How I *Finally* Got My Students' Attention!

My students listen to me better on video than in person!

It's summer, which means I'm allowing my mind to wander and ponder ideas for next school year.

This past year, I was constantly trying new tactics to increase student engagement.  Like you, I want to make sure my students "get it" and then can remember "it" for classroom and state tests.  

And then an amazing thing happened.  I created something fairly mundane (or so I thought) to show students how to take textual information and put it into an essay plan - on video.

I shared this video with the other four 6th grade Language Arts Teachers at my school and they showed it to all their students.

It wasn't long before students from other classes began to compliment me on the video and asked me if they could re-watch it!  So of course, I obliged, and it was posted on our school site.  Now even absent students could watch it!

(They were engaging with the video of me (not someone "cool") outside of class?!  What?!?!)

Soon students were asking me if I had a YouTube Channel because they follow lots of "YouTubers" and would happily comment on my video and tell about their favorite parts!  

(Their favorite parts?  You mean they actually remembered what I said?!)

This shouldn't have exactly surprised me as YouTube is the #1 search engine for those under 30 and the old saying is that a picture is worth 1000 words...but still!  The power of the video had me in awe because it seemed like I finally got their attention!

So then I really began to think - what is it about this video thing?  Why do my students listen to me better on video than in person?   How does it benefit the students educationally?   Could I "up" my video skills and get even better results?  After all,  that first video seemed pretty boring to me so what would happen if I could make them even better?

Some people suggested I use EdPuzzle or PowToon and many others to get the desired effect.  So I began looking into these and trying them out with the students.   

I like what some of them can do - like the whiteboard effect in Powtoon and making a YouTube video interactive in Edpuzzle. 

Since I am all about simplifying ideas in a practical sense, I even compiled what I found and learned about these tools into a kind of Video Resource Guide and you can get a Free Copy below!

But, as I am sure you suspected, making videos using these tools isn't quite what I expected.  And I'm not sure they really worked as well as my "boring" video.  Why is that?  

Next time, I'll share my research with this question and the ones above.  And let me tell you, all that glitters on the internet for video is not gold!

Be sure to visit Stephanie at Forever in 5th Grade to see some more great Show and Tell!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Very, Very cool! The brain loves novelty! I'm going to sign up for your video info. Thanks for sharing! Kathleen

    1. Thanks, Kathleen!

      I ended up using a video during an observation and even my administrator remarked at how the students paid more attention to the video! (A little embarrassing but if it works, it works!) :)


  2. I would love to watch your video to see what you came up with! Is the picture supposed to be a link to watch it? I'm a little intimidated by the whole video thing. I've only made one, and I made sure it was only of my hands showing how to do a craft. Thanks for linking up!

    Forever in Fifth Grade

    1. You want to see my boring video? I never posted that one! But I did post one that I made using Powtoon here: Hope that works! :)

  3. I have started to create videos. I have taped myself for observations and personal teaching growth but not so much with my students.

    1. That's a great place to start! You can "play" with those videos to see how you could edit video that you might make for your students! :)

  4. I have discovered the power of video a number of years ago. For me, it's like having two of me in the class. One that teaches and one who walks around and monitors learning.

    1. Yes, that is a powerful advantage to using video too!

  5. I like your new blog design! Congrats on all the great video success. I've begun to dabble a bit but haven't really done much with videoing me. I do use loads of video with my kiddos and have them make videos for me. Are you familiar with Flipgrid?

    1. Thanks! I will definitely check into Flipgrid! My students haven't made many videos - but I had definitely been showing lots of clips and now my own videos! :)


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