Playing a video will get everyone’s attention faster than speaking out loud or asking for quiet. It’s almost an automatic reaction: video starts, audience gets quiet, looks up and stares at the “bright light” . I found that starting my science classes with a short 2 minute video would get students focused and attentive much quicker than anything else.
Video to initiate inquiry or discussion
A video segment can help to spark a discussion. Think about it – anytime you watch a movie or TV show you usually talk about it with someone else. Every person might have a slightly different interpretation or insight into a segment or video clip that they have viewed. Unlike a book or journal article, people do not feel intimidated to share what they thought about the video, because all they had to do was “view it.” Even though it may be sad to say at times, there is no denying that most of us have more practice watching video or TV than reading a book or article.
Video to show how to complete a process
If I have to show students several steps to a process, a video is a good way to show the process. By making it available as a video, they can watch it as often as they want. It is also convenient to direct students who missed the class to watch the video for themselves.
Video for fun
Everyone likes to laugh. Besides finding a goofy video on YouTube, I have also made videos with faculty and students to laugh with. Usually, the videos involve a topic with information presented in a slightly exaggerated way. For example, what better way for students to discuss how cooperative groups should work in a science lab than to watch four teachers ham it up in front of the camera as “ the world’s worst lab group. “ Students will not only laugh at the video, but they will compare and contrast effective / ineffective lab groups.
What if I don’t have time to make a video ?
Making a video does take some time. So when you are not able to make what you want, go out and find one that someone else has done. There are so many sources for video online that you are bound to find something you can use. Here is a list of resources to check out:
http://www.neok12.com/ – this site categorizes videos from sites like YouTube into topic areas. Some videos are housed on Meta-Café, which is blocked by our web filter.
http://www.teachersdomain.org/ – videos and interactive web sites provided through PBS providers. Teachers are required to register for a free account to use this site. Resources are searchable by subject, grade level, and resource type. Your free account allows you to bookmark the resources that you like.
http://www.snagfilms.com/films – a database of documentary films. Some are fairly long (over an hour). Has a unique search tool.
http://www.khanacademy.org/ – short video lectures on topics for Math, Science, History, Finances , and Test Prep. The videos show worked examples of calculations and problem solving for numerous topics.
http://mathtv.com/ – videos showing math problem explanations. Viewers can select from 4 different people to explain the problem, including one explanation delivered in Spanish.