Using Video as a Learning Tool in Your Classroom
Video is a proven learning tool to deepen a student’s understanding and keep them engaged. When the first black and white video was released, it was regarded by the public as a futuristic phenomenon. Imagine then hundreds of years later, when just about anyone can jump onto their laptop or phone and make a colorful, visually appealing recording of themselves to post on platforms like YouTube. And imagine what this means for teachers in their classrooms!
In most cases, when confronted with both text and video content on the same topic, more than half the audience will choose to watch the information rather than read it. When choosing a CMS Platform for your school today, it is crucial to have some sort of video integration as a way to communicate with your school community.
For teachers new to creating their own videos in the classroom, there’s many elements to think about from tone and pace to visuals. Before every video we create here at Scholantis, here’s some things we keep in mind that you can apply to your classroom videos for students.
There is nothing worse than having to guess what a person is saying and nothing more frustrating than feeling like you can’t keep up. For students, talking too fast is a guaranteed way to lose attention and while a small part of your message may be understood, most will go uncharted.
Remember to talk slowly, enunciate your words and give students enough time to follow along with your information. Always strive to produce the best audio quality possible as it is the most important element to your video’s success.
For those who have spent hours editing a 20-minute video, you’ll know that it can be tricky to get the perfect cut sometimes, especially as a beginner. Not every video will necessarily need editing, however if you wish to add a little bit of music to your clip, take out parts where you can hear yourself breathing (this one happens more often than you think!) or merely make your video a little bit shorter, remember to give yourself enough time before an assignment to get your video ready for class. We’ve learnt from experience that with every video you create, the next one gets that little bit easier.
Keep Each Video Under 7 Minutes
We have found after years of creating tutorial videos, that the ones under 7 minutes get the best reception. Why? It makes the information easily digestible and gives people breaks in-between each portion of content. It also makes it easier to find the information were your audience to re-watch certain parts they didn’t understand or just go over it again to let it sink in properly. If you present students with a 30 minute video (that isn’t a Blockbuster movie, of course), it is more likely they will get bored and lose concentration.
Naming Videos with Precision
Don’t make students look for the information they want – tell them in the title! This makes it clear from the beginning what they are about to learn. IT also means if they wish to revisit information, just like with the 7 minute videos, it makes it easier to find. It’s a good idea to have a title long enough to be explanatory, but short enough not to devalue your key message. Think 6 to 10 words.
If you’re not using your own video, make sure it is student friendly, relevant and ticks all the boxes. Here’s three quick questions to consider during your selection process.
- Who are my students and what information do I need to present on this topic? What information do I want to present on this topic?
- What type of video will best suit this topic? News, advertising, tutorial, interview, cartoon etc.
- What skills can my students develop during this video presentation? How can I monitor learning outcomes?
Whatever video you decide upon, be it one you’ve recorded or one you’ve selected, keep your students at the forefront of your mind and how you can use it to inspire their learning and keep them engaged.
Providing a Mission
When using videos as a learning tool, it’s important to keep this step in mind. Telling your students: “As you watch this, I want you to think about X and Y”, is a great way to give them purpose as well as food for thought whilst watching the video. By creating a sense of direction, it immediately engages and motivates your audience’s learning.
If there’s a lot of information on your video and it needs to be longer than 7 minutes, or maybe someone in your class is unable to hear properly, you might want to have the audio in text at the bottom of the screen. This gives a little extra help with comprehending all the information present. YouTube is a great tool if you are looking for an inbuilt captioning tool that is totally free to use – you just need to upload your audio and let YouTube work its magic. Although it is not always 100% accurate, if you only need it for a few videos it’s an easy solution without paying a company to do it for you. You can also upload your own transcript to YouTube by simply pressing the “sync” button.
Don’t Get Frustrated
When you first start recording videos, like anything, it can take a little time to find your footing. You may have to rerecord, you may delete the video you wanted by accident, you may spend hours editing an 8 minute video – we’ve all been there! Our tip is to remember what a great tool video can be and the reasons you are creating – to engage and inspire!