NTTI Video Utilization Strategies
Television can be a powerful educational tool, but only when it's
used as a means to achieving thoughtfully selected educational objectives.
Video should not be used for television-to-student instruction.
Rather, it should be considered a tool for teacher-to-student instruction.
Ideally, video is a catalyst for discovery. NTTI has developed these
strategies to help teachers take advantage of the power of video.
- Preview the program to make sure it is appropriate and useful,
and to assess the value of the program's support materials.
- Select segments that are most relevant to the curricular focus
of the day. A brief video clip can spark student interest or demonstrate
a concept. Showing a particular segment conserves valuable classroom
time and can focus the lesson for students
- Prepare the classroom for viewing by checking equipment (monitor,
VCR, remote control), arranging seating and lighting, and cueing
the tapes ahead of time. Lights should be left on as much as possible
to reinforce the fact that the video is not passive entertainment.
During the Video-based Lesson:
- Begin with an introductory activity that draws students into
the lesson and lets them know what to expect in the video. You
might introduce new vocabulary or a new idea, or conduct a related
- Give students a Focus for Media Interaction: a specific task
or responsibility to keep in mind while the video is on. This
keeps students on-task, and directs the learning experience to
the lesson's objectives.
- Use the Pause button -- your greatest ally in using video effectively!
You might pause to:
- Control the pace and amount of information
- Check for comprehension
- Solicit inferences and predictions
- Define a word in context
- Highlight a point
- Ask students to make connections to other topics or real-world
- Change the pace by asking students to come up and point
to something on the screen, or write in journals, or replicate
what they have seen
Ideally, teachers will encourage students to determine pause points
on their own. Students should be able to request a pause for clarification
or analysis. Teachers can give instructions ahead of time so that
students ask for a pause each time they see a particular image or
get a new piece of information. For example, a teacher might say,
"Raise your hands each time you hear one of the characteristics
that makes an animal a mammal."
- Eliminate the sound or the picture from a video segment. When
you eliminate sound, you can use any video to instruct at almost
any grade level, using your own age-appropriate narration. You
can also ask students to describe and comment on what they see,
an excellent technique for assessing students' prior knowledge
or reviewing and evaluating what they have learned. When you eliminate
the picture (by turning down the brightness), you can highlight
the role of music and narration or ask students to imagine what
the picture looks like, or to draw what they hear described.
- Encourage media literacy by helping students recognize elements
of video production, such as camera angles, music, shot composition,
and the role of the actors. Students can analyze a video's effectiveness,
and discuss the ways that audiences might be manipulated or influenced
by choices made during production.
After the Lesson
Students should feel that the video is an integral part of their
learning experience, so teachers need to follow up the video with
culminating hands-on activities, student-centered projects, and
student- or teacher-designed investigations. Ideally, video will
be used in conjunction with field trips, guest speakers, letter-writing
projects, and journal writing -- the variety of activities that
make up an expansive, hands-on learning experience.