Video Mania!

I’m writing this waffle on a Saturday, which is unusual for me, since I usually write them Sunday morning while drinking my yummy soya wet latte. I’m currently trying to distract myself from a rather poorly made wet latte and the large degree of coughing and spluttering around me. So rather than having a panic attack and having to rush out…I thought I would write my waffle which today is all about the use of videos.


Using Videos to support learning

Using Videos to support learning

You might be aware by now that I am quite keen on technology and how it is used to support teaching and learning. When I first started to teach there wasn’t an interactive whiteboard in every classroom (when I started to teach I was using a chalkboard) and the use of technology was restricted to cassette recorders and cameras with films. It was only after a few years that technology started to impact more in the classrooms and film cameras were replaced with digital cameras with floppy disks and CD players made an appearance. Today, technology is available in every classroom and the discussion is around how to use it effectively. With this in mind, here are some ideas to use video within your teaching.

Technology must always be recognised as a tool to enhance and support learning.

  • As a starting point – Using videos can be a valuable way to introduce a topic or unit of work. This might be anything from a series of images which change on a powerpoint presentation, to an actual video. Showing the children images/videos of erupting volcanoes or tropical rain forests can start the children thinking about these and generating questions to investigate which can be added to their KWL sheets. Commercially produced videos and YouTube videos can be utilised and I would often turn the sound off on these so I could provide my own commentary which focused more on what I wanted to engage the children with. Videos can easily created nowadays with most mobile technology having the option to record video although always ensure you are using images that you have permission to use. This is a video to introduce year 1s to using their senses created by a second year group of undergraduates as part of their ‘create a science starter’ activity. I make a guest appearance at time 0:10 :).
  • Request from an expert – When motivating children to engage, it is important to provide them with a reason for the task. This is often achieved by relating the task to a real life situation. I have seen videos being used here very effectively. Recording a family member or friend (anyone the children do not really know) you can make the children think they are talking to an expert who can request the children’s help in order to complete a task. With careful editing, you can also interact with the video as it plays – similar to my session with Professor Warwick Shaw Skyped into the whole cohort lecture. If you are trying to achieve the latter, ensure that you can keep to time!
  • Homework activities – Videos are also very useful for providing activities away from the classroom or explanations that the children can listen and watch as many times as they want. Using iPad applications such as Explain Everything you can record your screen as you write and explain tasks/routines. In a similar way screen capturing programs can be used to achieve a similar result. If possible, adding a webcam view of yourself would make it more personal and encourage the children to view it. This is also an effective way of setting problems or puzzles for the children to engage with.

  • Videos created by the children – Using videos for the children to record their work allows for effective inclusion and differentiation. The videos can either be created using programs such as 2Animate or digital blue cameras to create ‘stop animation’ or digital camcorders to actually film and then edit. In creating the video it allows the children to have a purpose for their learning as well as using a cross curriculum approach to learning. Saying that the video is being created for a younger class can also allow the children to write an appropriate ‘script’ for a different audience. Be careful where the final video is uploaded to and remember to have parental permission is it is going into the public domain. Here is an example from Youtube where the children are discussing what a polygon is…listen to the amount of mathematical vocabulary which is used throughout.
  • Technology must always be recognised as a tool to enhance and support learning. Engaging with technology effectively can support the learning process at any level of education. Knowing what is available and then identifying when to use it is a key element of technology enhanced learning.

    I look forward to hearing your comments and ideas or even watching your videos! Please add them in the comments below or send me them to be via twitter(@iwilsonysj), Facebook, Google+ or email.

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    Have fun, engage and I’ll catch you later