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How to Use Video to Enhance Education

One of the primary ways young people interact with the world is via video. Video dominates their world, from YouTube to TikTok to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After two years of online learning, kids expect their education to come in video form. 

While in-person learning is clearly more beneficial than distance learning, educators must take the needs of their students into account. This includes using video as an education tool.

This doesn’t mean popping on a movie on a Friday afternoon, either. Today’s kids don’t just want to watch videos. They want to interact and learn from them. They want to use them to socialize, and they want to create their own videos too.

The following suggestions are easy ways educators can incorporate video into classroom and distance learning

Do a Video Project

If you don’t know how to incorporate videos into your learning, don’t worry! Your students do. They’ve likely recorded hundreds of videos on social media, and they probably have a decent understanding of video editing software on their phones or computers. They’ll also be thrilled to create a video project for school (which they can also share on their social channels). 

It’s important to let students have freedom during the creative process. You might want to make some resources available to expand their creativity, such as props, green screen backgrounds, microphones, and other gear. 

At the same time, you need to set measurable parameters to ensure your students learn. You might require older students to site at least five primary sources in their project. Younger students may need to recreate scenes from textbooks or imitate historical figures. 

Use Short, Bite-Sized Videos 

When showing videos in class, keep them short and sweet. The optimal education video length for kids was about 6 minutes. Any longer than that, and you’ll begin to lose their attention. 

Shorter videos aren’t just good for younger children either. Older children and even adult learners prefer instructional videos to be about 3-6 minutes long. 

That means kids don’t actually like it when you put on a 40-minute movie that takes up the entire lesson. They want to take an active role by watching shorter videos and interacting as a class or with the teacher. 

As an educator, you can incorporate short videos into your lessons to make them more dynamic, give examples, or add fun to challenging material. 

YouTube Learning is a resource for short education videos launched to help educators during the pandemic. It’s a good place to start looking for video content to supplement your lessons. 

Create Your Own Videos

If you really want to engage your students (and earn some respect from the younger generation), you can make your own videos to show during your lessons. 

The videos you make should supplement the board work and bookwork you do in class with real-world examples, humor, pop culture, and anything else that adds depth to the lesson.

The videos should NOT be of you standing in front of a board doing the same thing you always do in class. 

Here’s a good example of a teacher connecting with his students via video. Notice how he uses this video not to teach but to keep students engaged during a challenging math lesson. 

Don’t want to appear on screen? You can make your own videos without a camera or any gear. Use stock video, music, text, PowerPoint, and the video editing software included on your computer to create fun and educational videos yourself. 

Who knows? You might become the next YouTube star!  

Incorporate Social Media

The reason that students love videos is because of social media. Instagram Stories, Snapchat, TikTok, and Facebook Live have all made video sharing a huge part of social interaction. Especially during the pandemic, video sharing became one of the only ways students had to interact with each other. 

Teachers should consider using social media to make lessons more relevant to students. This may mean sharing influencer videos that relate to lessons or creating a TikTok profile for the class to post videos of classroom activities. You could even do live videos for homework help after class.

Lights, Camera, Education!

The pandemic has made videos and learning more codependent than ever before. Luckily for educators, it’s easy to find, create, and repurpose videos for lessons. Even better? Kids love engaging with instructional video content. They’re eager to produce their own. We recommend that educators incorporate video into their lessons daily to keep students engaged.  

Featured Photo by George Milton: