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Oct 2012

Up to 80% of Teachers Using Video in the Classoom, But …

… Less Than 10% of Those Teachers Are Receiving The Full Benefits.

Research conducted over the last 18 months indicates that more than 80% of teachers in the US are using video in the classroom as a valued teaching resource, however a combination of lack of subtitles (closed captions), and a lack of understanding how to use those subtitles effectively, mean that the vast majority of those teachers are not getting the full benefits from that video for themselves or their students.

Subtitles have widely been regarded in the past as being essential only for those smaller numbers of children with hearing impairments. But sadly this misapprehension is robbing students of many opportunities.

A substantial amount of research over the last 30 years has demonstrated that subtitles on video, movies and television, has the potential to significantly improve students reading and literacy skills. In fact a pilot program operated by the late Dr. Alice Killackey of the Availll Institute demonstrated the ability to improve children’s Reading and Literacy skills by as much as one year, in as little as 6 weeks.

Evidence substantiating this potential comes from countries like Finland that have for many years provided TV programming with subtitles as a matter of course, and as a result they repetitively top the list of OECD countries with the highest Reading and Literacy skills amongst children.

However the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that would enable children to improve their Reading and Literacy skills at the same time as studying a range of curriculum-based topics, has remained elusive while the majority of companies providing educational video for teachers have chosen to ignore and provide the use of subtitles – either because of the added cost of providing that captioning, or lack of awareness about the full potential it provides in the educational environment.

Even the self-proclaimed education revolutionary Khan Academy has simply attempted to use the automatic subtitling tool provided by YouTube, adequately demonstrating a lack of understanding about the valuable use of captions, by offering subtitles that appear and disappear on and off the screen so quickly that they are little value to anyone but an accomplished speed-reader.

Worse still, is the fact that much of that video being provided to teachers as a supposedly valuable teaching resource, was never developed specifically for the purpose of teaching curriculum-based topics, rather for general television distribution.

One company that is working at the cutting edge of using video as a teaching resource is Zane Education who is taking the use of captions to the next level by using those subtitles to present highlighted words that are important to the learning of each particular topic. By also providing the use of interactive study tools immediately beside the video, the teacher or student is able to “pause” the video and use the relevant study tool to investigate the full meaning and application of those words, before returning to continue watching the video.

This advanced use of subtitles offers many benefits.

First and foremost, by providing each child with the ability to choose to watch, listen to, or read each presentation, the teacher is catering for the widest possible range of preferred Learning Styles.

This option then enables each teacher to provide the same curriculum material for a very wide range of Special Needs students – including the 1 in 8 children of school age living with some form of dyslexia.

This same use of subtitling provides the ideal solution for those children that are learning English as a Second Language by enabling them to: see how each word is spelled and then pronounced, develop an awareness of the correct use of sentence structures, and understand the context in which word is used, and why. When you consider that approximately 20% of all children of school age in the United States is currently classified as an ESL learner, such a resource offer benefits for the student and teacher alike.

Zane Education’s commitment to the development of video as a valuable learning resource is further evidenced by the fact that unlike most other companies they see video as simply a tool, and not a solution. Therefore in response, Zane is now providing additional supplementary tools and resources with their extensive subtitled video library to provide a complete one-stop-shop Visual Learning solution.

Zane’s Visual Learning Solution provides:

  • The Curriculum Content is delivered and taught using subtitled video.
  • Lesson Plans provide supplemental activities to ensure each topic is explored and studied thoroughly.
  • Interactive Quizzes provide online testing that qualifies each correct and incorrect answer to ensure the continuation of the learning process.
  • Interactive Study Tools enable each student to further investigate any parts of the topic they might not fully understand or need to know more about.
Visual Learning Solution and subtitled video for teachers

The Zane Education Visual Learning Solution

Unlike those that claim to be revolutionizing education with the use of video as a free teaching resource – and in so doing question the importance of the teacher, Zane embraces the value of the teacher by providing a level of support that those free resources do not provide, and by introducing a particularly affordable pricing structured specifically for teachers that have the ability to make the purchasing decision themselves, rather than waiting for their school (or school district) to make the often lengthy decision – if and when budgets allow.

The CEO of Zane Education summarizes Zane’s outlook by saying “We don’t ask our teachers to work free, yet we ask them to provide results. They can only come up with those results if they are provided with the resources they need to do the job properly. So often we talk about Reading and Literacy as separate parts of the curriculum. Why is this? Shouldn’t our children be given every opportunity to exercise and improve their reading and Literacy Skills with every subject they are being asked to learn?”

Teachers that are interested to learn more about the benefits of video subtitles can read additional information on the Zane Education website, and are encouraged to contact Zane using the Contact page, to discuss their particular requirements and interest.



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[…] Within six weeks, childrens’ reading and literacy skills can improve by up to one year when video is captioned, according to the late Dr. Alice Killackey of the Availll Institute in Christchurch, New Zealand. When children can read, watch or listen to videos, the broadest range of learning styles is enabled. Read: Eighty Per Cent of Teachers Use Video in Class But… […]