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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Teaching and Videos... Good or Bad Idea?

Recently we have been exploring new ways to incorporate on line video in a technology class that I have been taking. The two sites that I am going to focus on are Discovery Education and Kahn Academy.
There have been political debates stating that on line videos can eventually replace teachers. Is that really possible?

Just in case you haven't heard of either of these online sites, here is some background...

Discovery Education exposes teachers and students to a variety of media for all learning types.  This site will provide video, articles, lessons, practice and much more for teachers, parents and students. This site also allows you to add specific assignments to particular students or whole group. The learner is able to search for any subject from Language Arts through Social Studies.

The Kahn Academy is a site that students, parents and teachers can access over 2700 videos.  These videos consist of math, science and history.  The students are able to watch a video, then practice the skill and take an assessment if desired.

I have used Discovery Education many times. I have not used to it to the extent that I just learned recently, however (which I am excited to do so now!).  I also tried to show a video segment of the Kahn Academy to my 2nd graders. The reactions from using both media are very different.  No matter how I use Discover Education, my kids are engaged, interested and are able to discuss what they have done.  After showing the Kahn Academy segment, the students were bored, and many responded "I didn't like it because it wasn't Mrs. Dodson" and "I didn't like it because he confused me."  Keep in mind the segment I chose was a skill they knew. 

My belief, is that on line video can NEVER replace the value of a teacher. No matter how much certain politicians or groups can try, the teacher is a valuable resource to every student.  The video, on the other hand, is just an accompaniment, an extra, an anticipatory tool, etc...
I love using technology in my room and I love being able to show my students how they can access information in so many different ways.  I also look at this from my students view, they love what/how I am teaching them... but I will use my students' words "[the video] is not Mrs. Dodson" which tell me kids enjoy having a teacher in front of them, opposed to on a screen.
Please share your thoughts on this matter. I would really like to know what other's think!


  1. I agree. The most important pedagogical tool we have for student learning is our ability to diagnose learning instantly within lessons - formative assessment. Computers will never be able to do this. Online content is fantastic when used correctly - as part of a larger lesson, project, etc. It will never take the place of an effective teacher. Our job is not to fill our students' heads with knowledge, but to give them the tools to find, create, and evaluate knowlede on their own.

  2. Video will never replace teachers, it can only augment them. They are great for giving information or showing steps in a tutorial that can be reviewed any time at any pace. If education were only about giving/acquiring information, then they could replace teachers.