube is driving innovation.” I have been quite interested in using video in the classroom as teaching tool, so I was intersted to see what Anderson had to say.
I was completely blown away. This was one of those times where in a 30 minute period my mind was filled with so many ideas and such a large global concept that I thought my head was going to explode. Anderson basically says that video, in the next few years, will do the same thing for learning as the printing press did 500 years ago. That is a bold statement.
However, the more I think about the whole idea, the more sense it all makes. It is often easier to show than tell, and in some cases, words can only go so far. There is a part of me deep down (the English teacher part) that is feeling all sorts of guilty right now. How dare I think that a face to face interaction could be as effective as the written word!
But it is the truth. It is much easier to show someone how to do something on the computer in person than it is to show them how to do it in an email. Honestly, I have never had much luck showing someone how to do something through email.
The purpose of writing, originally, was not to entertain or make work for students to do in a classroom. Instead, writing was used as a means of communication. Writing was (and still is) the way that a person can communicate an idea to a broader audience. It was the quick way to be in two places or fifty at one time. It still is a valuable tool today. However, video can do easily what writing cannot.
It is the reason that we have schools. People don’t learn from sitting at home with a book. To really learn, we have to be in the presence of the teacher. We need to observe. We need to interact.
Video can work the same way.
Ok, I’m starting to get carried away. Like I said, my mind is getting close to the “exploding” point. Just watch the video and see what you think.