Magazine article Technology & Learning

No Fuss Video: Seamless Integration of Video-on-Demand in the Classroom Has Arrived

Magazine article Technology & Learning

No Fuss Video: Seamless Integration of Video-on-Demand in the Classroom Has Arrived

Article excerpt

Ever since video became readily available with the advent of the VCR, educators have been clamoring for easier ways to integrate the medium into the classroom. Today, thanks to broadband access and ever-expanding offerings, engaging students with high-quality video has never been easier.

What: Video-on-demand (VOD) services provide bite-size video clips streamed or downloaded from the Internet. In a middle school social studies/language arts lesson about immigration, for example, students could log on to the History Channel to view a short video segment about the Statue of Liberty. Likewise, teachers could access videos from Learner.org that address issues surrounding the teaching of immigration.

Who: Any classroom equipped with a computer and Internet access can use VOD. Bandwidth is critical: schools must have fast and reliable broadband access to use video at an optimum level.

When: In the classroom, a video segment can be used at the beginning of a lesson to spark discussion, motivate curiosity, and provide instruction; throughout class to highlight various points; or at the end of a lesson to review the material.

Where: Beyond the obvious classroom uses, students might view clips as part of a research assignment in the computer lab or library. The advantage of this approach is that students can learn at their own pace, taking time to review videos as needed. Schools with laptop programs can encourage students to access designated streamed video content in study halls, library periods, and after school.

Why: Video can take your students places, from the far side of our galaxy to the bottom of the ocean, with rich material that supports visual learners. A Corporation for Public Broadcasting report concluded video "reinforces text-based material, appeals to multiple learning styles, increases student engagement, and has a positive effect on teaching." (www.techlearning.com/story/ROI)

How: Following are some tips for getting the most out of VOD in your classroom.

* Always preview the video prior to using in class. Download the video segments prior to screening if possible to obviate any possible bandwidth issues.

* Allow students to ask questions during whole-class screenings; pause the video at any point to highlight certain aspects and check for comprehension.

* Provide vocabulary lists, worksheets, and previewing and post-viewing activities (Discovery Education's unitedstreaming provides blackline masters specifically for this purpose). …

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