You know how to create videos and how to set up accounts for your students — great! Now what? If you’ve found yourself in a bit of a video rut, here’s a list of 10 different ways to add video to your classroom.
- Introduce yourself. It’s the first day of school — impress your students right off the bat with a video introduction rather than a verbal one. Sharing photos, video clips and music you love can make you seem a bit more human, and if you have more than one class, it might just save your voice on that first day! Take a look at how Cristiane Oliveira-Foster of Santa Ana College used video to introduce herself to her students.
Song: “Take Me With You” (Instrumental) by Jesse Platter and the Alter Ego
- Virtual field trip. Take your students around the world without leaving the classroom. The best part about creating video field trip is that it’s not bounded by space or time. You can create a field trip showing the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, even if most of them are gone, or give a tour of the International Space Station. But even places that exist in the here and now make for a fun break for students. Take Christopher Mitchell’s informative virtual tour of Washington D.C., for example:
Style: Vintage Voyage
Song: “Pacifica” by Daniel Christopher O’Donnell-Smith and Jon Dix
- Introduce a class or unit. Begin your new unit with a short Animoto video to preview upcoming concepts. While we can’t promise it will get students excited about trigonometry, the visuals in your video can help them connect with the material. Michelle Pacansky Brock uses video to build anticipation for her still photography class by presenting a series of questions the class will answer.
Song: “Believe” (Instrumental) by Windsor Drive
- Record in-class activities. Students are in school almost half of their waking day. Help parents share in what they’re up to by photographing students or their work and creating a video to share. Larry Ferlazzo created this video to connect with the parents of his English language learners. Not only does it show an interesting art project that parents might have missed out on, it’s easy for family members to see what students are doing, even if they don’t speak English.
Style: Color Shift
Song: “Sea of Colors” (Instrumental) by Chris Lewis
- Review class material. Instructional videos aren’t just for flipped or blended learning classrooms. You can create videos of lessons students missed — say a video demonstrating a science lab or giving instruction for a day you know you’ll be out. Leave the URL for your video, and let students get the information they need, even if they (or you) can’t be there.
Style: Documentary, Customized
Song: “Electricology” (Instrumental) by Henry Parsley and Louis Edwards
- Student Introductions. Video is a way for students to get to know each other without the pressure of public speaking. Not to mention, student introductions are a flexible assignment that can be either a quick getting-to-know-you video, or a longer project that lets students create more involved autobiographies.
- Vocabulary Videos. Make learning vocabulary terms a lot more interesting by having students create their own vocab videos. Since almost every subject has some terms students ought to know, this type of assignment works for almost any classroom. You can even post vocabulary videos on YouTube or on your class site later for students to use when they study.
Song: “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” by Julia Brown
- Book Trailers. Jazz up the traditional school book report with video. Have students create “previews” of the books they read for class, sharing the title, characters, and basic plot points (no spoilers!). Then, you can partner with your school library to share students’ creations by attaching QR codes to the books they’ve reviewed. For a good example, take a look at the video school library media specialist Molly Moore created as a sample for students.
Songs: “Get Up v1” by Logue Inn
“A Call to Battle” by Bobby Cole
- Scavenger Hunt. This active assignment gets students moving and helps them apply what they’ve learned to the real world. Give students a theme — say find examples of angles for geometry or living things on different parts of a food web for biology. Then, let students collect and identify their images in an easy-to-assess video. (Check out our blog post on how to assess videos using a rubric to get started.)
Song: “Miss January” by The Procussions
- Research Projects. Students can literally show you what they know if you let them create a video research project. If you still prefer to assign a paper, a video can be a good supplement that can help students with different strengths show what they are capable of (See our post on reasons to use video in the classroom to find out more about how video helps differentiate instruction).