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Video in the classroom
In February of 2011, 67% of Canadians watched over 5.1 billion videos online, with the average user viewing 232 videos. Online video is more prevalent here than in the U.S., and online video views in Canada increased by a hefty 37% between September 2010 and March 2011.But users are not just spending their time watching singing kittens and dancing wedding parties, they are increasingly streaming video to learn. In fact, according to a study by the Pew Research Center, 38% of Internet users view educational videos to learn everything from baking to mechanics. While Pew’s research was specific to the U.S., its findings are certainly relevant in Canada, where online videos are even more prevalent. Educators can embrace this trend with multimedia lesson plans that bring video learning to the classroom.

Choosing the right video

Finding the perfect video for your lesson plan can be a daunting task. Between your school’s media library and the Internet, you are likely to find thousands of videos on any given subject. Here are a few tips to help you sift through the footage to find the right videos for your classroom:

  • Keep your videos updated. For every minute, more than 48 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube™. At that rate, you are sure to find up-to-date content that will make a great match for any history or sociology topic. Get students involved in current events by asking groups to find and present video news clips that represent the views on both sides of a given topic.
  • Verify the information. We all know the old adage “you can’t believe everything you read.” The same goes for online video content. Start your search with a reputable source for educational videos. Save time by reading comments and reviews written by educators before watching videos. To further verify a video, research the publishing company or director to learn about their reputation with educational films. On sites such as YouTube™ and TeacherTube®, you can often get in touch with the video author directly by posting a comment. Don’t forget to view the video from start to finish to ensure it’s a good fit for your classroom.
  • Choose a genre of video your audience is likely to watch outside of the classroom. Research shows that news and educational videos are appealing to older, educated, non-traditional students. In contrast, college-age adults are more drawn to “entertainment content such as funny videos, music videos, movies or TV shows, sports video and adult content.” For younger students, choose a video that is age-appropriate and reinforce the message by handing out a sticker.

Already using video in your classroom? Experiment with different ways to use video technology to increase interactive learning:

  • Schedule video chat sessions with classrooms across the world. This is particularly effective for foreign language courses. If you run into time zone challenges, consider finding a language immersion school in your province to partner with. Connect the cultures by sending your partner school a classroom care package complete with pencils, Canadian flag tote bag and some sweet treats, all proudly displaying your school logo.
  • Film your lectures. Upload video lectures to visually identifiable USB drives to send home with students’ missed homework assignments. Then repurpose the video content by posting it to your online blackboard for students to reference when studying for quizzes and exams.
  • Assign video homework. Tap your students’ creative sides by making available a set of video cameras bearing your school logo that can be checked out for class projects. Encourage students to use them to create video reports or to record and analyze classroom experiments.

There are as many ways to integrate video into your classroom as there are videos online – all available at the click of a button. So go ahead get creative with video in your classroom!

“The Online Video Nation in Canada.” ComScore, Inc. Web 6 July 2011.

“ComScore Releases March 2011 U.S. Online Video Rankings – ComScore, Inc.” ComScore, Inc. – Measuring the Digital World. ComScore, Inc., 12 Apr. 2011. Web. 9 June 2011.

Purcell, Kristen. “The State of Online Video | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.” Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. PEW Research Center, 03 June 2010. Web. 9 June 2011.

“Thanks, YouTube Community, for Two BIG Gifts on Our Sixth Birthday!” YouTube Blog. YouTube, 25 May 2011. Web. 17 June 2011.

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