Saad Hamid

Digital Media Consultant, Mobilink


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Can video lectures replace teachers in third-world developing countries?

In countries like Pakistan, can short video lectures on cheap tablets be used to educate the children in absense of a teacher?

Has this modeled been implemented in any other third-world country?

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    Mar 18 2012: I would say yes, regardless of specifying "third-world country."

    How is watching a video different from sitting through a lecture? A strict lecture approach involves no discussion and is simply a presentation of information, same as a video. While I have had a few teachers who were far better than any video, the sad truth is that most of my past teachers did nothing more than copy and paste the contents of the textbook on a blackboard - not much different than a video.

    Specifically concerning the situation where a 'qualified' teacher is unavailable, video lectures could work out nicely. Imagine a classroom where students watch a video and then discuss the given topic, with the 'teacher' being nothing more than a moderator. The best classes I have had as a student, and the most productive I have had as a teacher, were built entirely on discussion among the students and the teacher acting solely as moderator.

    There is potential in using the video approach (in a "teacherless" situation) to create a quality learning environment where many of the flawed standards of "first-world" education are removed.
  • Mar 16 2012: i think teachers can take help of video lectures from experts to elucidate difficult topics in a better way. but teachers cant be completely replaced by videos. furthers tablets can be used to enhance understanding of children with the help of animations, pictures, etc. here in India low cost tablets are just getting into market. we'll come to know about its effects soon.
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    Mar 16 2012: This is a good idea, but the target audience is not right. Kids need nurturing and support from a teacher more than anything else. Learning from a lifeless tablet device is not exactly good for them in the long run.

    On the other hand, people at advanced stages of learning like College Graduates can find this very useful, since they can learn at their own pace ad convenient times.
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    Mar 13 2012: Hi There

    Can video lectures replace teachers in third world developing countries?? I am completely disagree with this statement because video lecture can provide lot of information to the students but infact it will not be productive enough for their lessons. Teacher plays an important role to make the sudents understandable. if you replce the teachers you could save some money and time but in reality it will not be helpful to the students. As u mention about third world developing country i would say that this systme is not appropriate for all. Cheers. Probir
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    Mar 9 2012: The only thing you can download is information. If all you need is for students to get information that is the way to go. Even if it is structured and executed by a teacher.

    The biggest thing a teacher does is to help students integrate information in a meaningful way and the only way they can do that is to allow students to ask questions. Each student mind is unique and they do not all process information in the same way. Teachers clarify, structure, reposition information so students can understand. Video alone will not be as effective if there is not a teacher available to help students do that. They do not need to be physically present but should be available by email or text or phone. Whatever works.
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    Mar 6 2012: No. For a video to be effective the student must have a basic understanding of the subject matter. Without a comparison model the video good or bad will be the authority not an imput to be evaluated. The basic knowledges must be present prior to using supplemental tools.
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    Mar 6 2012: Australia has a long record of successfully using technology to teach. OK, it's far from being third world, but it's given them a good understanding of how to create effective learning solutions which don't depend on the physical presence of teachers.
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    Mar 6 2012: If there is no teacher then yes
    If there is a teacher but a poorly educated one, then yes
    If there is a decent teacher, then no.

    There are a number of limitations with video when it comes to the classroom, so the idea would be mainly limited to the worst of situations.
  • Mar 6 2012: Videos provide information which is a vital eed, but they cannot give the tailored guidance and aid all individual children need to reach their potential. So whilst i agree video lectures are a wonderful innovation for those in developing aswell as developed countries, i believe they are a shallow enterprise without the caring teachers (whether formal teachers or elders in the society) to add the humanity of wisdom and patience to the process of teaching. Teachers can also allow further depth of discussion and understanding to the subject matter. In case you were wondering, no im not a teacher just a university student who has been fortunate to be taught wonderful teachers and mentors :)