Youtube is now something we are very used to. People spend hours every day “consuming” video. This is changing the world of education and most schools and programs are using or creating video curriculum for their students.
This recent research report really emphasizes this fact and clearly shows how beneficial video is for education. As the paper concludes,
“There is little question that the benefits of this technology (Youtube and video based learning) far outweigh some of the problems associated with it. Therefore, the question is only how to incorporate it (video), not whether doing so is a good idea, as the impact on learning is too substantial to ignore.”
EnglishCentral is informally known as “the Youtube of language learning”. Like Youtube we feature great video content + mobile access. Youtube is great for teachers but we have to admit it has a few weaknesses. These weaknesses are overcome on EnglishCentral. it’s the reason EnglishCentral was created, to overcome these weaknesses and provide a better video based learning tool for teachers to use.
Weaknesses of Youtube
1. It’s hard to find appropriate content on Youtube. It’s has everything and thus can seem to have nothing. It takes a lot of time to find good content.
On EnglishCentral, we highlight the best language learning videos available. We curate them into handy levels and categories. Our courses group videos into units ready for specific language study.
2. Content often disappears from Youtube. Teachers and schools invest time to build materials around Youtube content but then the videos are removed, its permissions are changed etc…
EnglishCentral controls its own content and we maintain our video catalog to ensure the integrity and availability of our video content. Schools can be sure the content will be there next time they use it.
3. Youtube has automated subtitles that are inaccurate. Often you’ll be watching a video and the closed captions show very incorrect words/wordings. It’s not appropriate or useful for the language classroom.
EnglishCentral videos are produced by trained teachers and editors. The language of each video is edited by a real human being and the transcripts produced by a person. We ensure our subtitles and video lessons are appropriate and contextually relevant/accurate.
4. Youtube has many ads. Often the ads are inappropriate and distracting. Although there are some tools and ways to avoid this “busyness”, Youtube can clearly become problematic and more distracting than educational.
EnglishCentral provides a very safe, private class page for all schools and teachers. No ads, no noise. The focus is on the learning pathway – Watch | Learn | Speak | Quiz.
5. No reports. On Youtube, you can ask students to watch the videos but it is next to impossible to be guaranteed they studied/viewed the videos you assigned. It makes it tough to really rigorously assign video as homework or core curriculum.
The “Teacher Tools” on EnglishCentral allow you to both assign videos or courses for students to study and track their progress. You’ll know if they completed the goals you set for them or if they really did the work (use our “listen in” report to hear their recordings and verify).
Seth Dickens recently wrote about the “crazy” power of interactive video learning. How video based learning so engages learners if well done. This very recent report about a school using EnglishCentral in Turkey highlights how well students are engaged and motivated by EnglishCentral – Student & Teacher perceptions of EnglishCentral as a CALL tool
So why not start today? Start using video learning as a blended supplement with your students. You won’t regret it.
If you haven’t read it yet, learn more about using video in your teaching through the Video In The Classroom handbook