The ability for a teacher or professor to play an FT video that provides current and real-world content for a theory that’s being taught in the classroom is very, very powerful.CEO & founder, Boclips
Moving beyond book-based learning
Technology is changing the way we consume information, from the shift away from physical newspapers towards digital platforms, to the rise of on-demand television and streaming services. Having witnessed this first-hand while working in the media sector, Boclips CEO & founder David Bainbridge noticed that his children’s journey through education was very different from his own.
Textbooks and blackboards had evolved into tablets and interactive whiteboards, however, what Bainbridge noticed was that the content didn’t seem to have changed much since his own days in school.
“I come from a content background professionally and was just struck that actually, digital textbooks seem to be little more than a PDF of a physical textbook,’’ says Bainbridge. “Given that kids now are the world’s first video generation and the fact that the existing courseware felt pretty disengaging, why wasn’t more video being used in the classroom itself?”
Once Bainbridge started to look further beneath the surface, a clear picture of student disengagement was painted. Data from Gallup showed that in 2012 half of all US University students never completed their degrees, whilst only 3% of students taking online courses ever finished them.
“We know that video is the most powerful way to engage consumers to buy things,” explains Bainbridge. “I thought perhaps there was an opportunity in the market to aggregate together the world’s most relevant video content in short form, curate that to academic standards and make everything available through one platform.”
Bainbridge founded Boclips in 2014 to break down barriers between video production and education publishers. The aim was to make it easier for education providers to help students learn by bringing together the world’s best educational videos on a single platform.
Given that kids now are the world’s first video generation and the fact that the existing courseware felt pretty disengaging, why wasn’t more video being used in the classroom itself?CEO & founder, Boclips
Quality over quantity of content
The launch of YouTube in 2005 means that video-sharing is not a particularly new phenomenon. However, the use of such platforms in an education context can be problematic and has even restricted the use of video in the classroom.
Boclips content director Zoe Moore details some of the issues arising from the use of uncurated sources. “YouTube is a fantastic tool. It’s got a lot of wonderful content on there but it’s got a lot of highly inappropriate content for education as well,” explains Moore. “There might be adverts and comments that as a teacher, you don’t want your students to see.”
Boclips takes a highly selective approach to content and works with over 160 providers, including the Financial Times. Their process for identifying the FT as a source that would add value for their audience began by analysing the usage of their existing user base.
“I work very closely with our editorial team and we look at the data which has been generated from the platform to understand what content is being looked for and what content is not being found,” says Moore. “The appeal of the FT content is several-fold. It is really well-produced material, not just visually but also the language which is used. The videos are explained and laid out very well.”
These high standards are key to keeping Boclips’ audience engaged. “Everything the Financial Times does is about high quality,” says chairman Mark Wood. “That’s its trademark, and I think that comes across in video as well.” For Boclips, the strength of the FT brand, well-known for its authority and integrity also lends itself to engaging a global audience. “The brand recognition is important as well,” adds Moore. “FT is a highly credible and trusted resource.”
A short clip or video from the Financial Times has the potential to really bring a lesson to life.Chairman, Boclips
Growing a global audience
With a network of over 600 journalists around the world, the Financial Times was a natural choice of partner for an organisation looking to expand their global footprint. The demand for modern teaching methods goes far beyond Europe, as Wood points out, “Our customers are in Asia, the Middle East and North America. It is remarkable how the appetite for serious content is global now.”
The international nature of Boclips’ audience further reinforces the need for clear, well-produced content from reputable sources such as the FT. “The tone is really suitable for students who speak English as a second language,” says Moore. “And your current affairs material is very fact-driven, which is a little bit more unusual in the market today.”
As trends in education tend to be global, Boclips feel well-positioned to continue their mission of enabling access to great content that enhances learning for all. “I think the demand for the kind of video we have is just going to accelerate everywhere,” Wood concludes.
“What works in the US or the UK will be seen elsewhere, so I’m very confident we’ve got a really important part of the emerging way of teaching.”
The advantages of an FT Republishing license
By becoming a Financial Times republishing partner, Boclips can deliver high-quality video analysis and commentary, expertly curated by their editorial team for the education space.
The FT offers a hassle-free tool that enables your content teams to easily select and use relevant content at the click of a button. Search for people, topics or organisations that are relevant for your audiences and download that content or save for later consideration.
24/7 customer support and product specialists are available to help with content selection, personalisation and help you reach your intended business outcomes.
An FT Republishing licence provides your organisation with high-quality, relevant intelligence for use online or in print, fulfilling the growing worldwide demand for authoritative news and analysis and helping you grow your business.
For more information about how the Financial Times can help your organisation or to request a free trial, please get in touch.