In one of my classes we have been discussing if, as teachers, we should be using videos in our classroom. Here are some of the things that I have reflected about over the last little while. I think that video can be really helpful for students in the classroom. There are a lot of things that students don’t have the schema to understand and a video can help to make sure all of the students are on the same page. As a teacher we can ask some critical thinking questions about the video that we showed. For instance, one of my reading groups was reading a book about Harry Houdini. I was asking the students critical thinking questions. The discussion wasn’t going how I wanted. I showed the students a couple of different videos about Houdini. I was amazed at the discussion that the students were able to have after the video. In our comparing/contrasting the two videos they discussed how one of the videos made them feel more nervous about Houdini because of the music they used and how there were close ups on the videos and pictures instead of just showing the video of the escape.
In another class that I took for my Masters we learned all about Utah Pioneer Library which is now called Utah’s Online Library. There is a resource in the library called eMedia. It has all sorts of pictures and videos available to use for our classrooms. I have found some great ones for math discussions, science work, and even language arts activities. It’s a free resource for teachers, so if you haven’t looked at it I would encourage you to see what is available.