Monday, September 17, 2012

Using DVDs, Films And Videos In The Classroom

English: Illustration from Lessons in Geography.
Illustration from Lessons in Geography. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by Richard D Boyce

A Guide For Young Teachers

Using various electronic devices can add interest to your lessons. As well, in this age of technology, they can add further motivation to enhance the learning in your classroom.

However, the thrill of using or seeing modern technology at work can never replace a teacher's need to actually teach for understanding.

Even though some of the technology mentioned in this article is old technology, it can enhance learning through the visual senses in ways a teacher working on a board cannot.

Early in my career, I was given the opportunity to use radio broadcasts, films and later early educational television in my lessons in a variety of subjects such as English, Science, History, Geography and Mathematics.

I soon learnt that just listening and/or viewing these programs did not always enhance the students' learning. I came to realise that they did not do the teaching for me. I had to use these devices as a support for my teaching. Remember the technology is not 'the be all and end all'.

What appears below, are the practical considerations you must make as a teacher using these devices so that you can gain the maximum benefit for your students.

Your Preparation

1. View the DVD/video/film first to make sure it is useful, noting how you could use it.

2. Always have a worksheet to go with the lesson; with some questions to be answered as the lesson progresses.

3. Have questions/activities that need to be completed after the DVD/video/film is finished. These questions should require greater use of critical thinking/problem solving skills. They should also reinforce the ideas learnt while watching the DVD/video/film.

4. Make sure your equipment works before the lesson and that you can use it. You can use a student to operate the equipment. Make sure the program is ready to go and rewind the video/film immediately it ends while you begin discussing the program with your class.

The Lesson

5. Introduce the lesson so that the students are aware of what the purpose of the lesson is and how it fits into the learning program.

6. Ensure all students have a good view of the screen are sitting comfortably and able to write answers on the worksheet and able to hear the commentary. Make sure the volume is not too loud so no other class is disturbed. Stand at the back of the room to enhance class discipline and move when necessary to give students physical/visual cues to stay on task.

7. Give out the work sheets to be completed during the lesson.

At The End Of The Lesson

8. Always review the DVD/video/film stressing salient points in your teaching program immediately afterwards.

9. Allow students time to complete the work sheets.

10. Collect and mark all worksheets.

11. If you mark the work sheets after the lesson, make sure you add a further review of the main issues when you return the marked work sheets.

Other Issues

12. During the normal term/semester class periods do not use this sort of lesson as a 'fill-in' without a real purpose. Otherwise, students will not treat all such lessons seriously.

13. Never use the whole lesson for the DVD/video/film and then discuss it during the next lesson/next day as you will lose the recency component in learning. You are better off using two lessons, dividing the program into two usable parts.

14. If the subject is used as part of an assessment item, ensure the students see it first before you give them the assessment task. You will need to decide if they can make notes during the viewing.

In the early years of my teaching career, I made use of films, radio broadcasts and educational television to enhance my teaching. Many teachers, who taught in the traditional 'talk and chalk' way, saw me as using these to have 'easy' lessons and, in fact, a lazy teacher could do just that. However, I found by using the above strategies that my students and I gained much more than an 'easy' period out of these lessons.

Our author began using simple technology in his classrooms in the late 1960s, beginning with radio broadcasts, films and later television. He began to use the overhead projector in 1970, scientific calculators during the 1970s, computers in the 1980s and introduced the use of graphics calculators into his Mathematics Department in the early 1990s.

Our author has written a number of eBooks designed to help the teacher make the best use of these devices and more modern technology in the classroom. You will find these eBooks on the website

Article Source:,-Films-And-Videos-In-The-Classroom&id=7277726

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