8 Great Ways to Use Videos for Classroom Engagement

Trying to think of a way to show videos in class without having your students zone out? Here are tips for using educational videos for classroom engagement.

As an educator, classroom engagement is the key ingredient to cultivating a learning environment. Whether you’re in a classroom or lecture hall, it can be tough to engage a group of students with the ‘traditional’ way of teaching. Most students have been raised using technology like their smartphones or computer laptops.  The ‘traditional’ way of teaching in front of the classroom is now being pushed aside with interactive classroom activities. This makes the use of videos an excellent and unique opportunity to teach students in a way that they like and grew up with.

As an educator or leader of a classroom, it’s up to you to find ways to incorporate technology and student learning in a way that connects with your class. Video can help you do that.

Let’s take a look at 8 great classroom engagement strategies you can use to get your kids learning.

1. Series Of Video Clips

One way to increase student engagement is to incorporate classroom videos in your lesson plans.  Plan your lesson plan around 4-6 video clips. You can pick YouTube videos, create your own screencasts or you can re-use videos from other educators.  Once a video clip is presented to your class, plan interactive exercises like guided questions, reflections, or group discussions to talk about the lesson topic.

Use video content that builds off each topic. You’ll enhance and deepen their knowledge as you go from one topic to another.  It increases engagement and keeps students’ brains fresh as you proceed through the lesson.

2. Create Videos

What better way to get students invested than to have them create their own videos. A video creation lesson is applicable across the education spectrum (yes, even in math). It allows your students to show off their creativity in ways you wouldn’t see otherwise.

This is the perfect project for a teacher, too. You can create a video tutorial giving students guidelines and easy video tools to help create their project.  All you need to do is see what they come up with.  They can be creative with their projects by producing their own newscasts, how-to tutorials and more!

3. Video Recaps

webcamJust to make sure they pay attention in class, you can ask your students to record a quick video recap on what they learned that day. It doesn’t have to be long. The video can be 10 seconds long — it’s up to you. Have students submit their video via email, your video hosting site, Google Classroom or YouTube.  It will help you quickly assess whether you need to review a class topic, or move on to newer topics.

4. Collaborate Via Video

Another way to improve student engagement is to have your class work on projects together as a group.  Add video technology to the mix and the project can get interactive and fun for both teachers and students.  

There are plenty of ways to have students collaborate on a project. They can submit separate clips of videos to one another and compile them into a finished product, or send videos to each other outside of class to communicate about a project that’s to be completed during school hours.

When the name of the game is collaboration, you can’t really go wrong. And classroom teaching videos are a good way to do it.

5. Movie Day

As far as rewards or incentives go, there is nothing wrong with the occasional movie in class. Especially at the end of a quarter, you can use movies to engage students to finish strong through the harder parts of a series of lessons.

A good suggestion is to pick a movie that is relevant to your lessons. Add movie popcorn for your class and it’s a reward for a job well done after a long quarter of learning.  

6. Reflection

Image of teacher showing student how to do something on a computerAnother great video teaching strategy for educators is to use a powerful video from YouTube or a similar site to get your students reflecting. This is when critical thinking and deeper learning skills come into play.  They are required to provide emotional engagement and reflection on what they are watching. It’s not about consuming the video but reflecting on it that matters.

You may choose to easily grade this assignment by having students write a quick exit ticket, do a group discussion, or have a series of students share their reflections or insights on video.  

7. Interactive Video Stations

This might sound tricky, but it’s actually quite easy. Plan a lesson (similar to strategy #1) with a series of interactive video stations. Have your students travel in groups from one interactive station to another. Each station has its own individual lesson. As they travel from one station to the other, they are learning parts of an overall lesson.  

The only trick with this one is the lesson can’t be chronological, because otherwise, some groups will start at the end. See the next tip for a similar idea that capitalizes on this idea.

8. Jigsaw Puzzle Video Learning

This learning strategy has grown popular in recent years. With video, the jigsaw teaching tactic makes for a powerful lesson for students.

Set up learning stations around the classroom. Students will start at each group and watch the video. Now, instead of rotating to the next station, declare the students at each section “experts” on their content. It is now their responsibility to pair off with members of other groups and share the information they’ve learned.

All you need to do for this is plan a few good videos, count students off, and then swap them throughout the class. The video does the teaching and you facilitate the rotations throughout the lesson.

Classroom Engagement With Video


Product shot of Screencast-O-Matic's intuitive video editor.

When it comes to classroom engagement activities, educational videos are a great way to get students excited about learning. These 8 tips are good stepping stones for using technology in a way that will get students to absorb what you want them to know.

Here’s where you can learn more about Screencast-O-Matic’s plans for teachers that you can integrate into your classroom or school district. Screencast-O-Matic has interactive video tools to help enhance your video lesson plans.  Use their easy video editor and add images, text or use the green sc
reen filter to incorporate creative backgrounds for student projects.  

We don’t say this enough to teachers, so thank you for doing what you do– and hopefully, we can help make your job a little easier with our video tools for learning.


Quick Links:

Beginner’s Guide to Screencast-O-Matic’s Free Screen Recorder

How Video Technology Helped a School In Disaster

One Professor’s Story: How Video Can Help Change The World