The Classroom Video Manifesto: Resources, ideas and more

Video can be an engaging force in the classroom, whether students create it or consume it. Here are some video sources, tools and teaching ideas. (Public domain photo via Unsplash)

Video can be an engaging force in the classroom, whether students create it or consume it. Here are some video sources, tools and teaching ideas. (Public domain photo via Unsplash)

Every day, millions of hours of YouTube videos are watched by its 1 billion users. Every minute, 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube.

It’s no surprise that video engages students in our classrooms.

It’s in their pockets — on the mobile devices that many of them come to school with every day. (Or their parents’ devices that they love to use …)

It’s on their minds — the viral videos that “everybody is watching” are a common topic of conversation at school at ALL levels.

It’s on their fingertips — clicking “record” to save their moments, whether they’re publishing them or not.

Instagram — where many teens and tweens are posting videos and pictures — is growing by leaps and bounds. It has more users than Twitter as of the beginning of 2015. More than half of young adults (18 to 29) are on Instagram and a quarter of U.S. adults.

If it’s working in business and marketing, there’s a good chance you can harness that power to engage and empower students in the classroom.

A recent #DitchBook Twitter chat discussed the power of video in the classroom and shared plenty of tools, teaching ideas and sources of video.

#DitchBook Twitter chats happen for 30 minutes on Thursdays at 10 p.m. Eastern / 9 p.m. Central /8 p.m. Mountain / 7 p.m. Pacific. Since we started them this summer, they’ve always been packed with practical ideas and loads of insightful discussion. Please consider joining us on Thursdays on Twitter … use the #DitchBook hashtag!

A complete, thorough recap of the #DitchBook Twitter chat on video can be found here (via Storify).

PLEASE add your ideas to this post! Use the comments box at the end of this post to include your own video ideas for the classroom.

Why use/create video?

The #DitchBook chatters had plenty of ideas. Here are some in their own words (or tweets):

  • Audio helps certain learners and video others. Combining can only reach a larger audience more efficiently and effectively.” (Zachary Netzley @ZavonCubiertos)
  • “Just like it does for us, watching videos you have created allows us to reflect and grow more than we may otherwise.” (Karly Moura @KarlyMoura)
  • “Videos are highly sensory. Can take us to places we’ll never visit. All at our fingertips.” (Matt Miller @jmattmiller)
  • “Watching videos activates multiple modalities. Next step is for Ss to create own videos. Creativity, self-expression, …” (Joe Young @JYoung1219)
  • “Viewing video at own pace allows Ss to rewatch, revisit, think deeper, explore more. Also, no more explaining directions 10 x” (Karin Hogen @KarinHogen)
  • “Through the process of telling a story through video from storyboards to editing it is authentic learning for students.” (Greg Bagby @Gregbagby
  • “It takes a different skill set to create a video – fact checking, creativity, thinking of the audience, more involvement” (Bill Shidler @bshidler)

Where can I find video?

Sources of video abound online, and they’re not just limited to YouTube. The #DitchBook chatters came up with some creative ideas I hadn’t considered:

Video websites included:

  • PBS Learning Media — Direct access to thousands of classroom-ready, curriculum-targeted resources from the Public Broadcasting System (Karly Moura)
  • TEDEd — Resources to build lessons around the powerful short keynote speeches delivered at TED Conferences around the globe. (Karly Moura)
  • RedBox — Those red boxes at stores around the United States where you can get a movie overnight for less than $2. Greg Bagby will grab one to show relevant clips from a movie to students.
  • Websites of authors read in class can be a valuable resource for videos (Michelle Shelton @MsShelton5th)
  • Other sites included Vimeo and TeacherTube (Joe Young), Crash Course and Shmoop (Karin Hogen). Joe suggests creating playlists for organization and quick access.
  • If you can’t find the right video, consider creating it yourself. Judy Arzt (@JudyArzt): “Your own or student-created videos do the most to promote engagement, creativity, learning, collaboration, & so much more.”

How can I make video?

It’s easy to find great tools (many FREE) on the web and in software if you know where to look. The #DitchBook chatters gave plenty of options:

  • Screencasts (Snagit Chrome Extension) (Screencast-O-Matic) (Screenr) — Karly Moura suggests creating these videos when her learners need something specific that isn’t found on YouTube, etc. Screencasts record what’s happening on your screen and can record your voice from your microphone. All three options above are free.
  • Educreations (for iPad) (free) — This interactive whiteboard and screencasting tool lets teachers AND students record their screens while they draw on a digital whiteboard and talk. (Rachelle Poth @rdene915)
  • EdPuzzle — Add text or voice questions to videos and see statistics on how students interact with it. (Adam Bodley, @ajarn_adam)
  • DoInk — DoInk offers two iPad apps. Animation and Drawing lets students create animation videos they can share ($4.99). Green Screen helps students create “green screen” videos, where you can substitute a different background for a green backdrop behind the subject of the video ($2.99). (Zachary Netzley)
  • Movenote — Present documents or slideshows with video and your voice. Record your voice and what’s on the screen, and, using a camera, include video of you as you talk (optional). (Karin Hogen and Matt Johnson @mattjohnson10)
  • iSky Video Editor — Bill Shidler purchased the software ($19.95 for one year, $39.95 lifetime license) to create green screen videos (see above) with a camera and a computer dedicated just to that purpose. Need a green screen kit? Michelle Shelton got a green screen backdrop and camera for free through donations on Donors Choose.
  • Other tools included video editors Camtasia and iMovie (Judy Arzt), Animoto (Adriene Lombardi @lomboa), Screencastify (Karin Hogen), Reflector2 to display/record the iPad (Mandi Tolen @TTmomTT), FinalCut, Tellagami and Puppet Pals (Greg Bagby).

How can I use video in the classroom?

The #DitchBook chatters didn’t just throw out a bunch of apps, websites and digital tools. They got practical by sharing ideas to use in the classroom.

  • Use cell phones to create 2 minute video rants (about trans-national corporations, etc.). Just used smart phones and Google drive. Search up Rick Mercer rants for style (Nikki Davidson @N_Davidson18)
  • Create book reviews using iMovie … done as early as first grade (Amanda Young @ajyoung53, shared by Karly Moura) Link to videos with QR codes and put them in books in class libraries (Jay Billy @JayBilly2)
  • Record book trailers and book talks. Advertise their favorites in the library — Brandee Morris (@BrandeeJMorris)
  • Let students create summary videos for other students to use … showed their own understanding (Patrick Donovan @donovanscience)
  • Create a stop motion to explain the relationship of quadrilaterals in Geometry class … using phones and Windows Movie Maker (or another video editing program). (Mandi Tolen)
  • Create student “public service announcement” videos to teach incoming about school life and expectations (Joe Young and Brandee Morris)
  • Make a Bill of Rights in language understood by a fifth grader. Include props & costume. Created by eighth graders … fifth graders evaluated videos on if they understood the content — Courtney Williamson @cmwilliamson316)
  • Create bio videos of building staff. Great way to recognize school staff and show appreciation (Judy Arzt)
  • Create instructional videos and set up viewing stations around the room. Students rotate and learn. (Matt Johnson)
  • Blog post of 10 classroom video projects from The Teaching Factor (@TeachingFactor)
  • Website of video ideas using digital storytelling in the English curriculum from Judy Arzt

Two more Ditch That Textbook resources wrap up this manifesto on video:

Question: How have you used video in the classroom? What do you think its benefits are? You can leave a comment by clicking here.