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DVD-ROM Workshop -- Dynamic learning with DVD-ROM technology
Why DVD-ROM for your classroom?
First steps and best practices
Measuring Success
Technical Troubleshooting
Resources for further explorations

First Steps and Best Practices
Classroom Management Strategies and Tips

Good instruction is obviously not all about the technology! Many of the activities related to any given topic of study will not be technology-based. For example, activities can include large or small group discussions; whole class, small group, or individualized mini-lessons focused on specific topics; and student research with print and other non-DVD-ROM resources. All of these can help introduce information and extend learning.

This Planning Worksheet (PDF) can help you in considering learning, assessment, resource, and management issues involved in planning a successful instructional unit.
As you begin, keep in mind the following:

  • Allow students the time they need to become comfortable using the DVD-ROM and navigating to find information they seek. This can be done individually or in small groups.

  • Let students engage in open-ended exploration.

  • Give students some specific research tasks to practice using the searching and viewing features of the DVD-ROM.

  • Have students practice using specific features or aspects of the program, such as the index or a glossary or a book-marking feature; then have one student model use of a particular feature for others.

As students begin projects, activities and assignments based on a particular DVD-ROM title, the amount of time they spend using the product, whether individually or in small groups, will be largely a function of how much technology you have in your classroom. You will be the best judge of what is comfortable. You can maximize the quality of the time students do spend with the DVD-ROM by preparing them -- with information about the product, its use, and their assignment -- before they launch the program.

A useful strategy for generating interest, getting students involved and focused, and bringing in background knowledge is to have them use what is called the K-W-L method: Know--Want--Learn. It's easy and powerful. Here are the steps:
  1. Write the topic or concept to be discussed on the blackboard, overhead, or on a large sheet of paper.

  2. Ask the students to identify what they Know about the topic. Write their responses so that all can see. Download and distribute the PDF file K-W-L Worksheet to help your students organize their thoughts.

  3. Ask students, "What do you Want to know about the topic?" Again, write the responses so that everyone can see.

  4. Following the lesson or the unit, ask students, "What did you Learn about the topic from the DVD-ROM, other reading, discussions, activities, etc.?" Write the responses where everyone can see.

  5. Optional: Follow up with the question, "What haven't you learned about this topic that you would like to explore further?"

See Thirteen Ed Online's free Concept to Classroom workshop Constructivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning for more ideas on student-centered learning.


A DVD-ROM resource offers an engaging learning environment where students are motivated, involved, and in control of their learning path. The real impact of this resource in the classroom, however, will be in the teacher's vision and comfort in using it to enhance teaching and learning.

Continue to Citing DVD-ROM Resources