Best Practices for Using Video in the Classroom



If you're like me, you are starting to think about the new school year and the concept of using videos is really appealing because you know that they are super engaging and they allow you to monitor the students even better.

However, you want to make sure that what you are using is educationally sound - that it uses best practices.  But what are video best practices?  Here's what I've found:


Source

My biggest takeaway from this pdf is that when using video, there should be no more than 6 minutes of view time before there is an interactive activity.  

I saw this same idea of short videos with interactive activities repeated over and over across the web from various colleges and universities.  I agree that short is better to help keep students focused and interactive is the name of the game!



Vanderbilt University suggests looking for videos have one or all 4 of these items:
1.  Signaling with the appearance of key words
2.  Segmenting of information (aka chunking)
3.  Weeding - the process of eliminating unnecessary extras like odd sound effects
4.  Matching modality - students can see and hear the same concept at the same time.


These four items make a great checklist for anyone when choosing videos for their classes.


And commonsense.org  suggests that transcripts can be powerful tools as students can annotate them.  They also suggest multiple viewings of the videos so as to explore them from different points of view.  


I really like the idea of having transcripts not just for annotation, but also a kind of notes to help students remember what they have seen.

I have tried to incorporate all these things into videos that I make for my own classes.  Currently, I have been working on a step-by-step video to teach my students all the pieces and parts of writing a text-based informational essay.  And you can try the planning part for free! 

You'll get a link to the video portion that comes towards the end of the Full Unit after I have taught all the pieces and parts of the text-based informative essay that shows how to plan the essay.  You'll also get the writing prompt, 2 texts and a planning sheet that are referenced in the video.


Thanks for stopping by!

How I Make Video Lessons In 5 Easy Steps


In previous posts, I shared how powerful video was for engaging my students in my 6th grade ELA classroom and the educational benefits of using video.

As you may know, I decided to make my own videos to maximize the learning in my classroom.  
So how do I do it?  
Here are my 5 easy steps:


1.  I decide on my objectives and write a script.

  • My objectives generally come from my standards, but many times my video theme is something I take into consideration at this point - especially as I write the script.  If I want to teach essay writing in connection with the book Walk Two Moons, my images might be of places that the main character visited in the book, for example.
2.  I record my script with a green screen, soft box lights, and a microphone.  

  •  I record my videos using my iPhone.
  • The green screen really is an important piece as I can place *any* image behind me and really create some very relevant videos for the students.  
  • The lights I use came with the green screen with bulbs!  The bulbs are "daylight bulbs - 5500K" and make all the difference with looking good.
  • Speaking of looking good - remember to record on a good hair and makeup day!  :)
  • I have a lapel microphone that cost me about $13 on Amazon.  You can try to record with just the iPhone microphone and see how it sounds in the room you are using.


3.  I run my green screen recordings through the Green Screen App by Do Ink ($2.99)

  • Next, I take what I recorded with the green screen and run it through this app to put in whatever image I choose behind me! Later, I add what I make in this app to iMovie when I am ready to edit.
  • Note on images:  I only use images that I have made myself or are in the public domain.  A Google search for images will pull up many copyrighted images and could put you in jeopardy of being in violation of the law.  I use Pixabay.com for public domain images.

3.  Determine the objectives and write a script.

  • My objectives generally come from my standards, but many times my video theme is something I take into consideration at this point - especially as I write the script.  If I want to teach essay writing in connection with the book Walk Two Moons, my images might be of places that the main character visited in the book, for example.

4.  Edit all clips in iMovie on my iPhone

  • This is arguably the hardest part.  This takes some time to learn because I have to insert clips of what I recorded, cut out pauses or flubs, add music, titles, captions and maybe even special effects!

5.  Save and upload!  
  • When I'm finished, I first download the movie to my iPhone's video album.
  • Then, I hard wire my phone to my computer so I can put the finished product on a jump drive to take to school. I find that this is the quickest way to get the video from the iPhone.

So that's how I do it!  It's easy once you get going, but if that seems like more than you're ready to tackle, then maybe you'd like to see one of my videos as an example and maybe even try it with your classes.

Right now, I am focused on preparing to take my "rookie" 6th graders through the steps in writing text-based essays, and I am happy to share that first stage of the process with you below:



Thanks for stopping by!  Be sure to stop by Forever in Fifth Grade for some more great Show and Tell!