Digital video is a powerful tool that many teachers are using in their classroom today. Those teachers who are lucky enough to have an interactive whiteboard can easily integrate video into their lessons. Since the board is already connected to a projector, they don’t have to rearrange the room every time they want to show a video. But why are instructional videos so valuable, and where do teachers find high quality videos? Also, what resources are available to help teachers integrate these videos into their lessons?

Why Is Video a Powerful Teaching Tool?

Kids are enthusiastic about watching a video, so they’re going to be more engaged in the lesson and will more readily understand and retain the information. A thoughtfully chosen video can also challenge your students to think at a higher level by helping them to make connections between what you’re teaching and the world outside of school. Use video to take your students to a foreign country, or back in time to an important moment in history, or to an impossible place, such as inside the human brain or to the dark side of the moon. Help them understand complex, abstract ideas with animated or 3-D images. Demonstrate a chemistry or physics experiment that you can’t do in your classroom, or treat your students to a theater or musical performance.

Video gives teachers many opportunities to challenge their students in new ways. It is a wonderful medium for reaching children with different learning styles, such as visual learners. Motivate reluctant readers by giving them visual representations of what they’re reading in class. Classroom discussions following the video can engage students in activities such as solving problems or investigating ideas. Meeting someone in a video from another part of the world can break down stereotypes. Students can learn critical viewing skills by evaluating the quality of a video.

Where Do Teachers Find High Quality Educational Videos?

YouTube can be a good resource for up-to-date, current digital videos on a variety of topics. But, a teacher might have to spend hours sifting through inappropriate or irrelevant videos before finding the best curriculum-related clip to show in class. And, YouTube is often blocked by schools’ content filtering systems.

Another option that many teachers have discovered is TeacherTube. This is a video sharing website similar to YouTube that was created to allow teachers to share digital educational resources, such as video, audio, photos and blogs. Students can also upload videos that they have made in school. A helpful feature of this site is the rating system. Teachers can rate videos to show how valuable they are for the teacher or the learner, and videos can be flagged for inappropriate content. It’s a free, educationally-focused and safe venue for teachers and schools.

Full-length videos also have their place in the classroom. But it’s important to remember that comprehension isn’t a passive experience. Be sure to interrupt the video frequently to prompt thinking and discussion, and to help students make connections between the video and your curricular topic.

How Do Teachers Integrate Videos into Their Interactive Whiteboard Presentations?

Once you find that perfect video, how do you integrate it into your lesson to make it relevant to your curricular objective? No matter how interesting your video is, it will merely be entertainment to your students if you don’t give it a context by presenting it the right way in your lesson. A site like Gynzy, which allows teachers to design and create lessons for the interactive whiteboard, is a great place to start. Search through their lessons and tools to build your presentation, and then insert your YouTube or TeacherTube videos to bring that powerful punch to your lesson.

I think we can all agree that there is tremendous value in combining video images with our teaching to help students connect what they’re learning with the world outside the classroom. The availability of classroom-ready video from sites like YouTube and TeacherTube has made it easier than ever to bring video into the classroom. But we also know that videos, or any other classroom materials, don’t teach – teachers teach. How do you use video in your classroom, and how do you integrate it into your interactive whiteboard lessons?