How to Effectively Use Video for Education & Training

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Introduction

When you think of video being used for education and training, you probably think of classes being taught over Zoom or being shown episodes of Bill Nye the Science Guy on an old television. While that still likely rings true in a number of settings, those are not the only ways that video can be used for education, and schools aren’t the only place where educational videos can exist. This blog is going to explore how educational videos can be used in sports, in schools (beyond live-streamed lectures and Bill Nye), and in the office.

Benefits of Video

Before diving into how video can be used for teaching and training, let’s start with why you will want to use video in the first place. New York University has outlined some of the benefits that come from using quality video content for educational purposes.

First, video is good for getting the attention of its audience. Whether that be kids in a classroom, a professional sports team, or employees in a board meeting, video is likely going to be preferable to the listeners than an authority figure standing at the front of the room for an extended period of time.

Video is also good for providing examples of real-life situations that are better to be seen visually than explained verbally. For example, if a coach is trying to explain a play to a team, it is likely easier for everyone involved if the coach shows the team a video of the play, rather than trying to just explain what they mean.

The third benefit of video is its accessibility. It can act as archival content that people can refer back to whenever they need help or a refresher on how to do something. You will see this benefit come up later in all three discussions of video use.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but hopefully, it gives you a brief overview of why video can be a beneficial tool in education. The following sections will dive into more specifics.

Video for Sports Training

There are two common ways in which video is used when it comes to sports training: demonstration and analysis. These learning methods aren’t limited to just one type of sport, either; they could work for anything from learning a new soccer skill to part of a dance routine.

A demonstration is when the video is used to show skill and this type of video offers athletes “visual pathways to the kinesthetic learning that translates to the correct execution of a skill or technique.” Breaking down skills in a video demonstration can help athletes make sure they aren’t missing any important details that could help them perform better.

Take a look at the following example of a demonstrative ball release video Tetra Films made for Softball Canada:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=GT3VNQBQZ_E%3Frel%3D0

As seen in the above video, there is both a verbal and visual demonstration of the skill being shown. The video of the pitcher is slowed down so viewers can see exactly what is happening, in a way that wouldn’t be possible in real life. Graphics are used along with the voiceover to point out technical details of the skill and to bring attention to what certain parts of the body should be doing when.

Athletes can view these videos before practice to brush up or when they’re training outside of practice to ensure that they are using proper technique, even when a coach or instructor isn’t present.

How to go about making a demonstration or analysis video depends on what exactly you’re going to be using the video for and for how long. For a project similar to Softball Canada’s ball release video, in which you want a high-quality video that will likely be used for a long time to help athletes nail a certain skill, you might want to consider working with a video production company as they did. This is because they have the skillset to produce a clear video and include graphics and animations that will help the athlete understand the techniques they are being shown in a more in-depth way. When you’re creating a video that is going to be used for a long time and by numerous people, it’s a good idea to invest in one that will be a good representation of your standards.

The second kind of video, skill analysis, is when an individual athlete or a team is recorded while performing a skill, playing a game, doing a performance, or something else relevant to their sport. The video is then looked back on to see what can be improved.

Video analysis is beneficial for both coaches and athletes. It allows for a shared perspective between the coach and the team, allowing the athletes to see exactly what the coach is seeing when they are performing/completing/playing. Further, the team is able to track their progress, as they can easily compare the recordings from the beginning of the season to the end. People like to be told that they are doing good at things, so using video in this way can be great for positive reinforcement and boosting morale.

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Skill analysis can also give the team a more competitive edge if you are using recorded competitive events as your tool for analysis, as you can look at not only what your team is doing, but also what the other teams are doing, and what skills and techniques they use that might be different than your own. Kobe Bryant has spoken about using video for this purpose in the past.

When doing this type of analysis, it is important to go into it with a goal. You don’t want to record for the sake of recording, which is a waste of time when it comes to analysis, so have specific things that you are looking for. If there’s a certain skill that an athlete hasn’t been able to grasp or the timing is off in a dance routine, use the video to address those issues directly, rather than going into it not knowing what you are looking for. This will help ensure that the skill analysis is a productive use of everyone’s time.

Creating a skill analysis video can oftentimes be done with just a phone, a tripod, and a plan. Since these videos are more so for short-term, personal use, they don’t need to have incredibly high production quality or any fancy effects. So long as you know the angles needed to capture the athletic techniques you are trying to, you should be good to go. A tripod is helpful for making sure that the camera is held steady and stays at the correct angle. If you are filming an event, it is also helpful so that you don’t have to think about filming while you are trying to watch the game.

Video for Schooling

While online learning has become incredibly prevalent in the last two years, causing the popularity of video use for education to skyrocket, the use of video in schools and for educational purposes isn’t really anything new. Looking beyond the need for live-streamed classes and asynchronous lectures, we can see that video is frequently used to supplement learning both in the classroom and online.

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One way that video can be used is similar to the skills demonstration as discussed in sports. When it comes to school, there are several skills that students are required to pick up, from how to write a standard essay, to how to properly do an algebra equation. With how much there is packed into a school day, it’s possible that students don’t have enough time or enough one-on-one attention to properly grasp a concept, or maybe they just need help with a homework question. Thankfully, there is likely a video online that can help them. YouTube offers a large variety of content from creators who break down different educational concepts at all different grades and education levels. One example of this would be Khan Academy, which is a non-profit that focuses on filling “gaps in learning and [providing] tailored instruction.” See an example of a video from Khan Academy below.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=02h9yhc7ruc%3Flist%3DPLSQl0a2vh4HBvN6bExiZ2fDOFWWJQdVIs%26rel%3D0

As can be seen with that example, educational videos do not have to have a fancy setup to be effective and of good quality. Khan Academy screen records the walk-through of the content with a voice-over explaining what they are doing. If you were going to create a similar video for your students to accompany a lesson plan, you would be able to do so with just a computer and a microphone.

Another, more advanced collection of educational videos can be found on a YouTube channel called Crash Course. Crash Course was started in 2006 by brothers Hank and John Green and has since partnered with PBS to continue to produce high-quality, engaging video content. Take a look at the example video below.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=lrk4oY7UxpQ%3Flist%3DPL8dPuuaLjXtOfse2ncvffeelTrqvhrz8H%26rel%3D0

As you can see, this video is an example of an educational video with a bigger focus on production value and creating engagement, as it has a set, uses animation, and has a humorous yet informative script. Compared to the Khan Academy video, which is an example of a video teaching a technical skill, the Crash Course video has a more narrative approach to its topic, which is fitting for topics based more on theory and historical facts.

Videos like this one created by Crash Course break down big topics, like Government, into more manageable chunks that are usually 10 minutes or less. The videos are engaging for students through their use of various visuals and their sometimes goofy nature. Content like this can be used to help supplement learning and to make content more exciting in an educational setting. This goes to show that video in school isn’t only beneficial for explaining practical skills, but it is also good for theory- and event-based curricula.

To create videos like the ones Crash Course is producing, it is highly likely that you would want to partner with a video production company. Choose a company that offers scripting and studio space, as well as animation and editing services, and that has experience making content for educational purposes.

Video for Job Training

We recently explored this topic in a blog post looking at how video can be used for employee recruitment and retention, which can be found here, but we will touch on it here, as well. Using video for the onboarding and training of a new employee can help make a normally overwhelming experience less stressful.

To sum up the training portion of the blog post, video for training can essentially be a continuation of the demonstration videos seen in sports and education. Employers and fellow employees can create video content breaking down how to use any software or programs a new person might not be familiar with, or even to explain expected employee etiquette.

Take this animated video Tetra Films made for our client Newmont. This is an anti-bullying video that Newmont commissioned for part of their onboarding and training process. The video saves the onboarding team time, as they just have to show the brief video to the new employee, rather than explaining everything. The video in turn lays out the expectations for employee behavior, and the steps to take if they experience or witness behavior that goes against those expectations. Further, by using video, each employee is presented with the exact same information and steps, meaning everybody should come away from training on the same page.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=PbwkaW-WJMo%3Frel%3D0

Conclusion

Overall, video can be used in several ways to help amplify and expedite training and education. Through the use of analysis, demonstrative and explainer videos, sports coaches, teachers and business professionals can all find a way to incorporate video into their educational process and help their audiences’ understanding.

Whether you find pre-existing video content online, create your own with the tools you have available, or seek out a video production company to put together a more advanced project, there is likely a video that can help your audience along in their educational journey, no matter what that may be.

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