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Using Video in the Classroom

By Lori Griffin, Curriculum Director, Library Video Company

Use Video in the Classroom There is substantial research promoting the use of video in the classroom as a dynamic resource for supporting curricula. According to a recent teacher survey, 94% of classroom teachers had effectively used video during the course of an academic year. And most teachers were using it frequently - on average, once per week. But why?

Benefits of Using Video:

As educators, our goal of course, is to get students energized and engaged in hands-on learning experiences, and video is clearly an instructional medium that generates excitement. Using sight and sound, video is the perfect medium for students who are auditory or visual learners. Video taps into emotions which stimulate and enthrall students, and it provides an innovative and effective means for educators to address the curricular concepts.

Consider the classroom in which students can hear the cry of a nearly extinct species and see the colors and hear the sounds of animals that thrive only in a remote wilderness half way around the globe. Envision teaching with the voices of the past by introducing young learners to great historians, political figures and famous people who lived centuries ago. Imagine conveying the laws of motion, sound and energy transfer by viewing the launch of the space shuttle on a journey into outer space. Think about how much easier it would be to understand the diverse cultures of people who live in other areas of the world if you could encounter them in their own environments - hearing their songs, observing their rituals or listening to their silence. Video provides another sensory experience that allows concepts to actually be "experienced" and come to life while you guide your students on each adventure.

We all know from experience that the more engaged your students are, the more interactive your lesson is, the more your students will enjoy, learn from and retain information from your lessons. It may surprise you to think of video as a means for interactive instruction, but video is a very flexible medium. The ability to stop, start and rewind it can be invaluable. You can stop the video and challenge your students to predict the outcome of a demonstration, or elaborate on, or debate about, a point of historical reference. You can rewind a particular portion of a show to add your own review or view a segment in slow motion to ensure that your students understand a key concept. Furthermore, you can ensure interactivity by replicating activities, workshops, demonstrations and experiments in your classroom environment.

Effectively Using Video:

Current research reveals that the most effective way to use video is as an enhancement to a lesson or unit of study. Video should be used as a facet of instruction along with any other resource material you have available to you for teaching a given topic and you should prepare for the use of a video in the classroom the very same way you would with any other teaching aid. Specific learning objectives should be determined, an instructional sequence should be developed and reinforcement activities planned. And of course, no video should ever be used in the classroom until it has first been previewed by the instructor.


There are a lot of excellent videos available, but a video produced for educational purposes - created with the needs of the classroom in mind - will be structured in a way to most effectively meet your needs. There are over 500 Schlessinger Media programs that have been produced specifically for the classroom - they have been correlated to state, regional and national standards, most come with Teacher's Guides and 3 minute video clips are available online for previewing purposes.

There are over 14,000 education titles on our web site and each program has been carefully reviewed by our experienced and knowledgeable staff to ensure its appropriateness for use in the classroom. We welcome any additional ideas you may have about using video in the classroom or feedback regarding the resources we can provide to make it efficient and easy to find educational media for an educational setting.

Note: For information about Public Performance Rights and the copyright issues concerning using video in the classroom, see the article, Can These Videos Be Shown in a Classroom or Library Setting?