Video Annotations: A Powerful and Innovative Tool for Education

Education through videos: The future class rooms

According to John J Medina a famous molecular biologist “Vision trumps all other senses.” Human mind is attracted to remember dynamic pictures rather than listen to words or read long texts. Advancement in multimedia has enabled teachers to impart visual representation of content in the class room. But the educators has to understand the importance of visual literacy. Using videos in education help students to turn ideas and concepts to experiences. Pairing with brain’s ability to visualize, videos help students to grasp and retain the information. With meticulous choice of content and quality, videos could be most interactive and engaging medium for students.

According to a survey “Cisco Visual Networking Index Predicts Near-Tripling of IP Traffic by 2020” by CISCO the internet traffic is dominated by video services and content management of all other applications. Internet video will account for 79 percent of global Internet traffic by 2020 up from 63 percent in 2015. Akin to above statistical information there is a substantial research supporting videos to be a part of regular curricula for students.

Power of Video Annotation

Videos are powerful medium but the content in the video are not easily searchable. How can an audience discover their desired video or search for a particular context in large piece of video content? This is answered by Video Annotation.

A video annotation can contain commentaries, images, keywords and hashtags. The commentaries can help in identifying people, places and events. In short Video annotation helps to post and fetch commentaries inside a video clip.

When a user searches for a particular keyword the video comes up in the browser based on these annotations.

Video annotations possess features like embedded quiz which help trainers to get interactive with trainees. Also this is a remarkable feature for teachers to keep pupils engaged. Video annotations help trainees or students to take action during the session holding the discussion. Film industry also uses video annotations more extensively in their field for adding commentaries.

Videos can be annotated in 2 different ways. 

Timeline annotations: An annotation on a timeline of the video.

Spatial annotations: These are used to annotate any place on the video at a particular time frame presented as overlays of user generated graphics, customized annotation marks.

As the videos are gaining viability in education industry as a better medium to enhance student experience and make lectures a more engaging activity, video annotations are great way to bring vibrancy in the class. Imagine a child’s vivacity if the video can display comments on a particular situation, identify famous people in the video by tagging, Stop during particular time line and asking to guess further….. All these are possible through video annotations.

Realizing the increased adoption of digital information, Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India incubated a project called NVLI. National Virtual Library of India (NVLI) is a centralized knowledge hub for various digitized assets such as scholarly articles, research papers, journals, books, videos. These resources will be pulled from various universities/ colleges/ government and private libraries who would like to host their content on NVLI. The features of this project includes Solr Search, VuFind, OAI-PMH views and import, Audio and Video Annotation, Integration of Annotation with IIIF server, Private Archive Distribution.

One of the most intriguing feature of pilot version of NVLI is Video Annotations. UniMity assisted in building Annotation feature for Audio and Video assets. This involved identifying and integrating an open plugin that supported video and audio annotations and a generic annotation store module that was plugin agnostic. IIT Bombay supported contributing the work in this project to Drupal.


Watch out for our next blog to see how Drupal helped to develop video annotations with less complexity…..