Using videos as attention grabbers in the classroom is a great solution if you are struggling with student engagement. Today, students are accustomed to dynamic and interactive stimuli and require innovative methods to win their attention. While student engagement is an ever-present term in the education technology debate, educators have neglected to clearly define what student engagement looks like and more importantly, what steps teachers should take to achieve it. For two veteran educators, the key to student engagement lies in using videos as attention grabbers in the classroom. Dotty Corbiere, a math specialist at Meadowbrook School in Weston, Massachusetts, and Rushton Hurley, founder of the non-profit organization Next Vista for Learning and a former high school Japanese language teacher and principal, are championing the effort to incorporate exciting educational videos into educators’ daily lesson plans.

VOCABULARY 180“[Video] captures attention and learning. You can’t learn anything unless you’re paying attention,” Hurley said.

To support his effort, Hurley’s organization, Next Vista for Learning, curates videos from “ordinary” teachers and students using a set of rigid guidelines, organizes them, and then makes them available to users at no charge. Hurley believes that through watching videos created by their peers, students will be challenged to think critically about the strengths and weaknesses of each video and apply this knowledge to developing their own content, in addition to learning valuable subject matter.

Corbiere, whose students create Stop-Action Movies (SAM) Animation to depict everything from life cycles to math poetry videos, gives her classroom “total license” when it comes to putting together projects; as long as students map out their idea first, they can use any materials they like to make the content come to life.

“The kids love it … when they get going, they want to do their best. If that figure doesn’t come out right or that scene wasn’t quite perfect, they want to do it again,” she said.

CONTINUE READING – 7 Amazingly Easy Video Ideas for Capturing and Keeping Students’ Attention

Kim Fortson is a San Francisco-based freelance writer. Find her on Twitter @kimfortson.

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