Top 3 Questions About Using Videos/Visuals in the Classroom

Did you know that a human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than words?

I was truly amazed this past school year when my students paid quite a bit more attention to a video of me than to me in person!

So, I set out on a quest to find out more about using video lessons in the classroom by finding the answers to these questions!

1.  Why do the students listen to me on video much better than to me in person?

This is the first question that raced through my mind when videos really got my students' attention.

So then I began to try to ask the students.  And of course, they all talked about how much they love YouTube (even though my video was not on YouTube).  

When I stopped to think about it, what they were really saying to me is that it is relevant to them.  

Plus, I did some research and found that in many studies, videos engage students because they create an experience and bring things to life  by telling a story.  And everyone loves a good story.  Why?  It's all in the emotions.


2.  Does video truly benefit students educationally?

Consider these facts:

  • "One study found that after three days, a user retained only 10-20 percent of written or spoken information but almost 65 percent of visual information." (source)

  • Video naturally attracts audio and visual learners by itself - that's 2/3 of all your learners.  Add in a kinesthetic piece and you've reached them all!

It seems to me that when I put this all together, video does the hard work of getting my students' attention and then goes one step further to increase their memory.


So naturally, if you're like me, you want to know....

3.  Can I "up" my video skills and get better results? (Does the type of production matter?)

The short answer to this is "no".  I naively thought that the more bells and whistles, the better!  So I dug into various video resources that I shared about last time like NearPod, EdPuzzle and Powtoon and started making other videos for my students.

However, after talking to the students, I found that they preferred videos with people in them over the ones with fancy moving clipart or things like whiteboard drawings.

This was further reinforced through my research in the Columbia University study when a participant said:

Another participant went on to say
"I don't think it's the production value as much as it's the content and the professor getting the point across."

So now that we know that video has our students' attention, contributes to better comprehension and that it needs that human element, there's really a 4th question begging to be answered:

4.  Where can I go to get good quality videos?

This is the toughest question of all because while YouTube has a wealth of informational videos, all that glitters is not gold.

I can't tell you how many times I've looked for a good clip only to have to figure out how to remove parts due to inaccuracies or inappropriate things in the background.  

Not to mention all the time it takes to search, watch and/or modify! 

So, I have decided to make my own.  I am focusing on producing them without any of the fancy online programs since they don't get better engagement or results. Instead, I am just using my iPhone and a few other gadgets and gizmos.

 Next time, I'll tell you about how I make them (including the gadgets and gizmos)!

1 comment

  1. I can't wait to hear more about how you make your videos! Thanks for sharing!


Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope to hear from you and will reply via e-mail. :)