How Online Video has Revolutionized Learning
About 140 years ago, in the late 1800s, the first moving picture was created on a farm in Palo Alto, California. British photographer Eadweard Muybridge used a series of small cameras to capture the motion of a horse to determine if a horse ever had all four feet on the ground while galloping.
More than a century later, Youtube cofounder Jawed Karim posted the first video to ever appear on Youtube. It featured him introducing himself at the zoo.
While it wasn’t Muybridge’s goal to start a revolution back in 1878, his experiment served as a catalyst to what film and video has evolved into today - a fundamental artistic medium and communication channel we couldn’t imagine living without.
In this article, we’ll explore how video has revolutionized learning opportunities by making education sharable, accessible and fun.
“How-To” Do Anything
If you have ever needed to know how to do something quickly, you’ve probably Googled it. And ever since 2006 (when Google purchased YouTube), the first results you’ll likely see are brief tutorial “how-to” videos.
According to Mind Tools, approximately 65% of the population are visual learners, and these people remember 75% of what they read or see. This is why so many video-based learning modules exist all over the web - most people retain more of what they actually see when combined with what they read or hear.
“If one wants to reach younger people at an earlier age to shape their minds in a critical way, you really need to know how ideas and emotions are expressed visually” - Martin scorcese
When I was becoming certified in IT several years ago, I read and re-read a book my manager purchased for me that had all the information I needed. However, when I found a slew of free videos online by a professor who broke down each module with the aid of visuals, I was finally able to fully understand everything. (I passed my test, by the way.)
Learn on Your Own Time
Beyond the vast reaches and free content provided by Youtube, scores of other online video training courses have bubbled up across the web: LinkedIn’s Lynda.com and Udemy’s skill-sharing courses, to name a couple.
Education has adopted this medium over the last few decades as well. Don’t lie - you didn’t know anything about how a bill became a law until Schoolhouse Rock.
Video makes learning accessible to those who don’t have access to everyday classroom resources and teachers. Websites like Khan Academy provide schooling for every grade and subject, from math and science to arts and humanities. Nonprofit media company Fireside International put educational videos into the hands of impoverished youth in Haiti with their program The Learning Village.
Expand Your Horizons
When I was growing up, the news was always on in my house. It was hard to escape current events even when watching something unrelated, since the local news could interject breaking updates at any time on most channels.
Now, with the advent of online streaming and on-demand content sites like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, people can literally tune out anything they don’t want to hear or see.
While this is a direct product of our growing on-demand culture revolutionizing the entertainment industry, it has had a debilitating effect on information-sharing.
Online video has enabled breaking news to fit back into this changing mold of how people choose to consume content. It makes the world smaller and allows more platforms get discovered to create social change and awareness.