Looking Back @ Effective (Use of) Videos

Looking Back @ Effective (Use of) VideosEveryone loves a good video. I’ve learned that video captures students’ attention in a way no other teaching device does. Oh, we can do many tech and non-tech hands-on activities with students, but none of those actually introduce informational material the way video does. In fact, students even prefer narrated slides presented as a video!

Let me first clarify that, while I’ve used video with students for more than 25 years, from science laserdiscs with at-risk high school students to online streaming as a middle school librarian, I’ve never shown a whole movie or TV episode or educational video that ran more than about 15 minutes—even Bill Nye gets old after 15 minutes! A particular Library Lesson of mine uses short videos to great advantage: Academic Honesty. I’m sharing these videos below (either embedded or with a link offsite) so you can see how using short videos or video clips effectively can impart complex concepts in a meaningful way.

Academic Honesty Videos
In an earlier blog post about Academic Honesty I wrote why and how I teach this conceptual understanding to meet CCSS Standards for documentation (bibliographic information, citation, and plagiarism). I present Academic Honesty through 3 legal concepts in an orderly flow that imparts a full understanding to students, yet minimizes the lesson time:

  1. Intellectual property (creations of the mind that belong to the originator or other designated owner)
    Intellectual property is the overriding concept from which copyright, fair use, and plagiarism stem so I show examples of intellectual property and then use a video (2:05 min) about acknowledging the creators when using their creations.
    My own “Sight-Site-Cite” video
  2. Copyright (legal rights given to owners of creative work so it can’t be used or stolen by others)
    I transition to copyright with a video (3:15 min) explaining the legal rights conveyed to owners of intellectual property.

    Pic of Common Craft's Intellectual Property video cover

    Click on image to view Common Craft’s offsite video “Intellectual Property”

  3. Fair Use (limited legal use of copyrighted material)
    It’s important for students to understand why they can use someone’s creations for their schoolwork without getting the creator’s permission, and a video (2:46 min) from Common Sense Media explains “Copyright & Fair Use.”

    Along with Fair Use I show examples of works in the Public Domain (works whose intellectual property rights/copyrights are expired, given up, or excluded) ***(see Update at end of article) and then show a video (3:37 min) about the Creative Commons and another video (2:16 min) about using it at school.

    Pic of Common Craft's "Copyright & Creative Commons" video cover

    Click image to view Common Craft’s offsite video “Copyright & Creative Commons”

    Using Creative Commons at School

Only after students have learned the legal concepts of intellectual property, copyright, and fair use, do I introduce Plagiarism (presenting someone else’s words, ideas, or creative expressions as one’s own) stressing that it is actually an ethical (not a legal) issue concerning academic dishonesty or fraud.

If you’ve watched these 5 videos—a total time of only 14 minutes—you have a strong understanding of the power of video to transmit the complex concept of Academic Honesty.

By using short videos to introduce a complex concept, I can later give a short video review of any separate element any time it’s needed during the school year.


UPDATE!! Just 4 days after publishing this, Common Craft issued a new video (2:53 min) called “Public Domain”, the link to which I’m inserting here for you to also view. It would only add ~3 minutes to the total viewing time for all 6 videos.

Pic of Common Craft's "Public Domain" video cover

Click image to view video offsite.

2 thoughts on “Looking Back @ Effective (Use of) Videos

    • And do you remember those 5″ floppy disks for the computers? New ones don’t even have a slot for the 3″ ones! 😀

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