You’ll never guess (or will you? Hint: they’re everywhere).

GUEST COLUMN | by Rob Lipps

A decade ago, students started watching lectures on their smartphones.

Fast forward to today and mobile devices are turning them, and everyone else on campus, into content producers.

Universities are now leveraging student-owned devices as part of their campus video initiatives.

Increasingly at institutions worldwide, labs, classrooms, closets, parks, cafeterias and common spaces are being turned into mobile studios simply by using what’s in students’ pockets.

“Why do you want your video initiative to scale to massive heights?”

In a science laboratory that isn’t equipped with video technology at every workstation, for example, students can use their smartphones to record each other doing experiments.

Or if a nursing student is performing a procedure on a robotic mannequin in a room without cameras mounted on the ceiling, another student can take a video and submit it to the teacher.

Mobile devices allow a campus’s video initiative to scale to areas without dedicated technology.

They also present an exciting opportunity to involve the most important aspect in any video strategy:  the student.

Why do you want your video initiative to scale to massive heights?

Simple – video in the classroom is proven to increase student grades and retention. Take University of the Free State in South Africa, for example. Pass rates jumped from 26 percent to 100 percent in some rural high schools.

And a student survey at University of Maryland Baltimore Dental School showed that 97 percent of students felt video made it easier to learn – 98 percent said they watch more or all of their lectures online. A medical school in Japan saw exam results improve to nearly 100% after deploying video capture in their classrooms. 

Campus video is moving faster than Hollywood

Video growth is astronomical. Research by Cisco predicts that by 2018, nearly 70 percent of all data traversing the internet is going to be video. That’s five million years of video crossing the internet every month.

We’ve done our own research on this and found that at minimum, a student watches a video every single second of every single day with views growing by 89 percent and video creation growing by 49 percent year-over-year.

If you build it, will they come?

The one thing that accelerates the consumption of video is the creation of video. The more you create, the more you watch. The watershed moment for video on campus is enabling the broad scale creation of video.

And mobile is a huge factor in that.

Volume of video and velocity of content creation is your best friend in the success of your video strategy. There needs to be a cadence of new content every day, every hour, because all that video is what drives viewership.

Our analytics show in 2016 alone there were 2 million videos created that received 50 million views. That’s 20 million hours of video viewed. The driving force behind that massive amount of video is the use of personal capture software. 

Faculty, Students Create 110,000+ Videos with 1 Million Views Annually

The University of Leeds launched the world’s largest end-to-end automated and integrated lecture capture installation in the fall of 2014 in more than 250 rooms simultaneously. Faculty have created more than 110,000 videos to date that receive 1 million views each year.

The initiative catapulted the university into a digital campus and had immediate and sustained positive impact on teaching and learning.

In addition to the video technology in these rooms, the university installed personal capture software on 7,500 PCs, leading to massive amounts of content.

Students and faculty can record videos on their phones and upload them into the software for instant sharing.

Video Creation on Campus Grows 85 Percent Each Year

The University of Florida has had a solid video strategy since 2004, capturing what’s happening in lecture halls, classrooms and special events on campus.

When they gave faculty and students the ability to record lectures, short videos and assignments on their desktops or mobile devices, content creation soared.

The amount of video increases nearly 85 percent each year, and views grow 330 percent year over year.

As you continue to enable technology for education in 2018, students should be set up for the most success with a solid video strategy as part of your education strategy.

Rob Lipps is EVP at Sonic Foundry where he leads the company’s global sales organization including oversight of domestic, international and channel sales. He holds more than 20 years of sales leadership, business development, and emerging market entry expertise in the technology and manufacturing sectors, including sales and channel management at Adaytum (now Cognos, an IBM company), Esker Software and Best Power (now Eaton Corporation). Rob has a B.S. degree in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Contact him through LinkedIn.