My top 3 sources and tips for instructional videos in the classroom

Strategic use of short instructional videos is an effective way to enhance lessons and learning for digital kids and 21st century students. I currently use Jing to create .swf files and the SMART recorder (part of SMARTnotebook download) to create .wmv files for YouTube uploads.  A quick video can be a useful way to “chunk” a list of instructions together.

In my techie world, videos help primary students when saving and are a vital strategy to keep this assessment-driven teacher happy (and organized!) In addition, I recently viewed a video on creating on-the-fly assessments for students using SMART response “clickers” which I think is a slick way to elicit student response and “check in” with them during videos. As a general rule, I tend to find that videos less than three minutes are best, perhaps with the option for some students to review at own pace, or even beforehand.

Having students view instructional videos or review materials before the class starts has been called “reverse instruction methodology” which is a perfect complement to a project-based learning approach in the classroom.  In my role as a technology teacher, I rarely use homework as an instructional strategy as I prefer (and enjoy!) seeing when and how students are learning, collaborating and/or sharing. (And I then can intervene/guide/support when needed!)

Here are my top three resources for finding videos for the class:

Many video resources are free and I use many of the ICT videos to teach cyber-safety and digital citizenship to students.


The strength of this site is the simplicity of the search and the wealth of useful, well paced instructive videos. Mathematics is particularly well represented here but with the recent Google and Bill Gates endorsement, I’m sure that this site will grow and flourish. Two million cool ones usually helps in this regard.

3.Embedding a video into a LMS like Blackboard or Moodle is a great solution to avoid accidentally displaying those “free-for-all” comments often listed below videos. Tips for embedding a video in Blackboard forthcoming.

Thanks for reading and don’t feel you have to be an award winning actor/director but video creation gives us a powerful tool to engage and instruct this generation of soon-to-be or already “screenagers”!

Finally, here’s  a link to Salman Khan’s inspiring TED talk from 2011 which explains the benefit of instruction videos for digital kids to “supplement” lessons and review ideas and concepts.


2 comments on “My top 3 sources and tips for instructional videos in the classroom

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