By Mary Ginley
In a world that has been taken over by social media outlets and video sharing platforms, it makes sense for teachers to capitalize on students’ interest in digital media. Videos, in particular, are a valuable tool that can significantly increase student engagement and interaction with important academic work.
For example, look at the rise and overall usage of YouTube. According to Christopher Pappas of Elearning Industry, “YouTube is not only the kingdom of digital entertainment but it can also be a great environment for learning…micro learning ensures that complex procedures and demonstrations of specific skills are delivered in small quantities, which enhances knowledge retention.”
Shorter video tutorials, now commonly referred to as eLearning Videos, are purposefully designed to digitally illustrate abstract concepts and academic content. Research suggests that any learning video needs to include both language and images rather than just words to ensure retention. Combining visual and auditory information through eLearning videos is a great approach to helping any type of student. Students can view and replay these videos as needed until they have fully grasped the concept and key information. As long as the videos are aligned with your content, standards or learning outcomes, they can be a very purposeful and dynamic learning tool.
Built for any type of learner or attention span, eLearning can help keep your students engaged. According to Tadej Stanek, founder, and CEO of Edynco, “video can blend perfectly into bite-size or micro-learning…using short videos to explain or demonstrate the knowledge in a show and tell method…is a proven method of fostering deeper cognitive processing in students”. Whether you are using these “bite-size” videos during direct instruction, to differentiate, for remediation or to better engage ELL students, eLearning videos can be an effective and convenient tool to add to your classroom instruction.
Benefits of eLearning videos in classroom instruction:
- Short, brief and to the point
- Accommodate both auditory and visual learners
- Easy to integrate into your curriculum
- Ideal for mobile or alternative learning opportunities otherwise known as “flipped” learning
- Available on all screens such as tablets, phones, PC’s or Smartboards
Many websites offer eLearning videos as part of their content; Brain Pop, Turtle Diary, and KClass Science Channel to name a few. Defined STEM offers various types of eLearning videos, called Learning Objects, that cover an array of topics, themes, and academic concepts. This helpful resource is embedded within Defined STEM’s performance tasks to reinforce important academic and real-world concepts tied to the task. These can also be selected and used in classroom instruction as needed, even without engaging in a performance task.
Finding videos that are the best fit for your lessons may take some time at first, but the impact they have on student engagement and achievement is worth the effort.
Mary Ginley has taught in Montessori classrooms across the northern Chicago suburbs. Currently, Mary is a Content Development Specialist for Defined Learning in Northbrook, Illinois where she enjoys developing early childhood content and STEM initiatives.