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Delaware Center For Educational Technology


Using Videotapes in the Classroom

The following steps will assist you in thinking about incorporating videotapes and videoclips into a lesson.
Know your District Policy

Your district may have its own policy regarding the viewing of videos. Find out what it is. It may include things such as the rating of the video (G or PG), and when and how you may show a video.


Plan your lesson

What is the lesson objective? How does the video support that objective?


Preview the program

Ensure that the video is suitable for your students and your lesson by previewing it. Remember, it is a teaching tool, not a reward.


Prepare the tape

Show only the best parts. Just because the video is an hour long, doesn't mean your class needs to see the entire video. Use only parts of the video if necessary.


Prepare the students

Learning is greatly enhanced when learners are prepared for the coming activity.

  • Establish the mindset with your class. Before the video, review previously related study.
  • Tell the students why you are showing the video. Clarify the objectives of the lesson. Mention specific things to look for in the presentation.
  • If large amounts of new information are being presented, give students some advance organizers on which they can hang new ideas. You may even need to show the video twice to allow them time to synthesize all the data.
  • What are your expectations after your students have viewed the video? Are they learning new new vocabulary? Writing a synopsis? Modeling what they have seen? Let the students know what they will be expected to do with the information they have seen.


Position yourself

Stand near the VCR or have the remote handy. While it is tempting to do other work, the children may interpret this to mean that the video is not important.


Pause and explain

Think of showing a video as a directed activity. Just as you pause during the reading of a book, stop the video at key points. Ask questions, emphasize important points, or prepare your students for what might be coming next. Show important segments twice if necessary.


Posing a question

As soon as the video ends, be prepared to ask questions that will reinforce the content from the video or review the key points with your students. Consider using graphic organizers to illustrate key concepts. Research indicates that instructor attitude - often conveyed nonverbally - significantly affects students' learning from media. Students are expected to be active participants, so lead by example.


Instructional Media and Technologies for Learning (5th edition)
Heinich, Molenda, Russell, Smaldino
Classroom Viewing Tips
Cable in the Classroom

Wendy Modzelewski
last updated: October 8, 2001

Last Updated: Friday, 14-Mar-2014 12:55:36 EDT
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