National Council for the Social Studies

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In an investigation of how best to utilize technology in the classroom, I have been left with this question: When is it necessary to use video as a method of instruction? To better frame this question I would like to relay an exchange that I had prompting my inquiry.
Having observed a class in which excerpts from “Liberty!” were shown when teaching why Britain lost the Revolutionary War, my advisor asked me how the same information might have been made available to students to investigate without using the video. I replied that stations might be set up in the room, one with paintings of the military tactics used by the two sides, one with the “family trees” of European Royal families in order to highlight marriage alliances, one with maps of European territorial claims in North America, as well a map showing the distance from Britain to the Colonies, and finally, one station with selected clips from letters and diaries which showcased the strategies and motivations of both the military and civilian population. At each station students would be asked to use the information to list the advantages and disadvantages for each side. Once all of the data was assessed, students would form a hypothesis about why the Colonists ultimately were successful against the British using the evidence they gathered. The stations would allow visual learners to be engaged through the use of maps and paintings, primary source analysis would be practiced, and the students would be actively engaged in inquiry as opposed to having the analysis done for them when watching a video.
What problems can others see in such a method? Have others been successful in such endeavors? When is video necessary? Any and all thoughts are appreciated.
Thank you,
Bill Biondolino

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Video's are a great asset to the classroom. Sometimes the video can be used as a kick start to a unit, other times it is the primary source itself.  For example, in my Junior American History  class we watched a bit of Schindler's List. Though it was a Hollywood movie, it helped us conceptualize some of what we would be discussing throughout that lesson. In my Seminar class about  the Multiethnicities of Czarist and Soviet Russia, we watched many short clips, of that time, that showed glimpses into the life of that time.  Again, it was another way for students to fully grasp the content of the lesson.
I think videos are great at the end of a chapter. I don't think showing a video to students at the beginning of a chapter or unit is as beneficial since students will not have the background knowledge necessary to understand all aspects of a historical movie or a documentary. Once a chapter is taught to the students, a video is a great tool to reinforce and provide further information to students on what they just learned.
I believe video is vital in the classroom, but must not be used to death and become a crutch.  The stat Thomas worte is amazing, how can we argue against video with a future that will rely so heavily on technology.  Video is also great because, at least in my mind, there is no better way to teach current events. Stations as mentioned in the post do create different learning opportunities for different types of learners, but vide puts you at an event and what greater supplement to reading a document on WWII than to see actual footage. 
In this day and age, I feel that is becoming essential to use videos in the classroom because of the rapid mindset that students have nowadays. It is a society that is based on Smartphones, Facebook / Twitter and all other types of technological media that provide instant gratification to the users. Clearly, one of the only methods of keeping their attention in this day and age is using videos, but only to a certain extent. I agree with Alton Kuhn that it must not become a "crutch" and that the curriculum should use them when it would be most effective for a teaching experience. Thank you for the opportunity to share my opinion with you Bill.
I believe that there are of course effective and ineffective ways to use videos in a classroom. Showing videos without having clear objectives of what your students should be learning through the video is not an effective way of using a video. I think the use of videos as primary resources is extremely important. What better way to learn about what it was like to be involved in an historical event than to actually see and hear it. It was mentioned before that most of the primary sources from our time period will be videos. Think about the evening news or commercials for political campaigns. Being able to evaluate this type of resource is an important skill for students to become engaged citizens in today's world. This was a great question and some insightful feedback from the replies.
I believe that technology and videos should be used as a complement to traditional teaching methods. In our technological age, students expect to learn through digital stimulation. Technology is a constant and overwhelming part of their lives. Therefore, why should it be forgotten when they step foot in a classroom. However, I would caution against using such technology as videos too much. If it dominates the classroom and becomes a "replacement" for the teacher, I believe students could become just as quickly bored and disengaged. Rather, it must be an exciting and sporadic supplement to more traditional lessons and activities.
In this particular lesson, your idea of stations would probably be as or more effective than most similarly themed videos as long as it was well-managed; rotating small-group scenarios can devolve into chaos so quickly if we let them.  However, I don't think that we can extend this to video being unnecessary; guided viewership is a skill that students will need to have if they want to go to college.   So many college courses and individual lectures are primarily available online now, and the real challenge for students is learning how to sluice through a lot of information and identify what they should attend to.  Additionally, professionally produced documentaries usually have access to the kind of advanced and/or animated graphic organizers that no individual teacher can duplicate on their own, and those can play a big role in comprehension as well.

hello dear Bill Biondolino

first i wish to be fine and have a nice time and dont face with problems

your disscussion is very good

as  you asked that is video is neccessary for the class

in my opinion video is so neccessary for the student because they can get alot of things for video because every those instructions which show to him it will kept in his brain and and every lecture wil save as a picture in his brain

so have a nice time

best regard

Muhammad Rahim from afghanistan

 

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