Education

10 Video Ideas for Your Remote Learning Classroom

Moira West

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Though many schools have shut down because of COVID-19, that doesn’t mean students aren’t still learning! We know teachers and parents are working harder than ever to create meaningful lessons that engage all learners—even at a distance.

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Video’s a simple way to remind students you’re there and keep them interested while they’re learning remotely. If you need a few new video ideas, we’ve got you covered. Check out a few of the ways you can add video to your online lessons.

1. Video book report or book trailer

A video book trailer is a simple way to add excitement to the traditional written book report. You can let students know Animoto has a book trailer template they can use. Then have students briefly describe a book’s plot, characters, and setting. Remind them not to give away the ending! Once you’ve collected them, you can share links to your class’ book trailers. That way all of your students get a variety of book recommendations from their classmates.

Though this lesson idea sounds like it’s mainly targeted to language arts literacy teachers, it would work well in just about any subject. Social studies students can read non-fiction books or historical fiction. Science students can read biographies of famous scientists or books that explore important discoveries.

2. Vocabulary Flash Cards

Almost any subject has important terms to know. Getting students to connect with those terms in a meaningful way can be challenging, even when you see them each day in class. When you’re engaged in distance learning, it can be even trickier to hold students accountable.

To help your students connect with key terms, have them create vocabulary videos like the one below. Have students share their vocabulary videos on your classroom management site or during a Zoom meeting, so they can learn from each other’s work. Take a look at our vocabulary video lesson plan for more details.

3. Video reports

Video can be a valuable assessment tool. Keep students engaged with video reports that let them show off their visual literacy.

Start with a video demonstrating what you’d like them to do. Then, add directions and a rubric on your class site to give the assignment more structure. When they’re done, students can post links to their videos for you and the rest of the class. Check out our video autobiography lesson plan to see how you can recreate this type of lesson.

4. Class announcements

Keep students up to date every week with a quick set of announcements. You can use this type of video to highlight due dates or assignments, create a spirit week calendar, or share birthdays with your students.

Post on your class website, send the announcements in an email, or add a link to your classroom management site. Take a look at our Weekly Newsletter template for a good jumping off point—it’s how we started the video below.

5. Slideshow of student work

If students are uploading work, you can create a “video bulletin board” to show how proud you are of what they’ve done. Take a photo from each student’s assignment and upload it into a slideshow that can be shared with students and parents. The example below not only shares students’ work, it also explains the project to give parents context.

6. How-to video

Share your know-how with students or explain how to do a project with a simple how-to video. Tutorials work well for at-home art projects, exercise routines for gym class, easy-to-do science projects, and simple wellness videos, like the coronavirus-inspired handwashing video below. You can take a look at all of our tutorial templates to get a few ideas.

7. At-home teacher intro

If you’re teaching at home because of the COVID-19 epidemic, give students a tour! Show them pets, where you do work, or your favorite knick-knacks.

It’ll help students connect with you emotionally and remind them you’re all in the same boat. Even if you don’t want to talk on camera, you can create a slideshow using still photos. Start with our Self-Introduction template and adapt it with your own images and favorite colors, as in the video below.

8. Illustrate a poem

Here’s a quick, effective video idea for English teachers: Have students illustrate a poem. Letting students choose their own images can help you see how well they understand the descriptive language and symbolism in the text.

This project is easy to scale to different grade levels. Younger students can illustrate shorter, simpler poems. High school students can illustrate more complicated literature. And making the project a video offers students a new way to express their ideas without coming up with words, making it a good choice for ELL students.

9. Demonstrate a lab or activity that can’t be done at home

Since students are at home, you probably won't be able to do every hands-on experiment you had planned for the year. But even if students can’t do the experiments themselves, they can at least see them in action.

There are plenty of amazing science videos explaining science, math, art, music, and more already available online. And if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for on YouTube, try making your own video!

10. Introduce a chapter or topic

Offer a preview of a unit or provide background on a new subject with a short, engaging video. Your content can activate prior knowledge or just get students excited about learning something new. Take a look at the social studies introduction shown below for a little bit of inspiration.

Video gives students a window into the world outside when COVID-19 has us all stuck at home. And using it can add depth and interest to online learning.

How are you using video in your remote learning classroom? Do you have any video lesson ideas we haven’t thought of yet? Share them with us in the comments!