Knowledge & expertise

The use of audiovisual material in the classroom

2013 - 2014

Together with imec.livinglabs (formerly iMinds) a pilot project was launched in 2013-2014 resulting in the launch of The Archive for Education.

From the very beginning of the trajectory, target groups and stakeholders were involved. That way, we had a useful overview of the needs and expectations of the teachers, ánd we could create a platform that meets those needs.

Important elements of this pilot project were an investigation of trends, a survey, co-creation sessions and interviews with experts. Afterwards, the web platform was tested in fourteen pilot schools.

What are the trends?

Imec.livinglabs started with a quest for trends and tendencies that could be useful for the platform. These are the most relevant ones:

  • The growing importance of data visualization: information is presented increasingly visually.
  • The use of new digital technologies in schools. Besides digiboards, the number of tablet schools in Flanders has been increasing since 2012.

‘The big survey on education and media’

The survey showed a great willingness to use the VIAA web platform in the classroom. 66% of the interviewed teachers said they’d use more audiovisual material if they could use the VIAA web platform. The survey was completed by 451 teachers, together constituting a representative sample of the different types of educational systems. You can find the main conclusions here (Dutch only):

Useful input from co-creation sessions

VIAA and imec.livinglabs organized various co-creation sessions with teachers, focussing on creativity and debate. During these sessions, we got insight into the current use of audiovisual content in the classroom. Thanks to the input of teachers, we were able to put the web platform into practice.


Interviews with experts emphasize the importance of cooperation

Various experts helped to figure out the part that VIAA could play in the field of education. Some findings from the interviews with experts:

  • VIAA should vouch for quality control.
  • The selection of audiovisual material should contribute to the learning process.
  • VIAA should offer reliable material that can be used by teachers in a secure manner. Nowadays, YouTube is a commonly used source, but it’s not always reliable.
  • Students should be able to access the platform as well, for example within a virtual learning environment.
  • Teachers don’t want to look for information; instead they want to find it. That’s why a first-rate web search engine is so important.
  • One of the biggest challenges will be the distribution of information. It won’t be simple to spread the use of the education platform to all of the teachers.
  • Digital is becoming the new norm, creating an ideal seedbed for a project like the VIAA web platform.
  • It’s very important to team up with educational publishers and other actors in the field of education, such as KlasCement, AKOV, lecturers from teacher training programs, Klasse, the pedagogical counselling services, the department of education, etcetera.

The field tests: positive responses

Field tests were organized, during which teachers could put the web platform to the test in a number of pilot schools. We visited these schools to see the ways in which the teacher uses the web platform in the classroom and how the students interact with it. The teachers’ initial reactions were very positive: they were thrilled to be able to use local, high-quality material in their own language. They also approved of the fact that the materials had already been selected to their use. They found the web platform easy to work with.

The Archive for Education

The findings of this investigation were officially launched in January 2016: the online image and sound bank The Archive for Education. Here, teachers and aspiring teachers can find audiovisual material, tailored to the classroom. By the end of 2017, two years after its launch, the platform consists of 46.000 users and the slogan reads: image and sound in the classroom every single day!