Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Can Videos Help you with your Math Homework?

Modern teens are digital natives and super-communicators, they have grown up surrounded by digital technology to enable communication and intuitively embrace it. The latest technology holds no fear even for the youngest students, they seem to just naturally understand how it all works and use new technology with ease. How often have you seen a young one or two year-old child playing with a mobile phone and they seem to know exactly what to do with it?

If we can use these natural and accepted mediums to communicate the education services a student needs they are much more likely to connect and use these services. The old model of a classroom lesson delivered to bored students followed by a textbook aided homework assignment has failed to inspire a large number of students with many students struggling to stay focused. We need to replace this with a system that will interest them and allow kids to learn to enjoy the education they are being offered.

Show me a teenager who doesn’t watch TV? According to Nielsen watching TV among teens is actually up 6% over the past 5 years. Basically kids love to watch videos and are easily engaged by videos. From a very early age teens have accepted TV and videos as an easy way to get information and entertainment fast. Anyone who deals with teens will tell you that once you engage and interest them, they become like a sponge for information and will learn quickly and permanently.

There are a host of new young online video tutors betting that kids will accept educational services through online videos and are offering textbook linked on-demand video tutor lessons. These work by allowing a student to access a video lesson of each chapter on their textbook. The student has total control of the video and can consume it whenever or wherever suits them. This on-demand video model matches exactly how students communicate and get entertainment and will enable them to get their education quickly and easily too.

The key to making an online video tutor a success is to ensure that first off it is affordable. It needs to be at a price point that ensures price is not a barrier, with services available from $25 per year I think we are already there. Next it needs to be to the point and entertaining, a student does not want to sit through another long boring math class at home, they want a fun engaging and quick lesson that just gives them the information they need. A verbose long winded lesson littered with long technical mathematical terms will never work. Finally it has to be relevant and easy to use. The video has to very closely match the textbook based homework that has been assigned and it must be quick and intuitive in its user interface.

An online video tutor that cracks all of these will be a sure fire success and already there are some prime candidates out there already.

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