Educators learned something during spring’s sudden transition to remote learning: we simply can’t cover the same amount of material as we do in the classroom. Some teachers are expecting to progress through as little as a fifth of the material they would plan to otherwise cover this school year, leaving little room for extra and co-curricular subjects.
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When it comes to teaching collaboration and inquiry skills, many educators face a tough hurdle: the ever-present pressure of rigid test-oriented standards. But reinforcing core learning outcomes to meet state and federal standards doesn’t need to be antithetical to innovative teaching methods.
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In the not-so-distant past, higher education lectures were almost entirely instructor-led with a heavy focus on written learning materials. Students would spend hours of their week trying to absorb long and complex texts, regardless of their preferred learning style. Then, they would sit in a lecture hall and listen to a professor talk while they listened, often with little audience interaction. For some, this was an effective and enjoyable way to learn but, for many others, it wasn’t quite so engaging.
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Let’s talk about passive and active learning in the context of video-driven lessons. As teachers, every minute in the lesson counts so it’s important that we have both a clear goal and a clear strategy associated with the videos we choose to share with our students. Once we find the right video, we ask ourselves, “Okay, what do I do with this? How can this clip be an active learning experience instead of a passive one for my students?”
Topics: Tips for Using Video
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In previous posts, we’ve covered how to use video to differentiate learning content and process. These are aspects of differentiation that teachers are often familiar with, but did you know that it’s also possible to differentiate the product of learning?
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If you're like most teachers, you're already using some kind of video platform to share videos with students. Whether you're using a free video streaming site like YouTube, an all-in-one paid education site that includes videos, or a more streamlined solution like Boclips for Teachers that puts videos front and center in a curated way, you know that sharing videos with your students is a great way to meet them where they are.
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No two virtual learning environments are the same, but whatever tools or systems teachers rely on to structure their course there is always a need for incorporating media in new ways. As more classrooms take on a digital space or go fully virtual, a variety of approaches in presenting media—especially video—can help keep the classroom feeling fresh, interactive, and dynamic.
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Students today access a variety of media as part of their daily lives, and thanks to the ubiquitous use of such sites as Google and various social media outlets, information is constantly at their fingertips. As teachers, we face a challenge - how do we engage the students who sit in our classrooms and are used to instant access to information, without sacrificing quality instruction?
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It’s no wonder video streaming platforms have become the most used digital tool in classrooms today.  Educational videos are one of the most straightforward and accessible ways to incorporate media technology in support of classroom instruction. They function across multiple platforms and are easily accessible for almost any level of student. They lend themselves to a wide variety of academic applications limited only by the creativity of the instructor. They can be cross-curricular, bi-modal, horizontally aligned, or state standards specific. Also, some of them have music and cute cartoon characters.
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Differentiation is at the forefront of every teacher’s mind. Each student is different and needs to be given the opportunity to learn in ways that work for them. Plus, many schools and districts require proof of differentiated instruction. This can seem like a huge task for teachers but it doesn’t have to be.