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The medium of video has been one of the most influential teaching tools of our time. With its beginnings in the early 1930’s, educational films have long been a staple for classroom use, giving visual information to students that can be difficult to convey using images and text. Video can have great benefits for visual learners, and can increase the sensory experience of a topic, stimulate discussion, and supplement cognitive learning.
Turning to the 21st century, educational video has exploded with the easy availability of video recording hardware, and cheap editing software. YouTube is one of the main go-to sites for teachers looking for interesting educational video, but finding relevant videos can take up lots of time. Although using the YouTube search engine can prove fruitful, a new iOS app Showyou and Android app has made the process of finding educational videos easier and quicker.
Showyou is a social video app that allows you to follow, browse and search online videos and their users with a clever grid-style interface. How it works is by showcasing personalized video feeds from sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, TED, Pitchfork and RedditTV that you select. The app is well-designed and intuitive to use, and is particularly powerful on a tablet.
One of the major benefits of Showyou, is its social networking functionality. It has sharing and social networking tools so that you can link up with other educators and see what videos they are watching and recommending. Showyou lets you follow friends and other educators who are using the app, which can help you discover new videos without having to think up new keywords or use the search engine. For those of you who use Twitter and Facebook, it gives you the option of browsing videos from your Twitter timeline and Facebook feed, which saves you time clicking each one individually from within those platforms. It also allows you to search using hashtags which brings up videos from popular subjects on twitter.
For instance, if you are interested in all the videos posted up on the #edchat feed, you can search for it using Showyou, and all the relevant video content appears. This can be particularly useful for teachers looking for videos on a particular subject, for example, #earthday or #mathed. Sharing videos with others is also easy, with seamless Facebook and Twitter app integration.
It is also a great way of sharing video with your students. Whenever you find a video you want to use in the classroom, you can send the URL to your Showyou account and use the app to present the video to your students. This helps prevent unwanted ads appearing in YouTube which can be distracting and timewasting.
It is easy to see the benefits of an app like Showyou. Not only does it help educators discover new video content that can be used in the classroom, but it promotes resource sharing between educators, and makes searching for educational video an easier and more social affair.
Showyou is free on iTunes for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and on Google Play for Android devices.