Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Learning with Videos

Videos are proven to be an engaging teaching method, especially when they relate to students' interests. Videos in young primary grades, often contain cartoon characters, which display simple explanations of particular topics or convey moral messages. I have witnessed this type of video in a year 2 classroom, where the characters explained the process for counting backwards, using a range of examples.

It is well understood that effective teaching videos should be limited in time, and contain images that relate to the children. It would be worthless showing a video of a mundane middle-aged man, explaining the process of adding two-digit numbers to a year 3 class. They are likely to 'switch off' and probably be more confused than before.

I have used video in the classroom once, during my previous prac. This process was designed to provide the students with an understanding of how to calculate the mean when graphing. The video was retrieved from YouTube and demonstrated the process as well as incorporating a catchy tune, which stimulated memory of the process.

Not only can provided videos be shown to students for learning, but the students can also create their own videos. This is particularly helpful for submission of assessment pieces for students who may be uncomfortable presenting in front of a live audience. It is essential for students to have options during assessment times, providing them with a sense of ownership of the task.

All subject areas can be taught using video as a teaching method. Take my home video below, let's imagine we are teaching a human movement lesson to a grade 7 class. The topic question may be "Which muscles allow humans to laugh and talk?". A range of other information could be collected from this initial, simple video.

"Students can either be passive receivers of media messages or they can be digital content creators and critical thinkers." (Needleman, 2008). Something to ponder...


Needleman, M. (2008). Video in the classroom.com: digital storytelling in the elementary grades-and beyond!. [electronic resource]. http://www.needleworkpictures.com/vic/

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