Using video effectively in the classroom requires switching students from passive to active viewers. Often teachers will have students take notes while they watch, or pause videos and ask questions and spark discussions. PlayPosit offers a platform for weaving these teaching strategies into the videos themselves.

By adding pauses to PlayPosit videos, or “bulbs,” at regular intervals, teachers can break up a long session of narration or talking and check student understanding. During a video about Jane Goodall, for example, insert a pause where students can discuss the importance of her work. Pause a video about climate change to ask students not only to recall key facts but to answer a poll question, or to provide an in-depth response about the benefits and drawbacks of renewable energy. Show students part or all of a powerful TED talk, and ask them to respond to periodic prompts to create a more enriching viewing experience. Use the same type of thought-provoking questions you would pose to your students in the classroom or on a quiz.

It’s important to make sure that your assessment items aren’t a verbatim repetition of what’s in the video. Of course, this is easier to do if you begin with higher-quality videos. If you create your own videos or screencasts, be sure to include pauses so that audio breaks fall at natural conclusions, rather than in the middle of a sentence or concept. Or if you prefer to save some time, pick from the vast library of pre-created bulbs, and edit as needed to create a customized learning experience for your students.

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