Educators normally plan their lessons out in advance, and teach subjects and related topics on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Is it almost time for your topic for the week? If you have a normal approach that you’re growing tired of, need more engagement from students, or want to improve your teaching style for the new year, using video is an exciting way to get information across.
Instead of reading a story or news article, assigning a task, or giving a presentation to introduce the week’s topic, try using the many alternatives the world wide web has to offer – specifically, watching and creating videos. Why use video, you’re wondering?
Statistics show an increasing number of teachers using video in their lessons. So maybe the better question is, why not use video to introduce the topic of the week?
Here’s how you can implement video use in the classroom, and why it is beneficial for both teachers and students.
How to Use Video to Introduce the Topic of the Week
The web is full of videos, like tutorials; talks; lessons; insights – and many benefits are reaped from such available content. However, although the Internet may provide millions of potentially suitable videos, they might lack a personal connection or only shine a light on a few aspects of your lesson. Luckily, as technology is developing, more and more tools surface that provide content alternatives that allow users to make videos themselves without a tremendous amount of work or budget. A tool that comes to mind is mysimpleshow because of how simple and quick it is to use. It helps you create expert videos by yourself, and takes care of the entire production process for you.
One of the great benefits is that the tool provides you with a variety of different templates that facilitate your video process. Instead of remembering all of the steps yourself, the tool reminds you and serves as a guide through the design, being more efficient and effective, as well as simple and professional.
Let’s say the overall topic for the week is experiments, and you will conduct them in different subject areas. Creating a video at the beginning of the lesson to introduce the topic may have some great benefits for your students, as well as planning a video project for the students summarising their results.
Tips to Make a Great Video
- Personalise It: You know the audience best. By creating your own video, you can use names of the students in your class, which increases attention, engagement, and adds personality by making a reference to the students. When you talk about how to behave during an experiment, you can include previous experiences, making the content relevant for your audience.
- Combine Different Teaching and Learning Approaches: Many schools are shifting towards differentiated learning to serve everyone’s needs. That includes keeping different learning styles in mind such as the ones defined in the Vark model, and creating a lesson that caters to multiple types of students. Video provides an opportunity for aural, visual, and hands-on learning, as well as reading and writing practice while creating the video script.
- Adapt it: Once you’ve created a video, you can share it with colleagues and use it as a draft for other lessons. You can easily change names, add content, or adjust it depending on your target audience. Once established, it will save time and effort because you won’t have to create a new video every time. Have fun and get creative!
- Your Own Knowledge: Maybe you were already thinking about using a video, but simply couldn’t find one with all the necessary information? By creating your own video based on what you know and information in your lesson plans, you decide what knowledge is relevant for your specific target group. Combine the information from different resources and let it be a part of your own video.
- Length: Keep it short and simple! You can decide on the length of your video, but mysimpleshow’s automatic limit is emphasised through a maximum number of keystrokes. This assures that you have your audience’s attention throughout the whole video. Studies have indicated that a good length is about 2 minutes. Make sure to keep timing in mind when creating your introductory video of the week. You have a key message, and your goal is to bring it across and get the students excited about it.
Your aim is to introduce the topic and start with certain rules that will be emphasised before every experiment. You could start your video with a reference to a previous book you’ve read, a story you’ve told, or simply a fact. Then, you could build on prior knowledge and have the children draw the connections. It is always nice to include reference to your audience occasionally, and remember to include the behaviour to be expected and address possible issues. After the experiment is over, students can even make videos themselves to describe their results. Also, don’t forget to emphasise the learning objective…while having fun!
Author: Finja Kruse
Finja Kruse is a teacher in spe, who has worked with children of different ages and has a study job involving writing blogs and creating videos. She has experience with different educational tools and is engaged in creative writing activities in school. You can contact her via LinkedIn.