Video in School

45 min
Film has been used in schools since the early 1940's. Educational film has been around even longer than that. Some people believe it all started with Thomas Edison, and since then educational video has just continued to grow.

Today we will cover three main categories of educational video: Professional, Teacher-created and Student-created.

Professional video

There is no shortage of professional videos for teachers to show their students. In fact, it's a multi-million dollar industry. The most popular provider of educational videos in schools is Discovery Streaming. Schools must pay for this service, but it provides access to thousands of professionally produced videos from the Discovery Network and its affiliates. Discovery Streaming provides full videos, but they have also broken the videos down into clips. This is very helpful if there is a clip of a film you want to show, but don't want to watch the whole movie or have to fast-forward to the right part. Take a minute to look around Discovery Streaming:

Teacher-Created Video

In some cases, teachers cannot find the video they are looking for, so they make their own. This is actually more common than you might think, although the average teacher does not have the skills or the time to do this sort of thing.


One type of video that is very popular with teachers is screencasting. This is where you take a video of your screen using a program like Jing (free) or Camtasia (requires a license). Here are a couple of examples of screencasts that I have made for students (and teachers):
I used Jing to create these screencasts, and the only extra piece of equipment I used was a microphone. These videos are great because it walks students through a process, and you don't have to write out all of the instructions. Screencasts are also nice if you are teaching students to use new software. You can record your demonstration and students can view it as many times as they need to.

Demonstration Videos

Another type of teacher-created video that is commonly used is the demonstration video. Teachers used these to teach concepts or procedures. They are not usually as polished as professional videos, but teachers can customize them to a specific project. Here are a couple of examples:

Flipped Classroom

The final type of teacher-created video we will look at today is the flipped classroom. This is when a teacher delivers "lecture" material online for students to watch before class, with the intention of using class time to work on collaborative and hands-on projects. The most well-known of the websites created for delivering flipped content is the Khan Academy. Here are a couple of examples.

Student-Created Videos

The last category of videos we will cover is when students make the videos. We have already seen a couple of examples of student-created videos, and we will take a look at some more. There are dozens of video projects a teacher could do with students: news casts, documentaries, movie trailers, etc. I want to focus on one specific type of video that is very popular in schools: digital storytelling.

First, watch this brief explanation of what digital storytelling is:

Next, look at these resources for using digital storytelling in the classroom:

Finally, let's look at some examples of digital stories created by students:

Now that you have had a chance to watch each of these student-created digital stories, how would you characterize each of them? How do think each student obtained the media (pictures, music, audio, etc.) for each digital story? What would you, as the teacher, have to do to make sure your students could complete a project like this?

Refer to ISTE's 21st Century Skills. Which of the skills do you see digital storytelling fostering? How do you think a project like this can influence the students' understanding of the content?

What about Bloom's Taxonomy? Which of the cognitive domains do these projects address?