The theme I chose to study this week was video for elementary students k-5. I chose this because it is the age of students I work with and think that I could benefit from the information that I find. The article “Timing is Everything” was written by Debra Drury in 2006. I realize that this is not the newest article out there, but I think that it is worth reading. The article is from Science and Children (2006).
This article caught my eye because I use video in my classroom quite often. I think it is very effective when used properly and I wanted to see what this teacher had to say.
“Timing is Everything” is about a teacher, Debra Drury, who did an experiment with her fourth through sixth grade classes (they were all in an elementary school) testing when video used in the classroom is most effective. The unit of study was in science. Her curriculum said to show the videos as introductory, but the problem was that the kids were not engaging and connecting with it and could not use the information because they didn’t have enough base knowledge. It was a time where students zoned out because it was just too far above their heads. She tried using the videos in different parts of her units, and this is what she found:
“…it was clear to me that somewhere near the end of the chapter-as we began to consolidate our knowledge of a topic-is the time when the use of videos is most effective. It is at this point that students ask the most effective questions and strengthen their own understanding of the concepts being learned. Because students have some experience with the content already, they have the knowledge to respond to and question the video, furthering their learning. They better understand things that they did during the unit and make connections with the things that they hadn’t. “
What a great thing to test out on students. I think that many teachers struggle with this idea and never really try to find the best solution. I think this fits best with NETS-T standard 5: “Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promotion and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources.” Furthermore, I think it focuses in more on standard b under the number 5 heading. Standard b states ” Exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others.” I love the word infusion here. Teachers have to infuse different ways of technology at the right time to make it effective for students. This is exactly what Debra Drury wanted to find out.
I also think this article addresses NETS-S standard 4d: “Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.” Even though these students did have a choice in when to watch the video, they are using different types of media to explore more resources and dig through different ideas. When the videos were shown toward the end of a unit, the students were much more engaged and made more connections to the content. The were able to explore other possibilities because the background knowledge was all there. They were ready to dive in deeper and look at other perspectives.
I look forward to finding more resources on this topic. I think all elementary and high school teachers should have some knowledge in this area. Most teachers do use video at some time, so it’s important to know when it is most appropriate to incorporate. I am excited to see if there are any other opinions about when to use video in different subject areas. I agree with her in the science arena, but I am anxious to see what people say about things like learning the alphabet and basic math. I tend to think that these are best used in the beginning and middle of units, but that is simply so they can memorize and then transfer information.
Come back for more information next week!