The moment I saw the title of this weeks’s Blog, I smiled, as this is were I have to stop, and without thinking, regale you with a thousand odd words of why I think Videos are so important in my teaching and why I strongly assume that without the use of videos, teaching will lose quite a lot of what can be very magical in a class.

Videos … what are videos technically and why do I deem them so important for teaching. Well, sometimes, to say the absolute truth, I actually had lessons were all I did was play videos from YouTube in class! … and the result? – Best lessons ever! But WHY? what is so amazing? It is quite obvious really … because many people love going to the movies, many people especially our young students, but not only 🙂 react immediately in a positive attitude when the words, ‘… let’s watch a video!’, are uttered in class. The moment the lights are dimmed, the video is enlarged into full-screen mode and the speakers start emitting sound, the class hushes down and attention is fully towards the screen. It’s like magic really, that is how I perceive it … and let’s face it, if a picture says a thousand words, hence a well-made video should … I will leave you readers to guess 😉

As I was saying, the class is absolutely silent, all attention on the screen, but what I love to notice most is the silence at the end of the video, when I observe the message that I needed my students to achieve from this exercise, hit them all of a sudden, a dawning if I may!

And then … the class erupts in ordered arguments, questions … discussion – Music, dear reader, to my ears.

So are videos a good contribution to a class? If one researches well what he/she is trying to achieve through that video, then definitely and no questions about it. One just needs to research well and yes the Tube is vast and you will definitely find something which should tickle your students’ fancy and you will love it … why? Because THEY are loving it! and isn’t that what teaching is really about 🙂

There are a myriad of videos which I use, but for this purpose I have chosen the three which are most at heart. I use the first one to demonstrate 2 things to different classes; the effectiveness of advertising when there is an unexpected turn of events, and also the dilemma of teachers worldwide in their explanation of the ‘th’ sound to foreign students, whose language structure is totally different from the British one. Here goes … feel free to comment on this one and I am positive it is going to make you smile –

The second video is more morose … but the message is equally strong and very effective in my opinion. I usually introduce my effective communication class with this video. I would need my students to understand the power of words, and indeed this is the title of the next video. Enjoy and feel free to comment –

Finally a sweet video. You will see our students smile and ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ throughout this video! That is a sign that they are comprehending .. it stands for us teachers then to direct their understanding and continue provoking their thoughts and opinions. Look at your students’ faces while they are watching such a video and work on that later on, after the whole viewing. Here we go –

In concluding, I would dare say that I am at times reluctant to move away from something which works perfectly. But having said that, innovation is indeed the key to learning, so I did browse through TEDEd videos and voila’, lo and behold countless educational videos in one repository. Yes they do exist on YouTube, but here they are literally collected together to simplify an educator’s life. Bingo!

Obviously then there are independent sites with their own videos and sometimes even ready-made comprehension tasks based on politics and nature and a myriad of other topics. Examples are BBC first and foremost, especially in my area of teaching, where I would require that my students listen mainly to proper RP spoken English.  Other examples are TIME Magazine, Reuters, Telegraph, the Guardian, National Geographic … indeed endless sites with so much to give. It stands for us educators to choose wisely and be interesting for our students and make our teaching a joy for our students and not a dread and a ‘bore’ 😉