Collaboration has always been an important part of learning, and modern technology has enabled students to work together in order to further their education. The Internet and social media have created a realm in which student can interact with not only their classmates, but also their peers across the world. Through this network they can share information, collaborate on difficult problems, and learn together.
Vimeo is an excellent platform from which anybody can produce a short video integrating traditional video footage, stationary frames and a vast number of other visual effects. The youthful and highly dynamic nature of the platform will encourage students to go beyond simply recording a presentation and integrate slides, tables and charts into the video. The program is innovative not only because of the plethora of options, but the simple interface (which does not require any additional software) and the networked nature of the distribution. Any video produced on Vimeo can be easily shared with any other Vimeo user, making it a prime tool for classroom education. The teacher does not need to procure any additional software or hardware beyond a standard classroom computer and projector. The intuitive user interface is also unintimidating for the students, who do not need any background in video production to begin work.
By purchasing video recording equipment and hiring professionals who have been trained in graphic design, teachers can use Vimeo’s platform to teach an academic topic, while training their pupils in presentation and production skills. A small grant would be sufficient for this project, and the Toyota Grants would likely be an excellent source for such funding.
Similarly, funding for small projects that bring together students from disparate areas to work and learn together can inspire curiosity and expose students to new ideas. The Toyota Grants specifically seek to fund environmental education projects that could serve as a vehicle for such collaboration. By bringing students together to learn about ecology and conservation they will develop skills and further their knowledge.