3 Fail-Safe Classroom Video Tips for Teaching With Visual Media

by | Oct 26, 2017

Video, as it applies to classrooms, is essentially the capture of any significant moment in time to be reproduced for the benefit of others. That’s what makes it such a great tool to enhance classroom learning in lots of subjects. To help you maximize its benefits, we’ve got some trusty classroom video tips in this article you’re sure to find useful.

What simpler way to expand the time you have in class than to use relevant and meaningful pre-recorded material for video instruction in your classroom? And what better way to connect your learners to content with a medium they enjoy? From curating and enhancing videos for interactivity to making your own for accessing anywhere at anytime, you can take video instruction to the limit in your daily teaching.

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One of the best classroom video tips we can offer is that, like any other media, video is meant to be used in supplemental way. It’s always more effective to make meaningful human connections to students first, and make edtech enhancement secondary.

Did you come across a video that you thought explained something so succinctly, you couldn’t have done it better yourself? Perhaps you thought to yourself this is something I’ve really got to share! Or maybe you (or any of your learners) are budding Spielbergs and would like to produce short videos on your own. No matter the case, here are some important classroom video tips to consider when using video in the classroom.

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Go YouTubing

Probably the simplest route to using videos is to curate them from YouTube (or one of the other sites from the list at the end of this article). Using this approach, you can find the right video to convey your message succinctly to the students. 

When you can’t bring the kids to a real live London Symphony Orchestra concert, a short video excerpt would do. This is the most basic use of video in the classroom. When using this method, remember that you don’t have to show the entire video if not all of it is relevant.

Also, be aware that no more than 5 minutes would keep the students’ attention. Be prepared to manually fast-forward, reverse, stop, and start the video where needed—although using videos unaltered and at full length might leave you wanting for more control.

Play Around

Explore tools like Vibby and EDpuzzle which allow you to crop videos, highlight certain sections, and even add interactive questions. What’s more, some of these tools, such as the ever-popular VoiceThread, will allow you to voice over your own comments. If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to this, however, WeVideo is the way to go.

When looking for easy formative assessment and monitoring if the students have understood the material, the adding of questions is a must. Find a video tool in which answers are recorded and emailed to you so you can monitor student learning outside of the classroom.

Get in the Director’s Chair

Probably the most creative use of video involves you creating your own videos. You can do this on your own, and many of today’s schools have labs dedicated to this. In other cases, some teachers let their learners record their in-class lecture. After that, they perform the edits themselves for using later as flipped video content. Having students involved in the editing process also gets them engaged for “stickier” learning.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to organize your material using playlists. Building up a repertoire of great online content is an easy way to create an arsenal of engaging videos to draw from. In the process, you’re honouring the need for differentiation in learning for your digitally inclined students.

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Some Additional Classroom Video Tips

Do you have a projector to show the videos in class? Using this technique, you control the video—stopping, starting, commenting, and asking questions. The drawback is that this takes time during class and might not lend itself well to true differentiation.

Even if it’s on video, it’s still a lecture. So why not create the same experience for students to do on their own. Using programs like PlayPosit allow you to share the videos outside of class. In doing so, you allow learners to interact with the videos whenever and wherever they want, at their own pace.

There are numerous places to go for videos, and here’s a list to get you started:

Whether you’re curating and enhancing them for interactivity to making your own, using video in the classroom can save you time because it engages students in a way that they are used to. While finding other videos to suit the needs in your classroom is a big step, more teachers are creating their own flipped videos to either keep private for their students or share with the public. Now’s your chance to join the fray.

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