Integrate technologies to enhance the learning experience
TEFLVideos is part of a larger language company. A service created after realizing the role of video learning as part of the future of education.

Customers require the effective integration of technologies to simplify their workflow and boost efficiencyAnne M. Mulcahy

August, 2011. Denver, Colorado and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Bridge Education Group has different branches when it comes to teaching English. Based in Denver, many people come to the school to learn how to teach English abroad.

But when you are abroad, or somehow can’t make it to the classroom, you are usually on your own.

So what if the students needed a grammar lesson by tomorrow? What if they want to use games in their classes? Or even if they are having problems with disruptive students?

That’s when the company decides to put all that expertise on a different platform, where students could experience worlds beyond their own, with access 24/7 all around the world. The integration of videos in a website would inspire and engage students in their learning experience of English teaching. These videos are part of a comprehensive package that includes the certification to become a teacher.

The question now was how to organize both the school in Denver to provide the videos, and the web team I was part of to work collaboratively in the integration of these technologies in a website.

Bring your classroom wherever you go - A story of integration

Setting up the foundation

It all starts with the creation of a syllabus. Teachers get together to discuss what students need in their careers. On top of that, interviews with students also bring insights of their daily routine and pain points.

Then there is research on the filming studio and the set up of the locations. Perhaps the most fundamental problem with video learning is that it requires equipment of one sort or another. Add to that the recruiting of participants. You have to combine their schedules and make sure they are okay with their faces appearing on a public website.

There are many components in this project that need to work to ensure the product is up and running. The integration is not only technological but also geographical and -most importantly- human.

The implicancies of this project

From a web perspective, you have to choose not only the code technology for the site but also where to store the videos. Saving them locally not only makes the site slow. It also can saturate the server with calls and bring down the whole system.

So the research was about finding a streaming service with good price and quality. With the addition of our need to have the videos protected with a password. There is a subscription for these videos, and you wouldn’t like to find out you can access them publicly.

We are not designing pages; we are designing systems of componentsStephen Hay

One issue with videos is that once you create them, they are static. It’s a lot of work to edit and reissue a video if corrections are needed. The time and attention you have to put there is the biggest part of this project.

The website itself doesn’t contain a lot of complexity. Video streaming services provide you the embed code and all the functionality required to play the lessons.

Pedagogical benefits of video

One of the main benefits of TEFLVideos is the ability to learn alone in the privacy of your home. But when it comes to teaching -an activity that needs interaction- there can be some drawbacks. There can be a promotion of individualism, and lack of real world interaction. However, since this is part of a bigger course, support and feedback complement these issues.

The student grants control of the environment, and that increases motivation, engagement, and inspiration. The back and forth reinforces the integration between them and the teachers. In this process, everybody learns when teaching experiences across the world build this body of knowledge that serves all the participants.

Greater audience numbers grow to allow the intake of more information through different channels. Visual references grab attention and add to the entertainment value.

There is no doubt that video learning is part of the future -if not the present already- of education.

Additional reading

Why Use Media to Enhance Teaching and Learning. (n.d.). Pedagogy in Action, Carleton College. Retrieved from http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/library/media/why.html

Pedagogical benefits of video for teaching and learning. (n.d.). University of Queensland. Retrieved from http://www.uq.edu.au/teach/video-teach-learn/ped-benefits.html