Video is a key digital tool in classrooms with more than 97% of staff saying video is essential to the student experience (Kaltura, 2022). Educational videos support accessibility and short videos engage students as much as 24% more than long videos (Zhu, 2022). 


But educational videos are strategically designed to support learning objectives and engage students to keep them focused on the lesson. Not all videos that discuss learning material are educational or optimized for student use. Educational videos have unique criteria.


Educate vs Entertain

The first thing to consider when comparing educational videos to other video content is the mission or goal of the video. Generally speaking, non-educational videos found online on platforms like YouTube start with the goal of entertaining to hook attention and keep users engaging with the content or channel. These conventional videos do not prioritize informational accuracy but instead prioritize engagement with and emotional connection to the audience. Educational videos set out to inform their audience and support a curriculum of instruction. They are structured to segment material into key themes that align with various learning outcomes.

These videos seek to explain, illustrate, summarise, and synthesize. While educational videos can be entertaining while they inform, the entertainment value will never exceed the educational value. 


Provenance and factual sources

With misinformation and disinformation recognized as a global threat, understanding where information originated is important. That’s information provenance: the tracing of the path any piece of information takes across the internet to its audience. Platforms like YouTube lack provenance verification tools, which leaves them wide open to inauthentic content like deep fakes, fake news, and conspiracy theories. Educational videos should be guaranteed to be from reliable sources to ensure that the information communicated is verified and trustworthy. They should only share content that is based on facts that represent the collected knowledge of scholars and experts in their respective fields.


Alignment vs Disjointment 

Educators usually have to search the internet to find the right video to support their lesson. This typically leads them to places like YouTube where the content is plentiful, but unmoderated and unorganized. There’s no tagging system for different pedagogies, educational methods, and curricula, let alone things like subject, language, or creator. This leaves educators in a predicament because searching within this framework can be time-consuming, which is a heavy cost for a video that may or may not align with the educator’s needs. Educational videos are created in alignment with a variety of pedagogies and curricula and, when paired with a methodical tagging system, can be found quickly and with minimal fuss. 


Ed-Ready vs Average

The average video content found on the internet is made with entertainment or editorial intentions that reflect the viewpoint of its creator(s). Its information provenance is not typically traced, and it’s often hosted on platforms that don’t tag its videos so that it can be sorted by curriculum, pedagogy, or subject. Platforms like YouTube are also cluttered with ads, next-up playlists, and comment sections that can distract learners and potentially expose them to inappropriate content. 


More resources about video for educational use: 

- YouTube alternative sites for classrooms

- Why YouTube is dangerous for student use

- Efficacy of video for student engagement

- Disinformation as a global threat 


Learn more about educational video designed for teachers and classrooms

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Boclips is on a mission to make learning more captivating with video with an easier, safer way to access videos from the world’s leading video producers.

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