While we often talk about how to create video in your classroom and discuss different ways to use it, we don’t often talk about why you should give video a try. So here’s a quick list of 5 reasons we think videos in the classroom are a good idea.
Independent, active learning. One of the best ways to make sure students understand something is to let them explain a concept on their own. By creating videos, students work independently to illustrate a topic in a way that can be understood by others. In other words, they learn by doing (which any John Dewey fans out there ought to appreciate), and because of that, they’ll retain more. A student who has to explain math concepts with text and visuals in a video will most likely remember more than if she had simply written down a definition.
Differentiated instruction. Video lets students work at a level that’s comfortable for them. Students whose skills are still developing can still create a video to feel proud of, while more advanced students focus on developing a video that’s more involved visually or linguistically. Lessons that let students create videos also offer opportunities for English language learners and special needs students, who might have difficulty with written assignments, but who can express themselves visually and musically in a lesson that incorporates Animoto videos.
Real-world applications. Students work harder if they can see the purpose of learning a new skill. So though they may be illustrating a poem in your class, students will appreciate that they can apply their new video skills in other ways outside of school. Knowing they’re learning a skill that’ll help them build a video for a social media site or develop a desirable job skill to use when they graduate can motivate students focus on their assignment during class. You can even integrate a real-world purpose into your assignment, such as assigning a video portfolio that art students could use when applying to schools.
Student engagement. Because video lessons require creativity and have real-world applications and actively involve the student throughout the lesson, they tend to keep students engaged longer. The benefits? Engaged students participate more, disrupt class less, and hold on to what they’ve learned longer than students who aren’t as involved in the lesson being taught.
Peer collaboration. Since video assignments are often developed as group projects, they can offer students a chance to help their peers and to learn to work collaboratively as they problem solve. In addition, technology assignments, like creating an Animoto video, help support equity, since tech-savvy students can help those who haven’t had the same level of access.
For students, making a video seems like a fun lesson and an outlet for their creativity. But like the best lessons, video projects also engage higher-order thinking skills and help students develop — both as individuals capable of problem-solving and as members of a team who can work together to create something extraordinary.