Illustration by Edpuzzle Staff
If there’s one thing that all schools have in common, it’s that they all want to give students the best education possible.
It doesn’t matter whether yours is an underfunded public school, an elite private school, or an experimental charter school – video learning can be adapted to schools of all shapes, sizes, and budgets!
So, out of all the new technologies available, why should your school opt to incorporate video? It’s simple – students love it.
According to a 2019 survey from Common Sense Media, teenagers spend an average of 59 minutes a day watching online videos, while 8-12-year-olds clock in at 56 minutes per day.
If students are already tuning in to online videos for an hour a day for pure entertainment, imagine how engaging using videos in the classroom could be!
We’ll take you step-by-step through everything you need to do to create a video-friendly environment at your school – just press play.
1. Create a School Device Policy
The first step is creating a school device policy or revising your current one.
More students than ever before have their own smartphones nowadays, as is evidenced by the same Common Sense Media study:
The truth is, despite concerns about smartphone use in schools, they’ll come in extremely handy if you don’t have laptops or tablets for all of your students!
Once you’ve decided if and when smartphones are allowed at school, a great practice is to take your students through a Digital Citizenship course to make sure that everyone’s on the same page where it comes to proper use, safety and healthy habits for technology use.
2. Set Up a Digital Media Lab
Every school needs a space where students and teachers can play with new technologies! This could mean revamping your old-school computer lab, designating an area in the school library, or adapting some other space to meet your needs.
What should you find in your new digital media lab? Your wishlist should include a class set of devices (whether they’re tablets, laptops, etc.) and a projector for the teacher. Extras include a green screen (a piece of fluorescent green fabric from the fabric store will do!) and some recording equipment like basic lighting and a microphone.
As your school gains more experience, over the years you can start adding more materials from virtual and augmented reality tools, to robotics equipment and more!
3. Provide Professional Development for Teachers
Any time you’re rolling out a new technology, you have to get your teachers on board first! Avoid throwing them into the deep end by giving them useful PD to help them get started using videos in the classroom.
Depending on the platforms and apps you want to use, there are plenty of options available for online PD. The added bonus is that your teachers can complete it in the comfort of their own homes when it’s convenient for them rather than staying after school!
In addition to being a huge ally in video learning, the platform Edpuzzle offers online teacher PD on a variety of topics that will turn your teachers into the Steven Spielbergs of classroom videos in no time!
4. Install Projectors in the Classrooms
Once your teachers are trained and your digital media lab is rocking and rolling, it’s time to expand the video-viewing to every classroom! The first year you start with video learning, this likely won’t be in the budget, but you can work on it over time.
You can start with the teachers who visit the digital media lab most frequently while you work on bringing the rest of your staff up to speed. While you definitely don’t need the projectors to get started, they’ll take video learning at your school to the next level by allowing your teacher to direct their video instruction to the whole class!
5. Inform Parents and Families
As any good admin knows, communication is key, and this includes keeping students’ parents and families in the loop.
Let your students’ families know about your new video learning initiative at back-to-school night, send a memo home with students, or use your LMS to post the news if parents have access to it. That way you’ll make sure that everyone is aware and on board with your new learning policies.
If you have parents who are worried about too much screen time, there are a few key benefits you can point out to them, the first being that using video actually cuts down on homework time, which means more quality family time or more time for students to get those precious hours of sleep they need!
The next advantage for families is that by using video, teachers can flip their classroom, which means that parents don’t have to worry about helping their kids with homework topics they know nothing about, as the “homework” will be watching a video that explains the concept the students will put into practice during the next class.
In any case, using more videos in the classroom is something that should make your students’ families very, very happy.
6. Collect Feedback to Make Improvements
The last step is an important one, but it’s also an easy one to overlook. After all the hard work of outfitting your school with the right hardware, training your teachers, getting your students acclimated to using videos in school and talking to their families, don’t forget to check back in with your teachers to ask how it’s all going.
Whether it’s in small group or individual meetings, through an online survey or a suggestion box, you should always ask for teacher feedback on what’s working and what’s not. Beyond giving your teachers a voice, this will provide you with invaluable feedback on how to improve for the future and foster the most video-friendly environment possible for your school.
So, now that you have a plan, it’s lights, camera, action… how will you revolutionize your school with video learning?