We have been very blessed in recent years with a huge range of video clips that add variety to our teaching and engage students in their learning.
When I first started teaching, we had videos that were lengthy and much of what students watched wasn’t exactly what we wanted. It was difficult to use them effectively. Now we can click on YouTube or ClickView and select from many short clips that are just what we want.
Video clips are often used to introduce a topic. Interestingly, Anita Archer claims that video clips should be used to consolidate, rather than introduce, a topic. This is because video clips are dense. They are dense with ideas, concepts, and new and unfamiliar vocabulary. She favours using video clips when students have some background knowledge.
Either way, viewing a video clip should always be purposeful and students need to be accountable for the time they have spent viewing it. If nothing is done with it i.e. there is no post-viewing activity, then students are inclined to see no purpose in paying much attention to what they are watching. Whereas screens used to be highly novel and exciting, I doubt they are so much now.
On pages 376 and 377 of Hooking Students Into Learning … in all curriculum areas, (click on the page image to view a full-size preview) there is a listening activity that makes students accountable for listening.
Students are given a list of key words that are used in the video clip. The list is jumbled. As they watch and listen, they think about the words they are hearing and the order in which they are heard.
After the first viewing, students arrange the words in the order in which they are first heard in the clip. This is the first sort.
After watching the clip a second time, they make adjustments to the order in a second sort. They can use the words to write a summary of what they have seen. So, this activity increases accountability and increases the likelihood that students will retain the information they have seen and heard.
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