Last week I found myself talking to hundreds of educators and administrators at ISTE 2014 in Atlanta. While it is always exciting to share our work with people, I feel the greatest part of these shows is in simply listening to people who are out in the field and finding out what they’ve been doing over the past 12 months.
This year, we now have two applications that are entirely based on the concept of interacting with video: flipforlearning and iCoach. As a result, I seem to spend almost all of my time in discussions about video and applications for video in the classroom.
Now, I have to admit something… in the past, I’ve often felt a bit apprehensive when discussing video with educators. A few years ago, when we first started discussing video based solutions at shows, we often ran it one or more of the following concerns:
- Your average educator isn’t familiar or comfortable with taking video of themselves
- Your average educator isn’t used to uploading files to the cloud
- Privacy issues when filming in a classroom
I had these points firmly in back of my mind and as I spoke to visitors to our booth and waited for the inevitable moment when one of these “gotchas” would come to the surface. The first couple of people I spoke to were enthusiastic and surprisingly knowledgeable about video based solutions. “So far so good.” I thought…
Then a middle school teacher from Alabama visited the booth and while I was talking to her she suddenly held up her hand cutting me off in mid sentence.
“You can stop.” she said “You can stop right there.”
< a beat >
“Here it comes…” I thought…
She looked at me, “Young man, do you know who you are talking to?” she said sharply.
“No, maam.” I said, while vainly trying to get a glimpse at her name tag.
“You are talking… to the queen of video! I already know all of this stuff. Here, let ME tell YOU what I’ve been doing with my class…..”
As it turns out, she was well ahead of the curve and had been recording and uploading her lessons for the past year. I have to say, this then set the tone for the entire show. I did not meet a single educator during the show who balked at the idea of using video as an educational tool.
I feel that there has been a tremendous shift in the past few years to where video and sharing video has started to be taken for granted as another tool in any up to date educator’s tool set. Not only are teacher’s and administrators very comfortable with video, they are actively innovating in the area and finding new uses for it within their schools.
Needless to say, it made for a fascinating show and we’ve come back to the office fired up by the enthusiasm that we met with out there. Great things ahead!