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‘Press Play’ Isn’t a Educating Technique: Why Educators Want New Strategies for Video


My first foray into utilizing video in my instructing concerned a TV cart wheeled into my classroom, replete with a related VHS participant—and no distant.

As a trainer or a scholar, you could keep in mind a holiday-week screening of E.T. the Further-Terrestrial, or a school-wide exhibiting of a “Stranger Hazard” PSA? Whether or not a characteristic movie or an educational video, the ‘80s and ‘90s have been a ‘press-play’ tradition that anticipated college students to take a seat nonetheless, take up and retain, whereas the educator sat within the again grading. I nonetheless keep in mind one trainer I had pointing to his TV cart and saying, “that’s the busy trainer’s greatest pal.”

Quick-forward to 2022, and it’s vital to ask: Are lecturers nonetheless pushing right now’s model of that TV cart into our on-line and bodily lecture rooms?

Although 97 p.c of training professionals in Kaltura’s State of Video in Schooling annual report say that video is “important to college students’ educational experiences,” with regards to academic video practices, many instructors are nonetheless urgent play. Maybe that is just because we haven’t skilled methods that transfer past the passive video expertise.

As I ready to show my first academic videography course earlier this yr, I discovered that we lacked a typical vocabulary for speaking about how we design studying with video in thoughts. Since then, I’ve been advancing the time period “video paratext” to replicate the myriad ways in which we design academic steering, prompts, actions or interactive parts to encompass or be included inside a video.

I pulled the phrase “paratext” from the sphere of poetry translation as a result of, personally, I like the “paratext” that precedes or follows a poem—and even interrupts it. At poetry readings specifically, I lean into the phrases {that a} poet shares earlier than or after studying every poem. Paratext helps me join with and make sense of the poem.

Likewise, I ask educators to contemplate how one can assist college students join with movies by varied prompts and actions that encompass, or are included inside, the video.” May such “paratext” encourage college students to take a more in-depth have a look at a video they’ve watched, the best way I would need to reread a poem to see the way it works or what it means?

With that in thoughts, I ask educators this query: How can we use video paratext to advance inquiry and engagement? On condition that YouTube continues to be chocked filled with academic movies which are usually accessible and custom-captioned, maybe we don’t need to reinvent the wheel or develop into DIY videographers to search out an strategy to video-based studying that matches our instructing philosophy?

Introductory Paratext

Let’s think about what may ease college students into video-based studying. Think about the scholars with the least and essentially the most expertise utilizing academic movies. Take into account that college students don’t have widespread expectations round how one can use these movies. What sort of introductory textual content, video or exercise may lead everybody into the assigned video with out overwhelming them?

Listed here are some methods an teacher may tee up a clip:

  • Technical Paratext: Lately college students have loads of technical instruments to form their viewing expertise, together with working a video at double-speed (or better). So it may be useful for lecturers to speak about what sort of viewing they count on for a given task—and whether or not it’s alright to skim, and even skip, components of a video. I encourage educators to incorporate the video’s title, size, linked supply and a abstract of any related actions we count on college students to finish.
  • Video Hooks: As college students cross into video-land, the view will be disorienting. An assigned video could also be a private favourite of the teacher, however to college students, it’s new, and never essentially of curiosity. Lecturers can start by serving to college students draw private connections with that video. Constructing upon what Madeline Hunter calls an “anticipatory set,” instructors can attempt to spark curiosity, activate prior data or assist college students lean into studying with a way of expectation?
  • Video Framing: Whereas an teacher can’t always cease the video to notice what to observe for, it’s doable to plant a key query or two on the outset and encourage college students to maintain that in thoughts. I usually ask college students to observe with an eye fixed for recurring themes, a particular design approach or analytical lens. It may possibly additionally assist to encourage college students to search for problematic parts together with errors in drawback fixing, bias, or the absence of sure views (i.e. viewing “towards the grain”).
  • Be Pupil-Centered: Whereas the educator should find yourself within the “again of the room” throughout a video-based exercise, college students don’t have to stay passive. Immediate college students to jot questions earlier than they watch and through their viewing. Ask college students to generate new concepts and theories that they will share.
  • Set Clear Expectations. Whatever the strategy, be sure to make clear what is predicted of scholars on this video-based studying expertise—particularly if there’s a related quiz or follow-up exercise.

Closing Paratext

Too usually, the steering lecturers give round movies inadvertently relegates our function as educators to what we’d name, “studying compliance screens.” In different phrases, too usually we merely administer a excessive stakes examination or a pop quiz to examine whether or not they watched a video. What closing actions may assist college students replicate or apply their data to an genuine mission or follow?

In my experiences as a Ok-12 trainer and now within the school setting, I’ve requested college students to offer a “micro-reflection” of a video, writing three sentences or making a one-minute video explaining what they realized and what they need to dig deeper on. I’ve additionally requested college students to clarify how a video they watched is related to their very own life or group. I’ve even requested college students to think about themselves within the director’s chair, explaining an alternate ending they’d fairly see, or fleshing out the storyline of a minor character.

Physique Paratext

There are edtech instruments that may assist incorporate these methods whilst a video progresses. For instance, you’ll be able to embed prompts, quizzes, asynchronous discussions and vary of different dynamic actions proper in the midst of movies utilizing instruments like PlayPosit, Edpuzzle and Nearpod. Meaning the teacher may also lower in with a be aware to pay particular consideration to some element or theme within the subsequent part.

Lately there’s discuss of much more immersive video expertise on the horizon—in a proposed metaverse being pushed by main tech corporations. My hope is that lecturers keep in mind to let pedagogy drive our use of the newest tech—and that our deal with sharing new sorts of “video paratext” may assist be sure that modern approaches align with our core beliefs about instructing and studying.

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