Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Year of the Video

Tools - video in the classroom
I hope to use Sharon's Share to help promote video in the classroom this year. In my district, we have adopted United Streaming as our video "supplier". Discovery Education has greatly expanded their offerings and have added many teacher-tools to their site.
Just to get started, I am using a section from Tech Learning article by Al Doyle just this week. He did a nice job of discussing the whys and wheres of video integration:

When: In the classroom, a video segment can be used at the beginning of a lesson to spark discussion, motivate curiosity, and provide instruction; throughout class to highlight various points; or at the end of a lesson to review the material.

Where: Beyond the obvious classroom uses, students might view clips as part of a research assignment in the computer lab or library. The advantage of this approach is that students can learn at their own pace, taking time to review videos as needed. Schools with laptop programs can encourage students to access designated streamed video content in study halls, library periods, and after school.

Why: Video can take your students places, from the far side of our galaxy to the bottom of the ocean, with rich material that supports visual learners. A Corporation for Public Broadcasting report concluded video "reinforces text-based material, appeals to multiple learning styles, increases student engagement, and has a positive effect on teaching." (

How: Following are some tips for getting the most out of VOD in your classroom.

  • Always preview the video prior to using in class. Download the video segments prior to screening if possible to obviate any possible bandwidth issues.
  • Allow students to ask questions during whole-class screenings; pause the video at any point to highlight certain aspects and check for comprehension.
  • Provide vocabulary lists, worksheets, and previewing and post-viewing activities (Discovery Education's unitedstreaming provides blackline masters specifically for this purpose).
  • Keep in mind that a projector or interactive whiteboard can add value to VOD. Project directly on a chalkboard or a whiteboard. Pause the video and let students pick out salient details, label parts, or trace vectors of moving objects.
  • Use video editing software such as Apple iMovie to have students edit clips and combine them with their own footage. The permission to use video clips in this way is granted on selected material from unitedstreaming.
  • Take advantage of the video playlist feature when it's available to create customized archives of content.
So - get your United Streaming account up and running. Watch here for further integration ideas.

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