With the advancement of technology and the internet over the past few decades, educational videos have become far more accessible and used more often in the classroom. There are many websites and resources which have a large database of videos covering a large range of topics, which teachers can utilise as a method for teaching students. Understanding how videos can improve your learning curve, or that of your students, can be an effective way in furthering your knowledge of a subject or topic.
Why Use Videos
As the expression goes, pictures are worth a thousand words, so imagine how many a video is worth. The ability to show rather than simply tell can be very powerful in helping people understand key information and concepts. They have the potential to be extremely engaging due to the increased sensory experience they provide (visual and audio), which mimics real-life interactions.
Vides can increase retention of knowledge because they can be paused and replayed as many times as needed. It’s easy to navigate to parts you need further explanation on or even slowed down to better see and understand something. They can also aid in the improvement of verbal communication and expand vocabulary.
When To Use Videos To Learn
Whether it’s to build a basic and fundamental understanding of a subject, or to serve as a way of contextualising information to improve the application of knowledge to everyday situations, videos can be a crucial part of education.
Visual learning is useful for all ages and stages of learning. So if you were teaching young children the seasons, a four seasons for kids video could show them what different seasons visually look like, as well as just learn how they are described in words. The great thing about videos is that they can also be watched from home, rather than just in class, from laptops, TVs, tablets, and phones - essentially anything with a screen! This can encourage the things people have learnt elsewhere (such as in class) to stay in their long-term memory, because they’re reinforcing teachings they have already learnt.
How To Use Videos In Class
It has been shown through studies that using several different methods of teaching and conveying information is the most effective for students. Overusing visual media, or any other teaching method, can cause a loss of engagement from students and they are less likely to absorb the knowledge. So using videos along with other teaching strategies is when it’s most effective - this can include the following:
- Listening to teacher explanations
- Acting and role play
What Kind Of Videos To Use
It’s important to be selective when you’re thinking of using video to enhance learning. You should avoid watching long and drawn-out clips, but instead, opt for shorter ones that show the most important and dynamic aspect of the topic. They should be as relevant to the topic as possible, to avoid misdirected focus on unrelated material. If the video is too broad, this could cause confusion or the knowledge you’re learning is not contributing to the area you’re trying to focus on.
Using clips with closed captions can be important to help with spelling (as well as obviously for hearing-impaired students if you’re teaching). Hearing and reading things at the same time has been proven to help people remember things better, so it’s always a good idea to turn the captions on if there is an option.
Whilst videos can be very impressive in improving learning curves, for them to be most effective, you need to be an active watcher. You could write a summary of the video and what you learnt, and compare notes with other people. Engaging in a discussion with someone else about what you’ve watched can be a great way of ensuring you stay engaged with the video.
If you’re teaching, you could give students worksheets that include guided questions or other interactive activities (make sure to pause the video as you go so that nobody misses any important information as they’re writing). It’s a good idea to also provide a mission to students to direct their focus on a certain area, such as “I want you to watch out for when… and we’ll discuss what you think afterwards”. The discussion that follows can be a great way to develop ideas and thoughts.
In conclusion, using video in the right way and circumstances can improve your learning curve. To be most effective, it should be used in moderation with other methods of learning. It should also have a specific focus on a particular topic, rather than being too broad which could cause confusion, and active watching should be encouraged through discussion or note-taking.