A video-sharing website enabling schools to upload and share self generated educational video content has been hailed as Northern Ireland’s answer to YouTube and considered to be the first of its kind to be used in schools throughout the UK and Ireland.
The service, known as Video on Demand (VoD) is available through LearningNI, a secure online learning environment which is accessible to pupils and teachers and is aimed at enhancing collaboration and new approaches to learning and teaching.
The service enables teacher generated video to be easily uploaded so that it can be shared and watched by potentially 330,000 school children and 20, 000 teachers across Northern Ireland. The service allows users to star rate content on the same basis as YouTube with the most popular videos featuring first.
Jimmy Stewart, Director of C2k said that the service has been developed in response to the growing use of social media amongst young people and reflects how emerging technologies can be used to deliver a more open and personalised approach to learning, supporting young people’s skills in creativity and innovation. He said: “Northern Ireland is leading the way internationally in terms of the delivery of a world class ICT solutions for schools. The benefit of using video generated content is that it facilitates peer to peer learning and collaboration, supporting the development of new skills and knowledge in a creative and innovative way. Within minutes educational videos can be shared across a huge network."
The Video on Demand service has been welcomed by teachers locally. Alan Reavie Head of Business Studies and ICT from Lurgan College who previewed the new service said that it was Northern Ireland’s answer to YouTube which would transform the range of self generated learning material available locally. He said: “This new service will enhance the learning experience for all school children. The use of self generated video content will provide a new and fresh dimension to the range of resources available. This will bring subjects to life as well as catering to different learning styles and delivering this in a fun and dynamic way. The important aspect of this service is that schools have complete control and can ensure that the type of content made available to pupils is appropriate for use in a school environment. For any web based video streaming services we’ve used in the past this simply wasn’t achievable.”
He added: “All schools will have access to content available on the service and also the ability for staff to upload content generated by pupils. As schools continue to upload video content it can be categorised into different channels which would essentially create TV-on-demand where school children can have access to educational subject channels 24/7.”