In 1981, MTV premiered its first music video,“Video Killed the Radio Star,” by the Buggles. The technopop earworm mourned the end of an era and mistakenly predicted that the rise in the popularity of video and adding a visual element to music would kill or put an end to musicians. Fast-forward to 2016, where few if any music videos are played on MTV and radio is still going strong. Video didn’t kill the radio star, but it absolutely transformed the music industry.
In the 80’s, we saw musicians like Michael Jackson and Madonna become superstars due to their ability to tell the stories of their music through video. The decades which followed produced their own masterful storytellers and manipulators of media like Britney Spears, Eminem, N’Sync, Taylor Swift, Panic at the Disco and Lady Gaga. And while today, MTV has been replaced by YouTube, musicians like Beyonce have not only embraced video but fused it simultaneously with the music evolving both mediums.
Education finds itself in a similar situation to radio. With the popularity and evolution of YouTube, Khan Academy and iTunes U some fear video will kill the classroom stars. Video is not the enemy of teachers it is our secret weapon. When woven into instruction and given as a platform for learning, video can transform the classroom. WeVideo is the perfect tool to aid in this evolution.
As a teacher and now integrationist, I love WeVideo’s screencasting tool. Being able to demonstrate how to use various technology allows me to reach more learners than I ever could when I demonstrated in person. Teachers and students both has commented on how helpful it is to have a video to watch during a time they choose and at their own pace. The record screen option in WeVideo is extremely easy to use and allows me to edit my recordings and enhance them with titles or music. I also like the ability to easily share these videos by publishing them to my drive or to YouTube.
WeVideo is also an essential tool because it promotes the shift of students from consumers of content to creators of content. Because WeVideo is an online video editing tool, it is available to all our students making it a go to tool for our school’s 1:1 initiative. Prior to our use of WeVideo, students had very limited opportunities to create videos. It usually meant reserving a lab and having several student watching one student edit. When the bell rang and class ended, so did the creation. Or video creation was reserved for a select few who had access to editing software at home. Today, every student at our school has the ability to be both creator and editor anytime and anywhere.
The feature that makes WeVideo second to none is the ability for students and teachers to collaborate with one another on a project. We know that very few creative or artistic endeavors are completed in solitude. The collaboration tool not only allows for multiple editors on a project, it provided teachers with an opportunity to give feedback during the creation process vs. just at the end of the learning. Finally, it allows collaborators the ability to share media, as well as share their final projects.
The transformation of today’s learners means a shift from being a vessel for content to a springboard for skills. WeVideo is an opportunity for all learners, students and teachers, to enhance their skills in collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity. It gives all users the power to tell and star in their own story, to make learning visually dynamic and to redefine what it means to show what you know. Video did NOT kill the radio star, but it did change music. And just like Michael and Beyonce, those teachers who embrace it and fuse it with instruction and assessment will completely transform teaching and learning creating a completely new art form.