Dr. Ayelet Segal is the Head of Education for TouchCast, a smart video platform being used by schools all over the world. Here she talks about TouchCast, the importance of video in the classroom, and where she sees the future of video going.
What is your role within touchcast and how long have you been with TouchCast?
TouchCast launched in June 2013. I have been with TouchCast since November 2013 and am now the Head of Education.
How would you summarize TouchCast in a few sentences?
TouchCast is Smart Video that you can insert supplemental materials into, such as websites, videos and polls that the viewer can interact with. It also allows you to have a professional TV studio using your iPad, including green screen technology.
Why did schools first start using TouchCast? Was TouchCast originally intended for education?
TouchCast was intended for media, enterprise and education. Many flipped classroom educators adopted TouchCast initially.
We now have over two million educators that have downloaded the app, and over 52 thousand classrooms that are using it daily. Our social mission at TouchCast is to support educators and provide them with the TouchCast app completely free. We have been doing that from the beginning and will continue to support them in this way.
What do you see as the greatest value of video, and interactive video, in schools?
Schools use interactive video for engaging communication with students, faculty and parents. They also use it to collaborate with other schools around the world. Students create presentations across topics and grades and having fun doing it, while learning 21st century skills. Teachers use it for flipped learning videos that are engaging and prepare students ahead of time for the class work. This allows students to work on hands-on projects in the classroom.
What is the most rewarding part of your job at TouchCast?
I love working with our ambassadors, who are the most innovative teachers I have ever met, and care so much about their students and the meaningful learning happening in their classrooms.
What is your favorite example of a project students have created with TouchCast?
There are so many examples. We have a few very special initiatives such as the GlobalCoLab project where students collaborate around the world working on science projects together and providing peer reviews to one another.
Where do you see the future going for TouchCast?
Everyone will be using video for communication and collaboration. This generation is the YouTube generation and they are already making videos for fun, so why not use video for learning? Video will grow and become a standard/common use case.
What are some of your personal goals for the future?
I aim to keep supporting the reform of public education, and to help educators implement more active learning in their classrooms with hands-on activities where every student has a voice and can be a broadcaster, a presenter and an activist.
Ayelet leads the educational mission at TouchCast, working with thousands of schools to facilitate hands-on learning in their classroom through TouchCast’s interactive video learning experiences. Dr. Segal is an international speaker, a published author and an expert on how students learn with video. She has devoted the last 25 years exploring problems in the realm of Cognitive Psychology, Education and HCI both in academia and industry. Prior to joining TouchCast, she earned a Master’s and PhD in Cognitive Psychology, Education and Technology from Teachers College, Columbia University in NYC as well as a Master of Arts in Interactive Media from Middlesex University in London, UK. She published the first research on children learning with the iPad and has been honored with several international awards.