How I *Finally* Got My Students' Attention!


My students listen to me better on video than in person!

It's summer, which means I'm allowing my mind to wander and ponder ideas for next school year.

This past year, I was constantly trying new tactics to increase student engagement.  Like you, I want to make sure my students "get it" and then can remember "it" for classroom and state tests.  

And then an amazing thing happened.  I created something fairly mundane (or so I thought) to show students how to take textual information and put it into an essay plan - on video.

I shared this video with the other four 6th grade Language Arts Teachers at my school and they showed it to all their students.

It wasn't long before students from other classes began to compliment me on the video and asked me if they could re-watch it!  So of course, I obliged, and it was posted on our school site.  Now even absent students could watch it!

(They were engaging with the video of me (not someone "cool") outside of class?!  What?!?!)

Soon students were asking me if I had a YouTube Channel because they follow lots of "YouTubers" and would happily comment on my video and tell about their favorite parts!  

(Their favorite parts?  You mean they actually remembered what I said?!)


This shouldn't have exactly surprised me as YouTube is the #1 search engine for those under 30 and the old saying is that a picture is worth 1000 words...but still!  The power of the video had me in awe because it seemed like I finally got their attention!

So then I really began to think - what is it about this video thing?  Why do my students listen to me better on video than in person?   How does it benefit the students educationally?   Could I "up" my video skills and get even better results?  After all,  that first video seemed pretty boring to me so what would happen if I could make them even better?

Some people suggested I use EdPuzzle or PowToon and many others to get the desired effect.  So I began looking into these and trying them out with the students.   

I like what some of them can do - like the whiteboard effect in Powtoon and making a YouTube video interactive in Edpuzzle. 

Since I am all about simplifying ideas in a practical sense, I even compiled what I found and learned about these tools into a kind of Video Resource Guide and you can get a Free Copy below!




But, as I am sure you suspected, making videos using these tools isn't quite what I expected.  And I'm not sure they really worked as well as my "boring" video.  Why is that?  

Next time, I'll share my research with this question and the ones above.  And let me tell you, all that glitters on the internet for video is not gold!

Be sure to visit Stephanie at Forever in 5th Grade to see some more great Show and Tell!


Thanks for stopping by!