Video in the Classroom: What Content Creators Need to Know
June 09 2023
Video for the classroom

Teachers today want to show more and tell less when introducing new information, concepts, and skills to students. They know that seeing rather than listening is a more effective way for many kids to absorb information.

The desire to show rather than explain means content creators must create videos that teachers will want to use and administrators will feel confident about approving for use in the classroom.

This guide explains what you need to know to create videos that will be popular with teachers and education officials alike.

Uses for Video in the Classroom

Here are some of the top ways educators use video today and how content creators can support them.

  • Building comprehensive understanding. Students learn best when provided with information in different forms, for instance, through reading, drawing, listening to a teacher’s explanations, group discussion, and viewing visual media. Content developers must create materials in all these formats, especially visual media like videos. Some learners, especially those who speak English as a second language or facing reading comprehension challenges, require visual content to understand basic concepts.

Example: A teacher explains extreme weather events such as blizzards, hurricanes, and tornados as part of his science curriculum. They can seem similar, especially if students have never experienced them. A short video showing these storms in action and their aftermaths will help build understanding, and learners will be more likely to remember the different concepts.

How to provide support: Publishers should create videos that help clarify lessons and make them more memorable.

  • Enhancing text. Whether they’re reading a piece of fiction or nonfiction, students benefit from having additional context about the person, place, or thing they’re studying. Video clips help them envision an event or a person. They also provide historical, political, social, and emotional context.

Example: An 11th-grade history class is learning about ancient Rome. It’s a period very different from today. The teacher uses videos that include historical recreations of the time and place to help bring it to life.

How to provide support: Content creators should consider when it makes sense to produce videos that enhance the learning experience by bringing concepts that fall flat on the page to three-dimensional life.

  • Deepening learning. Certain lesson types are conveyed better through a dramatization, demonstration, or animated journey than a lecture. Many performative, science, and engineering concepts are more effective when shown rather than explained.

Example: A music teacher is teaching the basics of performing vocals. Music can be challenging for educators to explain and younger learners to understand. That’s where videos come in. Instead of students listening to a teacher describe music concepts, students can actually hear them.

How to provide support: Of course, academic content producers should consider when video content can support or enhance other forms of learning. They must also go beyond that by taking time to figure out the optimal media to deliver a message.

Video: Factors to Consider

Here are things to think about when producing academic video content.

  • Be selective. A clip can have a significant impact on students, so you will want to use video when it makes the most sense. Videos can also lead to visual overload if used too much. Be clear on your purpose for creating a video. If you can’t find a compelling reason for developing one, it’s probably not worth doing it.
  • Ensure it’s age appropriate. It’s easy for most content creators to know when a textbook chapter is suitable for a particular grade level. It can be more challenging for visual media like videos. Always test videos with teachers and parents to ensure they’re entirely comfortable with every aspect of them.
  • Encourage active watching. For many younger people, video is a passive experience. Provide teachers with a goal to share with students before playing a video as part of the lesson plan. Setting a goal for what students are about to watch makes them accountable, which keeps them attentive.
  • Provide video-related activities. Give teachers tools that encourage students to reflect on, interpret, and discuss video content. Include tools like discussion guides and assignments that transform watching a video into a more active and personal experience.
  • Offer close captioning. Some students will require them. Others will benefit from reading while watching.

Leverage these tips to ensure learners get full value from your videos.

Videos in the Classroom: Challenges for Content Creators

Many educational publishers find it difficult to get their video content approved for use in schools. The process of ensuring it meets academic standards or curricula is often more complex than for traditional textbooks or other printed content.

The good news: EdGate’s dedicated film team, leveraging our state-of-the-art ExACT technology, makes aligning video content to educational standards a relatively fast and easy process.

In addition, our subject-matter experts and suite of automated tools can make your film content more useful for teachers with our digital chaptering, metadata creation, and keyword development functionality. If you want to make your video material more valuable for an educational audience, the team at EdGate is available to help. For more than twenty years EdGate has served publishers in their quest to make their educational films classroom-ready. Contact us to find out how we can help you.