General, Guest | November 18, 2015

5 Video Ideas for Your Literacy Instruction

teacher and student on a lesson BLOG Video is creeping into the education world slowly but surely. In fact, 94 percent of teachers have effectively used video in the classroom during the course of one school year, according to a study by Educational Support Systems. Video can be useful in a number of lessons and classroom settings, and is especially beneficial in reading. Teachers can use video to engage students, encourage deeper thinking, and facilitate student self-reflection. Bring video into your reading instruction with these five simple ideas that are applicable for a variety of students and grade levels. Engage Students With Movie Scenes Students would rather watch a movie than read a book. While they won’t get out of reading, they can enjoy the best of both worlds with video. Show scenes from the movie version of a book to engage students, while encouraging them to think deeper about the text. Use the following questions to do so:
  • Do the characters look like what you imagined? How are they different?
  • What scenes were different and/or what scenes were eliminated? If they were different, explain why.
  • Were some conflicts made more important in the movie than the book? What about vice versa?
These questions ensure that students are watching the movie with a critical lens, within the context of the book. When using technology in the classroom, it’s important to keep education at the forefront of all the tech decisions you make. This ensures that you do exactly that, while making learning fun. Highlight Student Success Video is a fun way to highlight student successes in reading. For example, when using a tool like Whooo’s Reading, it’s easy to see who read the most that month. Choose this student and interview them. Ask them education-focused questions and then edit the piece. Share on social media (with parental permission), to motivate students to read more so they can get their 15 minutes of fame. Some fun questions to ask during their reading “interview” include:
  • What was your favorite book this month and why?
  • Where was the coolest place that you read a book this month?
  • Who was your favorite character and why?
  • Which book would you recommend to your whole class?
Make an Engaging Video More Focused Instead of just showing students a fun, engaging video during your lesson, add notes to the screen to keep students focused. Swivl Cloud is a great tool for combining notes and video. Simply add note “slides” and time them to change at various points, so the text matches the video. In your slides, include important points to remember and questions for students to answer. At the end, give them a pop-quiz based on the information in the video and slides or bonus points for everyone who answered the questions correctly. Encourage Student Self-Reflection Self-reflection is an important aspect of learning: “Teachers who promote reflective classrooms ensure that students are fully engaged in the process of making meaning. They organize instruction so that students are the producers, not just the consumers, of knowledge,” according to Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind. While this is easily overlooked in the classroom, it can easily be used with video technology, which also makes it more effective. The Swivl Capture app is free and perfect for iOS and android devices.  It allows students to read out loud and then play it back for themselves. This allows students to both see and hear themselves reading—a combination that helps them reflect on a number of important fluency factors. Provide students with an evaluation form to complete while listening to themselves. This will help guide them through the reflection process, while focusing on the most important aspects of reading fluency. Swivl Cloud provides the ability to create time-stamped notes and comments so that you can see how the students have reflected on their work. Show Progress at Parent-Teacher Conferences Parents may have a hard time imagining what happens in their child’s classroom, and understandably so—it’s so much different than when they were in school. Video allows parents to see exactly what’s happening with their students in the classroom environment. There are a number of ways you can use video to show parents what their students have done:
  • Make a video with two clips—before and after.
  • Video the student working; more candid.
  • Interview the student about a recent project, milestone, etc.
You can decide which type of video to make based on the parents, if you think some would appreciate one type of video versus the other. Or, switch it up every time, so they see a different kind of video at each conference throughout the year. Video is a simple tool to bring into your classroom, whether you’re a tech-savvy teacher or not. With a cell phone or inexpensive camera, you can easily record students working, motivate them to use self-reflection, or encourage them to read more, all while making learning fun.    Bio: Jessica Sanders is the Director of Social Outreach for Learn2Earn, a San Diego-based educational organization that offers Read-A-Thon fundraisers and reading motivation tools for teachers and schools. She grew up reading books like The Giver and Holes, and is passionate about making reading as exciting for young kids today as it has always been for her. Follow Learn2Earn on Twitter and Facebook, and check out their new ebook, How to Bring Technology Into the Classroom, just $2.99 on Amazon.com.