Features: July 27th, 2012

Online video is changing the way that the world learns – bringing about a new cost-effective, on-demand era of learning and knowledge sharing. Stuart Bowness, CEO of MediaCore, explains how a new secure video learning platform allows organisations to harness the power of the video learning revolution.

The rise of online video has been one of the key points in the development of the web over the past decade. Broadband internet, with its rising speeds, has enabled a new world of entertainment, which has taken the entertainment industry by storm. As YouTube, Netflix and LoveFilm have become household names, others have felt the brunt of this – such as Blockbuster, which in 2010 filed for bankruptcy in the USA. Internet-enabled televisions, which stream content over a broadband connection rather than the airwaves, are finding homes in many living rooms, and the major TV stations all now provide an online ‘catch up’ service for their programmes.

But it’s not only the world of entertainment that online video is having an impact on. YouTube is now the second largest search engine after Google – and for many, it has become the natural place to visit when on-demand learning is required. A search for the words ‘how to’ on YouTube brings up over 18 million results – from videos showing how to use particular functions in Excel, to others showing how to play the latest Lady Gaga hit on the ukulele. People across the world are tuning into a new, on-demand way of learning through video – and the vast majority of learning content on YouTube has been uploaded by ‘normal’ people, keen to share their skills and learn from others.

Simplified making and sharing video

Video has always been a valuable tool for learning and sharing knowledge – but until now, capturing video and making use of it across an organisation has been a tricky, time consuming and often expensive affair. Firstly, video needed to be captured – and in the past, this relied on bulky cameras, complete with multiple cables, fiddly tapes, and complicated editing applications. Digital video recorders such as the Flip camera then arrived, allowing for video to be quickly and easily captured – followed by smart devices such as the iPhone and iPad, which allow for video to be edited immediately after recording.

But the sharing of video learning content still remained a problem. Sites like YouTube are great for sharing content publicly, but they’re not well suited to sharing video securely within an organisation – and company intranets and learning management systems rarely handle video content effectively.

MediaCore solves this problem, by providing a cloud-based video learning platform that has been designed from the ground up with total ease of use in mind. Videos can be uploaded without users worrying about file type or size – and features such as tagging, categories and video search allow users to find the content that they need, on-demand. Comprehensive mobile support allows for videos to be safely streamed to modern smart phones, and an iPhone uploader app allows companies to capture and upload learning wherever it happens.

Sharing videos at work and in education

The past few years have brought about some of the biggest changes and challenges that many companies and organisations have ever seen – and many realise that a key part of meeting these challenges is effectively sharing knowledge and developing staff skills. But at a time when training budgets are under pressure and workloads are on the rise, this can be a challenge. By providing online video learning content for staff, organisations can amplify the reach of their training, by allowing every member of staff to access it on-demand, where ever they are, and at their own pace. And it’s cost-effective, too – one training video can be watched and re-watched forever – compared to expensive ‘traditional’ training days, which are rarely cascaded downwards effectively due to pressures on staff time.

But it’s not only the ‘top down’ model of training that online video can enable – it can also give employees the means to share their knowledge, opening up powerful new ways of learning from each other. Thanks to secure online video platforms like MediaCore, employees can create and share videos with colleagues across their organisation with a few simple touches of an iPhone screen or clicks of a mouse, wherever they are – and with mobile viewing, this knowledge is instantly put into the hands of every other employee, wherever they are. Many organisations across the world are finding that giving staff the means to effectively share their skills and knowledge in this way is empowering them to be self sufficient in developing their skills and practice.

Schools and universities across the world are also making use of online video to provide a meaningful online learning experience for their students – and thanks to tools such as the iPhone and Flip camera, and easy to use online video platforms such as MediaCore, video can now be brought into the classroom with ease. It’s a medium which resonates with a mobile, media-savvy generation, and it puts them in complete control of when, where and how they learn. Online video lets schools provide an online learning experience that’s immediate, highly visual, and thoroughly engaging – especially when compared with the usual fare of PowerPoint files and Word documents on an online learning platform.

Recently, online video has fueled one of the most exciting new models of learning – The ‘flipped classroom’. This concept, which was developed by teachers in America, has started to spread and gain traction in schools around the world. In the ‘traditional’ classroom model, the teacher stands at the front of the class and delivers content to all of the students at the same time – and after this, the students then apply the knowledge, often as a homework task.

The ‘flipped’ concept however, turns this model on its head. Instead of standing in front of the class and delivering the content to every student at the same time, the teacher instead creates an online video, which students watch before the lesson. This frees up class time for more interactive activities which let students practically apply that knowledge – and frees up the teacher to circulate the classroom and deliver more personalised support to students. The ‘one-size-fits-all’ model of teaching and learning has been dominant in our classrooms since the Victorian era – and crucially, the flipped model is ushering in a new, student-centered, personalised way of learning.

MediaCore makes online video learning simple – providing organisations of all types with a secure online space that lets them share video learning content with their staff. With features like mobile uploads, mobile viewing and video commenting, MediaCore is the perfect way for companies, schools, universities and public sector organisations to harness the power of the video learning revolution.

Organisations can learn more about MediaCore, and sign up for a free trial account here