Sep 26 2017

How to Leverage Technology to Make Videos a More Active Learning Experience

Digital tools let educators maximize class time spent watching a video.

For many of us, watching a video in class meant that a teacher rolled in a TV and VCR on a cart. It also meant that perhaps aside from a quiz later, the class that day wasn’t going to require much thinking. In today’s classroom, video has been embraced as an entirely different tool.

Thanks to advances in technology, video allows educators to prep lessons ahead of time and “flip” the classroom so that students focus on problem-solving and collaboration during class time. Livestreams to locales like zoos and state parks give students real-time insight into the animal kingdom. Tools like Skype even connect students to their peers around the globe.

But technology also allows educators to make just watching a simple video a more engaging experience.

Leverage Online Tools to Make a Video More Active

When discussing tech usage in the classroom, experts often focus on the difference between passive and active use. The teacher of days past would facilitate passive use of technology by just using class time to show a video and have students take a quiz. A video can easily become active tech use with a few simple digital tools.

To avoid letting her students go into “TV mode,” educator Mariana Garcia Serrato writes on KQED Education that she learned to leverage technology to make video content a perfect fit for interactive learning.

“As I continued on my journey, I finally understood that the key to using video effectively in the classroom is preparation,” she writes. “I could maximize the learning opportunities videos offer by encouraging students to become active viewers using a few simple tools and strategies.”

Serrato writes that she uses a free online video-editing tool like Vibby to cut the video into digestible clips and then uses a tool like Edpuzzle or PlayPosIt to ask students questions or insert commentary.

A blog post on We Are Teachers suggests that educators can also have students use real-time online discussion, similar to Microsoft Teams or even Twitter, to encourage collaboration.

“Kids can react to the video and to other students’ comments, and the teacher can introduce deeper questions as the conversation unfolds,” reads the blog.

For educators looking to create better videos for their students, TCEA’s Miguel Guhlin recommends using YouTube’s built-in annotation features to create a hypervideo that offers students even more relevant information.

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