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Teacher to Teacher: Using Videos in the Classroom

by Lynne R. Dorfman

When we use double entry journals, we ask students to use two columns, one for note-taking and the other for note making. The first is passive and often uses someone else’s language. The second is where we take the new learning and make it our own by asking questions, using graphic organizers, summarizing, and making connections to other situations, lectures, discussions, and readings. When we show videos in class, we want our students to watch actively rather than passively in order to do the very same thing.We want our students to be active viewers.

When it comes to video, students shouldn’t just get it; they should also have something to say about it. Students need to be active and reactive viewers. In order to do this it is important to sometimes fill in with some necessary background information by reading an article, doing an experiment, setting up an anticipation guide to pique interest, or taking a survey.  Students need to be comprehending and evaluating what they are viewing. At the same time, they need to accommodate new learning with existing schema and share their knowledge with others – a partner, small group, and/or whole class.

There are many strategies to foster essential media-literacy skills. Backchanneling is a way you can have students take some notes and react together, in real time, using a backchannel to create a running record that can be viewed later. Kahoot is a game-based classroom response system – for schools, universities and businesses. Mentimeter is a cloud-based tool that lets you engage and interact with your audience in real-time.  Use Class Pager to engage your classroom with polls, exit tickets, after-class reminders, and more, delivered to each student on their own phone or tablet.

Transcripts aren’t always available, but when they are, they can be a really powerful tool. One option is to have students follow along on the transcript and annotate as they watch. Better yet, have students read the transcript before watching.  This way students can create their own essential question for the video. With InqScribe, play videos and type your transcripts in the same window. Insert timecodes anywhere in your transcript, then click on a timecode to jump to that point in the movie. Type anywhere in the transcript, just like a word processor. Do a word-for-word transcription, or just take notes. The choice is yours! Read more