To say the way students learn today has dramatically changed since I was in school would be an understatement. Not too long ago, technology played a limited role in education. Computers were not an active part of any discussion; it was a lab we went to for an hour a day.  Now students are fortunate to have access to a variety of technologies that enrich teaching methods such as interactive smart boards, laptops and tablets, video technology and more. This has transformed  the way educators engage with their classes and how students learn.

I think video collaboration technology specifically has had a profound impact on education. Today, teachers and school officials alike are utilizing video collaboration for many diverse uses such as advanced instruction, distance learning, virtual field trips and global student collaboration. Most recently, flipped learning has been receiving a considerable amount of attention and buzz for the powerful benefits it offers students and educators. In a recent blog, Barry Fox from the Denton Independent School District shared his view that there is a distinct correlation between technology and student success. With over 28,000 students to serve, Denton ISD searched for a new solution that would help benefit students at all levels. It is no surprise that following their research, Denton selected flipped learning. With flipped learning, student’s take-in content before connecting with the teacher in the classroom. Teachers can easily record video-based material from their computer’s built in camera, mobile phones, and tablets , and share them with students via a customized web portal accessible from any device or location outside of the classroom. When would this type of model work best?

Take this example. If a teacher needs to spend 20 minutes on a lecture explaining geometry concepts and drawing diagrams, they can record the lecture in advance of the classroom session, post it for students to view and digest at their own pace prior to attending the class. The advantage here, is that the students can now use class time to engage with the instructor, discuss the learned concepts and apply them rather than utilizing precious class time for a primarily a one-way lecture.

To implement flipped learning, Denton ISD knew that its platform for delivering content online would not support its efforts. They looked to Cisco as a trusted technology partner to upgrade their video platform and enable the district for flipped learning. The Cisco team introduced Denton ISD to Cisco Show and Share®, a video-sharing portal that helps organizations create secure video communities to share content. Once Denton ISD teachers capture their video content for students, they upload it into Show and Share.  The Show and Share video platform provides students with the flexibility to consume content at their own pace given the ability to pause and rewind as needed. According to Fox, students are benefiting from this model because not every learner progresses in the same way and most kids work at their own pace.

Denton ISD understands that students are no longer passive spectators, they’re active participants ready to apply individual experiences and understandings to their viewings for a tailored learning experience. This is why Denton is actively sharing and promoting the benefits they have experienced with this innovative use of video with other communities. You can learn more information about Denton’s story here.

Being a new mom, innovative uses of video collaboration technology like this get me really excited.  And I can only imagine what things will be like when my 10-month old starts his education in just a few short years!