Summary of Digital Video in Education (Introductory Course)

Digital video on demand offers user controls and interactivity to the viewer. User controls include individual access, choice, and pacing of viewing. User control also represent instant access, pause, play and replay, live distribution, and easy and frequent updates of content.

For students, the ease of access makes learning synchronous or asynchronous at the point of need. Students can choose whether to view the entire video or simply the parts they need to see.

Digital video can be commercially created or consumer-created or, in educational uses, a combination of the two for instructional purposes only.

Digital video can be streamed, downloaded, or centrally distributed, making it possible for distance learning to include the same content as face to face instruction.

Digital video fits in with a constructivist theory of education, where learners construct their own knowledge through active participation with curriculum content.

Social constructivism, the idea that learners construct their own knowledge in conjunction with others, is also a good match for digital video, particularly when students create their own digital video projects.

In education, digital video supports reading and writing, particularly with video blogs and digital storytelling.

Digital video is well suited to science and social studies as it can offer a close up of content that may be too cost-prohibitive or too dangerous for students to experience first-hand.

In physical education and in terms of overall behavior, digital video helps students evaluate their own actions and make improvements.

Digital video can be used in multiple venues in a school, such as for school news broadcasts, for student tech fair projects, for parent night presentations, for small group and large group instruction, in kiosks, on MP3 players, for virtual interviews and virtual field trips, and much more.

A variety of free software packages are available for students and beginners: imovie, MovieMaker, Photostory, Jaycut. Audio tracks can be created with the free software Garageband or Audacity. Playback through Media Player, Real Player, and Quicktime.

Video hosting sites such as Schooltube, Utube, Teacher Tube, Googlevideo, and others offer free video hosting and sharing.

Image and photo sharing sites such as Flickr, Picasa, ImageShack, Tinypic, Shutterfly, Image Share and others offer multiple sources of images.

Background music can be created in Garageband, or downloaded from sites such as  

More advanced users might take advantage of the features offered in video editing software such as

Multiple free tutorials on the creation and editing of digital video are available on Utube, Teacher Tube and other video hosting sites for staff development purposes and for teaching students how to create digital video projects. For inspiration, show students what other students have done, or set up a movie award contest.


To quote Hartsell & Yuen (2006),In short, the primary advantage of streaming video is the ability for students to self-pace their learning” (p. 37).


Hartsell, T., & Yuen, S. (2006). Video streaming in online learning. AACE Journal, 14(1), 31-43.


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