Integrating Educational Video Content into the Modern Classroom


Video content has become a facet of modern entertainment and news. But it’s also important to recognize its place in the education arena. From learning vowel sounds to exploring the deep reaches of space, there are few activities that can’t be captured through a lens. According to YouTube’s official blog, people are watching over a billion hours of video content every day.

To put this in perspective, that’s more than 100,000-years worth of content digested globally every 24 hours. However, not all of that consumption is a bad thing, with much of that now being geared towards education. Pew Research found that 87% of YouTube users say it’s important for learning. Furthermore, nearly one-in-five said it is essential for helping them understanding current events.

With those figures in mind, it’s clear that video content can be an invaluable tool for learning. So as to take a closer look at its place in a scholastic environment, we’ve pressed play on our first blog to discover how it’s being used in classrooms, what some of the best practices for educators are, and what sources offer the best content.

How Teachers Use Video

Before diving straight into the use of video, let’s explore one of the most popular tools for presentations: PowerPoint (PPT). While PPT can help educators highlight critical points of a topic, it helps to be mindful of the visual aesthetics of presentations.

Photo Credit: Dustin Pearlman

Photo Credit: Dustin Pearlman

In a study published in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Psychology, researchers not only found that students preferred more visual elements in a PPT (e.g., pictures, videos, graphs) but they also performed better during testing. These findings have significant implications, as we now know that visually-stimulating content is not only more engaging, but helps students digest and retain information better.

Between the improvement in student performance and the significant increase in content accessibility, many educators have integrated more video media into their lessons. A recent report states that an astonishing 99% of institutions have teachers who regularly incorporate video into their curricula.

But what’s special about highly-visual content over other media is its ability to help students—across a spectrum of learning levels and style—with challenging course work. For instance, students will have a more concrete understanding of a location if they’re able to see it, rather than having to assume or imagine its geographic features. Video content is also ideal for explaining complex concepts, such as biological processes and their relationship to one another.


Additionally, there is a wide range of experiments that are either too dangerous or costly to perform in school but are necessary to experience in order to have a comprehensive understanding of certain concepts. Video content can be the window into laboratories, serve as a method of testing hypotheses, and provide a richer curriculum without the risk or hefty financial investments.

There are also volumes of studies that suggest that video content is an exceptional way for students with learning disabilities—including autism spectrum disorders—to learn difficult concepts. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity for students to independently strengthen their understanding of topics and skills through supplemental learning.

This supplemental education can take place during school and at home. Educators can provide links to students and their parents to both revisit a lesson and prepare for the following school day (sometimes referred to as the “flipped” classroom method).

How to Best Utilize Video

At this point, we should explicitly state that video is not a replacement for high-quality educators. Regardless of the kind of supplementary content used, teachers need to be there to guide instruction. That being said, there are some best practices when it comes to using video in a classroom.

Teachers should:

  1. Accommodate students with remote access

  2. Ask guiding questions before viewing

  3. Curate videos before presenting

  4. Enrich conversation before, during, and after viewing

    • Pause and check for understanding

  5. Find apps that align with the video (e.g., Backchannel chat, edPuzzle, Tes)

  6. Provide guided notes

  7. Transcribe video content

  8. View video multiple times

It’s important to take a quick aside to talk about number three on the list of best practices. Because while there are millions of hours of meaningful content out there, the same goes for the amount of inappropriate material. If you’re curious about how rapidly the world’s body of content is growing, drop by to see the hours of video being uploaded to YouTube in real time. As of March 23, 2019, there were 400 hours of video being uploaded every minute.

Therefore, teachers need to curate content before lessons. This legwork will help ensure that video content is safe for viewing and fits contextually with the subject matter at hand.

It’s Not Just YouTube

While YouTube has the most video content out of any video streaming platform by millions of hours, educators need to know that there is more than one place to find instructional material. Here are just a few of our favorites to get your started:

Create Video Content that Fits Your Curriculum

Video content can amplify learning for students of all levels. That’s precisely why educators, school districts, and universities across the country are integrating it into their curricula. However, even with the millions of hours of content out there, there are still more subjects to be explored and lessons to be learned.

If you’re looking to create immersive video experiences for your educators that are also tailored to your district or university’s brand and goals, click here to contact Grant Larson Productions. We’re a full-service video production company that has worked with National Geographic Learning and Big Ideas Learning, and are ready to work with you next on your video content.

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