Using video effectively in the classroom

Getting students to tune in through active and reactive viewing of video

Transcripts aren’t always available, but when they are, they can be a really powerful tool. One option is to have students follow along on the transcript and annotate as they watch. Better yet, have students read the transcript before watching—this way students can create their own essential question for the video.

Pro tip: After students read a transcript, ask them how seeing the video afterward may have altered their understanding or interpretation of what they read in the script.

Multiple viewings
Students may not always enjoy it, but watching a video more than once is key to going from passive to active—and all the way to reactive—viewing.

Pro tip: With each viewing, introduce a new essential question to help students see the video in different ways.

Tips and tricks for a few great video apps

Active viewing

Make use of YouTube’s closed-captioning feature so students can watch and read at the same time, engaging different modalities. And, of course, use discretion when selecting videos; it’s always a good idea to preview anything you’re going to show in class.

Use Nearpod to string together multiple videos in one interactive slide show; you can also add quizzes and checks for understanding along the way.

Instead of starting a video with an essential question, add questions throughout a video using Edpuzzle’s audio track or comment features. This works especially well for flipped classrooms where students may watch a video individually or at home.

Reactive viewing

Do you know that TED-Ed has a built-in tool for designing lessons that feature TED talks? It’s a great way for teachers to add context to a video, but students can also use it to show what they know and create their own instructional videos.

Backchannel Chat
Add live (and silent!) commentary to a film screening with Backchannel Chat. While students are watching a film, have them follow along on their computers as you provide your own running commentary, pointing out important moments or offering extra context. Students can also chime in with questions or observations.

Give students an authentic reason to watch and understand videos by having them remix a video using MediaBreaker. Remixing requires students to understand the material deeply, and MediaBreaker encourages students to add critical, socially engaged context.

 [Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Common Sense Education.]

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