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by Nicola Dillard

What is Video?
Definition: Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
video [ˈvɪdɪˌəʊ]
adj1. (Communication Arts / Broadcasting) relating to or employed in the transmission or reception of a televised image
2. (Electronics) of, concerned with, or operating at video frequencies
n pl -os1. (Communication Arts / Broadcasting) the visual elements of a television broadcast
2. (Performing Arts) a film recorded on a video cassette
3. (Electronics) short for video cassette, video cassette recorder
4. (Electronics) US an informal name for television
vb videos, videoing, videoed (Electronics) to record (a television programme, etc.) on a video cassette recorder Compare audio[from Latin vidēre to see, on the model of audio]

Video in the classroom:
Videos can be used to both stimulate and enhance lessons. They are a rich and motivating tool that aide in reaching all learners. The visuals and auditory stimulation provided by the video enrich the lesson and allow the learner to see the subject being taught in a more concrete way. Many students learn best with the use of visual aides, the video lesson present a visual picture that can take the viewer into a vivid world that they would ordinarily be unable to explore from the classroom. Through the use of video students can travel to the past, into the vast rain forests, into the depths of the ocean or space. Almost anything is possible through video. There are literally thousands of videos available for teachers to access on a large array of subjects. Teachers can take students out of their communities and familiar environment into a world full of cultural and scientific differences that stimulate and entice the students curiosity.


Summary of the Literature:
Video use in the classroom has gone through many changes in recent years. Primarily it has evolved from teachers simply playing videos on rainy days or as a fun reward to incorporating educational video within the curriculum. Recent research supports the use of presenting video to students in the form of short segments rather than playing a full length video for a long period of time."Most educational experts agree that video is best shown in short segments so as to maximize learners' concentration. Learners should also be encouraged to learn actively from the video, by interacting with it" (Shephard, 2003).
One advantage to breaking the video down into smaller clips is that the teacher is then able to ask questions and engage the students in a discussion during the lesson. Streaming video is an effective way of easily incorporating video into the daily curriculum. Shephard describes video streaming in the following way; "Video is streamed over the internet to users who request it, for example by clicking on a hyperlink within a web page. The video is passed through the cables, optical fibers and wireless networks as a digital code that is reinterpreted as moving images and sound by the users computer" (Shephard, 2003).
An emphasis is placed on streaming video in such a way that students are engaged throughout the lesson and that video is not the sole component of the lesson rather it is intertwined with other forms of instruction. Researchers Fill and Otterwill describe streamed video as "having two primary roles" those being, "as a learning resource to be 'pulled' by the learners and as a delivery mechanism 'pushed' by the teaching team" (Fill & Otterwill, 2006). This approach to video streaming is referred to by Fill and Otterwill as "the blended approach". (Fill & Otterwill, 2006).
In Multimedia for Learning, Alessi and Trollip discuss the need for teachers to first "assess if the video is appropriate" and to determine if it matches the goals of the lesson (Alessi & Trollip, 2001). Alessi and Trollip emphasize that it is essential that teachers first view the video before it is presented in a lesson, making sure the quality and content are acceptable and that the video will actually play on the computer being used. In many cases school districts block sites and teachers will need to first gain permission to access the video, before it can be streamed onto the computer. In addition the speed of the internet connection and the ability to play each video format must often be addressed before video streaming can take place (Alessi & Trollip, 2001).
Implementing video into a lesson:
The following example demonstrates how video can be used to enhance a lesson on the life cycle of a butterfly.

California Science Kindergarten Standards:
2. Different types of plants and animals inhabit the earth. As a basis for understanding
this concept:
a. Students know how to observe and describe similarities and differences in the appearance and behavior of
plants and animals (e.g., seed-bearing plants, birds, fish, insects).
b. Students know stories sometimes give plants and animals attributes they do not really have.
c. Students know how to identify major structures of common plants and animals (e.g., stems, leaves, roots,
arms, wings, legs). As posted by: The California Department of Education June 11, 2009

A lesson on how animals grow and change:
The life cycle of a butterfly.

Pre-Lesson Story
The Very Hungy Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Pre-Lesson Video Clip: (You tube video)

Lesson:Whole Group (video clip follow up)
With the teacher students build a visual map, with pictures of the various stages of the life cycle of a butterfly from egg - butterfly. Word cards of each stage are matched to the correct picture and placed in order from first to last.
Materials Needed: Butterfly sequence cards (http://enchantedlearning.com), chart paper.

Activity Independent Practice:
Students create a book on the stages of development from egg to butterfly:
Materials Needed: Butterfly sequence book for each child. (http://worksheetplace.com)

Video Lesson:
The Life Cycle of a Butterfly (You tube video)

Because this video does not include narration, the teacher would need to read words to the children this allows the teacher to interact with the students engaging them in conversation about the life cycle of a butterfly.

Student Assessment and Lesson Closure:
To close the lesson, students review what they have learned and list the stages with the teacher on chart paper. As a follow up activity students one choice would be for students to make life cycle wheels out of paper plates. Student assessment is conducted through teacher observation of student responses and successful completion of a butterfly life cycle wheel.

A Selection of Video Streaming Sources:
The following sources provide teachers with a variety of video streaming options:
Video Formats:

Videos are created in a variety of formats, sometimes the video format must be converted in order to play the video. The following are a sample of different video formats:


Effective use of video streaming in the classroom, can serve as a valuable tool for the teacher. Video can stimulate the imagination and bring the world to the student. Literally thousands of videos and video clips are available on the internet on a vast array of topics. If used in conjunction with an well planned lesson in an engaging fashion their educational value is priceless!

Alessi,S.M.,Trollip, S.R. (2001). Multimedia for Learning Methods And Development (3rd.ed) Massachusetts: A Pearson Education Company

Bluejay,M. (2010). Getting Video onto your website: Web Video Demystified. Retrieved from http://websitehelpers.com

Fill,K.,Ottewill,R. (2006). Sink or Swim: taking advantage of developments in video streaming. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 43 (4), 397-408.

Shephard,K.(2003). Questioning, promoting and evaluating the use of streaming video to support student learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 34 (3), 295-308.