How to Use Video to Engage Learners
Students are using video daily—creating, watching, and reviewing. It’s one of the key ways they’re communicating with each other and consuming information outside school, so why wouldn’t schools want to use it in the classroom?
During the edLeader Panel, “Learn How to Unlock Personalized Learning and Student Engagement with Video Editing,” the presenters explained what they look for in video software, how they use it, and why.
First, any video software must meet two criteria: easy to use and lots of flexibility. The former is simple—since not every teacher is tech savvy, or might not have experience editing video, the program can’t require an extensive video background. Moreover, if the teachers can’t find the features easily or if they need to consult an instruction manual or call tech support every time they want to do something new, they will probably abandon the tech.
Regarding flexibility, schools and districts tend to adopt tech across grades and buildings now. So, what works for the second-grade math teacher must also have tools for the seventh-grade ELA instructor.
In addition, software must work across multiple operating systems and devices. While many schools have 1:1 programs, there are also the BYOD schools. Or, sometimes the teachers and students are using different tech at school versus at home. They need to be able to access their work no matter where they are and what device they’re using.
Next, all of the presenters talked about one main feature of using video in the class: they can create bite-sized lessons focused on a single topic that students can view over and over again. This means that the teacher can help the student even when they’re not in the classroom. Students can watch the videos at home, on the bus—anywhere—and get the help they need when they need it.
More importantly, the videos aren’t just talking heads. The presenters use tools to add callouts, quick assessments, and other elements to make the videos more interactive. For example, one presenter said her teachers will put text on the screen to let students know when they should be taking notes. Another puts QR codes on assignments that link to instructional videos. A final example was adding in timed blank screens to give students time to answer questions or discuss the video with a classmate before the video continues.
These features, though, aren’t just about making the videos more interactive. They can also help teachers personalize the videos. For instance, the same video can be saved with different levels of difficulty in the assessments. Or the teacher can insert different examples in the videos depending on student interest.
And since this is the data age, the presenters also talked about teachers using data from the videos. It can be as simple as embedding formative assessments, but many teachers also take note of which videos the students rewatch, ask the students to rate the videos, and use analytics to improve the presentations.
Finally, the presenters all want the students to have the ability to create, edit, and upload their own videos. While a visual presentation won’t work for every assignment, offering them the choice where applicable gives them a sense of ownership of their education.
Learn more about this edWeb broadcast, “Learn How to Unlock Personalized Learning and Student Engagement with Video Editing,” sponsored by Screencastify.
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Blog post by Stacey Pusey, based on this edLeader Panel