A paper in a binder is dead

If you haven’t already noticed, the reign of binders is over. Sure, binders still have a place–especially in the field of education–but even educators are finding that a document in Google Drive is more powerful than an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper in a binder. The cloud has allowed us the ability to easily collaborate, access information from anywhere, and link to webpages all over the internet.

Here’s what hasn’t caught on quite yet: crowdsourced videos created by educators that are embedded on an easily accessible webpage.* We’re moving there, but it’s slow going. It has taken me a while to come to the following conclusion, but I think it’s safe to say that strategies, best practices, and protocols that aren’t codified in a one-stop-shop video and hyperlink format aren’t even real.

Think of social media. Many people use the various platforms to record events in their lives. There’s evidence to suggest some people believe deep down if they don’t memorialize personal events on Instagram, Facebook, etc., the events didn’t truly happen. Traditionally speaking, this is a ludicrous idea. “Of course it happened!” one might say. “I was there. I saw it. I lived it!”

Yes, it happened, but the internet is becoming our collective memory. What the future holds, I cannot fathom. What I do know is people need short videos and Google Docs to refer to in order to learn, implement, and sustain all the strategies, best practices, and protocols thrown at them. Being able to go back to a training session (in video format) and watch something again that you may have missed makes implementation successful. A paper in a binder is dead. As far as our collective consciousness is concerned, it’s not even real. 

YouTube is revolutionary. I’m not ready to say it’s comparable to Gutenberg’s printing press, but it very well could be. With its ease of use, most knowledge will eventually be shared in video format. It truly will be (and may already be) the best way for learning and sustaining new initiatives.

In education, we’re great at implementing. Videos and other online resources will make us great at sustaining. And hopefully if we’re proficient at sustaining, there will be less implementing.

* Millions of people use YouTube. What I’m suggesting is educators are still not ready to publish videos in the same prolific manner that they’re creating Google Docs. Students need videos, and thankfully YouTube, Khan Academy, etc. exist. However, teachers and administrators needs to start making their own videos for professional use. It’s necessary to consume resources, but we need to create them, too. 

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