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.