Teaching Through Community-Driven Video Creation

September 15, 2014
By Educator Innovator

In just one year, Project Ed has inspired thousands to create videos with the power to teach K-12 topics. This is how.

As we approach one year since launching ProjectEd.com, now is a great time to reflect on what we are doing and why.

When we set out to build Project Ed, we knew the world of education was changing. We knew that, increasingly, young people had the tools and skills to communicate in a digital world. We knew that young people consume educational content on a massive scale, but their voices are overlooked in the development of curricular content. Most of all, we knew technology holds great promise for the future of storytelling, teaching, and creating.

So we decided to build a platform that empowers anyone to create digital stories with the power to teach.

Project Ed is a platform dedicated to educational video made for and by 21st century learners. The core of Project Ed is an open, community-driven approach to content. We start by identifying K-12 concepts where a video has the potential to create a meaningful impact.Then we design contests to take these lessons out of the classroom and put them in the hands of digital storytellers.

Each contest starts with a “creative brief,” that includes everything needed to achieve a specific learning goal. Once the brief is launched on Projected.com, creators from all over craft original narratives to teach in unforgettable ways. Each brief generates hundreds of new ideas and a multitude of submissions. This process brings together the rigor of curriculum experts and the passion of creators to build an open library of effective, engaging lessons.

Along the way, creators are led through a process we refer to as Challenge-Based Learning. Through our creative briefs, participants acquire new knowledge and are inspired to dig deeper and learn more. Then they are challenged to think critically and craft a new story teaches that specific concept. Lastly, they must collaborate and make use of new media literacies to produce new content. Throughout this process our community and library offer support and guidance with tutorials, behind-the-scenes looks, and tips from other young creators.

Our approach is opening the door to new ideas in teaching and putting creativity at the forefront of learning. Since our first contest, thousands of students, educators, artists and filmmakers have reimagined vocabulary, grammar, science, and more.

The results are continuously inspiring, hilarious, and poignant, but most important of all, they work. Our early tests show that videos from our community of creators are more powerful than traditional methods of teaching like flash cards. When students learn new vocabulary using Project Ed’s vocabulary videos, they acquire new knowledge faster, retain new knowledge longer, and most importantly express a desire to learn more.

This is just the beginning. Keep an eye out this fall for exciting updates including new contests, more features for creators and new free resources for educators.

By Girish Gupta