Why Video?

“I claim that the visual and the projection of the eye is the highest order that we humans are heir to. It’s the quickest way of communicating and I think the most joyous.”-Louise Revelson

For students of the 21st century, video is commonplace. They grew up with consumers grade cameras that allow them to take a stab at directing, access to software that makes them instantaneous editors and when all is said and done, computers that fit in their pocket granting them direct access to social media that unveils an interactive worldwide audience at the tip of their finger.

Video offers the students a well-rounded multi-modal experience consisting of images, audio, titles, transitions, and effects. They not only become masters of digital literacy, using technology effectively, they also learn media literacy, the art of becoming skilled producers of media, learning how to effectively persuade audiences and in turn discovering how they themselves have been persuaded. This is a valuable skill-set in this digital day and age. More employers are demanding  multi-modal skill sets from their applicants. Companies are not hiring large corporations to produce websites, marketing videos, or conducting interviews but asking it of their employees. With so much access to affordable equipment and user-friendly software, why not? Most faculty members assume that 21st century students are born wired to this digital equipment and networking naturally so it is understandable that employers feel this way as well.

What does video actually teach students? Well, it teaches students to become active participants in their own creations. Video forces students to self-reflect, articulate their messages, hone in on and develop their communication skills beyond the written word, deepen their understanding of content, examine visual rhetoric, collaboration, project planning, and explore the depth and meaning of social media and how audience participation can further develop their multi-modal messages. Our Stories are shaped by the audiences to whom we tell them”(Davis and Weinsheker, 54). It can be argued that without the audience, the storyteller cannot further detect meaning and reflection out of their digital stories.

These are all invaluable skills for students to possess and they are all acquired through video. This is what makes video so special.

Video can also be responsible for TLE’s. A TLE or Transformative Learning Experience is defined as “an especially meaningful encounter that leaves a lasting impact on a person’s sense of competence or place in the world”. (Wilson and Parish, 10) It is through these new forms of learning that seeds of development are planted. Students may find themselves immersed in the editing process or engaged with the access and involvement a documentary film grants them. “We anticipate the possibility of what might be-a new perception of the world or a new way of being in the world-and are energized to move forward”(Wong, 208)

Students just might find themselves venturing down different avenues of learning and creativity that they might not have otherwise. These inquiries become habits and just might end up becoming life long endeavors.