Add Some Variety to Your Teaching with Video

Let’s face it, students today have been raised in a fast paced, digital world that is constantly stimulating their senses. When they are forced to sit still in a classroom and listen to an adult talk about something that might not even interest them, they can quickly tune out. I believe that part of differentiating is finding ways to grab the attention of students so that you can start them along the path of learning that best suits them. Differentiating with video is an exciting way to get your students involved and highly motivated about almost any lesson.

Using video as a means of differentiating instruction is something that you might want to consider for your classroom or even your entire district. Here is a very short video intro to the periodic table. Take a look.

This video was created with some very easy to use, web based software. The company that is responsible for it is Animoto. I first happened across a few years ago and was struck by the seamless way they blended music and images that I uploaded into beautiful presentations that I could share with my family. (It’s great if you have a family webpage.) As I poked around the site a bit, I learned that they also have special offers available just for educators that allow for longer videos and other related options. The possibilities are intriguing. If given a choice, would your students be more excited about making a video or a poster? Hmmm?

Until recently, Animoto only used still images to create videos. That is, you could only upload photographs. Now they are also able to integrate video clips along with still images. In addition to the teaching applications, this is a great tool for class websites or for commemorating school events or field trips. Here is a short interview with the CEO of Animoto that explains the new application and how simple it is to use.

Here is an Animoto testimonial from an art teacher. The example she shows is about as basic as it gets. You can get the finished product to look like a rock video if you want to, but this is a good example of a simple classroom application.

I hope you can see the possibilities of bringing a tool like this to your classroom. You can check it out and make free videos (up to 30 seconds) by visiting

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