As the face of higher education has changed over the past couple of years, we’ve seen an increased emphasis on digital technologies that allow for flexibility and immersive learning. And it’s video technology that’s leading the charge.
Understanding the Brain’s Love Affair with Video
When viewed through the lens of historical content creation and dissemination, video is a relatively new visual medium. Compared to written words and images, video is a newcomer. But despite coming along relatively late in the evolutionary game, the human brain loves video.
Scientists say brains process visuals 60,000-times faster than text. And when someone sees a video, they remember 95 percent of the message compared to just 10 percent for text-based content. In total, 90 percent of the information processed by the brain is visual. In other words, visual instruction is highly effective.
The question is, why does the brain love video so much?
Video is Transforming Higher Education from the Inside Out
Before we dig into some of the ways video is being leveraged in higher education, we must answer this fundamental question. In doing so, we’ll begin to understand how video fits into education both now and in the future. So, without further ado, here are three specific reasons why video is so effective:
- Show vs. Tell. When a teacher tells a student something in an oral lecture, the student has to comprehend, visualize, and then commit that concept to memory. On the other hand, when a teacher shows a student something through video, they no longer have to conjure up an image in their brain. Instead, that image is directly transmitted to the brain and committed to long-term memory storage. Perhaps that’s why researchers believe one minute of video is equivalent to 1.8 million written words.
- Personalization. It’s a lot easier to personalize content and teaching with video. When showing video, you can impart your personality and create a genuine connection with the viewer even though you aren’t physically in the same space. This is much more difficult to do with a blog, textbook, or audio-based lesson.
- Easy to Share. Video content is digestible and easy to share. This makes it an ideal content medium both within a curriculum and for external sharing purposes. If virality is a goal, creating bite-sized pieces of content can help you exponentially increase your exposure in today’s digital landscape.
Once you understand the why behind video instruction, its potential becomes quite clear within the higher education landscape. After that, it’s simply a matter of innovating and executing.
3 Ways Video is Enhancing Higher Education in 2021 and Beyond
While higher education is typically one of the slower-moving industries in the marketplace, video is quickly catching on. In fact, innovation and adaptation have happened at an accelerated rate over the past 18 months.
Much of this innovation has been thrust upon higher ed due to the pandemic, but the results are transformational and long-lasting. Listed below are three of the biggest video-related trends we’re currently seeing in higher education and what they might mean for the future of learning.
1. Remote Teaching
Historically, classroom-based teaching has been viewed as the gold standard of higher education. For many decades, it was the only realistic option. But over the past 10 or 15 years, when remote teaching has been a practical choice, it’s lagged behind in execution and adoption.
The pandemic of 2020 has changed all of that, though there’s still a ways to go. And it’s ultimately video technology that’s made this shift possible.
According to one study, just 5 percent of college budgets were dedicated to IT spending prior to the pandemic. And prior to the shutdowns in the spring of 2020, just one-third of U.S. college students had any experience taking an online course.
Fast forward, and today nearly 100 percent of students have taken an online course. In response, IT budgets are increasing and video has emerged as a massive investment. Thanks to the power of live streaming and the sophistication of cloud technology, however, it’s now possible for colleges and universities to try remote teaching without making a massive investment.
Video cost is nowhere near what it was just five years ago.
This allows schools to experiment with remote teaching without significantly increasing their IT budgets. However, as adoption increases and they begin to see the economics of remote learning, institutions can increase their budgets and develop more sophisticated systems to reach a larger number of students at scale.
2. Clinical Simulation Labs
In fields where students are required to take clinical labs prior to graduation, video gives instructors much more flexibility in how they craft their curriculum and programs. As a result, students leave these programs with more real-world skills that prepare them for their first jobs.
Clinical simulation helps with learning.
Clinical simulation labs are top-rated in industries such as healthcare, counseling, sales training, and market research. It can also be used to train early childhood education majors.
Video recording for simulation labs has become especially popular over the past several years. With video recording systems such as the VALT system from Intelligent Video Solutions, it’s now possible for schools to turn traditional simulation labs into high-tech labs.
These high-tech labs work without bulky video equipment, wires, and clunky software programs. Innovations such as these have really changed the game when it comes to improving learning outcomes.
Nursing simulation labs and medical school simulation labs
For example, in nursing simulation labs, students can be placed in mock scenarios where they must quickly tend to a patient and perform life-saving maneuvers. Instructors can watch from another room, record the simulation, and even provide live feedback during the simulation. The video can then be saved, archived, and replayed again in the future.
3. Democratized Learning
While colleges and universities may not be terribly excited about this option — it’s impossible to deny the shift occurring in free online video. With YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and even TikTok, anyone can create and share instructional content with a basic smartphone and a few clicks of a button.
The new reality is totally democratizing the online learning experience. Anyone can learn anything from anywhere without technically needing a college degree.
Millions of sites to find online learning
To understand this shift, all you have to do is study the increase in online learning platforms such as Udemy, Kajabi, Teachable, Coursera, and Thinkific. Millions of people flock to these sites to learn real-world skills, and it doesn’t appear that this trend will slow down anytime soon.
Colleges and universities will either have to hop on board soon or risk getting left behind.
Many colleges have already responded to this shift by publishing mini-courses and lectures online. In addition, some are partnering with platforms such as LinkedIn to offer their courses for free. This is an especially popular option for elite schools and Ivy League universities. It allows elite schools to reach massive populations of students who otherwise might not be able to attend their exclusive degree programs. Significantly, it serves as a brand builder.
In the future, don’t be surprised if schools come out with their own on-demand learning platforms where students can consume high-quality courses and receive certificates rather than full degrees. With the right approach, digital can potentially bring in seven-figure annual revenue for schools and universities.
Video and the Future of Higher Education
For many decades, higher education has been stuck in its tracks. While innovation does happen occasionally, it’s usually very concentrated and short-lived. Changing the entire industry at one time is a difficult proposition. But one quick look at video instruction paints a different picture.
Video-based instruction is the wave of the future
Video-based instruction is an innovation that has the ability to change an entire industry from the inside out. The combination of new technology, evolving social norms, and the challenges of a global pandemic have all paved the way for significant adoption as we move forward into a new world of higher education.
Covid and other problems.
It’s obvious to note that if COVID rears its ugly head again this year — having machine learning available in the form of better video can help save education and schools will want those options in place at the elementary and higher education levels.
It’s no longer a question of if or when video will transform this industry. Instead, it’s simply a matter of how much it will change things.
Image Credit: emily ranquist; pexels; thank you!
Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending
London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.
According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.
The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:
“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”
The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:
“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”
The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.
The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.
Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!
Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs
As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.
Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI
In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.
According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.
One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.
To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.
Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!
UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations
As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.
Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation
To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.
The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.
Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.
The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!