By Stéphane Hunter
One of the ways to encourage students to engage in their learning is to have them experience realistic situations; that is, actual situations rooted in reality. Using video in your teaching, either by viewing or creating, is a good way to achieve this.
By watching videos, students can learn independently, at their own pace. Isn’t that what young people already do anyway? When they need to know something, they search for it, watch a video and lo and behold, they learn something new. They can speed up the content, slow it down, or even replay it as needed.
Video is a versatile and differentiated way of learning. So why not use it in the classroom and make it an educational tool? Above all, why not get students to produce their own videos? They will evolve from being consumers to becoming creators, and it will be all the more formative for them!
1 – Use an Existing Video as a Teaching Resource
Using an existing video as a teaching resource is one way to incorporate video into the classroom as a tool to support learning. In this context, it is important to carefully choose the videos to present in class by asking yourself the following questions:
- What are my teaching intentions?
- Is the chosen video aligned with my intentions?
- What other activities will accompany the video?
With good preparation and well-chosen media, using video in the classroom definitely adds value to teaching.
Here are some examples of platforms that may inspire you:
Some things to consider:
- What video can I present to support my content in a differentiated way?
- What could be a line of questioning to spur curiosity in my students and have them discuss the subject before watching a video?
- What questions might my students have after watching this video?
2 – Create a Video as an Educational Tool
Creating a video to be used as a teaching tool enables the teacher to “clone” themselves. All teachers can develop their own video content and publish it on the same platforms where young people spend time…to learn. Whether it is TikTok, YouTube, or something else, you can reach students where they are. If you do not want your videos to be publicly accessible, you can publish them in “Unlisted” mode on YouTube.
Creating simple videos and posting them on an online platform may seem daunting at first. Keep in mind that these videos do not have to be perfect. They simply have to be effective in conveying the right information that you want to communicate to your students.
Here are some examples of YouTube videos:
Some things to consider:
- What subject can I cover in a video?
- Are there concepts that I often repeat that could be used as the subject of a video?
- What concept do I want my students to be able to integrate at their own pace, with the possibility of continuing their learning outside the classroom?
3 – Use Video as Evidence of Learning, or Instructional Documentation, or to Provide Feedback
Video can be an interesting tool for teachers who wish to diversify the evidence of their students’ learning. This can become a tool for instructional documentation or feedback, and then become an effective and engaging strategy for both teachers and students.
First, the teacher can communicate, evaluate and provide feedback to their students using this medium. Applications like Flip or Screencastify can be used in a teaching context. These apps are easy to use and offer great functionality in a classroom setting.
Then, students can also use the video as a tool to demonstrate learning. Imagine students submitting a reflection or explanation via video that clearly justifies their understanding of the material. The teacher can respond to them through video to give them personalized, effective feedback that is saved for future reference.
Some things to consider:
- What classroom activities could be documented using video?
- How might students document their learning using video?
- The use of video allows for active and instantaneous feedback. What activity would lend itself well to video feedback?
4 – Foster Student Engagement through a Video Creation Project
The creation of videos by students enables them to use video as a learning tool. In addition to being engaging and authentic, this teaching strategy promotes the development of global skills.
This type of project involves several stages. The three main stages are: pre-production, production and post-production.
Pre-production includes all the preparation, scriptwriting, choice of actors, costumes, filming locations, etc. The production stage includes all the stages of filming and sound recording. It is at this stage that the cameras, microphones, and lights are in action, and is the part of a project that requires the highest level of management. Post-production includes all stages of editing, mixing, animations, adding special effects, etc.
In the context of using video as a learning tool, students leverage their know-how and develop their skills. They need to communicate, collaborate, be creative and much more.
These days, video production has become a lot easier. Almost all students have a camera in their pockets. They can easily use their own digital device. Additionally, editing apps, such as InShot or iMovie, are available for free.
This type of project is more demanding and requires preparation. Don’t hesitate to surround yourself with colleagues to set up this type of project. It could easily become multidisciplinary.
Here are a few points to consider to ensure the success of a project of this magnitude:
- Have a clear teaching intention
- What do you want students to learn about the course material, not about video production?
- Create a structuring process
- Ensure that each student understands the stages involved in the project.
- Give each student a role.
- Establish a clear timeline for each stage of the project, with opportunities for feedback.
- Choose a sharing platform (publicly on the internet or simply to the school community, and be sure to share the videos outside the classroom).
- Establish clear evaluation criteria
- What is being evaluated?
- What evidence of learning do I need to provide?
- How will teamwork be considered in the evaluation?
- Be flexible
- Leave room for student creativity.
- Impose only part of the project. For example, it could be the subject, but not the format, or the reverse.
- Be clear, but flexible, in your expectations.
No matter how you use video in the classroom, with good preparation and well-chosen media, there will be added value to your teaching.