This post was almost finished and then something happened today and I went back and added to it.
Do you use videos in your classroom? You should. I was reminded of this during church service Sunday. The pastor was not there and the guy filling in was preaching normal sermon. I was listening but just that, listening. Then the video monitors starting playing just a short clip on exactly what he was preaching on. I went from just listening to totally engaged in a matter of seconds.
It is important we show videos to students. If they cannot experience the depths ocean in real life or the inside of a hydroelectric dam (they loved that one btw), we can show them more than a picture from a textbook.
There are many places to find short videos. I used to only use Discovery Streaming, but we no longer have a subscription so I have had to look elsewhere. IF you teach in the state of Alabama APTPLUS has many video clips that are pretty decent, you can use your Discovery log in to access. How Stuff Works is wonderful and fun. The negative is that not all commercials are appropriate (ovulation testers cause 6th graders to ask questions you do not want to answer lol). Discovery Channel and National Geographic also have great video clips.
YouTube is wonderful too. It is blocked in my district but zamzar is a great downloading tool that is not blocked. I usually download video night before and then open zamzar once at school. Hey it works.
I do not mean to play movies or bore them to death. Just short clips that get straight to the point. My students and I always rate the videos on how bad the “Science Man” voice. But even with a “Science Man” voice they still are interested in it is short and covers the objective. Four minutes is always my limit on clips, 2 minutes is always the goal.
Those looking to try using technology in your class this is a great start. All you have to do is push play (and pause, I’m bad about pausing to explain).
Zamzar is now blocked. I used it last month, now because it shares files, it is blocked. Once again the fear of technology wins. My heart is sad.