Thursday, 10 July 2014

7 ways to use video in the classroom

Interestingly, a high proportion of the 18 million plus 'how to' videos on YouTube have been uploaded by young people. Countless school and college-aged kids are using online video as a way to informally learn and teach – completely under their own steam, and without any adult direction!

It makes you wonder… could this be something teachers use to engage their tech-savvy students?

In short, yes! Below you’ll find 7 ways to use classroom-created video content as part of the everyday teaching and learning experience – from recording lessons for revision to encouraging online peer-assessment to sharing the learning journey with parents.

So what are you waiting for? Grab a camera and get filming!


1. Capturing learning
No matter how engaging and inspiring the lesson, the sound of a school bell tends to act as a ‘reset’ button in the minds of students – especially if it signals lunch time! By capturing key parts of a lesson with video and placing it online, teachers can create a permanent record of the learning, allowing students to access it, on-demand, at any time.

And like the ‘catch up’ services that TV channels now offer, it provides a valuable resource to students who may have missed the lesson, or who simply need a reminder of what was covered.

2. Creating learning objectives

The ability to provide engaging learning objectives, and for students to be aware of how their learning progress fits with these, is a crucial part of the learning process.

At the start of a class, play back a video clip from the students’ previous lesson and through class discussion and teacher questioning, use the clip as a basis for drawing up students’ learning objectives for the current lesson. Ask the students:

  • What stage did they get to last lesson?
  • What needs to be improved upon?
  • What’s the main thing that they need to focus on?
Objectives can either be whole-class, or individually drawn up by students or groups within the class for project work.

At the end of the lesson, play back some key clips from the current lesson. Ask the students to think back to the objectives they set at the start of the lesson – and again, through class discussion and teacher questioning, have them assess their progress against these objectives. It’s a great way of making their progress real and tangible to students, and maintaining the learning momentum from lesson to lesson.

3. Peer assessment

Video has the power to take peer assessment to a new level – particularly in practical and performance subjects such as music, drama and dance, where it can play a crucial role in supporting students’ learning.

A student performance placed online can spark a deep discussion. Ask your students to critique each other’s work as part of their homework, perhaps giving them something particular to focus on – for example, the use of space in a dance piece or characterisation in a dramatic performance.

For examination subjects, this can be a great way of students getting familiar with the assessment criteria and mark scheme – give them a copy of it, and have them ‘mark’ each others’ performance videos, leaving a comment and justifying their marks!

4. Student-created content

It’s always been said that the best way to learn something is to teach it – and by creating their own video content, students can do just that.

After covering a concept in class, ask students to create a short video in which they explain the concept or topic in their own words – and encourage them to be creative in how they demonstrate their learning! This encourages students to really think about what’s been covered in class, and explaining a concept in their own words really helps to cement the learning in their minds.

This works particularly well as a group activity – students have a lot of fun creating videos. It’s the perfect way to make those dry, theoretical topics practical and engaging.

When it comes to revision time too, students will have access to engaging videos of themselves and their friends explaining concepts, which will be infinitely more interesting than the usual PowerPoint files and word documents!

5. Teacher-created content

It’s been proven that good quality teaching has a profound impact on students’ success and life chances – and with online video, it’s now possible for teachers within a department to create an engaging bank of videos explaining key concepts and topics for students to access at any time.

Creating a video is simply a case of explaining a concept to the camera in the normal way, with a camera pointing toward the teacher or board, then uploading this online for students to access. Alternatively, if you don’t fancy appearing on screen, screencasting software (QuickTime has this built in) and iPad apps such as 'Explain Everything' allow you to create video ‘how to’ guides. Simply record what is happening on screen and narrate over the top.

Get started by talking to your departmental colleagues about the concepts that students struggle with most, then divide them up and get filming. Share your finished videos with colleagues and pupils to see what works and what doesn’t.

6. Flipping learning

The ‘flipped classroom’ is a concept which was developed by teachers in America, and which has started to spread around the world.

Normally, teachers stand at the front of the class and deliver content to all of the students at the same time – and after this, the students then apply the knowledge, often as a homework task. The ‘flipped’ concept turns this model on its head – instead of standing in front of the class and delivering the content, the teacher creates an online video, which students watch before the lesson.

This frees up class time for activities which let students apply that knowledge – and frees up the teacher to circulate the classroom and deliver more personalised support to students.

With online video, students can learn at their own pace, on any device, anywhere 
 putting them in complete control of when, where and how they learn.

7. Sharing the learning journey with parents

Online parental reporting is now a familiar feature in many secondary schools – but often, it revolves around dry numbers, figures and charts. Parents may be able to find out that little Johnny has risen 2 sub levels in Music, but what does that really tell them?

By using video to share students’ learning journeys with parents, schools can provide a window into students’ school lives and learning which is so much more engaging and insightful than numbers alone.

The question ‘what did you do at school today?’ has become something of a running joke, because it’s so difficult for parents to get a sense of what their children are doing and learning during the school day – but by using online video to share the learning journey, schools can finally answer that question for parents.

By James Cross, Educator in Residence at MediaCore.

Interested in more ways to use technology in the classroom? Subscribe to our e-learning publication, e-Learning UPDATE for access to new issues, archived articles and 7 free training videos. It's CPD online!

No comments:

Post a Comment