The YouTube Classroom: using videos to grab attention

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Our children are now growing up wired for visual and sound with all the technology that is available to them.

We as teachers are need to learn how to embrace this shift in our classrooms as well.

TV adverts are full of quick visual stimuli and attention grabbing music and this is what our children are being taught as the medium to grab people’s attention.

My son spends as much time searching YouTube for his favourite music or TV program as he does playing games.

Have you thought of  utilising this in your classroom?

Video as Attention Grabbers

Put a YouTube clip or TV Advert at the beginning as a lesson starter to grab their attention. 

We’ve all gone to conferences where presenters do this – and the attention grabber helps us to connect that visual stimuli to the learning we did that day.

Here’s one played at a recent PD day I went to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIeZg0-Tc9M 

Play one in the middle to give them a break from work or re-grab their attention – just like a TV advert.

I love showing snippets of music concerts or music videos that relate to our Unit of Inquiry, the students seem to respond to this better than just listening to a music track.

Do you have the issue where the internet isn’t reliable or, like I do, you have been moved to a room without internet access?

The simple fix to this is download a YouTube ripper. These programs can, in some instances, not only download from YouTube but from any website that has a video embedded in it. This will mean you can play the video without having to connect to the internet.

The 3 FREE programs I use are:

YTD-Downloader

YTD (both PC & MAC): http://www.youtubedownloadersite.com

VDownloader

VDownloader (iPad): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/v-downloader/id590259505?mt=8

videoder

Videoder (Android): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rahul.videoder

Without fail I always get asked to play the video again – and this is where I use it as a reward for the students to complete their work for me in the allotted time.

I don’t believe in using video or technology ONLY as a reward. There will, at most times, be a student in the class who can’t help but muck around and then we are punishing the good students for one student’s poor behaviour.

Therefore, play it once, wet their appetite for more, and use video as a motivator to start and finish work.

Some teachers in the high school classroom play video clips at the start of the lesson as not only an introduction for their topic but to motivate students to get to their lesson on time so as not to miss out on the video.

Some use YouTube tutorials to not only give the teacher a break in teaching but the students some variety in delivery – and why reinvent the wheel! And lets admit it, we can’t be the expert at everything so why not bring the expert into the classroom via YouTube. Also set a YouTube tutorial as homework – using the ‘Flipped Classroom’ method of delivery.

These are all great and efficient use of video in the classroom.

I hope this inspires you to utilise video in your own teaching.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

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