Online video sharing sites are an excellent resource for the kind of active teaching centerpieces that make a classroom great. But if participation and direct engagement are the keys to the effective use of technology in the classroom today, then maybe something a little more interactive is necessary to keep active learners motivated, stimulated and excited.

One innovative way to spice up the audio-visual aspects of your learning environment is to move away from viewing video in the classroom and move towards creating it. These types of projects can combine a number of great take-away lessons for the students into one fun project – and better yet, it works across learning levels! These cooperative projects are excellent ways to:

  • Encourage ownership & community collaboration. Group projects work best when every member feels like they hold a piece to the puzzle – and video projects have enough components (like planning, capturing content, editing) that everyone can be equally involved. These social learning exercises can be easily facilitated by tools and content management systems like Blackboard Learn.

  • Flip the classroom. Visual content is a great learning tool – and empowering students to explain a message through a video project makes them think creatively and analytically about what may be the most important points for them to express. Giving the student the power to teach fosters a deeper understanding of the material and a greater respect for the educational process. Kahn Academy is a popular site for video resources (and Sal Kahn, the founder and director will join us at BbWorld in July!)

  • Expand the student’s (and the classroom’s) technology toolkit. Multimedia skills are becoming more and more useful in the job market, so it only makes sense to facilitate projects that teach students how to be creators. Learning these skills early in life is likely to be very helpful as technology is certainly going to be moving towards the creation of more visual and video, content.

If the creation of video in the classroom isn’t the best match for the lesson you are teaching – there are other ways to encourage more interaction with video like this new feature from TED-Ed that lets you mix and match videos to create your own lessons. The lesson is clear: thinking of video as more than just a passive educational tool can open up a world of options.

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