It’s up to you to decide if this is a good or bad thing, I for once say it is better than most stuff we have at the moment. I have always been a fan of production quality and thought that education needs to get out of the nineties and get more “sexy”. I wrote about that in my post about the new and innovative YouTube channels last week.
Today, TED announced the launch of their own YouTube channel in the education vertical and I think the most interesting part about it is the way they come up with their videos as it reminds me of the way Hollywood is doing its movies.
At the moment, there are three parts to the project. 1) The educators who come up with the lessons which should be between 5 to 10 minutes long (YouTube attention span, I guess). 2) Then there is the TED-Ed team in the middle taking care of the coordination. 3) Last but not least, there are the creatives who create the matching videos to the lessons.
Hence, we have the screenwriter (teacher), the director / camera man / special effects / … (creative) and the producer / studio (TED-Ed). Other than Hollywood the audience can also suggest educators, animators and lessons to make.
This is a concept I preached to a startup in the video lesson space about one and a half years ago when I was hired by the founder as consultant. The big problem in video creation in the education space is that educators usually don’t have the skills to create and edit their own videos. They are good at other things, e.g. working out the lesson or entire curricula.
I suggested that in order to get quality videos (or any video at all) the startup needed to offer these services to educators. My idea was to target schools that already have curricula ready and teach them every day like driving schools, cosmetic schools, dance schools – you name it. Offer them to record the classes, edit them and bring them online for sale.
Besides the obvious advantage that the startup would have finally gotten good educational videos one can also control the look and feel and the overall quality of the videos. German startup Sofatutor followed a similar approach when they opened their own studios in which the video lessons are now recorded by the tutors.
Therefore, even if one can argue about the actual value of video lessons in the classroom or the flipped classroom model overall, I think the approach of combining educators as curriculum / teaching experts and artists for the creative side is the right way to go.
I just wish they would go easy on the pathos – one more video about the state of education in a weepy voice…
Photo by Andreas Praefcke, via Wikimedia Commons