Class lectures can become tedious and boring for both the students and the teacher. Adding video can be a great way to change up the structure of daily lessons. But how can a teacher effectively add video to a class without turning it into a free-for all for the students? There are a few simple tips that will greatly improve student attention to and retention of video materials.
It may seem obvious, but selecting the correct video is crucial. Concepts in videos must be explained in a way students can understand and relate to. If the video is too complicated, students will zone out and stop paying attention. If it is too simple, they will feel talked-down to and patronized. Choosing a video that fits your students will keep them engaged and interested.
The content of the video is just as important as the tone conveyed. Videos are especially useful for relaying information that is difficult to understand or impossible to demonstrate in class. Some of the most effective videos cover science experiments too dangerous for class, history videos that put students into the timeframe and math videos that explain abstract concepts.
Break Long Films into Short Segments
The longer a video is the more likely students are to stop paying attention. When possible, create shorter segments out of long films and only show the parts that are relevant to the lesson. There are many tools out there that can help with this.
Have Video Que’d up and Ready to go
Any time a teacher turns his or her back to a class, students will seize the chance to start side conversations. Once this happens, valuable class time will have to be spent getting the class back on track and ready to watch a video. This scenario can be avoided by having videos ready to play at the touch of a button.
Pause Videos at Key Point to Discuss
As noted previously, it is not recommended to use long videos in class. However, if a subject or film requires it, then be sure to have a plan in place to keep students on task. Pausing the film every so often for discussion, especially at key points, will not only help maintain students’ attention, it will also help them remember important parts of the film.
Using video in class can greatly add to your students’ experience as well as increase their understanding and retention of the subject. With a little practice, these tips will become second-nature and your students will thank you for it.
Megan Veschio is the marketing coordinator for Inventive Technology/MediaCAST, a digital content management and video streaming solution for schools. Learn about using technology in education at www.mediacastblog.com or follow Inventive Technology/MediaCAST on Twitter – @MediaCASTstream.